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Is your income tax return complete? Here are some caution points for error free return filing
May, 31st 2013

The financial year has ended and every individual is worried about filing his tax return before the due date. The difficulty is to be sure that the return you are filing is correct or not to avoid future hassles of assessments.

As we are again at the tax filing time of the year, some caution points would ensure an error free tax return filing:

The first step is to pick up the correct return form, which is prescribed by the Central Board of Taxes (CBDT) every year. The Income Tax Return (ITR) forms by CBDT depends on the various streams of income. Correct form ensures that the complete details are filed.

2) Correct address and correct bank account number

For timely correspondence with the income tax authorities as also for timely delivery of refunds claimed in the return, it is very important to mention the correct address and bank account details along with the MICR code in the return form.

3) Permanent Account Number (PAN)

PAN is an important identification number by way of which the income tax authorities identify a particular taxpayer and records his income, taxes deducted on his behalf and the taxes paid by him. Quoting of incorrect PAN may cause hardship to both taxpayers as well as to income tax authorities. So double check your PAN.

4) Staying updated with the current tax law

Before you start preparing your return, you should stay updated with the current tax law. The deductions and exemptions available as per the law or the provisions of clubbing of income. This ensures that the income disclosed in the return is complete and the benefit available under the law is considered. Eg. Deduction of INR 10,000 for saving account interest or no deduction available in this assessment year for investment in infrastructure bonds.

5) Checking your Bank account statements

One should always review the bank account statements. By doing this you always get an idea of the various streams of income which you need to disclose in your return. This clarifies the type of return forms you need to use for filing your return.

Further the error of not including a particular income is avoided, e.g. we all earn interest income on our savings bank accounts and at times due to the insignificant amount; we forget to include the interest income in our return of income. A common slip up that happens is non-disclosure of income exempted from tax, such as dividend income from mutual funds or capital gain on securities.

6) Overseas income

Nowadays, few of us have started investing in the overseas markets or receive some income abroad. The same should be included in the return as well. Moreover, one should not forget applicable treaty benefits available under the law to avoid double taxation.

7) Deduction under Chapter VI

We all make tax saving investments throughout the year but sometimes even forget to include the same in the return. To avoid this one should maintain the list of the tax saving investments made.

8) Carried Forward losses

One may forget to consider the carried forward losses of the previous years. We should always check whether any losses carried forward to the current assessment year is considered as it may reduce the income chargeable to tax and in turn reduce the tax liability

9) Details of Tax Deducted at Source (TDS) and income included in the return

In case of tax deducted at source (TDS), ensure that the details like Tax Deduction Account Number (TAN) along with other details of the payer of income are as per the TDS certificate to avoid disallowances from AO in future. Further, one should even check the tax credit available and the correctness of income included in the return by viewing the Form 26AS to avoid any error.

10) On-line return submission

On-line filing can be done with or without digital signature. But, for those filing it without using the digital signature, it is mandatory to submit the ITR-V form generated on-line, to the income tax officials at Bangalore, within the prescribed time.

11) Maintenance of documents of the details disclosed in the return

One is not relieved just by filing the return. Proper maintenance of documents of the details filed in the return in our records is equally essential for future. I hope that some of these simple yet important tips mentioned above would make the tax return filing process hassle free. We wish you Happy filing!

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