Income tax return filing is a mandatory process that the assessee should carry out with due care. However, the otherwise basic and simple process becomes cumbersome with the lack of knowledge. Read on to know 7 easy tips that will make income tax filing process a lot simpler:-
1. Identify the correct ITR form: –Begin with finding the most appropriate ITR form based on your individual case and fill it with correct information.
2. No enclosures to the return: –The Rule 12 (2) of the income tax states that the return of income and the return of fringe benefits provided by the assessee in Form No. ITR-1,2,3,4,5,6 and 7 should not be submitted in conjunction with the statement showing the calculation of tax payable based on the return, or income tax proofs, if any, or deduction claimed/collected at source or the advance tax or the tax on self-assessment, claimed to have been paid by the assessee or any other document or copy of account, form or report of audit should be enclosed with the return of income or return of fringe benefits in any provision of this act.
3. Fill the correct address and account number: –This is mandatory for timely delivery of funds. From 1.10.07 on wards all the income tax refunds in major cities including Chennai, Bangalore, Kolkata, Mumbai, and Delhi will be directly submitted to the assessor’s account. This makes it important for the taxpayer to provide complete address details to ensure timely delivery of income tax refunds. In case the taxpayer has opted for ECS, their amount will be refunded directly to their bank account for which the accurate MICR code and the bank account number has to be provided while filing the return.
4. Choose the right way to file an ITR:– Earlier there were two ideal ways to file income tax return: First via digitally signed certificate and second by sending the tax return physically to the centralized processing center of the IT-Dept. However now, you can even e-verify your returns through Electronic Verification Code (EVC). This can be generated via Aadhaar, net banking or even the DEMAT account of the assessee. Using the EVC, your ITR is verified and acknowledgement is generated.
5. Fill the acknowledgment slip: –Assessee filing return in paper format should not forget to fill in the acknowledgment slip attached to the return. The new income tax return forms do not require to be filed in duplicate.
6. Intimation of processing u/s 143(1)– The intimation under section 143(1) is treated as the indication that your return is processed by Income Tax Department. No separate indication will be sent to the taxpayer unless there is a demand or refund. In case there is any discrepancy in return which is mentioned in intimation u/s 143(1), the taxpayer has 30 days from the date of receipt of Intimation to comply with the same. In case the reply is not given within stipulated period, the IT department can pursue suitable action.
7. File ITR through Tax Return Preparers (TRPs):-Under the income tax act, individuals and the members of HUFs are not required to get their account audited and can instead use TRP method to file their return. However, one key thing to note here is that assessee cannot avail TRP services if he/she is not an Indian resident throughout the previous year of assessment. The tax return preparers shall charge a fee from assessee for filing and preparing his return on income for that particular assessment year.
To file an ITR through Tax Return Preparers (TRPs), you must note:-
1. Your eligibility for the TRP scheme
2. Always give your consent to the Tax Return Preparers to assess and prepare your return for any assessment year
3. Make sure you cross-check all the information mentioned in the return, before signing the return prepared by the Tax Return Preparers
4. Verify the amount that has been paid to the Tax Return Preparer and take the receipt of the payment and produces it to the accessing officer, if required.
Who can verify the return?
Any individual filing income tax has to sign the return. If the person is mentally ill, either their guardian or anyone who is eligible to act on their behalf can sign the return. In case the person is outside India or cannot sign the return due to any reason, then a person having the power of attorney has the authority to sign the return on his behalf. Note that the verification must be signed by the authorized person before furnishing the return and the name and designation of the person signing the return should also be written. Any person making a false statement is liable to be prosecuted under section 277 of the Act.
If the income tax return is filed for the company, here’s a list of cases:-
1. Resident: A Managing Director (MD) of the company shall sign the return. In his absence, any director can do the same.
2. Non-Resident: The return shall be signed by someone holding a valid power of attorney from the Company. Don’t forget to attach an attorney to the return if this is the case.
3. Taken over by the Govt:-Here the return should be signed and verified by the Liquidator or the Principal Officer subsequently.
4. Firm: Here the return should be signed by the Managing Partner or by any partner thereof, (not minor), if Managing Partner is not able to sign and verify the return.
5. Local Authority: Here the return shall be signed by the Principal Officer.
6. Association of Persons: Here the return can be signed either by someone who is the member of Association or the Principal Officer if the member of Association is not available.
These are quite a few facts and tips that one should know while filing an income tax return. To make your ITR filing much simpler, it is wise to keep the following documents handy:-
1. Your PAN Card
2. Aadhaar Card
3. Get Form 16 from the company you’re employed
4. Form 26AS
5. Gather investment proofs
6. Download bank statements
7. Save details of your assets if your total earnings are more than Rs. 50 lakh
Note: – E-filling of income tax via digital signatures is mandatory for individuals, Hindu Undivided Families (HUF’s) and companies requiring tax audits under section 44AB of the income tax act of 1961. Also, e-filling of income tax through digital signatures is mandatory for all companies regardless of income.