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Tax matters: E-filing returns now mandatory
March, 18th 2013

Individuals earning over Rs 5 lakh a year are required to file their tax returns in the electronic format. Last year, the government had made e-filing of tax returns mandatory for assessees with annual income of Rs 10 lakh and above.

For taxpayers, the biggest advantage is that they can get the refund within three to four months after filing the returns online, with the government putting in place a web-based status tracking facility for refunds and the grievances redressal mechanism being strengthened for ensuring prompt disposal of all complaints.

Electronic filing of TDS returns are now possible throughout the country. The Central Board of Direct Taxes has set up Aaykar Seva Kendras for efficient tax administration and the web-based platform can be used by the taxpayer to track the resolution of refunds and credit for pre-paid taxes and augmentation of processing capacity. Refunds are directly deposited through electronic clearing system in taxpayers’ bank accounts. To ramp up the processing of refunds, the Centralised Processing Centre (CPC) at Bangalore has also increased its daily processing capacity of returns filed.

Prior to e-filing, one needs to register at the income tax website and use a digital signature. After e-filing, Form ITR-V is generated online, which should be printed, signed and posted to the CPC, Bangalore, within 120 days of e-filing. To ensure speedy refund, the taxpayer has to ensure that once the ITR-V is generated, the form should be downloaded. One must then print the form in blue ink and send the signed form by ordinary/speed post to the CPC. After receiving the signed ITR-V form, the CPC will then send an e-mail acknowledging the receipt of ITR-V to the e-mail ID stated in the return form. Also, the tax payer will get an SMS on his mobile number. In case the tax payer does not get any response from the department regarding receipt of ITR-V, then the taxpayer will have to send a fresh ITR-V to the CPC and get their receipt and this will be the confirmation.
Wealth Tax
If an individual’s net wealth exceeds Rs 30 lakh, then wealth tax at 1 per cent of the amount by which the net wealth exceeds Rs 30 lakh is to be paid.

The net wealth is arrived at by reducing from the gross wealth the debts incurred in relation to acquiring the wealth. Even wealth tax will have to be filed in the electronic form and the new norm will be applicable from June 1, 2013.
Section 14 of the Wealth-Tax Act provides for furnishing of return of net wealth as on the valuation date in the prescribed form for the net wealth. Currently, certain documents and reports are required to be furnished along with the return of net wealth under the provisions of Wealth-Tax Act read with the provisions of Wealth-tax Rules
Sections 139C and 139D of the Income-Tax Act contain provisions for facilitating filing of annexure-less return of income in electronic form by certain class of income-tax assessees. In order to facilitate electronic filing of annexure-less return of net wealth, the finance minister has proposed to insert new sections — 14A and 14B in the Wealth-Tax Act on similar lines.

Wealth-Tax return is filed in Form BA and if the Wealth-Tax returns is furnished after the due date, or is not furnished, the individual will be liable to pay simple interest at the rate of 1 per cent for every month.
Individuals owning one house is exempt from wealth tax. However, additional property not let out for 300 days or more is subject to wealth tax. Jewellery, motor cars, urban land, yachts, boats and planes (non-commercial), and cash in hand above Rs 50,000 are also subject to wealth tax.
How to e-file

* For e-filing, one needs to register at the income tax website and use digital signature. After e-filing, Form ITR-V is generated online, which should be printed, signed and posted to the Centralised Processing Centre (CPC), Bangalore
* The CPC will send an e-mail and SMS acknowledging the receipt of ITR-V. In case the taxpayer does not get any response regarding receipt of ITR-V, then the taxpayer will have to send a fresh ITR-V to the CPC
* While entering data, one should verify that the Permanent Account Number (PAN), the amount of Tax Deducted at Source (TDS) and employer details are correctly entered. Incorrect details may lead to a notice from the IT department
* Details about interest earned from FDs and other income must also be mentioned. The tax department

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