July is the season of Taxes! If total income for the financial year 2017-18 is more than Rs 2,50,000 (for citizens less than 60 years), you are liable to file income tax returns by July 31st 2018. If you are between 60-80 years, the tax exemption limits are Rs 3 Lakhs and its Rs 5 Lakhs if you are over 80 years.
While in earlier times taxpayers could only file returns through the paper mode, the Income Tax Department has introduced various processes to ease tax filing and increase compliance. With an aim to reduce the processing time and human intervention, technological initiatives such as e-payment of taxes, simplified tax return forms, e-verification of ITR-V, e-assessments, and so on have been undertaken by the Income Tax Department.
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IT Department also uses digital modes of communication like e-mails, text messages and advertisements. With the introduction of many unique initiatives by the Income Tax Department, there has been a significant increase in the taxpayer base.
Many taxpayers run around the city to Chartered Accountants and Tax Consultants to get their returns filed. Unless you require professional guidance in filing returns, with all such initiatives in place, you should not hesitate to file ITR by yourself. You may also visit websites that help in filing tax returns. All you have to do is follow certain steps. Below are 5 reasons for filing returns yourself:
First-time taxpayers and those who want to file tax returns on their own, need to get themselves registered. You will have to create your login ID on the ITR filing website. The link to e-filing is:
Registration is simple and easy. You need:
Once done, you can file your returns with ease.
Tax return forms for individual taxpayers have been re-worked to make them less complicated. The IT Department has also introduced features like the pre-fill option for tax returns. Details like personal information and tax details are pre-filled as available in the tax department’s database. Therefore, you no longer have to manually feed these details. Data is pre-populated with details that are available from PAN and Form 26AS.
The e-payment option has made it possible for taxpayers to pay tax anywhere and at anytime. You can find a link in the tax return form which will redirect you to the portal for e-payment of taxes.
Filing income tax returns are deemed to be complete only if the taxpayer verifies them after filing the return. Verification of returns are mandatory for the Centralized Processing Centre (CPC) to accept and process them. You can verify your income tax returns in the following ways:
Verifying tax returns is now uncomplicated. You can verify your income tax returns by visiting the website: www.incometaxindia.gov.in.
Prior to e-filing and e-verification of income tax returns, it was mandatory to send a signed physical copy of the ITR acknowledgement (ITR-V) to CPC Bengaluru for processing. Now that the IT Department is promoting Electronic Verification Code to verify ITR, you need not send a signed physical copy of the signed ITR-V to the CPC.
The Income Tax Department has now undertaken electronic assessment. E-assessment has revolutionized communication of notices. Tax notices are now sent via e-mail. Taxpayers can also furnish responses online.
Now that you know the tax filing process is not complicated, take note of the following points:
If you are filing returns for the first time, it is important not to delay tax filing. You must do this in order to avoid the last-minute rush. Chances are you might commit mistakes while filing tax returns in a hurry. Mistakes in filing taxes can cost you dearly. You might be penalized and prosecuted depending on the severity of the mistake.
If you are a first-time taxpayer or filing returns for the very first time, take note of the following documents that you will need:
Remember, if you do not file your income tax returns in time, you will be charged a late filing fee under Section 234F of the Income Tax Act, 1961. You will be charged a penalty up to Rs 5,000 between August 1 and December 31 and up to Rs 10,000 after that. Also, you will not be allowed to carry forward losses during the year. Therefore, be wise and file your returns in time!
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