File Income Tax Returns without Form 16

Also known as the salary certificate, Form 16 is a necessity for salaried employees who wish to file their income tax returns. However, they may not receive Form 16 from their employers for reasons aplenty. Having said that, they can file ITR without Form 16. Let’s see what Form 16 is and how to file ITR without form 16.

You may be a part of a start-up, and it is quite likely that your employer is still learning the ropes and doesn’t issue your Form 16 in a timely manner. However, you want to file your ITR, and you are left wondering, how to file ITR without Form 16.

Form 16 or salary certificate is a crucial document that every salaried employee needs to file for their income tax returns. But in some cases, salaried employees may not receive Form 16 from their employers. There are various reasons for not issuing Form 16. However, such individuals can file ITR without Form 16. So, let us check out what Form 16 is and how to file ITR without form 16.

Form 16

Form 16 is also referred to as a salary certificate or TDS certificate. This document is issued by the employer who deducts tax from the income of the employees, as per compliance. This TDS certificate contains the details of the total taxable income of the employee and the resultant tax deductions. This is the most crucial document which every salaried employee needs to file income tax returns.

According to the Income Tax Department, if the employer deducts tax from the employee’s salary, then the employer must issue the yearly TDS certificate to the employee, before the 15th of June of the given year. In simple terms, if the employer has deducted TDS from the employee’s salary for the previous year, then they should furnish Form 16 by the 15th of June of the following year.

In some cases, employers do not issue Form 16 to their employees. If the taxable salary income of a given employee is not more than the minimum tax exemption limit, then such an employee would not receive Form 16 or a TDS certificate as no tax has been deducted from their income. However, all salaried employees are required by law to file their ITR returns annually, regardless of whether Form 16 is issued or not, if their gross annual income is more than the tax exemption threshold of 2,50,000 INR.

How to file an income tax return without Form 16?

If the individual doesn’t receive a TDS certificate from the employer, but their gross annual income goes beyond the maximum tax exemption limit, then here are the steps how to file ITR without Form 16.

Step1: Determine your all source of income.

The individual should first determine all their sources of income during the given financial year. Then calculate the income received from these income sources. For instance, taxpayers should include various sources of income, such as:

  • Pension and salary — The individual may be earning a salary from the employer but is also getting a pension from a different source. The individual has to rely on payslips to determine these sources.
  • Capital gain through property or earnings through house rent, sale of capital assets, interest earned by bank fixed deposits, etc. are considered as additional sources of income.

Step 2: Check for TDS deductions.

Next, determine whether the tax that has been deducted at source from these additional sources of income for the given financial year with the help of Form 26AS. You can download Form 26AS from the TRACES portal.

Step 3: Calculate the total annual income.

The individual should calculate the total annual income from all sources in the given financial year. After calculating the total annual income, determine the total tax deducted from the annual income. And then, get the total income after subtracting the tax from the gross income.

Gross total annual income is the sum of income earned and the tax deducted on the income at source.

For instance, if the individual was credited a salary of 10,000 INR and their Form 26AS reflects a TDS deduction of 1000 INR from the salary, then the gross total monthly income is 11,000 INR, i.e. 10,000 +1000 as the cumulative earnings from the employer.

Step 4: Claim your deductions.

Employees have different tax-saving investments and payments against which they can claim deductions in taxes. So, if the individual has made any investments on tax-saving instruments or has made certain payments which are applicable for a reduction in taxes, they should claim for such tax reductions while calculating the total annual taxable income.

Step 5: Calculate the total taxable annual income.

Once you determine the deductions that should be claimed, calculate the total taxable annual income. Subtract the tax-saving investments and payments (refer to Step 4) from the annual income earned by the individual during the given financial year (refer to step 3) to arrive at the final total income.

Step 6: Calculate the yearly tax liability.

The tax liability of the individual for the given financial year can then be calculated by implementing the tax rate as per the taxation slabs laid down by the Income Tax Department. These slabs can be known by going to the Income Tax Department website.

Step 7: Calculate the tax payable, if any.

If the tax deducted on the income is lower than the actual tax obligation as per the income, then the individual has to pay the difference in the tax amount to the Income Tax Department.

Inversely, if the tax deducted from the income is greater than the actual tax liability, then the individual can claim for the refund of the extra tax that has been deducted from their income.

Step 8: Simply file ITR without Form 16.

After completing the steps outlined above, the individual should then file the income tax returns during the given financial year.

If the employer deducts TDS from your salary, then, by law, the employer must provide you with Form 16. If the employer fails to furnish Form 16 on or before the 15th of June of the given financial year, then the employer will be charged a penalty from the Income Tax Department, the minimum amount for which is 100 INR for every day of default after the final date.

Ideally, companies provide Form 16 if your salary is higher than the minimum taxation slab, and resultant tax has been deducted by the employer. If your income is lower than the minimum taxation and the employer doesn’t deduct any TDS from your salary, then you will not receive Form 16. However, if your total annual income from additional sources exceeds the minimum taxation limit, then you should follow the steps mentioned above on how to file income tax without Form 16.


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