Prasad and Alok are driving through the usual Mumbai traffic when they hear an announcement over their car radio – “…remember to file your income tax returns by 31st March 2018”.
Both of them smiled wryly. They had already filed their returns a few days ago and were now stress-free.
Meaning of Income Tax Return (ITR)
Income tax return is the filing of your income and related taxes that were incurred within a financial year. You need to provide this information to the Income Tax Department. There are different forms that are applicable to various categories of taxpayers. The different forms are
- ITR 1
- ITR 2
- ITR 3
- ITR 4
- ITR 5
- ITR 6
- ITR 7
ITR-1 SAHAJ is a tax return form essential for citizens of India to file their income tax returns to the Income Tax Department. This is applicable to you i.e. a salaried individual. You are eligible to file your returns using ITR-1, if:
- You are salaried or happen to draw a pension
- You own a house property (except in case of losses brought forward from preceding years)
- In case of clubbed Income Tax Returns, where a spouse or a minor is included, this can be done only if their income is limited to the above specifications, as well.
You are not eligible for ITR-1 SAHAJ, if you have earned an income of more than Rs.50 lakhs or if earned an income through one the of the following means:
- More than one house property
- A lottery or legally gambled or income from racecourses
- Taxable capital gains
- Income from a business or a profession
- Agricultural income exceeding Rs.5000
- An Indian resident with assets outside India or signing authority in any account outside India
- Claiming relief for foreign tax paid or double taxation relief under section 90/90A/91
When you file a belated return, you are not allowed to carry forward certain losses. The Income Tax Act of 1961 obligates citizens of India to file their returns to the Income Tax Department at the end of every financial year. These returns should be filed before the specified due date. It is important to know which form is appropriate for you because only the form you fill will be processed by the Income Tax Department. The form depends upon the criteria of the source of your income and the salary bracket you fall into. The due-date for filing your tax returns is March 31st, each year. At most times, this date gets extended.
Eligibility for ITR
Individuals who fulfill any one of the following conditions should, by law, file their returns:
- Salaried individuals having paid income tax during the financial year
- An individual having availed some form of credit
- Individuals having paid for a foreign travel – either for self or for another individual
- Anyone who occupies a particular floor area of an immovable piece of property
- If someone is the owner of a vehicle
- Is a member of a club where the annual membership fee is Rs.25,000 and above
March 31st 2018
If you haven’t filed your income tax return (ITR) for the financial year 2016-2017, then you better get on with it. You don’t want to be getting on the grey side of the IT sleuths. With income tax filing becoming stricter each year, thanks to notices for tax recovery along with penal interest, defaulting taxpayers are also served with prosecution notices. Just like a personal loan defaulter has to face consequences with regards to missing out on personal loan EMI repayments, taxpayers who defer to paying tax and herewith filing for income tax return will face the consequences.
A new amendment introduced as per the Finance Act of 2016 dictates that income tax return filing should be done before the expiry of 12 months from the last day of the financial year. This is in fact reduced from 24 months as per the prior amendment.
Advertisements are already heard and viewed over all the major entertainment mediums in India. Only those salaried individuals, whose income is below the taxable limit, do not have to file for income tax returns. To facilitate taxpayers, the income tax offices across India will be kept open on Friday 30th March 2018 and Saturday 31st March 2018.
Filing ITR Online
Every salaried professional has to pay his/her income tax returns. Aadhaar Number and PAN Details are mandatory. If it’s your first time, then the following documents need to be at your table when attempting to file your income tax returns:
- Permanent Account Number (PAN) Card
- Aadhaar Number
- Form 16 from your employer
- Form 26AS (Tax Credit Statement which houses the details regarding TDS )
- Details about your assets – if income exceeds Rs.50 lakh per annum
- Copies of bank statement
- Proof of investments
Filing Returns on Income Tax Website
The most effective way to file your income tax returns is via an electronic medium. This can be done using 2 ways: Firstly, if a digital signature is obtained, the form can be uploaded online. Secondly, you can download the pre-filled form, print it, sign it and send a copy of the acknowledgment, via postal services, to the Income Tax Department’s office.
After you have filed your returns online, the next step is to verify it. The income tax department will start processing your return only once it is verified. Refunds, if any, are processed for returns which are verified. You can verify your ITR (ITR-V) via netbanking. If you use netbanking for ITR-V, you don’t need to send the physical ITR-V to the income tax department. Other than net banking, you can use your Aadhaar OTP or via EVC (Electronic Verification Code) on the income tax department website.
Tax Return Preparer
TRPs, or Tax Return Preparers, are appointed representatives of the Income Tax Department. They are well trained and can be located via their website.
They are paid for each return they file based on the amount of tax paid. The higher the tax paid, the lower is the TRP’s fee. TRPs are identified by a number, name and countersignature.
If it’s your first time, as a taxpayer, the online process being simple – can be stressful, as well.
You have the option of getting help from authorized e-return intermediaries like Cleartax, Quicko and Makemyreturns. You can e-file your returns on any one of these sites at charges varying from Rs.300 to Rs.1000 – depending on the complexity and number of income sources. Some of the e-Filing portals have also introduced apps, such as Taxplanner or Hellotax, which allow refund status checks and tax calculations.
Via An Offline Mode (hiring a CA)
When ITRs are complex with multiple income sources, deductions, tax audits, etc., a CA may be an expensive and time-consuming option. The charges for a CA vary based on income source, complexity of returns and the CA’s experience. Some CAs may also offer telephonic assistance.
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