In the words of George Bernard Shaw ‘Progress is impossible without change, And those who cannot change their minds, cannot change anything’.
I believe this was the only thing in mind on the Government while introducing the new Form 26AS or rather the Annual Information Statement in such a comprehensive manner. Form 26AS is an Annual Consolidated Statement reflecting the taxes paid (including Self-Assessment Tax and Advance Tax) and deducted during the year along with details of refund.
However, Budget 2020-21 introduced section 285BB in the Income-Tax Act to implement revised Form 26AS and include all information concerning taxpayer with the Income Tax during the year (Making it a ONE STOP). Section 285BB reads as under:-
‘The prescribed income-tax authority or the person authorised by such authority shall upload in the registered account of the assessee an annual information statement in such form and manner, within such time and along with such information, which is in the possession of an income-tax authority, as may be prescribed.
Explanation–For the purposes of this section, “registered account” means the electronic filing account registered by the assessee in designated portal, that is, the web portal designated as such by the prescribed income-tax authority or the person authorised by such authority.’
In view of the newly notified section, CBDT vide Notification No. 30/2020 dated 28.05.2020 implemented new Form 26AS by inserting new Rule 114-I (and omitting Rule 31AB) which shall be effective from 01.06.2020. Form 26AS will thus, now be a complete profile of the taxpayer. The major features of the newly brought Form includes-
Thus, the Form 26AS in its new Avatar shall portray the complete contour of the taxpayer which will benefit the tax authorities for the following reasons:-
So the inference that we draw here is that, the tax payer will have to provide for correct and complete information at all times to the banks or financial institutions or any other authority about any demand or proceedings under any law, since the thing they will ask now – is your Form 26AS so as to be sure while performing due diligence or any background checks. The Government bringing in more transparency of the profile of taxpayer, it shall be tough for him to conceal or provide any incorrect information.
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