Income tax return: What Annual Information Statement (AIS) means for taxpayers?

ITR filing: The last date for income tax return or ITR filing for AY 2021-22 is 31st December 2021. So, taxpayers looking forward to ITR filing online are advised to check some changes made by the income tax department. Availability of Annual Information Statement (AIS) is one of them. The Central Board of Direct Taxes recently made an announcement in this regard putting full of curiosity among the taxpayers.

Speaking on what this Annual Information Statement means for a taxpayer, Mumbai-based tax and investment expert Balwant Jain said, “AIS is nothing but a statement of financial transactions furnished to it by various entities in respect a taxpayer collated by the tax department based on the PAN.” Jain said that before this new announcement in regard to AIS, Form 26AS used to carry details in regard to taxes deducted/collected from one’s income and details of taxes paid by the taxpayer directly. Form 26AS also has the details of income tax refunds along with details of interest granted on such refund to the taxpayer. Now, after inception of AIS, the income tax department intends to expand the scope of details that would be available to the taxpayer which will help the taxpayer in filing their ITR more accurately.

What’s new in this Annual Information Statement (AIS)

“This AIS has details of all the transaction which are reported by certain entities under Annual Statement of Financial Transactions which they are required to furnish to the tax department. These entities includes banks, registration offices, regional transportation office, authorized dealers dealing foreign exchange, stock exchanges, mutual funds, companies issuing shares and debentures, RBI and all the taxpayers who are liable to deduct and collect tax at source,” said Balwant Jain.

So, from now onwards, any transaction linked to a taxpayer’s PAN can be easily monitored online by the government. So, while filing ITR, a taxpayer is advised to go through one’s AIS and report all high-value cash and non-cash transactions and any kind of mismatch between the government data and the ITR date filed by the taxpayer. It includes credit card, stocks, mutual funds, debentures, and bonds related transactions as well.

How AIS is beneficial for an income tax payee

On how a taxpayer will benefit from this AIS; Amit Gupta, MD at SAG Infotech said, “The income tax department has created an Annual Information Return (AIR) statement of financial transactions to trace high-value transactions of taxpayers. Tax officials will gather details against unusual high-value transactions on this basis in a particular financial year. In case any expense or transaction has been listed as a high-value transaction, verify the AIR section of your Form 26AS. PART -E of Form 26AS combines details about the high-value financial transactions.”

Whose details will be there in AIS

Advising taxpayers to take income tax department’s AIS details seriously during ITR filing; Balwant Jai said, “An income tax payee’s details will reflect in the AIS only if the aggregate amount of the transaction falling in that category and with that entity exceeds the threshold limit prescribed.”

How to tackle discrepancy in AIS

If there is any transaction reported in one’s AIS in which the taxpayers has not executed, in that case the taxpayer can report such transactions online and get its AIS modified. Failing to this may land you in trouble.

Disclaimer: The views and recommendations made above are those of individual analysts or personal finance companies, and not of Mint.

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