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How to File an Income Tax Return without Form 16

Form 16 is crucial for filing income tax returns but is not mandatory. Use alternative documents like salary slips, Form 26AS, and investment proofs if unavailable.

  • 29,476 Views | Updated on: May 20, 2024

While Form 16 simplifies the process, you can absolutely file your income tax return without it. To do so, you have to gather documents providing proof of income. Now, all you have to do is calculate deductions and exemptions, choose the appropriate ITR form, and fill it out while accurately entering your income, deductions, and other details. You can use the tax calculator or manual calculations to determine your payable taxes. Pay the remaining amount before filing if your tax liability exceeds the TDS deducted. And do not forget to E-file your returns.

Key Takeaways

  • In the absence of Form 16, alternative documents like salary slips, Form 26AS, and proof of investments can be used to file ITR.
  • While Form 16 is not essential, it provides information on Tax Deducted at Source (TDS) on salary, salary breakup, and details of income tax deductions.
  • To file ITR without Form 16, include income from house property, capital gains, and other sources.
  • Form 16 helps taxpayers claim eligible deductions seamlessly, ensuring accuracy and completeness.
  • For the Income Tax Department, Form 16 aids verification, compliance, and data accuracy.

For a salaried individual, Form 16 is an important document that is used for filing the income tax return. It is almost impossible for salaried individuals to file income tax returns without Form 16. However, there can be some instances where you do not receive Form 16 from the employer due to the closure of business or if you changed jobs without completing the exit formalities properly. In this case, you can use other documents as references to file your return.

Understanding Form 16

Form 16 is an important form for salaried employees that carries information on the Tax Deducted at Source (TDS) on salary. The form provides a breakup of the salary into different components, including income from salary, income charged as salary, which includes Dearness Allowance and House Rent Allowance, among others, and income tax deductions under Section Section80G, Section80D, 80CCD, 80CCC, and Section 80C. It will also mention the details of the TDS. This form is issued annually to the salaried employee, and it is evidence that the employer deposits the TDS on behalf of the employee.

What are the Components of Form 16?

Form 16 is a crucial document for Indian taxpayers, acting as a certificate from your employer regarding your salary income and deducted taxes. It has two important parts:

Part A

This section primarily focuses on Tax Deducted at Source (TDS) on your salary. Here is what you will find:

  • Employer and Employee Details: Name, address, PAN, and TAN details of both parties.
  • Employment Period: The duration you were employed with the company during the financial year.
  • TDS Details: This includes the breakdown of how much TDS was deducted from your salary each quarter and subsequently deposited with the government. You will also find the TDS payment acknowledgment number.
  • Assessment Year: The financial year for which the TDS certificate is issued.

Part B

This part dives deeper into your income details and tax calculations. It usually includes:

  • Salary Paid: Your gross salary for the entire year.
  • Other Incomes: Any other income you might have reported to your employer (if applicable).
  • Deductions Claimed: Deductions you availed under various sections like house rent allowance, travel allowance, medical expenses, etc. (if applicable).
  • Tax Payable: The calculated amount of income tax you owe based on your total income and deductions.

How to File ITR Without Form 16 Step-by-step?

Is Form 16 mandatory for ITR? No, it is not. Follow the below-mentioned guide to understand how to file ITR without Form 16.

Step 1. Calculate Income from Salary

You need to use your salary slips to compute the income from your salary. You can collect the slips from your employer, who will also provide a breakdown of the salary income. The details include gross salary and the value of perquisites, professional tax, allowances exempted under Section 10, and entertainment allowance.

Step 2. Compare the TDS Deducted with Form 26AS

Form 26AS contains details regarding the TDS amount deducted from all income sources, which includes the income from salary. You need to crosscheck the TDS figures shown on 26AS and see if there are any discrepancies.

Step 3. Calculate Income from House Property

If you have any rental income from a house property you own, it is important to report it under this heading. If you have taken a home loan and are paying interest on it, you will get a deduction of the same under the head.

