As the 2017-18 financial year comes to an end on March 31, 2018, there is immense pressure on people to invest in prescribed savings instruments eligible for tax deduction. This year, individuals are also getting inundated with emails and messages from the I-T Department requesting them to file their tax returns by FY-end. The department is also stressing on the implications in case the tax returns are not filed on or before March 31, 2018.
Individuals who have missed the tax filing deadline of FY 2015-16 and FY 2016-17 can still file their tax returns by March 31, 2018.
While now returns for 2016-17 can be revised, it’s important to note that in case of a belated return any losses (except house property loss) cannot be carried forward. Filing of belated return attracts interest besides penal implications, as applicable in certain conditions.
Further, individuals who had earlier filed their tax return and discovered any omission or wrong statement can revise their tax returns. Tax return for FY 2015-16 can be revised by March 31, 2018, and tax return filed for FY 2016-17 can be revised by March 31, 2019, subject to provisions of the law.
Although there are no limits as to the number of times a return can be revised, this facility should be cautiously used, as it increases the chance of returns being picked up for scrutiny, especially if the revision leads to tax refunds.
For successful filing of the tax return, the following needs to be considered:
Individuals should download Form 26AS (i.e. Annual Consolidated Tax Statement) and confirm actual tax paid/deducted/collected. If any discrepancy is observed in tax amount appearing in the Form 26AS, then suitable action should be taken to rectify it.
Also, carefully study the documents that will be used while filing returns on income, such as bank statement/passbook, interest certificate, investment proofs for which deductions is to be claimed, books of account and balance sheet and profit & loss account (if applicable), etc. No documents are to be attached along with tax returns on income.
The individual should identify the correct returns form, as applicable, and accordingly provide all information in it.
Check the calculation of total income, deductions, interest and consequent tax liability/refund.
If any tax is payable as per the return of income, then the same should be paid before filing the return of income; else, the return may reflect an error at the uploading stage.
Ensure that other details like PAN, address, e-mail address, bank account details, etc, are correct.
After filling all details in the return of income and after confirmation of all the details, one can proceed with filing returns. Both the older and revised returns have to be verified. The government has prescribed various modes like net banking, bank ATM, Aadhaar OTP, bank account and depository account for e-verification of the tax return. In case an individual is not able to e-verify, then physical ITR V (i.e. a single pager verification document) needs to be sent to the Central Processing Centre, Bangalore within prescribed timeline.
It is important to keep the above considerations in mind and file tax returns correctly to stay compliant with the tax laws and avoid any possible penal action. More importantly, to avoid any inadvertent mistake, such filings shouldn’t be left for the last minute.
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