Mismatch between TDS statement and Form 26AS
TDS or tax deducted at source is mandatory irrespective of whether you are salaried or you are in business. Your employer is required to deduct TDS from your salary based on estimated tax for the year and deposit with the government. Similarly, if you are a businessman, your client is required to deduct TDS at the extant rates and deposit with the government. Individuals and organizations who deduct TDS need to have a TAN number and when they deposit the TDS with the government against your PAN, it automatically shows in your Form 26AS. Technically, your TDS statement as contained in Form 16 or Form 16A, should precisely match with Form 26AS. However, there are times when there could a discrepancy and could create a problem in filing your returns.
General reasons for discrepancy between Form 26AS and TDS statement
Some of the common reasons for such a mismatch between the TDS statement and the Form 26AS are as under.
- The deductor may have failed to deposit TDS on time. It is mandatory to deposit the TDS with the government each quarter and file the TDS return immediately.
- There could be a technical error wherein an incorrect amount may have been entered in the TDS return leading to the discrepancy.
- A common reason could be incorrect PAN quoted in the TDS return. Even a single digit or alphabet placed wrongly can lead to discrepancy.
- There could be a mistake while entering the Challan identification number (CIN) or in mentioning the TAN of the deductor.
- At times deductors confuse between assessment year and previous year and that could also lead to discrepancy between Form 26AS and TDS returns.
How to rectify mismatches between Form 26AS and TDS statement?
There are a number of ways to rectify the mismatch and it would depend on the actual reason for the mismatch. Here is how to go about it.
- You can file your returns based on your TDS statement, even if there is a mismatch with Form 26AS. The Income Tax software will not accept such a filing and will ask you to justify the difference. Here you can mention the reason and if the gap is very small, the Income Tax department will normally accept and process the return.
- If it is a larger gap and due to the deductor not paying the tax on time, you must immediately take it up with your client or employer and ask them to rectify the error at their end. Once it is rectified, Form 26AS is automatically updated.
- In case, the wrong PAN or TAN has been quoted, it is more of a technical error and you must follow up with the deductor to rectify the same. To be on the safer side, check your Form 26AS update each quarter and immediately bring any discrepancy to the notice of the deductor. This can avoid hassles at a later stage.
- Normally, the deductor is required to file the TDS returns within 60 days for the March and June quarter. However, the TDS returns have to be filed within 30 days for the September and December quarter. You must use these as review points and proactively bring these matters to the notice of your deductor.
As you are aware, the Income Tax department now offers the pre-fill facility wherein all the data is automatically picked up via PAN matching. If your Form 26AS is not updated, then you have a problem in using the pre-filled facility. Secondly, when there is a mismatch, the return will not be accepted and you will have to respond online to the notice sent by the Income Tax department and explain the reasons.
Such mismatches are a very common reason for delay in processing of returns. As a result the tax refund, if any, also gets held up and your money gets locked in. Remember, your tax return is an important document for a variety of purposes. Rectifying mismatches at an early stage can simplify your task.