e-filing of Income tax returns

Filing of ITRs is not as complex as it is perceived. Since it has to be done every year, after the close of financial year and before the due date, it is better to understand the basics so that you don’t have to run around to get it done.Words: Sangeeta Sinha

advisory

Most of us wait till the last date to file our return of income and it often adds to lot of stress, running to banks and tax consultants. But if you keep your records straight along with bank statements and Form-16, it can be a simple affair. Why not do it yourself; just log in to the Income Tax department’s e-filing portal for e-filing your return of income.

As per the Finance Act, e-filing is now mandatory for any assessee filing ITR 1/2/2A having a refund claim in the return of income or having a total income of more than Rs 5 lakh. This has to be furnished electronically with or without digital signatures or by using an electronic verification code.

POINTS TO REMEMBER

Check Form 26 AS- Form 26AS is an annual statement disclosing the details of tax credits (Tax deducted at source (TDS), Tax Collected at Source (TCS), Advance Tax or Self Assessment Tax or payment of Tax on regular assessment) in the account of an assessee as per the database of the Income Tax Department. The assessee needs to verify the tax credits claimed in his return with those appearing in 26AS before filing his return of income; mismatches could lead to incorrect tax computation and assessment by the department. Income Tax Department generally allows a taxpayer to claim the credit of taxes as reflected in his Form 26AS.

Investment documents- In case you miss out submitting investment proofs to your employer on time you can still claim these while filing your tax returns. Make sure that you fill the specific schedules in the tax returns relating to those documents. You can also claim deductions under under Chapter VI-A even when these have not been shown in Form 16 by your employer.

Alert- Never open phishing mails or download any attachment which is not from a trusted source.The Income Tax Department does not ask for your personal information through e-mails. It also does not send e-mails requesting your PINs, passwords or similar access information for credit cards, banks, etc.
Documents needed- Make sure you have last financial year’s tax returns, bank statements, TDS certificates, investment details, insurance details, loan papers and also balance sheet and audit reports wherever applicable.

Updated system- Most important your system must be updated with Java Runtime Environment Version 7 Update 6 or above in case where you are using the downloaded Java utility for filing your tax return.

Name mismatch- Make sure that the name in you PAN card matches exactly with the name in your bank account and other official statements because even a minor mismatch may create a problem. The portal will consider you as a different individual.

expert views

Vikas Srivastava is a practicing member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India. He is a partner with a reputed firm of Chartered Accountants and has over 14 years of experience in the fields of auditing & taxation.

Who should file income tax returns?
Filing of Income tax Returns is a legal obligation for every person whose total income for the previous year has exceeded the maximum that is not chargeable to tax under the provisions of the Income Tax Act, 1961.

Is it mandatory to file Income Tax Return after getting Permanent Account Number (PAN)?
No, the liability to file income tax return is governed by various provisions under the Income Tax Act, 1961. Filing of income tax return becomes mandatory when the total income of a person under different heads exceeds the maximum limit prescribed by the Income Tax Act, 1961
Can a return be filed after the due date?
Yes, an assessee can file a belated return within a period of one year from the end of the assessment year or before the completion of assessment, whichever is earlier. With effect from 1st April 2017, belated return for assessment year 2017-18 and onwards can be filed at any time before the end of relevant assessment year or before the completion of assessment whichever is earlier.
Can a belated return be revised?
A belated return cannot be revised. However, with effect from the assessment year 2017-18 and onwards a belated return can also be revised.

What precautions need to be exercised while filing your return of income?

  • Your return of income should be filed on or before the due date of filing.
  • The assessee should download Form 26AS and reconcile the TDS appearing therein with the actual TDS and sort out the discrepancies.
  • At present no documents are required to be attached with the return of income. However, the assessee should carefully compile and arrange documents such as Form 16, Form 16A, his updated bank statements, interests certificates, investment proofs, books of accounts, Profit & Los a/c, Balance Sheet, etc. so as to enable him to correctly disclose his income and file return properly.
  • The assessee should correctly identify the Form of ITR applicable in his case.
  • The assessee should carefully fill the ITR Form following the instructions contained therein.
  • If any tax is found due as per the return of income, the assessee should first pay the tax due otherwise the return of income would be treated as defective.
  • In case the return of income is filed electronically without the digital signatures and without the electronic verification code, the assessee needs to send the ITR-V duly signed by him to CPC Bangalore either by Speed Post or Ordinary Post.

What should I do if my tax deducted does not match with the amount in Form 26AS?
Every person deducting tax at source has to file TDS returns with the Income Tax department covering the details such as name of the deductee, PAN of the deductee, amount paid to the deductee, amount of Tax deducted,

At times it happens that the actual TDS and the TDS as per Form 26AS does not match.

This may be due to non filing of TDS returns by the deductor, incorrect information filed in the TDS returns related to the deductee, etc. Normally, the Income Tax department allows credit of TDS appearing in Form 26AS of the assessee.

In cases where the TDS as per Form 26AS is less as compared to actual TDS, the assessee should approach the deductor to get it rectified.

The assessees are, therefore, advised to reconcile the actual TDS with that appearing in Form 26AS before filing their return of income.

If a person dies before filing his return of income then who files the return?
Legal Heir of the deceased assessee can file the return of income and can view IT-V acknowledgement, the status of income tax return and other filing status related to the deceased assessee.

Do I need to declare assets and liabilities too?
All assessees whose total income in any financial year exceeds Rs 50 lakhs need to fill Schedule AL in the return of income mentioning therein the value of their Immovable Assets – Land & Building, Movable Assets – Cash in Hand, Jewellery, bullion, Boats, Yachts, Aircrafts and also the liabilities in relation to these assets.