Filing Income Tax Returns (ITR) online involves filling multiple forms. One such form is form 26AS, also known as your ‘Annual Statement’.

What is form 26AS?

The data filled in this form is organised in multiple parts. This data is essential for tax credit claims, the primary function of this form. The Income Tax Department also maintains this database to keep track of taxpayers’ total income and the amount of taxes they pay. Personal details are linked using the taxpayer’s PAN (Permanent Account Number).  This form is popularly known as a tracking tool for tax deductions, but it has more to it. It has all your income details - salary, interest on bank deposits, tax deducted on deposits and tax deposited to the Income Tax department. It also contains refund details.  Form 26AS contains 7 parts, in all. They are:

1. Part A:Includes Tax Deducted at Source from salaries, bank interest and pensions.

1. Part A1: It contains details of income where no TDS is deducted because the taxpayer has submitted Form 15G or 15H

2. Part A2:If a property is sold during the year and TDS was deducted from the amount received, the entry is found here.

b.Part B: This includes details of Tax Collected at Source (TCS) from buyers of specific categories of goods and services (alcoholic drinks, tolls, parking fees, etc)

c.Part C:Part C deals with tax payments other than TCS/ TDS such as self-assessment tax or advance tax directly payable to banks. Banks upload the required information on the clearing of cheques.

d.Part D:The total tax refund for a year is recorded here.

e.Part E:This part consists of details of the Annual Information Report (AIR) transactions. Property purchases, mutual funds of high value, corporate bonds of high value are recorded in this part.

f.Part F:This section records tax deducted on the selling of property that is immovable. While buying property, TDS is deducted before paying the seller. Part F has both TDS deducted and deposited.

g.Part G:This records defaults related to the processing of TDS statements.

Updation of form 26AS
For TCS and TDS, the entities deducting or collecting tax need to file statements every three months.

How to access form 26AS?
There are two ways to go about form 26AS download- the TRACES portal or via the net-banking facility of any authorized bank. While filing Income Tax Returns, Form 26AS download and submission is an essential step. A tax credit cannot be claimed without this form, which can lead to a considerable loss.