Income Tax Return: How To File, Slabs, Documents Needed, Mistakes To Avoid

An income tax return (ITR), as the name suggests, is a return or form of 'income' which also incorporates pertinent tax information

Income Tax Return: How To File, Slabs, Documents Needed, Mistakes To Avoid

Income tax returns (ITR) are to be filed electronically on the income tax website.

An income tax return, as the name suggests, is a return or form of 'income' which also incorporates pertinent tax information for the relevant year. If your total income exceeds the basic exemption limits (e.g. Rs. 5 lakh for very senior citizen, Rs. 3 lakh for senior citizens and Rs. 2.5 lakh for others), it is mandatory for you to file income tax returns. The same rule holds true for Hindu undivided families (HUFs), trusts etc. However, for companies, firms, and ordinary residents holding foreign assets, it is mandatory to file income tax returns irrespective of their total income.

July 31 is the last day for individuals to file income tax returns. 

In case you are wondering about the filing of your income returns, NDTV has listed out answers for all your queries here:

How to file income tax returns
Income tax returns (ITR) are to be filed electronically for which the taxpayer has to be registered on the website of income tax -, Ashok Shah, Partner, N.A. Shah Associates LLP, told NDTV. While registering on the income tax portal, a one-time-password ('OTP') is sent on the registered email id and mobile number for verification. The e-filing can either be done by selecting the 'prepare and submit online' option or by uploading the 'xml file' on the web portal, which is prepared either using excel or java utility of the return forms as released by the department annually.

Once the return is e-filed, it is required to be verified. The verification can either be done by generating an electronic verification code ('EVC') by various modes such as net banking, Aadhaar OTP, etc. or by sending a hard copy of the signed return filing acknowledgment ('ITR-V') to the Central Processing Centre - Bengaluru, Mr Shah said.

Documents required for filing income tax returns
ITR return forms are attachment-less forms. This means the taxpayer is not required to attach any document like proof of investment, TDS or tax deducted at source certificates, etc. along with the return of income. There is simply no need to attach any document irrespective of whether ITR has been filed manually or filed electronically. However, do remember that these documents should be retained by the taxpayer in a safe place. This is because the documents may need to be produced before the tax authorities when demanded in situations like assessment, and inquiry, said Anil Rego, Founder & CEO.

Popular documents are Form 16 (given by the employer of a salaried taxpayer), investment proofs, rent receipts, insurance receipts, loan repayment documents, medical bills etc. 

Here is the income tax slab for fiscal 2018

income tax slabs 2017 18(If your annual income is up to Rs 2.5 lakh, you do not need to pay any income tax.)

If you are filing income tax returns on your own, here are the mistakes you must avoid making:

Mr Rego listed out the following most often-committed mistakes when you file income tax returns on your own:

1) You may put in incorrect details like salary income, investments, tax deductions and personal details like bank account numbers etc.

2) You may forget to add fixed deposit interest in your total income. Some people forget to disclose all the details about every bank account they own.

(Also Read: You Can Now Avail An Instant E-PAN Card - 10 Things To Know)

3) You should not forget to report exempt income like public provident fund interest.

4) You may choose the wrong ITR form.

5) Do not forget to verify income tax returns after filing them. One can e-verify through five different ways, or send documents (ITR-V) physically to the income tax department.

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