The season for filing income tax returns (ITR) is gathering pace as the due date of 31st July is approaching for the majority of taxpayers. Before you actually sit down to file your ITR or visit the office of your tax advisors, you need to do some ground preparation so that the information given in the form is full and correct. In this article, we will discuss the matters for which you need to prepare in advance before you actually undertake the task of filing your ITR.

For salary income:

First of all, in case you are a salaried person, you have to obtain form No. 16 from your employer. In case you have not yet received it, you will get it by the first week of June. As soon as you receive the form, it is important for you to verify that the employer has allowed you the exemption for various exempt allowances such as house rent, leave travel, in respect of which you already have submitted the documentary evidence.

There may be some discrepancy in case you have submited the documents at the last moment and which has not been taken cognizance of by your finance team. It is equally important for you to verify the details of various deductions which you are eligible for like life insurance premium, health insurance premium, home loan repayment, interest on education loan or school fee. If due to any reason the employer has not considered these items, please do not forget to bring it to the notice of your consultant so that the same is claimed at the time of filing of your ITR as the consultant, in all the likely hood, will consider the figures as reflected in the Form No. 16.

For business income:

If you are a businessman or a professional, please verify whether you are eligible to claim the benefit under presumptive taxation determined with reference to your gross receipts or turnover. In case the turnover exceeds the prescribed limits, you will have to get your books of accounts audited. Moreover, in case tax is deducted from the payments made to you by the payers, please verify that the tax deducted from your income is duly reflected in the form No. 26AS, which can be download from the official income tax site.

For capital gains:

In case you are investing in mutual funds, please ask for a detailed statement to ensure that all the transactions of mutual fund redemption as well as switch are taken note of for computation of taxable capital gains. For those who are dealing in shares, get an account statement from the brokerage house and get the related contract notes to account for intra-day transactions where some shares have been sold and some have been bought on the same day.

For income from other sources:

Those who get interest income from banks should obtain interest certificates for fixed deposits. In case of cumulative deposits or deposits renewed during the year, where the interest is not credited in your bank account, it is more important for you to offer the interest income correctly.

For tax deducted at source:

Please download latest form No. 26AS to ensure that you have received all the TDS certificates and the TDS for all the certificates received by you is duly reflected in the form. Similarly, please verify the form No. 16A received from bank for correct permanent account number (PAN), amount of income shown and amount of TDS mentioned on it. Verification of PAN number is especially important in case this is the first year your tax has been deducted.

You should verify the details for the last quarter after 5th June, by which time the details would start reflecting in the form No. 26AS. Due to some mistake on the part of either the bank or the person deducting the tax, some error might have crept in and the proper credit for TDS or tax deposited by you is not reflected in the statement of your tax credits i.e, form No. 26AS. In case of any discrepancy, take up the matter with the deducutor concerned or the bank where you had deposited the tax and take appropriate steps to ensure that the errors are rectified so as to ensure that true tax credit is reflected in the form No. 26AS. This will ensure proper credit at the time of processing of your return.

Linking of Aadhar card with your PAN

In case you have not yet linked your Aadhaar card with your PAN card , link it right now so that you do not have to face any problem at the time of filing your ITR. It may happen that due to some spelling mistakes the linking process does not go through and you may have to go for correction either in your PAN records or Aadhaar records.

I am sure this will help you smoothen your actual ITR filing process.

Balwant Jain is a tax and investment expert and can be reached on jainbalwant@gmail.com and @jainbalwant on tweeter

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