Last minute checklist for filing income tax return

With only four days left for the deadline for filing income tax returns to expire. Here’s a checklist to help you file your ITR successfully.

Keep required documents handy
The most important thing to start with ITR filing is getting the required documents together. Documents you would need would vary depending on the types of income you have.

Documents commonly required (depending on your situation) include: Form 16 from your employer, Interest statement for interest earned on savings bank account and fixed deposits, TDS certificates, Proof of various deductions (80C to 80U) to be claimed, statement of Interest paid for home loan etc.

Switched jobs? TDS certificate or Form 16 from employer is needed
If you have switched jobs in the last financial year, then you must have received two Form 16 this year – one from current employer and one from the previous one. Most people find it difficult to deal with 2 Form-16s as they find it confusing to figure out how much is total TDS deducted etc.

Matching TDS certificates with Form 26AS
Most salaried employees receive salary from employers after tax is deducted. To ensure that every TDS instalment deducted from your salary is deposited in government’s account on your behalf by your employer, you must match the amount mentioned in TDS certificate with that of Form 26AS.

Form 26AS is the annual tax credit statement reflecting all the taxes deposited under your name.

Paying all dues before filing ITR
Before filing ITR, you must ascertain the total amount of tax to be paid by you. Once you have correctly determined the total amount of tax you, you need to subtract TDS from this total and then pay the balance. The balance tax payable can be paid using net-banking facility of your bank or by visiting the bank branch and paying taxes using Challan.

Once you have paid your dues, ensure that the tax paid is reflecting in Form 26AS too. However, it is to be mentioned that normally as the deadline for ITR filing nears there is a gap of several days between the date of tax payment and the date by when it starts reflecting in the Form 26AS.

Getting the ITR form correct
Make sure you file your tax return using correct form applicable to you as otherwise it would be treated as a defective return. If you file ITR using the wrong form for you, you might receive notice under section 139(9) from the department asking you to file ITR again within the stipulated time.

If you fail to file revised ITR within the given time, then it will be treated as if you never filed the ITR.

Reporting all interest incomes
As a taxpayer, it is your duty to report all the interest incomes earned by you in the previous year – in this case financial year 2016-17 – while filing ITR. Many people tend to forget mentioning the accrued interest earned on fixed deposits linked to bank lockers, recurring deposits, or interest earned on savings bank account.
Remember that for interest earned on bank savings accounts you can claim a deduction up to Rs 10,000 under section 80TTA.

Tax exempted income details in ITR
Income exempted from tax such as interest earned from PPF account or tax-free bonds etc. must be reported in your ITR under the ‘Exempt Income’ schedule.
Also remember that the last budget has made it mandatory for you to file ITR even if your total income plus exempted long term gains exceeds the minimum exemption limit of Rs 2.5 lakh.

Verifying the ITR
The last step to complete the process of filing the ITR is verifying the uploaded return. Your return won’t be considered ‘Valid’ until it is verified by you. The I-T department has made the process of verifying ITR easier by offering 6 ways to verify your return including using Aadhaar OTP, net-banking.

Filing the ITR before deadline
Filing ITR before the deadline has an utmost importance as by doing this you ensure that you do not lose certain benefits. It is also advisable to develop this habit as starting next year there will be late filing fee, maximum up to Rs 10,000 if return is filed after the notified deadline.

Source – ET WEALTH

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