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File ITR Without Form 16

Updated on: Jun 26th, 2023


9 min read

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Form 16 is an important document for salaried employees to file their annual ITR. However, salaried employees can file their returns even without a Form 16.

In this article, we will explore how a salaried employee can file his income tax returns without a Form 16.

What is Form 16?

Form 16 is an important document which is to be mandatorily issued by all employers to their employees. It is basically a TDS certificate that enlists the employee’s taxable income and deductions. It is a vital document for employees to file their returns.

When an employer deducts TDS on salaries – the Income Tax lays down that TDS certificate must be issued by the employer, once in a year, on or before 15th June of the financial year immediately following the financial year in which tax is deducted.

In certain cases, employers may not issue a Form 16 to employees. It is often observed that employees whose taxable income does not exceed the basic exemption limit do not receive a Form 16 from their employers.

All salaried employees, irrespective of whether they receive their Form 16 or not, must file their annual IT returns (and it is possible without a Form 16) as long as their gross income exceeds the basic exemption limit of Rs 2.5 lakhs.

Click to download the format of Form 16, Part-A and Part-B is given in below link-


Form 16 not issued by the employer

a. If there is no TDS, is the employer required to issue a Form 16?

TDS certificate in Form 16 is required to be issued to the employee only when TDS has been deducted. In case no TDS has been deducted by the employer he may not issue you a Form 16.

b. When the employer deducts TDS and does not issue a certificate

Any person responsible for paying salaries is required to deduct tax at source on the amount payable. The Act lays down that every person who deducts TDS from a payment made, must furnish (to a person to whom such payment is made) a TDS certificate with details.

An employer, in specific, is compulsorily required to furnish you a certificate, in the format of Form 16, specifying that tax has been paid to the Central Government, with the amount so paid, the quarter for which the tax has been paid and other prescribed particulars.

In case an employer fails to provide you with a Form 16 after having deducted TDS – the minimum penalty that the employer will pay is Rs 100 for every day the default continues. You can write about this failure of your employer to the Assessing Officer who may take appropriate action against the employer, including levying penalty as mentioned above and also carrying out further proceedings against the employer.

Your Form 26AS, will have details of TDS deducted by your employer, you can check your TDS details from there – if the details don’t show up, well it means the employer deducted TDS from you and didn’t deposit with the government! In this case, you may have to pay tax to the government on your income yourself and later on claim from your employer.

c. If no Form 16 has been issued to me does it mean I don’t have to pay tax or file a return?

While the onus of deducting tax on salaries and providing a TDS certificate in respect of TDS is on the employer, you are required to calculate and pay taxes on your income and file income tax returns. If your income under all heads, including salaries, is above the basic tax exemption limit, you are required to pay tax. You are required to calculate tax and file tax returns irrespective of whether your employer deducted any tax from you or not, or even when he fails to issue you a Form 16.

Steps to File IT Returns without a Form 16

Salaried taxpayers who haven’t received their Form 16 can follow the following steps to file their IT returns.  

STEP 1: Determine income from all sources Firstly, income received from all sources in the financial year is to be determined. Taxpayers must include incomes earned from sources such as: Salary and Pension – you may rely on your pay slips for this purpose. Put together the net salary from all the payslips you have received from your employer in the financial year.

If you have switched one or more jobs in a financial year, make sure you include payslips from all employers you have worked for in the year. Also, consider rent from House PropertyCapital Gain on sale of any capital assetInterest from bank accounts, FDs, etc. 

STEP 2: Find TDS deducted on income  taxpayers can take help from their Form 26AS to determine TDS on their income for the financial year. Form 26AS can be downloaded from the TRACES website.   

STEP 3: Find TDS deducted on income Many employees have a House Rent Allowance (HRA) component in their salary. To claim the HRA deduction, you must submit your rent receipts to your payroll department in advance. If you haven’t submitted the receipts to your employer, you can always claim it while filing.

If you are unsure how to calculate HRA, use HRA calculator or contact our Tax Experts to help you out. 

STEP 4: Compute total income for the year After determining income from all sources and TDS deducted on income, total income for the year is to be computed. Consider Rent from House Property, Capital Gain on sale of any capital asset, Interest from bank accounts, FDs, etc. Total income is the aggregation of income received and TDS deducted on such income. 

For example: If salary credited to bank account amounts to Rs. 9,000 and Form 26AS shows TDS deducted on salary as Rs. 1,000, consider Rs. 10,000 (9,000 + 10,000) as the total income from salary.   

STEP 5: Claim Deductions there are various payments and investments that can be claimed as deductions from income while paying income tax. Make sure to claim such deductions while computing total taxable income. While claiming deduction for Provident Fund, make sure you claim only your contribution to the PF, and not your employers’ contribution.

To know more about deductions, click here.

STEP 6: Compute total taxable income Once deductions to be claimed are determined, total taxable income is to be computed. 
Total taxable income can be computed by deducting the total deductions to be claimed (as computed in Step 4) from the total income earned in the financial year (as computed in Step 3) 

STEP 7: Compute tax liability for the year Tax liability for the year can be computed by applying the tax slab rates as applicable to the taxpayer. 
To know the slab rate applicable to you, click here.  

STEP 8: Determine tax payable If the TDS deducted on income is less than the tax liability as computed in Step 6, the difference amount is the tax to be further paid by the taxpayer.  

However, if the TDS deducted is more than the tax liability, excess tax has been paid. The taxpayer can claim for a refund for the excess tax paid while filing IT returns. 

STEP 9: File IT Return once all the steps above have been completed, the taxpayer can go ahead and file IT returns for the year.

Received my Form 16 late. What if there are any discrepancies?

Do note that if you receive your Form 16 subsequently from your employer and you find some discrepancies between the return filed and Form 16, you can always revise your return but make sure to do so before 31 January 2022 (due date extended)for the return filed for FY 2020-21. ClearTax can simplify the process of filing IT returns and make it a pleasurable experience.

File your IT returns with us, it takes just 7 minutes!

Related Articles

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What is Form 16 – Basics, Part A & Part B of Form 16, FAQs

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