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File return to claim income tax refund
July, 11th 2016

I am a BCA student. My father is a pensioner. He gave me Rs 4.5 lakh for higher studies. I invested the money in a bank FD as a temporary measure as under:

i) 24.11.2014 to 24.11.2015: Rs 1,00,000

ii) 3.7.2015 to 3.7.2016: Rs 2,50,000

iii) 24.11.2015 to 24.11.2016: Rs 2,50,000 (renewed the FD of Rs 1 lakh and raised the amount to Rs 5 lakh).

The bank deducted TDS and I filled Form 15G in the bank for the investment of Rs 5 lakh. The Income Tax Department has now asked me to file tax return regarding the above income for AY 2016-17. I have no taxable income. Do I need to file the income tax return? Can I apply for TDS refund?

— Simranjit Singh

You could have filed Form 15G with the bank provided the income earned on the fixed deposit with the bank as well as your total income was below the taxable limit. Presuming that both the conditions were met, the bank could not have deducted tax at source in respect of interest earned by you on the fixed deposit.

The notice for filing of return for assessment year 2016-17 can be issued only after the expiry of the time for filing of the income-tax return prescribed under Section 139(1) of the Income Tax Act 1961.
I have not been able to understand the circumstance which led the department to issue a notice asking you to file tax return for assessment year 2016-17 as the return for the said assessment year can be filed by July 31. The validity of the notice can therefore be questioned.

However, to steer clear of litigation, you may file the return under protest in response to the notice showing your income which is below taxable limit.

The refund of TDS can be claimed only by filing of income tax return and therefore, in case the bank has deducted tax at source, you will have to file the income tax return to claim refund of income tax.

I retired from Indian Air Force on 31.8.2014. I have a PAN card. While in service, income tax was regularly deducted from my salary. The details of the salary drawn and deductions made from my salary for some months in 2014 were not available with me. So I could not file the income tax return for assessment year 2015-16.

Now, the return for AY 2016-17 is due to be filled before July 31. The Income Tax Department might ask me the reason for not submitting the return for assessment year 2015-16. How can the I-T Department be satisfied in this regard?

— Ravinder Khanna

It will be advisable in the circumstance to file the income tax return for assessment year 2015-16. The same can be filed in accordance with the provisions of Section 139(4) of the Act before March 31, 2017. This will obviate the necessity of explanation being asked by the tax department in respect of the income tax return for assessment year 2015-16.

I am a retired male (61 years) having income from bank interest (FDR etc) only. It was expected to be around Rs 1,50,000 in financial year 2015-16. So I submitted form 15-G to the bank for the purpose of TDS. Now, some arrears of pay and allowances are likely to be received due to which my income may go a little above Rs 1,70,000. Also, the bank has already deducted income tax during the financial year before I could submit the 15-G form.

Taking into account my savings under Section 80C, no tax will be due on my income even if it is sufficiently above 1,70,000. In the circumstances, can I file income tax return for assessment year 2016-17 to claim the refund of the income tax already deducted? Or is the return compulsory even if no refund is due?

— Vimal kumar

In accordance with the provisions of Section 139 of the Act, in case your total income exceeds the maximum amount on which no tax is payable and income becomes below taxable limit on account of the deductions allowable under Section 80C of the Act, you are required to file the income tax return.

Accordingly, in case you expect that your total income will exceed Rs 1,70,000 including the interest income but will be below the taxable limit after claiming deduction allowable under Section 80C of the Act, you should file your return of income by July 31.

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