March 31, the last date for making your tax-saving investments is now just around a month away. If you have not done the needful to claim various deductions already, you have no time to lose. Before doing so, however, it will also help if you understand certain key requirements of the tax return filing process, the due date for which falls on July 31. Knowing the rules and procedures will give you a better grip on your tax planning exercise. Here are eight things you ought to know about the process.
Typically, employers do not provide for section 80G deductions in their investment declaration forms. As a result, it is left to employees to claim the deductions on donations at the time of filing returns. Make sure you retain receipts of all the donations made. If the payments were made online, you need not take print-outs of the same as the income tax (I-T) department does not ask you to furnish physical copies with returns.
The assessment year 2017-18 is unlikely to be an ordinary year. You will have to brace yourself for increased scrutiny of all tax returns in the backdrop of demonetisation-induced cash deposits you may have made. It imperative for you to disclose all details and figures correctly. Any unaccounted cash can be declared under Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana, 2016 until March 31 to avoid notices, inquiries and action later when your returns are scrutinised.
Filing returns may be a tedious process for many, but the advent of firms like H&R Block has made the process simpler and less time-consuming. Such portals allow you to file returns in quick steps at a nominal fee. You can also do it yourself by using our free e-filing income tax returns platform.
This should be the first step after you log onto to www.incometaxindiaefiling.gov.in. You can view Form 26AS, or tax credit statement, under the ‘Services’ tab. It will tell you whether you have received the credit for the tax deducted by your employer – or your bank on interest on deposits – through the year. Make sure the TDS as seen in your Form 16 tallies with the tax credit details in Form 26AS. In case of any mismatch, you must get in touch with your employer or bank and get it corrected.
The I-T department issues new Income Tax Return (ITR) forms every assessment year, usually around May. In the backdrop of demonetisation and the government’s focus on increasing the tax base. Do note the changes when you choose the form and choose the one applicable to you. Selecting the right form is a critical step in the income tax return e-filing process, as the relevant form depends on your source of income – i.e., salaried, those with other sources of income, businesspersons and professionals are supposed to submit different forms.
Ensure that you enter accurate figures on income earned from various sources. Many a time, certain incomes like interest earned on savings account deposits, tend to get neglected. Similarly, key in the correct bank account details so that any refund can be credited to your account without hassles.
Verifying the returns filed is the final step in the process, irrespective of whether you have chosen the physical route, I-T department’s e-filing portal or private return filing websites. If you have chosen the online mode, you should opt for e-verification, though you also have the option of taking a print-out of Form ITR-V, or acknowledgement form and sending it to the tax department’s central processing unit in Bengaluru. E-verification using AADHAAR or net banking, is the best alternative as it ensures that the entire process is paperless and is completed at one go.
For one, you need to make sure that your ITR-V reaches the Bengaluru centre within 120 days of having filed the returns electronically. Do not make the mistake of using courier services – only the forms sent through regular or speed post will be accepted. The form, printed in black ink, should be signed in original and blue ink. Never attach any documents, especially donation receipts, along with the ITR-V.