With the due dates for filing of income tax return for the assessment year 2018-19 fast approaching, we bring you some of the important pointers to keep in mind while filing your taxes. As we all know, the income tax department released all seven ITR Forms for e-filing by the taxpayers, we quickly surmise the different forms below:
ITR 1: Also known as "Sahaj", this form is meant for individuals who are residents in India (other than not ordinarily resident) having income from salary or pension, one house property, other sources (interest, etc.) and having total income up to Rs. 50 lakhs.
ITR 2: This form is meant for the individuals and HUFs having income from salary or pension, one or more house property, capital gains and other sources (including income from lottery, horse races or losses under this head), but not having income from profits and gains of business or profession.
ITR 3: This form is meant for individuals and HUFs having income from profits and gains of business or profession.
ITR 4: Also known as "Sugam", this form is meant for individuals, HUFs and Firms (other than LLPs) having a presumptive income computed as per the provisions of sections 44AD, 44ADA and 44AE.
ITR 5: This form is meant for the persons other than individuals, HUFs, company or person filing form ITR-7
ITR 6: This form is meant for the companies other than companies claiming exemption under sec. 11
ITR 7: This form is meant for persons including companies required to furnish return under sections 139 (4A), 139 (4B), 139 (4C), 139 (4D), 139 (4E) or 139 (4F)
Before you start preparing the returns, it is important to first calculate the total tax liability. There are a number of deductions available to the taxpayers which considerably lessen the burden of the taxable income. Some of them are:
Section 80C: Up to a limit of Rs. 1.5 lakh taxpayers are allowed a deduction from their taxable income upon investment in a certain class of instruments. This includes contribution to PPF and EPF account, tax-saving fixed deposits and mutual funds, repayment of principal on housing loan, premium paid on life insurance policy, payment of children education fees, etc.
Sections 80CCC & 80CCD: Under these sections, income tax deductions are allowed when the taxpayer makes a payment in annuity plan of an insurance company for receiving pension from the pension fund. In case, the contribution is made to any notified scheme of central government or as we know them as National Pension Scheme, a deduction of up to Rs. 2 lakhs is allowed under section 80CCD, else, it is Rs. 1.5 lakhs in case of other schemes under Section 80CCC. Here it is important to note that total deduction under Section 80C, 80CCC and 80CCD shall not exceed Rs. 1.5 lakhs. However, additional deduction of Rs. 50,000 is allowed under Section 80CCD(1B) for the contribution made by the employee or taxpayer himself.
This Section allows deduction of Rs. 25,000 for the medical insurance premium paid by a taxpayer for his immediate family (himself, spouse and dependent children) and equal amount of deduction for his parents. In aggregate, deduction up to Rs. 50,000 can be claimed under this section. If family members and parents both are senior citizen then the deduction limit shall be increased to Rs. 60,000.
Section 80E: This section allows an income tax deduction for repayment of interest on education loan of self, spouse or dependent children.
This deduction is allowed to those individual taxpayers who don't receive any HRA from employer but are living in rented house. Deduction up to Rs. 5,000 per month or 60,000 per annum is allowed as deduction to these taxpayers
Tips to pay less and save more
The basic strategy to save upon paying taxes should be planning the finances properly so that one can invest intelligently in instruments allowing them to reap maximum tax benefits. One of the ways is to invest in National Pension Scheme which offer maximum limit of exemption up to Rs. 2 lakhs per annum. This kind of investment not only reduces the tax burden but also secures the future by providing a financial security in an old-age.
Another great way of reducing the tax liability is by opting for a home loan. Not only does this ensure an asset in the name of the taxpayer, but also offers a huge scope of reducing the taxable income. The principal amount of loan repaid is allowed as a deduction under section 80C and the interest paid thereupon is allowed as a deduction under Section 24.
How to file your taxes yourself
1. Visit https://incometaxindiaefiling.gov.in and login.
2. Choose the applicable ITR form. Assesses, who are required to file ITR-1 or ITR-4, may also file the return directly from e-filing portal without downloading the Excel or Java utility.
3. Otherwise, prepare the ITR in Excel utility or Java utility and generate XML file.
4. Click on link of 'Filing of Income Tax Return' given on the Dashboard, select the 'Assessment Year', and 'Form Name' and Submission Mode
6. On successful submission of ITR form, a pop-up menu will be displayed on the screen to e-verify uploaded return.
(Ansh Bhargava is director of Taxmann.com)
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