Understanding Income Tax Form 16

Last Updated on Sep 6, 2017

What is Form 16?

Form 16 is a certificate issued under section 203 of the IT Act for tax deducted at source from salary. It is a detailed record of . deducted from the salary of the employee by the employer. It is also known as a Salary Certificate since it also contains complete details of salary paid by the employer and its components as well as tax deducted from salary. It is issued by the employer even when there is no tax deduction from the salary of the employee.

Who is Eligible for Form 16?

All the salaried employees are eligible to get Form 16 from their employers. If your employer deducts TDS from your salary, then he must issue Form 16 to you.

How to Get Form 16 Online?

There is a common misconception that one can download Form 16 using PAN number from TRACES website. In reality, you can get your Form 16 only from your employer.

How to Get Form 16 for Previous Years?

If you need Form 16 for any previous year, you can ask your employer to issue you the same.

How to Get Form 16 from Previous Employer?

If you need Form 16 for any previous year, you can ask your employer to issue you the same. Provisions of Income Tax Act make it mandatory for an employer to issue Form 16 to his employee if TDS has been deducted from his salary.

Structure of Form 16

Form 16 is divided into two parts. Part A and Part B.

Format of Form 16 – Part A

Part A is the certificate of TDS. Hence Form 16 becomes a proof of the TDS deducted by the employer from salary of the employee and paid into the government account.

It is also known as TRACES Form and contains following detail


Personal details of employee, address, Permanent Account Number


Address, PAN and TAN (tax deduction and collection account number) of the employer,


Duration of the period that the employee worked with the employer during the Financial Year,


The Assessment Year and most importantly


Summary of the taxes deducted and paid into the government account by the employer.

Form 16 - Part A Structure

Employer generally deducts TDS from the salary of the employee and deposits the same with the government account and the details of TDS deducted and paid each quarter are mentioned in this TRACES form or Part A of the Form 16.

It also contains details like BSR code of the bank branch through which payments are made and challan numbers etc for reference. All these details are of utmost importance when it comes to presenting Form 16 as a proof of tax deducted and paid to the government account.

Fundamentally, part A of form 16 provides summary of tax deducted from your income and deposited to the government as per the monthly and quarterly TDS return filed by the employer.

Format of Form 16 – Part B

Part B is annexure containing details of salary paid, other income, tax due and tax paid. This is a complete detailed record of salary and related deductions and exemptions computed in a step by step manner.

This part of the Form 16 is a complete detailed record of the salary of an individual. The name and PAN of the employee are quoted even in this part of Form 16. It contains details of


Gross salary,


Exemptions claimed under section 10 of the IT Act and


Net taxable salary after deducting these exemptions


Details of house property income


Deductions from salary under section 80 C to 80 U


Amount of tax on income


Income tax paid and hence either taxes due or refund due

Form 16 - Part B Structure

Exemptions from salaries include house rent allowance , Leave Travel Allowance , conveyance allowance, attire allowance, medical allowance to name a few. Part B details the amount of each of these allowances that are exempt from tax. The salary chargeable to tax is hence derived.

If a person has house property in his name and is claiming deductions for interest paid on housing loan then under salaries the income from house property is derived in this format. Details of income if any from house property and deductions mainly in form of interest paid on housing loan is specified. In case a person has more than one house property then his income from rent, standard house property deduction, municipal taxes paid etc are also shown while calculating income from house property. In major cases where there is only one house property which is self-occupied the income is negative since income NIL and deduction in form of interest paid on loan is allowed up to Rs2,00,000.

Details of any other income are then specified under this section. However all these details (apart from salary) need to be declared with the employer first so that they can be included in the Form 16.

Details of deductions under Chapter VIA are also shown below this. Each deduction under section 80C e.g. employee’s contribution to PF, life insurance premiums, home loan principal repayments, children’s tuition fees, investment in mutual funds, investment in PPF , Sukanya Samridhhi , or etc. Section 80 D deduction for medical insurance and other deductions are also mentioned. Once these amounts are deducted from income chargeable to tax the net amount chargeable to tax is derived. This is the amount on which tax is calculated at the applicable tax slab rates. Rebate u/s 87A is also given if applicable. After applying the applicable cess and surcharge on the amount of tax, the tax payable for the year is derived.

Finally the amount of tax deducted from the salary of the employee is deducted from this tax amount and if any taxes are due these are to be paid by the assesse to the government. However generally taxes due are NIL as per Form 16 since these are always calculated based on the tax declarations made and investment proofs submitted. In many cases there is a refund due. Taxes may be due only in case where income earned apart from salary is not declared to the employer for the purpose of preparing Form 16.

Why is Form 16 required?

Form 16 is required due to its utility in Income Tax filing. Since it is complete record of income earned and taxes paid it is a single most important document that is accepted for tax filing purposes. It is also accepted as an income proof in various transactions like loan processing etc. Also Form 16 can be used to verify whether correct taxes are deposited with the government account by comparing the amounts with your Form 26AS . This is a proof that correct taxes are deducted from salary and deposited with the government.

How to download Form 16?

Form 16 is generally issued by your employer in hard copy as well as soft copy. Now a days digitally signed Form 16 are issued to employees via emails. These can be downloaded and used in Income Tax Return e-filing .

When do I receive Form 16?

Form 16 is generally issued by employers by 31st of May each year. However this date may vary from one company to the other. Certain companies may issue it sooner or later.

What if the employer does not issue Form 16?

If the employer does not issue Form 16 then you may refer to your Form 26AS online. This form contains details of tax deducted from your payments and deposited in the government account. If however you cannot access this or it does not reflect any TDS payments then you must demand your Form 16 from your employer. It is your right to do so.

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