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The TRACES Portal is a facilitation mechanism which can be used by taxpayers to ascertain the taxes withheld on their account as TDS or the self-assessment taxes paid. The website of TRACES (TDS Reconciliation Analysis and Correction Enabling System) has been set up by the TDS Centralized Processing Cell of the Income-tax Department. The purpose of TRACES is to facilitate the reconciliation and correction of TDS. It connects all the stakeholders associated with TDS administration and implementation and facilitates the taxpayers to view challan and statement status, submit refunds requests, download essential forms and files, and view annual tax credit statements. Most importantly, it enables the user to make online correction of the already filed TDS returns. This article seeks to guide taxpayers on the utilities and benefits of the TRACES portal.

Integration of Components

The website of TRACES integrates the following components:

  1. Tax Information Network (TIN)
  2. Automated TDS Challan Matching
  3. TDS Defaults Processing
  4. IVR/Call Centre
  5. Web Portal

Features of the Portal

The following are the salient features of the TRACES Portal:

  • Dashboard (which provides a summary of the accounts of the respective user)
  • Online registration of TAN
  • Online filing of TDS statements
  • Online correction of TDS statements
  • Default Resolution
  • Viewing of Form 26AS
  • Downloading of Form 16/16A/Consolidated TDS File
  • Correction of Form 26QB
  • Refund functionality
  • Grievance registration and resolution

Facilities for Deductors

The deductor of tax may:

  • Register Admin User for a TAN
  • Create sub-users (by Admin User)
  • Download Justification Report and Form 16/16A
  • View challan status
  • View TDS/TCS credit for PAN
  • View PAN Master for TAN
  • View TDS Statement Status
  • Manage User Profile
  • Validate Certificates
  • Make online corrections
  • Declare the non-filing of Statements
  • Submit TDS Refund requests
  • Digitally download certificates meant for taxpayers
  • Make online and offline TDS corrections

Justification Report is a statement of defaults/errors identified by the Income Tax Department (ITD) while processing the statement filed by the deductors. The report also intimates the deductor of any interest, fee or any other dues to be remitted.

Roles of Deductor

A deductor would be assigned with the following roles on the TRACES website:

  • Admin User – This option shall be applicable if a TAN is registered on TRACES for the first time. This role can be registered by surrendering the TAN to an Assessing Officer.
  • Sub User – This option is a user category which is created by an admin user. A maximum of four sub-users can be created by the admin for a TAN.

Facilities for Taxpayers

A taxpayer, also known as deductee for this purpose, refers to a person whose tax has been deducted. Once registered into the portal, the taxpayers may:

  • View tax credit (Form 26AS)
  • Download Form 26AS
  • Download Form 16B
  • Manage User Profile
  • Verify TDS Certificate
  • View or download the Aggregated TDS Compliances Report

Facilities for PAO

To understand the role of a PAO, it is necessary to briefly discuss the role of a Drawing and Disbursing Officer (DDO). A DDO is a person who is authorized to draw money for specific payments against an assignment account or letter of credit account opened in the taxpayer’s favour in a specific branch of an accredited bank. In respect of the taxes deducted by the DDO, the Pay and Accounts Office (PAO) needs to file Form 24G to an agency authorized by the Director-General of Income-tax (Systems) within ten days from the end of the month. A PAO could avail the following benefits from the TRACES Portal:

  • First-time Registration
  • Dashboard view (which provides a summary of details concerning the respective DDOs)
  • Viewing of statement status for TAN mapped to the Account Office Identification Number (AIN)

Registration Procedure for All Users

These beneficiaries could make use of the gamut of services by registering into the portal. The procedure for the same is as follows:

Step 1 – The user may initiate the registration procedure by visiting the official TRACES portal. From the Home Page, the option ‘Register as New User’ must be opted for, following which the desired user type must be selected from the option ‘Types of User’.

Step 2 – In the following page, the user will be prompted to enter the essential validation details.

Step 3 – After furnishing the required details, the user has to click on the option ‘Create Account’, upon which a confirmation screen will be displayed. The details can now be confirmed and submitted.

The registration procedure concludes with the confirmation of details. The user will receive an activation link in the registered mobile number and e-mail address, which can be used for TRACES login.

Generation of TDS Compliance Report

TDS Compliance Report serves its purpose in identifying defaults in all TANs associated with entity-level PAN. The taxpayer may generate this report in the manner as provided below:

Step 1 – The taxpayer may initiate this procedure by logging into TRACES as a taxpayer.

Step 2 – The option ‘Aggregate TDS Compliance’ tab shall be selected for this purpose.

Step 3 – The user may choose from the following options:

  • Default based
  • Financial Year based

Step 4 – Click on the option ‘Submit Request’.

Step 5 – After placing the request, the respective Excel File could be downloaded from the ‘Requested Downloads’ section under the ‘Downloads’ menu.

Request for Resolution

The “Request for Resolution” facility can be availed by taxpayers for the resolution of any grievances. The user may make use of this facility by following the procedures given below:

Step 1 – Taxpayers desiring such resolution must first log in to TRACES as a taxpayer with the registered user ID and password.

Step 2 – The ‘Request for Resolution’ tab must be selected.

Step 3 – Now, the category for which the resolution request is to be made must be selected.

Step 4 – Choose the assessment year pertaining to the query.

Step 5 – The required details must be filled in and submitted.

Step 6 – Upon submission, a Ticket number will be generated, which signals the successful submission of the request.

Status of Tickets

The status of tickets could be:

  • Open – If the Ticket is with the deductor/Assessing Officer and will be processed within the prescribed time-frame.
  • In Progress – If clarifications have been provided by the requestor/Assessing Officer.
  • Clarification Requested – If the deductor has requested for some clarifications. The ticket will be closed if the same is not provided within thirty days.
  • Request for Closure – If the clarification has been provided by the deductor and sent to the assessee for closure. Lack of actions on such requests will result in the closure of the ticket.
  • Closed – If the ticket has been closed by the requestor/assessing officer or auto-closed by the system due to the inaction of the taxpayer.