How to overcome last minute glitches to file your taxes

The deadline to e-file income tax returns for FY2015-16 has been extended till 5th August 2016. Anyone who has a gross annual income of Rs 2.5 lakh and more is lawfully required to file their tax returns. You should file returns even if you don’t have taxable income because the income tax return is an important document that is required at the time of applying for a visa or loan and to avail income tax refunds, among other reasons.

Remember that anyone with an annual gross income of Rs 5 lakh and more has to compulsorily e-file their tax returns. They cannot file physical returns.

But before you e-file your tax returns in these last few days, make sure you avoid any last minute glitches by keeping the following points in mind.

Information required to file tax returns

  • To file your income tax returns, you will need to have the following information handy:
  • Form 16 if you’re a salaried employee
  • Interest income details
  • Personal details like PAN, bank account number, etc
  • Proofs of tax-saving expenses and investments
  • Details of other incomes, if you have any

If you have worked with different companies during the financial year, you should have Form 16s from both or at least your payslips to compute your cumulative  income for the year.

Adding different sources of income

Many taxpayers are not aware of the different incomes that need to be included in their income tax returns. This includes income from interest earned on savings bank accounts, fixed deposits, etc. Also, income from some freelance work that you might have done or income from house property that you own. All of these incomes have to be added to your tax returns as well.

Paying tax due

If you have taxable income even after claiming deductions on allowances, investments and expenses, you will need to pay the tax to the government to be able to file your returns. You cannot file tax returns without paying tax that is due using Challan 280 on the Income Tax Department website. After you have made the payment, you have to report the same in your income tax returns while filing them.

Verifying tax returns

The process of filing income tax returns doesn’t get completed till the returns are verified. Your returns can be verified physically or electronically. The e-verification method is easy and quick when you use your netbanking account or generate an electronic verification code. Either way, you should verify your returns. Tax returns are not considered filed if they are not verified in a timely manner.

Benefits of e-filing

There are many advantages of e-filing your income tax returns. The process of doing it online is easy and quick as compared to the physical process. Your tax returns are an important document that is required at the time of applying for a loan or visa. You will also require to file returns if you want to get a refund on the TDS deducted on your behalf.

This article was published on Business Insider on 4 August 2016.

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