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Form 16 Need to be in Hand? Here’s How You Can Still File Your ITR

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Form 16 Need to be in Hand? Here’s How You Can Still File Your ITR

With the tax filing deadline fast approaching, you must be concerned about your Form 16 if you are yet to get it. Form 16 is often considered indispensable for filing returns if you are salaried. But you can still file your ITR if your Form 16 is unavailable. 

In this article, we will guide you through gathering information from alternative sources to ensure that your tax filing is complete, accurate, and in accordance with the tax laws.

Let us take off on this journey to file your ITR, even if Form 16 is not on hand.

What is Form 16?

Form 16 is a certificate employers issued confirming the tax deduction at source (TDS) from an employee’s salary. It comprises two parts: Part A and Part B.

​Part A is a record of TDS deducted during a particular financial year.  It includes the employer’s TAN and PAN, the employee’s PAN, the assessment year, the period of employment, and a summary of quarterly TDS deposited with the government. 

​Part B provides a detailed breakdown of employees’ salaries, deductions, and net taxable income.

Form 16 is essential for employees because it:

  • Offers proof of tax payment. 
  • Assists in the efficient filing of the ITR. 
  • Provides a comprehensive income record.

Therefore, Form 16 is an important document that facilitates tax compliance and serves as a crucial document in your loan application process.

Why You May Not Have Form 16?

Now, let’s discuss the circumstances under which you might not receive this form:

  • Income Below Taxable Limit: If your income falls below the minimum taxable threshold, the employer is not obligated to deduct tax at source (TDS), resulting in no Form 16 being issued.
  • Employment Shifts: When you switch jobs during a financial year and do not inform your new employer about your previous income, you don’t receive your Form 16.
  • Non-compliance by Employer: Sometimes, your employer may fail to deduct TDS or delay the process due to oversight or non-compliance with tax laws, which can result in your not receiving Form 16.
  • Freelance or Contractual Work: Freelancers or contract-based workers may not receive Form 16 as their tax deductions are not processed like those for salaried employees.
  • Exemption Claims: Employees who have declared investment proofs that qualify for tax exemptions might not have TDS deducted; hence, they may not be issued Form 16.
  • Technical Glitches: At times, technical issues with the employer’s payroll system or the tax department’s e-filing portal can delay or prevent the generation of Form 16.

Alternative Documents to Form 16

While Form 16 is a primary document for ITR filing for salaried individuals, several other documents can be utilized to complete the process effectively:

Salary Slips: Your employer issues salary slips, or payslips, which detail your earnings and deductions for each pay period. 

To obtain your salary slips:

  • Request them directly from your HR/Admin department.
  • Alternatively, you can access your company’s internal employee portal, log in, and navigate to the payroll or salary section, where you can view and download your payslip.

Form 26AS: Form 26AS, or the Tax Credit Statement, is a consolidated record of all taxes deducted on your behalf and deposited with the Income Tax Department. 

To access Form 26AS:

  • Visit the e-filing portal.
  • Log in using your PAN, which serves as your user ID.
  • Navigate to the ‘e-file’ menu and select ‘Income Tax Returns’,’ then click ‘View Form 26AS’.
  • After reading the disclaimer, confirm to proceed to the TDS-CPC Portal.
  • In the TDS-CPC Portal, agree to the terms and click ‘Proceed’.
  • Choose the appropriate ‘Assessment Year’ and desired ‘View type’ (choose from HTML, Text, or PDF formats).
  • To view or download your Form 26AS, click the ‘View/Download’ button.

Bank Statements: Bank statements can be obtained through your bank’s online portal or by going to a branch. They record all transactions, including salary credits and tax deductions.

Interest Certificates: You can obtain an interest certificate from the bank or financial institution where you have a savings account or fixed deposit. Nowadays, with technology, most banks allow customers to download interest certificates from their online portal. 

Investment Proofs: Gather all documents related to investments or expenses that qualify for tax deductions, such as insurance premium receipts, home loan statements, and tuition fee receipts.

Capital Gains Statements: If you have sold any investments or property, you will need capital gains statements from your broker or the mutual fund house to calculate the capital gains tax. 

Aadhaar Card/PAN Card: Ensure you have your Aadhaar and PAN cards ready, as they are required for verification during the ITR filing process.

Step-by-Step Guide to Filing ITR Without Form 16

Step 1- Preparing your documents

You begin the process with a total of your income from all sources. Keep your pay stubs for the entire year and proof of any other sources of income. For instance, pension slips, interest certificates, rental income, and dividend income. Also, provide proof of any capital gains earned from the sale of property or shares.

