Typically, the deadline for filing income tax return of the previous financial year is July 31. Though you have time in hand, it is always better to start preparing early to avoid the last minute scramble. You can use a checklist of documents that you need to keep in handy to avoid mistakes in filing your tax return.
Here is a 10-point cheat-sheet
- If you are a salaried person, you would need Form 16, which is issued by the employer. It contains your salary details along with the TDS (tax deducted at source) details. You have to collect the Form 16 from all the employers you have worked with in the financial year for which you are filing the return.
- You need your bank statement to report the interest income that you have earned on your savings and fixed deposits.
- If you have received any other income such as dividend, rent or gift above Rs 50,000, you need to give details about it in your tax return. Some of the income like dividend income is tax exempt but you have to report them in your return.
- Collect Form 16A which provides details of the TDS deducted on account of any income that you have received. For example, collect the form from the bank if it has deducted TDS on interest income.
- Sudhir Kaushik, co-founder and CFO of TaxSpanner.com, says, "If you have rental income and your tenant has deducted TDS on rent, then collect form 16A from there too."
- Form 26AS is also an important document that you need to check before filing return. It is basically your tax credit statement which shows all taxes received by the Income Tax Department. You can download it from the tax department's website. All tax deductions and high-value transaction get reported in this form. "One should get the form 26AS and match details before tax filing. If there is some mismatch, then take the necessary action to rectify it," says Mr Kaushik.
- If you have sold any property, shares and mutual funds during the year, you need to keep details of the transactions for computation of capital gains tax.
- To claim deductions, you need to keep handy all the documents related to your investments made during the year. Also, if you have availed any loans such as home loan and education loan, keep the bank statements to avail deduction for interest and principal repaid.
- This year, assesses with income over Rs 50 lakh during the year will have to give details of their movable (such as cash, jewellery and vehicle) and immovable (land and building) assets in the tax return. "An assessee needs to check the documents of purchase to know the actual cost of these properties," says Amit Maheshwari, managing partner at Ashok Maheshwary & Associates.
- You also need to report details of any other income which is derived or earned from outside India plus the details of all the immovable property or any capital asset held at any time during the year outside India.