With the close of the financial year, most individuals have completed their tax planning and tax deduction exercise for the year. This leaves the final step in completing one’s income tax process – filing ITR or income tax return. Often regarded as a painful formality, you must remember that this is one of the most important income document for any individual. While July 31, 2017 is the last day to file I-T returns, remember that the income tax filing website – incometaxindiaefiling.gov.in – typically has a lot of server downtime due to last minute rush so ensure that you do not wait until the last day to file your returns.
Here are some important things to remember when filing for tax returns according to leading share trading company and financial consultant Motilal Oswal:
1) Anyone with an annual income of over Rs. 2.5 lakh needs to file I-T returns whether the income is taxable or not. The Income Tax Department tracks lifestyle expenses, asset purchases, investments and foreign travel through your PAN card and Aadhaar number so try to be as transparent as possible.
2) Remember that all your sources of income must be filed as part of your I-T returns. Even if your dividends are tax-free, it is still essential to disclose all these details in your I-T returns.
3) If you have made losses on shares or equity-oriented mutual funds, you need to show the loss when you file returns. If you do not disclose the loss in your I-T returns, you lose the benefit of setting off the losses against other gains and also lose the benefit of carrying forward these losses for a period of 8 years, says Motilal Oswal.
4) You are required to file your returns online on the website of the Income Tax Department. However, your job does not end there. The returns need to be e-verified which can be done by linking it to your registered bank account having the same name details.
5) While refunds below Rs. 50,000 are directly credited to your bank account via RTGS, refunds above Rs. 50,000 are only paid out by cheque. Hence if your refund is above Rs. 50,000 ensure that your address is updated in the I-T records.
6) Remember that effective July 1, 2017, an Aadhaar card is a prerequisite for filing income tax returns.
7) If you forget to file returns before the due date of July 31 and do not have any tax payable then you can file the returns by March 31 next year. But refund cases will not be entertained if returns are filed after the cut-off date of July 31.