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10 ITR filing mistakes which can cost taxpayers dearly
June, 06th 2024

A taxpayer can find it difficult to file an ITR if he doesn’t have sound knowledge of tax laws or if he is filing it without the help of a tax professional. Taxpayers are usually careful and exercise due diligence while filing ITRs, but in a rush to file returns before the due date, they make some serious mistakes.

Though mistakes made in ITR filing are rectifiable, as one can correct any mistake by filing a revised return or by making a rectification request, it requires extra time and effort from taxpayers, and nobody wants to spend double time on a single job.

 

“There is always a possibility of unintentional arithmetic errors or omissions while filing an ITR, often due to the taxpayer’s limited knowledge of income tax. However, by paying a little attention, a taxpayer can significantly reduce or even eliminate the chance of making mistakes in return,” says CA Rahul Singh, Senior Manager, Taxmann.

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Some common mistakes taxpayers often make while filing ITRs are listed below.

1. Not filing ITR

One of the common mistakes taxpayers make is not filing their Income Tax Return (ITR). Many think they don’t need to file if their income isn’t taxable/exempt or tax has already been deducted from their income.

However, the rule is that an individual taxpayer must file an ITR if his gross taxable income exceeds the basic exemption limit. This limit is Rs 3 lakh for those over 60, Rs 5 lakh for those over 80, and Rs 2.5 lakh for everyone else.

 

2. Using wrong ITR Form

CBDT has notified 7 ITR forms for different classes of taxpayers. “Choosing the right ITR form, depending on the class and nature of the taxpayer’s income, is the first and most important step of ITR filing. Filing an ITR in the wrong ITR form will give it the status of invalid return,” says Singh.

3. Not validating bank account

The Income Tax Department mandates that taxpayers pre-validate their bank accounts on e-filing portal to enable direct crediting of tax refunds. This step ensures that the account is active and owned by the taxpayer, minimizing errors and fraud.

4. Failure to E-Verify ITR

After filing an income tax return, its verification by the taxpayers is a mandatory step to complete the return filing process. If a return, after filing, is not verified, it is treated as an invalid return. The Income Tax Department does not process the unverified returns.

E-verification is required to be done within 30 days of uploading ITR.

5. Not claiming eligible deductions

Often, taxpayers forget to claim deductions that they are eligible to claim. For example, if you have interest income from a savings bank account, you can claim deduction under section 80TTA. A deduction of up to Rs 10,000 is allowed under this provision.

Similarly, If an employee does not receive a House Rent Allowance (HRA), he can claim a deduction for rent payments under Section 80GG. This deduction is also available to self-employed individuals.

6. Not showing miscellaneous income

Quite often, many taxpayers don’t show their miscellaneous income, such as interest income and commission income, in ITRs. A few think these minor incomes aren’t taxable, whereas some of them think that reporting these incomes is not required because TDS was deducted from them. However, this is not the true picture.

“A taxpayer must report all sources of income in an ITR irrespective of whether it is taxable or is an exempt income. Failure to mention these incomes might get taxpayers into trouble with the I-T department,” warns Singh.

7. Delay in filing ITR

Taxpayers have to pay mandatory late filing fees under section 234F, which may vary from Rs. 1,000 to Rs. 5,000 if returns are filed after the due date. The due date for filing ITR for Financial Year 2023-24 in case of individuals not required to get their books audited is July 31, 2024. So, file the ITR within the time-frame to avoid paying any late fees.

8. Reconcile income with AIS

Checking your Annual Information Statement (AIS) while filing your Income Tax Return (ITR) is crucial to ensure accuracy and avoid income discrepancies. The AIS provides information on various financial transactions taxpayers make during the year.

This helps ensure everything is correct, and you haven’t missed any income sources. If you see something on the AIS that isn’t right, you can submit feedback for the corrections.

9. Check TDS amount with Form 26AS

Form 26AS contains details of all the taxes deducted/collected at source against your PAN. “If you find any discrepancy in the TDS displayed in Form 26AS, then you must notify the tax deductor and ask him to rectify it. The Income Tax Department only considers Form 26AS while giving TDS credit to you. Thus, it might deny the benefit of TDS claim in ITR if the same is missing in Form 26AS,” informs Singh.

10. Club income from previous employer

If you changed jobs during the Financial Year, make sure you report the income from your previous jobs. Your tax liability might change because all your incomes will be added together. Also, your old employer might have deducted taxes. So, check everything carefully and pay the right amount of tax before filing your return.

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