Step 4. Calculate Income from Capital Gain and Other Sources

For the sale of equity or mutual funds, you need to pay a capital gain tax if the returns are more than ₹1 lakh and if it is held for more than one year. You need to calculate the income earned from other sources, such as interest on bank deposits and interest on an income tax refund.

Step 5. Claim the Deductions

You can claim deductions under Sections 80C, 80D, and 80G, among others. Every deduction will have a specified limit.

Step 6. Calculate the Tax

You must now deduct the deductions from the total earnings to get the final taxable income. You can now estimate the income tax liability, pay tax, and file the ITR.

When is Form 16 not Issued by the Employer?

If the employer has not made any TDS cut for the financial year, they may or may not issue a Form 16. All employers deducting TDS have to provide Form 16. The certificate proves that the TDS deducted has been paid to the government. However, if the employer deducts TDS but fails to provide Form 16, they will pay a penalty of ₹100 for every day the default continues.

Meanwhile, you should check your Form 26AS to know the TDS cuts, and if it also does not have TDS details, it means the employer did not submit your tax to the government. In such a case, you would pay tax on your income and later claim it from your employer. Documents required in the absence of Form 16:

  • Salary slips
  • Proof for HRA, LTA, etc.
  • Form 26AS
  • Proof of investments for eligible deductions under Section 80C, 80D, etc.

Benefits of Form 16 for Taxpayers and Income Tax Department

While not mandatory, Form 16 is significant for you and India’s Income Tax Department. Here is why it is important:

Benefits for Taxpayers

  • Pre-filled information: Form 16 simplifies tax filing by pre-filling crucial details like salary income, TDS deducted, and tax-saving investments declared to your employer. This eliminates manual data entry and potential errors.
  • Accuracy and completeness: Having all income and tax details in one place helps ensure your return is accurate and complete, reducing the chances of scrutiny or penalties from the department.
  • Claiming deductions: Accurate details on Form 16 help you claim eligible deductions like HRA, medical expenses, and LTA seamlessly, potentially lowering your tax liability.
  • Proof of TDS: It serves as proof that your employer deducted and deposited TDS with the government, safeguarding you from potential tax demands in case of employer negligence.
  • Loan applications: Many lenders consider Form 16 income proof when processing loan applications, especially for salaried individuals.

Benefits for the Income Tax Department

  • Verification and compliance: The department can cross-check the TDS deposited by your employer with the information on Form 16, promoting tax compliance and reducing tax evasion.
  • Data accuracy: Pre-filled information helps ensure data accuracy in their systems, streamlining tax administration and analysis.
  • Reduced workload: It saves the department time and resources compared to manually collecting and verifying tax information from individual taxpayers.

Final Thoughts

While filing without Form 16 is possible, it requires extra effort and attention to detail. Having Form 16 significantly simplifies the process, reduces the risk of errors, and ensures a smooth tax filing experience.

Therefore, make obtaining your Form 16 a priority. If you encounter issues, reach out to your employer promptly. Remember, timely communication and proper documentation are key to navigating any challenges related to Form 16 and ensuring a stress-free tax filing journey.

- A Consumer Education Initiative series by Kotak Life

Amit Raje
Written By :
Amit Raje

Amit Raje is an experienced marketer who has worked in various Fintechs and leading Financial companies in India. With focused experience in Digital, Amit has pioneered multiple digital commerce in India. Now, close to two decades later, he is the vice president and head of the D2C business department. He masters the skill of strategic management, also being certified in it from IIMA. He has challenged his challenges and contributed his efforts in this journey of digital transformation.

Amit Raje
Reviewed By :
Prasad Pimple

Prasad Pimple has a decade-long experience in the Life insurance sector and as EVP, Kotak Life heads Digital Business. He is responsible for developing user friendly product journeys, creating consumer awareness and helping consumers in identifying need for life insurance solutions. He has 20+ years of experience in creating and building business verticals across Insurance, Telecom and Banking sectors

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