An employer provides Form 16 to an employee listing the amount of income tax deducted and deposited with the government. Form 16 has important information you need in order to file your income tax return, or ITR. The due date for filing ITRs for financial year 2017-18, or assessment year 2018-19, is August 31. Form 16 is issued after the end of the financial year for which tax was deducted. It essentially has two parts: Part A has details of the employee and tax deducted. Part B has lists salary break-up and deductions claimed.

While filing her income-tax return, an assessee is required to enter details of total income earned during the year, including the amount of salary received from all employers. “However, in case Form 16 has not been provided, the employee can use Form 26AS and salary slips to prepare and file their ITRs," says Naveen Wadhwa, deputy general manager at Taxmann.

Form 26AS is essentially a type of tax passbook that has details of various taxes deducted from your income at source. It can be downloaded from the income-tax department’s website.

According to Wadhwa of Taxmann, to prepare the ITR, an employee needs the following details: salary (excluding allowances); taxable allowance; value of perquisites; profit in lieu of salary’ deductions under Section 16; and exempted allowances.

If an employer doesn’t provide Form 16, the employee must calculate the figures for each item separately.

“Generally, the taxable and exempt amounts are specified for each component of salary in the salary slip. A taxpayer just needs to segregate the salary components from these categories. Once this is done, it can be reported in the ITR," says Wadhwa.

Though salary has many components, the most popular ones are basic salary, dearness allowance, bonus, leave salary encashment, and gratuity.

“Though there are multiple allowances available in the Income Tax Act, one generally finds house rent allowance, children’s education allowance, mobile allowances in salary slips," he says. “The taxable portion of these allowances is shown separately from exempted allowances in the ITR."

Perquisites include all facilities made available by the employer to employees, like free accommodation, use of car, interest-free or concessional loans, education facilities, ESOPs, free food, leave travel concession (LTC), and medical facilities or medical reimbursement.

From this year onwards, the ITR 1 form requires detailed calculation of income from salary or house property, instead of a single figure as was applicable till the previous year. “ITR 1 is the simplest form for filing ITR for resident taxpayers who earn their income from salary or pension, own one house, and their other sources of income add up to 50 lakh annually," says Ansh Bhargava, director at Taxmann.

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