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Filing your I-T return

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[dropcap]T[/dropcap]he due date for filing personal tax returns for the financial year 2015-16 is 31 July (except for tax audit and transfer pricing cases). Taxpayers need to beware of various points while filing their returns. Filing incorrect details may result in interest, penalty or delay in refunds. Following points can help you file your return correctly.

Choose the correct form

The first step in the filing of a tax return is to select the correct form of return. It’s good news that the income tax department has notified forms much early than is their usual practice of notifying it (in the middle of the year). The taxpayer, therefore, needs to file in the new form. There are 7 forms of return notified by the tax authorities. Out of these, ITR 1 to 4  are applicable to individuals/HUFs, while ITR 5 is for partnership firms and LLP, ITR 6 is for companies other than those claiming exemptions (See Rule 12) and ITR 7 is for  persons including companies required to furnish return under Section 139(4A), Section 139(4B), Section 139(4C) or Section 139(4D). The form selection is dependent on your source of income.

For example,

  • If you have a rental income from two houses or capital gains, ITR 2 would be applicable. However, if you have only your salary as income and certain other incomes, then ITR 1 is applicable.
  • If you are changing job frequently, you might have got multiple Forms 16 in one financial year. Although you have got more than one Form 16 in a year, you need to file only single Income tax return.
Claim all your deductions

Some investments and donations are eligible for deduction from the total income. If you were unable to claim the deduction from your employer, you can claim the deductions in your tax return, subject to certain conditions. Make sure that you have claimed the deductions under the appropriate head in the return. For example, the maximum deduction allowed on interest income of a savings bank account is Rs 10,000 (Section 80TTA). Interest income exceeding Rs 10,000 will be taxable and you should report this income.

Claim all your past and current losses

As per the Income-Tax Act, 1961, certain losses can be carried forward and set off from the next year’s income. This would be helpful in reducing your tax liability. But one thing must be remembered: one can take this benefit only when the return is filed in time.

Mention the exempt incomes

Incomes like dividend, agricultural income, exempt income of a minor child, pension of a gallantry award winner, etc are classified as exempt income. Although you don’t have to pay tax on such income, tax returns have a specific schedule to report such income.

Pay the balance tax liability

If there is any balance tax liability after considering TDS or advance tax paid, the balance tax liability along with any interest should be deposited as self-assessment tax before filing the tax return.

Verify your Form 26AS

This form has all the details of tax deducted and deposited against your PAN. This means that TDS, advance tax and self-assessment tax will all be reflected in this form. Before filing the return, one should match the tax deposited with Form 26AS.

Mention the correct personal details

You need to mention your name, father’s name, PAN, address, date of birth, residential status, email address, contact details, etc. You also need to provide the correct bank account number and the IFSC code so that refund, if any, can be credited to your bank account.

Submission of ITR V

Upon filing of your tax return online, the tax return acknowledgement (ITR V) is required to be signed and sent to the Central Processing Centre (CPC), Bengaluru. Here, the income tax department has also provided the facility to link your Aadhar card or a bank account filed with your digital signature (where you don’t need to send it again) to Bengaluru.

Revise return

One can submit a revised return before the expiry of one year from the end of the relevant assessment year or before the completion of assessment by the income tax department, whichever is earlier. Thus, the return of AY 2016-17 can be revised till 31 March 2016 or before the completion of the assessment, whichever is earlier. You can revise the return, provided you have filed the original return before the due date. Importantly, the time limit for filing of revised return has been reduced in Budget 2016, which will be applicable from AY 2017-18.

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Sandeep Sharma
Chartered accountant

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