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What is TRACES?

TRACES stands for TDS Reconciliation Analysis and Correction Enabling System is an Income Tax Department’s web portal particularly for TDS administration. A person having an account on this portal can have access to various utilities like filing of TDS returns, viewing challans, downloading Form 16/16A, conso file, making online corrections and placing requests for resolution etc.


Who can register on TRACES?

To avail the various functionalities on TRACES website, registration can be done by a

  • Deductor
  • Taxpayer
  • PAO

Each of these categories have been dealt in detail later.


Who is a Tax Deductor or Collector (Deductor)?

If you are deducting Tax at source or collecting any TCS, you are required to register at TRACES website for availing a number of services. Get a detailed understanding below on how you can register and the need to register as a Deductor on TRACES website.


Why should a deductor register on TRACES?

Registering on TRACES website will enable the tax deductor or collector of tax to

  • Check TDS refund status
  • Registration as admin
  • Creation of Sub-user
  • To provide feedback
  • Do online corrections
  • Make offline corrections
  • Generate and Download Form 16 / 16A
  • To view statement status
  • Check the Challan Status
  • To validate 197 Certificates
  • To download the Conso File
  • Download Justification report
  • Verification of PAN or bulk PANs
  • To view PAN status against a TAN
  • Can manage profile and change password
  • View credit amount of TDS or TCS against a PAN
  • Making declaration regarding the non-filing of statements
  • Declaration to Deposit Lower TDS
  • Status of outstanding demand
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When can a deductor register on TRACES?

The deductor after filing the first statement [TDS Return] at TIN FC can register on TRACES. But, to register the status of the statement should show “ Processed at CPC” on TIN Portal.


How to Register on TRACES as a Deductor?

If you are a deductor, click on the link https://contents.tdscpc.gov.in/. After this, you will be redirected to the home page. Follow these steps to register successfully

  • On this page select “Register as New user -> ”Deductor”. Screen, as shown under, will open up. TRACES website
  • Enter the details and proceed Step by step from 1 to 4. Click on “proceed” after Step 4.
  • A confirmation screen will appear at Step 5. Click to confirm details to confirm registration of TAN or Click on Edit to modify the details.
  • On successful confirmation, you will receive an activation mail with the link. Also, two different activation codes will be sent to the registered mail id and mobile number.
  • Click on the activation link and enter your User ID + both Activation Codes.
  • Account activation must be completed within 48 hours of registration else account will be deactivated and you will have to register again on TRACES.
  • Now you are registered on TRACES. For doing any activity on TRACES, you can now make login with the user id and password generated.

Who is a Taxpayer or Deductee?

Taxpayer or Deductee means the person whose tax has been deducted. On the basis of nature of income on which such tax has been deducted deductees can be categorized as

  • Salaried person
  • Non-Salaried person

Who can register as a taxpayer?

Following categories of person can register on TRACES

  • PAN holder who’s TDS has been deducted
  • PAN holder who has deposited any of the undermentioned tax
    1. Self Assessment Tax
    2. Advance Tax
    3. TDS on property

Why should a taxpayer register on TRACES?

Registering on TRACES provides access to the following to the taxpayer:

  • Making registration
  • To download form 16B
  • Verification of TDS certificates
  • To view or download Form 26AS
  • Creating and managing user profile and passwords
  • To view/ download aggregated TDS compliance report
  • 26QB correction
  • Request for Resolution
  • Provide Feedback

How can taxpayers register on TRACES?

To register as a taxpayer on TRACES website, follow the step-by-step process enlisted below:

  • Go to TDS CPC official website. On the home page click on Register as New User on the left panel of the screen, select the “Taxpayer” option when prompted. TRACES website
  • Screen, as shown under, will open up. Fill in the requisite details
  • Enter details in each step form 1 to 4 and finally click on Proceed.
  • Confirm details on the confirmation screen.
  • Once successful registration is done you get an activation link on registered email id and two different activation codes are sent on mail id and mobile number.
  • Click on the activation link and proceed to enter activation codes
    Account activation must be completed within 48 hours of registration else account will be deactivated and you will have to register again on TRACES.
  • Now you can make login successfully with the username and password created.

How to download Form 16 / 16A from TRACES?

The option to download Form 16 / 16A has been given to the Deductor and not to the taxpayer or Deductee. Hence, if you need Form 16 / 16A for TDS deducted by your current or previous employer or deductor you need to contact them for the same. There is no option available on TRACES whereby you can download it yourself.


Who is a PAO?

In a government office where tax has been paid without payment through challan i.e. by book entries in such a case Form 24G needs to be furnished. PAO or Pay & Accounts Office is a person specified to file such Form 24G.


Why should a PAO register on TRACES?

The registration on TRACES portal shall be made by a PAO to access these functionalities:

View details of DDOs
  • View status of statements
  • Manage Profile
  • File form 24G

How can PAO register on TRACES?

If you are a PAO i.e. Pay and Account officer, you need to click on https://contents.tdscpc.gov.in/.

