And now its that month of the year, when the running around starts for IT returns filing. With the advent of technology, and the initiatives taken by Income-Tax department, hopefully we will not see long queues in the Income Tax Office, for ITR filing.
You can conveniently file your IT returns online. Additionally, for those who are still not too tech-savvy, IT Department is coming up with innovative ideas like setting up kiosks in Malls, Societies etc. You can also submit your physical IT Return forms at the kiosks in your neighbourhood. What more can you ask for?
Now only thing you need to do, is to avoid some common mistakes while filing the ITR so that it saves lot of after-effort for the IT department as well as you to correct the errors.
1. Choose the correct ITR form
With a vast array of ITR forms (ITR 1, 2, 3, 4, 4S and V), people often get confused about which form to fill up. To pick up the right form for you, refer to below list:
A] ITR 1 (Sahaj): To be filled up by individuals with salary, pension, rental income from one property, tax-free capital gains and income from interest.
B] ITR 2 : To be filled by individual and HUFs with salary, pension, rental income from more than one property, taxable capital gains, income from interest and foreign assets.
C] ITR 3: To be filled by partners in a firm with interest, salary, bonus, commission, capital gains, more than one property.
D] ITR 4: To be filled up by individuals and HUFs with income from business / profession with gross receipts more than Rs. 60 Lakhs a year. (If gross receipts are less than Rs. 60 Lakhs, but the income is less than 8% of gross receipts, still ITR 4 to be used).
E] ITR 4S (Sugam): To be filled up by individuals and HUFs with income from business / profession and gross receipts upto Rs. 60 Lakhs a year.
F] ITR V: Remember this is “V” and not 5. This is an acknowledgment form and is to be filled by all the above mentioned categories.
2. Remove all TYPOs
The young generation is pretty familiar with the word “TYPO”. Any typing mistake they make, and excuse themselves by calling it a TYPO. Sorry friends, but you can't afford to make a TYPO in your ITR. There is a low chance of you getting an error at the time of filling it. But one TYPO can delay your refund by a pretty long time. So be doubly careful while filling up your information especially like PAN, Bank Details and other info too.
3. Verify tax paid data with form 26AS
Most people are only aware about Form 16 or Form 16A that they get from their employer / bank. However, it is equally important to verify the TDS details and the advance tax paid details in Form 26AS. There could be a possibility wherein, your bank / employer have deducted your TDS but it is not credited to your PAN due to some technical errors. It could be an error that the deductor has not quoted your PAN correctly in his TDS return. Also, we might forget to mention some FD interest in our return, which would be verified with 26AS.
4. Fill up the tax saving deductions with utmost care
The tax saving investments, you have done prior to 31st March, need to be carefully mentioned in their respective sections. It is seen that while filling up information on 80C, sometimes people also include ‘employers’ contribution the PF. Remember, it's only the ‘employee’ contribution that qualifies for 80C.
Another common mistake is that some people write the entire EMI paid on home loan in 80C or 24B. Remember to put the principle in 80C and interest in 24B.
There are some other lesser known sections like 80E (payment of education loan interest), 80G (donations to charitable organisations), 80DD (expenses on a disabled dependent) etc. If you have made payments towards any of these, make sure that you mention them in your ITR, so that you get the deduction.
5. The last step
Do not forget to attach ITR V with your physical return. Chances of missing ITR V in physical return are less, as they would not accept your physical form without ITR V.
But if you are e-filing without digital signature, do not forget to send the signed ITR V to CPC Bangalore. If your ITR V does not reach CPC Bangalore within 120 days of e-filing your return, then your return is not considered to be complete.
You will observe that the way things are moving, you can be more self-dependent for filing of your returns. Taking professional help could definitely help, but now you need not depend on someone just to ‘stand in queue’ on your behalf. Filing IT returns is in your own interest. They help you for:
a. Availing any kind of loan like home, personal or education;
b. Visa and immigration processing;
c. Income proof / net worth certification;
d. Refund claims (in case of excess taxes paid); and
e. Applying for a higher insurance cover.
We look forward to your feedback and comments on the above article. Please feel free to contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions.
(The views mentioned in the article are personal opinion of the author. The Author is Chief Investment Planner with Nidhi Investments, Mumbai.)