Filing ITR? Here’s your one-stop guide

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It is that time of the year when we all are busy fiddling with the ITR forms. Time is less and thus you need to be more careful. We got in touch with an expert of the matter, advocate Sameer Jain, who listed 10 pointers to keep in mind to make the process full-proof.

1. Correct Income Tax Return form
There are seven Forms of return, out of which, ITR 1 to 4 are applicable to individuals/HUFs, while ITR 5 is for Partnership Firms and LLP, ITR 6 is for Companies other than those claiming exemptions & ITR 7 is for persons including companies.
Important: However, it should be noted that the Forms of return may be changed in the middle of the year. Therefore, need to file in the new form.

2. Timely filing
The government mandates that individuals who earn a specified amount of annual income must file a tax return within a pre-determined due date. So timely filing of returns is important and will help avoid interest and penalty.

3. Accurate entry of details
Quoting the correct PAN, the address for communication etc., are very necessary as to avoid any consequent inconvenience.
Important: In case the refund is opted to be received via ECS direct into the bank account, adequate care should be taken to correctly fill in the MICR code.

4. Disclose exempt income
Individuals are required to disclose all exempt income while filing returns even though no tax is required to be paid on the same. The deduction for interest incomes is withdrawn which comes through from bank deposits or NSC certificates. In respect of Interest on SB Account, an assessee can claim deduction U/s. 80TTA.

5. Claim deductions
The deduction for the investment made for pension such as Sec. 80C, Sec. 80CCC, and Sec. 80CCD is restricted to a certain limit. Benefits under Section 80C can also be claimed for tuition fees paid by an individual for their children and for the repayment of the principal amount in respect of home loan taken by him.

6. Claim loss return
In case of a loss return, the same must be claimed and the return filed within the due date as prescribed by the Income Tax Act. A delay in filing means the loss under the specified head cannot be carried forward.

7. Online filing
The online filing of return or submission of Form ITR-V is a mere formality which can be completed anytime. If the return is filed online without digital signature, a duly verified ITR-V form should be signed and submitted to CPC within 120 days from the date of e-Filing.
Important: If Form ITR-V is filed beyond 120 days, it would be deemed as if the return was not filed online in the first place and it might be too late by then.

8. ITR acknowledgement
Assessees may file income tax returns (ITR) with their digital signatures. If they don’t have one, they can opt to receive an acknowledgement form – ITR-Verification which must be signed physically and forwarded to the Income Tax Department.

9. Update PAN data at all times

The assessee must furnish details of latest PAN or changes or correction in PAN before filing return.

10. Maintenance of documents as proof

The tax authorities might require any document to be furnished by the taxpayer in case a scrutiny proceeding is initiated for verifying the claims made in the return. The assessee must preserve proof of having filed a return.