ITR filing last-minute checklist : 30-08-2019

Tomorrow, August 31, 2019, is the last day to file income tax return (ITR). If you still have not filed your ITR and confused about how to file it quickly, then worry not you can still have enough time to file your tax return, even if it is just one day. 

By filing ITR before the expiry of the deadline, you not only save yourself from paying the penalty which can be maximum of Rs 10,000 but also avoid losing out on certain benefits such as carrying forward of losses, interest on refund and so on. 

Here’s your checklist for filing ITR at the last minute. 

  • Get the required documents in place

The first step to start the process of filing ITR is to collect all the required documents. For salaried class, the most important document to file ITR is Form 16. Ensure that you have received Form 16 from your employer. If you have switched your job, then ensure that you have also received Form 16 from your previous employer as well. 

Another important document that you must keep handy is Form 26AS. It is a document containing details of all the taxes deducted from your salary, interest income etc. during the year. 

While filing ITR, it is important that you match your TDS certificates with Form 26AS so that all the taxes that are deducted from your income are reflected in your tax statement. Remember, you will get only those TDS credits which are reflected in your Form 26AS. 

Do not forget to add interest income from your savings account, fixed deposits and so on. For interest income from a savings account, you can check the amount from bank’s passbook or by downloading the bank statement from the Net banking facility. 

Certain banks allow you to download interest certificate from the Net banking facility as well. 

  • Calculate your total income and tax liability

Once you have got all the required documents, then the next step is to calculate your total income and the tax liability on it. 

Remember to claim all the tax-saving deductions under as sections 80C, 80D and so on for which you are eligible and also other tax-saving exemptions such as HRA (house rent allowance), LTA (leave travel allowance) etc. 

If you forget to claim the deductions and tax-saving exemptions, then you will not be able to lower your total taxable income and thereby your total tax liability. 

Once you have arrived at your taxable income, calculate your tax liability on it. Do not forget to deduct the TDS reflected in your Form 26AS from your total tax liability. The final figure you arrive at will tell you if there is any additional tax liability or a refund is due to you. 

If there is any additional tax liability due to you, then pay it before you start filing your tax return. 

If you fill your income details and deductions/exemptions in the ITR, then the utility form will also auto-calculate tax payable by you or show refund as applicable. 

  • ITR form applicable to you

The next step is to identify the correct income tax return form applicable according to your income. It is important that you file your tax  return using the correct form as filing using the using the wrong would lead to your ITR being treated as a defective return and you will have to file your tax return again. 

ITR-1 is applicable for those resident individuals whose total income does not exceed Rs 50 lakh for FY 2018-19. The sources of income must be salary/pension, one house property and income from other sources such as interest earned on saving account and so on. 

However, those who have incurred capital gains or losses in addition to the above or have more than one house property then they would have to file ITR-2. Similarly, if you are holding unlisted equity shares, then also you will have to file your return using ITR-2 

From this year, the tax department has started providing pre-filled ITR forms for ITR 1, 2, 3 and 4. Those filing ITR-1 online can see the pre-filled information such as salary details, interest income from bank FD (in case TDS is deducted) etc. on the online platform www.incometaxindiaefiling.gov.in. 

Similarly, those who are filing ITR using Excel utility form can download the XML file from the e-filing website of the income tax department. The XML file has to be imported into the Excel utility and details will get pre-filled. 

  • Reporting exempted incomes

Apart from reporting your taxable income such as salary, interest incomes, etc., you are also required to report the incomes which are exempt from income tax such as PPF interest, dividend income, interest incomes from tax-free bonds etc. 

To file your tax return, you are required to fill-in or cross verify the information pre-filled in the ITR form applicable to you. Ensure that all the required schedules in Excel utility are filled correctly. As mentioned above, the ITR form will also calculate your tax liability and show you if there is any additional tax demand payable or refund is due to you. Do cross-check the tax-liability in the ITR form with your calculations. 

  • Verifying your ITR

Once you have filed your ITR on the e-filing website i.e. www.incometaxindiaefiling.gov.in, then the last step is verifying it. According to income tax laws, an individual has 120 days to verify the return from the date of filing it. There are six ways to verify it. These include: Verifying the ITR electronically using Aadhaar OTP, EVC via Net banking facility or physically by sending ITR-V to CPC, Bengaluru. 

Remember if you do not verify your ITR, then it will not be considered valid. An unverified ITR will not be taken up for processing by the income tax department, i.e., it will be taken as if you have not filed it. 

  • Don’t forget to pre-validate your bank account

Once your ITR filing process is complete, then don’t forget to pre-validate your bank account, in case refund is due to you. The income tax department will issue only e-refunds to those bank accounts where the tax payer’s PAN is linked and is pre-validated on the e-filing website of the income tax department. 

  • Revising ITR

In case you have made a mistake while filing your ITR such as forgetting to add any income or claiming of deduction, then you can file a revised ITR. The deadline to file the revised ITR is March 31, 2020. 

Source : Financial Express