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Difference between Form 16 and Form 16A

Form 16 and Form 16A are vital for taxpayers as they play an integral role in determining the payable tax amounts. They are also quite essential for filing income tax returns. It is because of their almost similar purpose that taxpayers often confuse between the two documents. 

Nonetheless, to make the most of their use and to ensure a smooth tax filing experience taxpayers should find out the point of difference between Form 16 and Form 16A and their purpose. 

What is Form 16?

Form 16 is a certification that comprises information that is used to file Income Tax Returns. Employers issue this certificate to their employees as per Section 203 of the ITA. 

It is also referred to as a salary certificate. Typically, Form 16 consists of details related to the salary paid in a particular fiscal year. 

Additionally, it states how much TDS has been deducted from the salary of said employee. This little detail is a major point of difference between Form 16 and 16A.

Notably, such a form is only issued when an employee’s annual income exceeds the tax exemption threshold and is liable for TDS.

Contents of Form 16

Typically, Form 16 comprises two broad parts, namely Form 16 Part A and Form 16 Part B. In general, this document includes details like –

  • Proof of income
  • PAN and TAN details of the employer
  • PAN details of employee
  • Tax paid on employee’s behalf 
  • Payment acknowledgement number
  • Education surcharge and cess

What is Form 16A?

Form 16A is a certificate of tax deducted at source and is issued by employers every quarter as per Section 203 of the Income Tax Act, 1961. Notably, payouts above Rs.30000 are liable for TDS and cannot claim deductions. 

The document offers a fair idea of the amount of TDS deducted on non-salary income sources like rent, professional charges, commission, etc. 

Typically, the 15th day of a month is the due date and is succeeded by quarterly TDS return due date. Notably, the rate of TDS, in this case, is dependent on the type of income resulting from sources other than salary. 

What are the Components of Form 16A?

It includes details like –

  • Employer’s name, PAN and TAN
  • Employee’s name, PAN and TAN
  • Payment details
  • TDS payment number
  • Date of deposit and deposited tax amount

These details are also available in Form 26AS. 

With that being said, let’s proceed to find out the fundamental difference between 16 and 16A.

Difference between Form 16 and Form 16A

This comprehensive table below highlights the most fundamental differences between Form 16 and Form 16A. 

Parameters  Form 16 Form 16A
Description  Form 16 is a certificate stating the details of tax deducted at source from taxable salary income.  Form 16A is a certificate stating the details of tax deducted at source from non-salary earnings. 
Eligibility  Salaried individuals with regular income. Self-employed or other professionals. 
Issuer The employer issues this TDS certificate. This TDS certificate is issued by financial institutions, banks, tenants, etc.
Issued against It is issued against salaried employees. It is issued against non-salaried employees.
Frequency of issuance  It is issued annually  It is issued quarterly
Applies to Form 16 applies to dividends, interest on securities, etc.  Form 16A is applicable to rent, professional charges, commission agents, hired machinery, etc. 
Components  Income proof
  • Employer’s PAN details
  • Employer’s TAN details
  • Employee’s PAN details
  • Tax paid 
  • Payment acknowledgement
  • Education cess
  • Surcharges
  • Employer’s bank and TAN details
  • Employee’s PAN
  • Tax paid
  • TDS payment receipt number
Abiding law Section 203 of the Income Tax Act that is concerned with TDS on chargeable earnings.  Section 203 of the Income Tax Act that is concerned with TDS on non-salary earnings. 
Relationship with Form 26AS Only the TDS details of Form 16 are available in Form 26AS. All details contained in Form 16A are available in Form 26AS. 
Verification  Form 16 can be verified on the online portal. Form 16A can be verified on the online portal.

Hence, judging by the difference between Form 16 and Form 16A, it is evident that both forms are vital for taxpayers. 

Difference between Form 16 and Form 16A - FAQs

Q1. Do I have to submit an income tax return if I received Forms 16 and 16A?

The income tax department mandates you to file an income tax return if your gross total income exceeds Rs 2,50,000 in a fiscal year. As a result, even if TDS has been fully deducted from your income, Form 16 may or may not have been issued; if your income exceeds the stated limit, you must file an income tax return.

Q2. When is Form 16 issued by a deductor?

When an employer deducts tax or TDS from an employee’s salary, Form 16 is issued to the employee.

Q3. Form 16 is given for what time period?

Form 16 is issued by the employer once a year for one fiscal year.

Q4. How can I use Form 16 and Form 16A to my advantage?

You can use the income and TDS data on forms 16 and 16A to file your income tax return, calculate and pay your tax.

Q5. For what time period is Form 16A issued?

Quarterly, a Form 16A is issued. The 15th of the month after the due date for the quarterly TDS return is the deadline.

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