  • Click on Register as a new user and select user type as PAO. Screen as shown below will appear: PAO register on TRACES PAO register on TRACES
  • Mention AIN being the mandatory field and either AIN registration number or Form 24G receipt number
  • Enter mandatory fields like number of DDOs, Number of entries , reported TDS, remitted TDS / TCS to Government Account etc
  • Enter the organisational details and communication address
  • Enter user id (AIN) and password to finish.
  • Confirm details on the confirmation screen
  • Once successful registration is done you get an activation link on registered email id and two different activation codes are sent on mail id and mobile number.
  • Click on the activation link and proceed to enter activation codes
  • Account activation must be completed within 48 hours of registration else account will be deactivated and you will have to register again on TRACES
  • Now you can make login successfully with the username and password created.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q- Can I register twice on TRACES?

From one TAN only one time registration on TRACES is possible.


Q- How many Admin accounts can I make on TRACES?

On one login only one admin user account is possible to be created.


Q- How many User accounts can I make on TRACES?

From one TAN i.e. under one admin account maximum of four (4) user accounts can be created.


Q- While making login I am again and again redirected to the home page. Should I register again on TRACES?

If you are again and again redirected to the home page at the time of making a login. You are not required to register again. Instead, you should follow these steps

  • Clear the cache memory of your browser
  • Check the version of your internet browser

Internet Explorer shall be version 8 or 9 Google Chrome version shall be 23 or above Mozilla Firefox shall be version 17 or above

Change your internet browser. Which means if you are trying to make login through internet explorer try it from firefox or chrome or vice versa.


Q- If my account is disabled. What shall I do?

In case your account has been disabled with TRACES you should wait for 48 hours and then make a login again. If you have made five wrong login attempts the account is locked out and in this case, you need to wait for one (1) hour before you try again.


Q- Why has my account been locked out or disabled?

Your account on TRACES is locked out or disabled because

Locked out
For making 5 consecutive wrong login attempts in the last 24 hours your account gets locked out. The same can be logged in again after waiting for 1 hour.

Disabled
The account with TRACES is disabled if you use Forgot User Id and before making a login you also choose forgot password. In this case, the account is deactivated for the next 48 hours. You can Reset User ID after 48 hours of inactivity.


Q- When the updated name is reflected on TRACES?

If you have an updated name of TAN through the furnishing of Form 49B at TIN it is possible that the TRACES profile is still reflecting the old name. There are no consequences of the same and you need not to worry. The old name will have no impact on the consolidated file, form 16/ 16A, justification report etc.


Q- What do “Invalid details” or “Your TAN is not available” mean?

While registering or making login you can find Invalid details or your TAN is not valid message if

  • You have not yet submitted any statement with this TAN
  • All the statements which you have submitted till date are NIL statements.
  • Statement filed is not processed by TRACES
  • Invalid TAN

Q- What will be my USER ID?

User ID as per user requirement


Q- What does Requested resource not found or blank login page means?

This is a temporary error shown when you log in to TRACES. To resolve the same you are suggested to clear the cache memory and try again.


Q- If I update my details on TRACES will the details in my PAN auto update?

No, the updated details will only be relevant for TRACES. If you want to make changes in PAN, submit a correction application online or offline in Form 49A.


Q- I do not have a TAN of my Deductor. Can I still register on TRACES?

Yes, you can still register as a taxpayer on TRACES by providing

  • Assessment Year
  • Challan Serial Number and
  • Amount of tax you have paid

Q- From where can I find the TAN of Deductor?

The details of the deductor's TAN can be found in either of the documents. Namely


Q- Is it possible if I register my PAN twice on TRACES?

Only one registration is possible to make form one PAN. Hence it is not possible for you to register twice on TRACES with the same PAN credentials.


Q- Which month should be mentioned while registering the month of TDS deduction or deposit?

Under Step 1 when you are asked to mention the month you are required to mention the month in which your TDS was deducted. The month in which TDS was deposited is irrelevant in this case. For Eg for the month of Jan 2019, your TDS was deducted on 19 Jan But was deposited to the government on 2 Feb. In this case, you should mention Jan and not Feb while furnishing details in Option 1 of Step 1 under registration as Taxpayer.


Q- What address should I mention while making registration on TRACES?

Communication address of taxpayer as registered in PAN should be mentioned while making registration on TRACES.


Q- Is it possible to edit my details on TRACES?

There are two situations under which you may be required to edit your communication details i.e. mobile number or mail ID

Before submitting the registration form
You can cross check and click on edit on the confirmation screen to alter any of the details.

After making successful registration but before activating the account
If you do not activate your account it would be deactivated in 48 hours. You can re-register as a new user with correct details after 48 hours.


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CA Abhishek Soni

Abhishek Soni is a Chartered Accountant by profession & entrepreneur by passion. He is the co-founder & CEO of Tax2Win.in. Tax2win is amongst the top 25 emerging startups of Asia and authorized ERI by the Income Tax Department. In the past, he worked in EY and comes with wide industry experience from telecom, retail to manufacturing to entertainment where he has handled various national and international assignments.