With the extended Income Tax Return (ITR) filing deadline of August 31, 2019 inching closer, taxpayers are on their toes trying to collate all their income, deductible expenditures and investments to ensure that they file their return on time to avoid penalty as well as save the maximum possible amount of tax. Filing tax returns is mandatory for those having a total annual income of over Rs 2.5 lakh or tax is deducted at source (TDS) from income. It is an annual activity seen as a moral and social duty of every responsible citizen of the country. It is a means to be aware of different investment options and their respective benefits.
More than the financial gain, it inculcates a sense of responsibility and opens one to financial education which is otherwise included in the regular academic curriculum in Indian institutions, unless one enrolls oneself specifically for it.
Prashant Sharma, Chief Investment Officer, Aviva Life Insurance, shares five last-minute income tax filing tips to maintain your financial record with the Government of India:
The magnanimity of ease has increased manifold with the introduction of online filing at the very outset. The salaried employees can visit the Income Tax Department website and file their returns. In scenarios of absolute time crunch one can also seek for help from financial consultants/advisors. However, with the multitude of available e-filing portals it is possible for every individual to own up the task.
Some of the key documents to keep in mind for ITR filing:
- PAN card
- Aadhaar card
- Form 16 from the employer/ employers in case of shifts in employer
- Use Form 26AS
- Proofs/ details of assets if case of income exceeding Rs 50 lakh
- Bank statements
- Investment Proofs
2. Tax rules
Before starting with the filing process, it is advisable to go through the tax regulations for the assessment year. There can be changes and new amendments which are pre-requisites for correct computation of right tax liability. The returns will depend upon the slabs under which the returns have been filed.
3. Identify the right ITR form
There are seven ITR filing forms introduced by the I-T department. Therefore, it is key for one to know which form is to be used for the filing process. While it can be easily demarcated on the portal, however, it is essential to know about the different forms and its respective categories to ensure the filing procedure is accurate. Also, it enhances an individual’s know-how about the financial processes of the nation.
4. Verifying details
It is always recommended to be cautious while taking the filing procedure. One should be careful about all the details and update them accordingly. While filling the forms one should be careful about the name, as it should match to that on the PAN card. If there is a mismatch in the spelling or omission/addition of a middle name, the return will not be processed. One should be fully aware of the tax deducted over the financial year, the investments made and the value of the assets one owns.
5. Avoid misrepresentation of facts
It is important to be honest, and careful, especially to know that the data will be shared with the Government of India. In case of misrepresentation of facts which is more prevalent amongst those who have changed jobs in between, wrong facts will undoubtedly lead to a faulty computation of tax liability. Therefore, it is advisable first to collect all the information and then sit at ease to start the process. Avoid tax saving tips/investment options set by unscrupulous/unauthorised wealth managers.
ITR filing is pivotal in making one financially responsible, and it only starts with such small steps which build up one to know more about investment options. There are number of tax saving options available to lower tax liability. Various tax savings investment options among others include PPF, NPS, EPF, Life Insurance Premium, tax-saving Mutual Funds (ELSS). In the following months, individuals should maximize their benefits at the end of the financial year with the filing of returns, timely. And finally, make sure to file the return before the deadline as late filing involves a penalty.
Source : Financial Express