Thousands of new taxpayers would be under the e-filing of returns ambit this assessment year onwards. These fresh electronic filers need to learn from the mistakes of past e-filers and stray away from minute but precarious tax filing errors. We list out some common mistakes to save you the trouble of revising returns and responding to notices from the Assessing Officer.
Not verifying Form 26 AS
Though taxes are deducted for employees and other vendors, one must verify the Annual Account Statement or the Form 26 AS before filing returns. CBDT has stated, “Assesses should verify tax credits available in Form 26AS via TRACES website. Mismatches are the single largest cause of incorrect tax computation.” If the amount of tax you have paid through the year doesn’t match with the Form 26 AS then the issue should be taken up with TDS deductor or the bank.
Net salary should be mentioned and not gross or else you will have to bear higher taxes. The new deduction under section 80TTA of up to Rs 10,000 on interest on savings accounts is mistakenly understood to encompass FD interest too.
However, one has to add the interest amount from fixed deposit to his/her own income and pay the applicable tax.
Exempt long-term capital gain should not be entered in capital gains section.
Under short-term capital gains (STCG) many users confuse between STCG under section 111A and STCG others. As a result the amount is entered against one another. This should be avoided as the resultant would be doubling of income from Capital Gains or mis-match of applicable tax rates on those gains.
Joint owners of a house should claim tax benefits as per their share of the house. Similarly rental income too should be shared in the proportion of ownership as the total income would shoot up if both mention the gross rental income.
If no value is entered under the House Property Loss section in the Schedule Current Year Loss Adjusted (CYLA), then the setoff would not be allowed.
The adjustment of this loss isn’t automatic and hence should be mentioned in the first row against Salary Income. This would indicate that the loss is adjusted against salary.
Once taxes are paid the exact dates on the Challans should be entered. Formats other than DDMMYYYY would lead to mismatch.
One should avoid rounding off the tax amount paid and mentioned in the challan as it would lead to mismatch. Entering a consolidated figure by clubbing multiple challans too would lead to mismatch as the challans would go untraceable by the tax department’s electronic processing system.
You can claim deductions even if you haven’t submitted proofs to employer. For example, if you missed the deadline to submit the investment proof documents with your employer then you can still claim the tax benefits while filing your return.
Further, the specific schedules in the tax returns relating to those deductions must be filled especially for 80 G, house property (for housing loan interest), etc. Income tax department has said, “Deductions will not be allowed if specific schedules aren’t filled.”
Sending the acknowledgement
Returns aren’t considered valid if a signed acknowledgement isn’t submitted within 120 days of e-filing of return. The tax authorities say “Nearly 10% of assesses fail to send the ITR V to CPC after filing returns.” The signed ITR V should be sent via ordinary or speed post only. One should sign in blue ink only and send the original ITR V. The photocopy (of print of the scanned copy) of the signed document is not a valid document.
Careful with emails
The tax authorities has warned taxpayers not to open emails from fraudulent email IDs such as “firstname.lastname@example.org stating that they contain the tax payable amount etc. “Taxpayers are cautioned that they should not respond to such phishing mails and avoid downloading any attachment, which may contain virus or malicious software,” CBDT has notified, adding that they do not use email id’s such as gmail, yahoo.
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