The income tax department has simplified the entire process and has made it convenient for the taxpayer to file the returns themselves
It’s that time of the year when you will be scurrying for your Form 16 for the last financial year and would rush to file your income tax returns in order to keep the records straight.
Hopefully, things are going to be a bit easier this time around as the I-T authorities have made it mandatory for individuals with total income above Rs 10 lakh to file their personal tax returns online through the income-tax website.
Remember, filing of income-tax returns is a legal obligation of every individual/HUF whose total income for the previous year has exceeded the maximum amount that is not chargeable for income tax under the provisions of the I-T Act, 1961.
While the very thought of calculating the income tax, making the payment for the shortfall in tax paid using a self assessment challan, filling the complicated form, standing in long queues with the last date approaching makes the process looks tedious.
Some choose a simpler way of using the services of Chartered Accountants, by paying a cost, to help through the process, but they still cannot avoid the amount of paper work that is required for the computation.
With the introduction of the online filing of tax or more commonly knownas efiling, this entire process is now simple and convenient. Returns filed online are processed faster and refund comes much faster. The tax- payer can opt for online transfer for the refund amount to their bank account or cheque delivery.
In the case of the first option, the refund amount will be credited directly to the bank account. The IT department will intimate the taxpayer about the amount through email via notice u/s143.
First and foremost, to e-file income tax returns, you need certain things in hand:-
>> A copy of last year's tax return
>> Your bank Statement
>> Form 16 from employer and Form 16A from bank or against other deduction of income tax
>> Savings certificates/deduction details to be claimed
>> Interest statement showing interest paid to you throughout the year
>> Form 26AS (details of tax deducted/collected/deposited against your PAN number)
The income tax department has simplified the entire process and has made it convenient for the taxpayer to file the returns themselves or take the assistance of intermediary efiling service providers. Individual taxpayers can e-file the return using the ITR-1, ITR-2, ITR-3 and ITR-4 tax forms depending on the various source of income. Business and other corporate tax payers can e-file using the ITR-5 and ITR-6 tax forms.
Once all the documents are collated, the tax payer needs to feed the details in the tax preparation application of the service provider chosen to help compute the tax and preparation of the return.
In case of a shortfall in tax, the taxpayer is required to deposit the self-assessment tax. The shortfall tax can be deposited using the payment facility of the service provider or the tax payer can login to his internet banking account to deposit the tax online.
Taxpayers have the choice of filing the returns directly on the income-tax department site (incometaxindiaefiling.gov.in) which is offered free of charge or use the various paid service of various intermediary e-filing websites like the taxsmile.com, taxspanner.com, ICICIdirect.com, simpletaxindia.net, among many others.
Remember, choosing the service provider is very important as you are required to share your personal and financial information for the purpose of computing your income tax and preparation of your return.
There are three options to file the returns online. First, the taxpayer who chooses to file the returns online can use a digital signature where no paper return is required to be submitted. In the second option the taxpayer can file online without digital signature. On successful submission, the taxpayer would receive an ITR-V form as an email. The taxpayer is then required to file the ITR-V form by sending the printed ITR-V form to the IT department address within 120 days of filing the return online. The ITR-V form also acts as a single page receipt cum verification form. In the third option, the tax payer can file through an e-return intermediary who would do e-filing and also assist the assessee file the ITR-V Form.
The last date for filing the returns is July 31. For those who are not able to file the return on the stated date, should file the returns by March 31, next year to avoid the penalty of Rs 5,000. For all cases of tax shortfall, the
taxpayer has to pay a monthly penal interest on the amount of tax due if the return is filed by March 31 next year. An additional penalty of Rs 5,000 has to be paid if the taxpayer does not file the return by March 31 of next year.
Once the e-filing I-T returns is complete, the taxpayer can track the processing status
online at incometaxindiaefiling.gov.in. The taxpayer will know if the ITR-V has been received or not, whether there is any error, if the return has been processed, refund status etc. The best part is if any rectification is required, the taxpayer can file such a rectification online.