How to Check the Authenticity of your Form 16?
Form 16 is a TDS certificate provided to you by your employer at the end of every financial year. The certificate depicts salary paid to you in a financial year and tax deducted (TDS) thereon. You need Form 16 to file your income tax return (ITR), but it is important to ensure that Form 16 is valid and authentic.
Read this article to know more about Form 16, its components and how to check the authenticity of your Form 16.
What is Form 16?
Form 16 is a detailed summary of the salary paid & taxes deducted by your employer. This form acts as proof that your employer has deposited TDS to the income tax department accurately on your behalf.
It is mandatory for your employer to generate and distribute Form 16, for a financial year, on or before 15th June of the succeeding financial year. However, this due date has been extended to 31st July 2021 for FY 2020-21.
What are the components of Form 16?
There are two components of Form 16 — Part A and Part B.Part A:
Form 16 (Part A) includes details of the employer like name, address, PAN and TAN. Also, it shows details like employee’s name, address, PAN, quarterly salary paid and TDS.Part B:
Form 16 (Part B) includes details like taxable salary, deductions, allowances, pension, tax liability, etc. The employer prepares this part of Form 16 for the employees.
Now that you know the basics of Form 16 let’s discuss the necessity of validating the authenticity of Form 16 before filing ITR.
How to check if your Form 16 is authentic?
Your employer needs to sign the Form 16 before sending it to you digitally. Generally, the form is signed using a digital signature certificate (DSC) of an authorised signatory that can be an HR or Payroll head/CFO/Finance Head/CEO. Therefore, it is important to check the authenticity of the DSC on your Form 16 along with validating the details provided on Form 16.
The income tax department has provided multiple ways to check the authenticity of Form 16. This facility is made available for the taxpayers from the financial year 2011-2012. It can be done by logging on to the TRACES website by providing the details like TAN of employer and PAN of the employee, TDS certificate number, Assessment Year, TDS amount deducted as per certificate and source of income.
Here’s the step-by-step process that you can follow to authenticate Form 16
- 1. Visit the official website of the income tax portal
- 2. Log in using username (your PAN) & password
- 3. After logging in, navigate to the ‘e-file’ tab and click on ‘View 26AS’ under the ‘Income Tax Returns’ option
- 4. This will redirect you to the TRACES website
- 5. After being redirected to the TRACES website, click on the ‘View Tax Credit’ tab
- 6. Then, click on ‘Verify TDS Certificate’
- 7. Fill in all the required details like TAN of the employer, TDS certificate number, Assessment Year, TDS amount deducted as per the certificate & source of income (salary & non-salary). You can find all these details in Form 16 (Part A) except for the source of income.
- 8. Select the source of income (salary & non-salary) from the drop-down menu on the page
- 9. Then, click on ‘Validate’ to check the authenticity of your Form 16
- 10. If your Form 16 or TDS certificate is valid, the details on the form and those shown on the website will be the same
- In case the website shows that your Form 16 or TDS certificate is fake or invalid, contact your employer immediately and ask to correct the Form 16 or TDS certificate
As mentioned earlier, it is necessary to check the authenticity of the digital signature certificate (DSC) on Form 16 and check the validity of other details on Form 16. Therefore, follow these steps to verify the authenticity of the digital signature.
Step 1: Open your Form 16 in Adobe reader and right-click on the digital signature on the last page of the form
Step 2: Then, click on ‘Validate Signature’, and the document will display if the signature is valid or not
All the steps mentioned above will help you check the authenticity of your Form 16. You must ensure that your Form 16 is verified or validated before filing ITR.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q Do all employers have to issue Form 16 to their employees?
Yes, all employers must issue Form 16 to their employees whose tax has been deducted in a particular financial year. However, if there is no TDS for some employees, the employee might not issue Form 16 to such employees.
Q What is the salary limit for issuing Form 16?
The employer that deducts your TDS is legally bound to issue Form 16 by 15th June every year. However, the deadline has been extended to 31st July 2021 for FY 2020-21.
Q How to check the authenticity of my Form 16?
You can follow the step-by-step process mentioned above to check the authenticity of your form 16.
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