In a goof up by the Punjabi University, employees were given erroneous copies of Form 16 which made filing of income-tax (I-T) returns burdensome for them.Wrong copies of the form for the financial year 2013-14 were also distributed to retired employees of the university.
It was learnt that information provided on the form relating to salary, tax deduction and tax paid did not match with that on the 26AS form (Tax credit statement) available on the I-T department's website. These data, relating to employee accounts, were provided to the I-T department by the university. However, the inconsistencies in the information provided in the two documents-Forms 16 and 26AS- have created hassles in filing I-T returns.
Additionally, Form 16 was provided to the employees only 12 days before the last date for filing returns- July 31. Usually the university gave the form before May 15, but this was delayed by over a month. The discrepancies found in salaries, tax deducted at source (TDS) and other components of salary were said to be wide.
A professor from the university said, "The authorities have not included arrears given in the last financial year as part of salary as stipulated in the norms. Instead, it was mentioned as extra income."
Despite having experienced staff in the accounts department, the university had outsourced the job of handling employee accounts, last year, for undisclosed reasons.
University registrar Davinder Singh admitted that the administration was at fault for the delay in providing Form 16 to employees. But, he added, the "hiccups" in the process came up after the I-T department failed to upload the updated Form 26AS on time on its website.
"We amended Form 26AS and sent it to the I-T department well in advance but, the latter failed to make changes on the forms of university employees available online," he said. He added that a special camp was being organised at the university to help employees facing difficulties with the form. Several teachers also met the university authorities on Thursday.
What is form 26AS
Form 26AS is a consolidated tax statement which contains details pertaining to tax deducted at source (TDS), tax collected at source (TCS) and advance tax/self assessment tax/regular assessment tax etc., deposited by taxpayers (PAN holders).