If you changed jobs during the year, ensure you have pay slips from both employers for the broken periods.

Step 2- Calculating your taxable income

Download Form 26 AS from the TRACES using the steps outlined above. Check that your income corresponds to your Annual Information Statement (AIS) and Tax Information Summary (TIS).

You can download these statements from the Income Tax website’s “Services Tab” after logging in with your ID and password. These documents were introduced to encourage the self-filing of ITRs and reduce the chances of errors.

Step 3- Deductions and exemptions

Check the exemptions or the deductions available which will help reduce your taxable income. You can refer to the table below for eligible deductions/exemptions –

SectionEligible Deductions/ExemptionsExemption Limit
80 CInvestments in tax saving vehicles like PPF, NSC, Life Insurance etc.Up to Rs. 1,50,000/-
80 DMedical Insurance Premium for self and familyUp to Rs. 25,000 ( Rs. 50,000/- for senior citizens)
80 EInterest on Education LoanNo limit (Interest paid for 8 years)
80 GDonations to Charitable InstitutionsVaries (50% or 100% of the donation amount)
80 TTAInterest on Savings AccountUp to Rs. 10,000/-
HRAHouse Rent AllowanceLeast of rent paid minus 10% of salary, or HRA received, or 40% of salary (50% in metro cities)

Step 4- Filing the ITR online

Now, comes the last step of filing your ITR return by logging in to the Income Tax Portal. 

  • Please input your user ID (PAN), password, and captcha code for logging in.
  • Navigate to the ‘e-File’ menu and click ‘Income Tax Return’.
  • Select the appropriate assessment year and ITR form, and fill in the required information.  After submission, verify your ITR within 30 days to complete the process.

5 Tips for a Smooth ITR Filing Experience Without Form 16

Here are five tips for a smooth and professional ITR filing experience without Form 16:

Keeping financial records organized

Ensure you record all your income sources, including salary slips, interest income, and any other earnings. This will help you record your earnings precisely.

Utilize Form 26AS

Form 26AS is a consolidated tax statement on the Income Tax Department’s e-filing portal. It reflects all the taxes deducted on your behalf and is essential for verifying TDS and ensuring all income is accounted for.

Claim Eligible Deductions 

Collect all relevant documents for deductions you’re eligible for, such as investment proofs under Section 80C, education loan interest under Section 80E, or medical insurance under Section 80D.

Compute Tax Liability Correctly

Calculate your tax liability considering all incomes and deductions. Use online tax calculators or consult a tax professional to ensure the correct tax is computed.

Choose the Correct ITR Form 

It is crucial to select the appropriate ITR form based on your income sources. For instance, ITR-1 is for salaried individuals with income up to ₹50 lakhs, while ITR-2 is for those with income from more than one house property or foreign assets.

Key Takeaways

With the digitalization of financial records and the availability of online portals, obtaining these documents has become easier than ever. Starting the process early to gather all necessary information and avoid a last-minute rush is critical.

Do not let the lack of Form 16 cause a delay in your ITR filing. Procrastination can cause unneeded worry. So, to avoid penalties, file your tax returns on time.

If you take proactive steps and choose alternatives when Form 16 is unavailable, you can handle tax season with ease and precision. 


  1. Can I file my ITR if I don’t have Form 16? 

    Yes, you can file your ITR using alternative documents like salary slips and Form 26AS for tax deductions and bank account statements, tax saving investment proofs, etc, at your disposal before you start the tax filing process.

  2. Will I face penalties for filing an ITR without Form 16?

    There are no penalties for filing an ITR without Form 16 as long as you report your income and deductions correctly. Also, remember to file your return by the specified deadline. To avoid penalties, verify the accuracy of total income declared during tax filing using the Annual Information Statement (AIS).

  3. Can I file an ITR without Form 16 if I am a freelancer?

    As a freelancer, you may file your Income Tax Return (ITR) without Form 16. However, since freelancers are not salaried, they rarely receive Form 16. You can file ITR using documents such as Form 26 AS, Annual Information Statement (AIS), and Taxpayer Information Summary (TIS).

    You can also use the Presumptive Taxation Scheme (Section 44ADA of the Income Tax Act) to declare 50% of their gross annual income as net income if their total income is under ₹50 lakhs.

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I’m Archana R. Chettiar, an experienced content creator with
an affinity for writing on personal finance and other financial content. I
love to write on equity investing, retirement, managing money, and more.

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