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How To Avoid Tax Problems

The July 31 deadline is closer than we think. And, to get us in good shape for filing tax returns. Having all documentation in one place will cause tax filing to run a lot smoother and faster.

1. Fill out your correct Permanent Account Number (PAN) number.

Make sure you put the right PAN details on your form and on any challans used to pay taxes. An incorrect PAN number might also result in a problem in getting your tax refund. And finally, you might have to pay a penalty of Rs10,000 for not quoting or mis-quoting your PAN.

2. You don’t need a CA to prepare your returns, consider online filing.

You can fill out your own tax return online, or use the services of many of the online tax filing companies. You don’t always need to rely on going to a chartered accountant. 

3. File a return even if your employer has deducted tax at source.

You must file taxes if your combined annual income from all sources is above the exemption limit depending upon your age and gender.

4.  Organize TDS certificates from all deductors.

TDS certificates are proof that you have already paid certain tax dues. TDS certificate in Form 16A if you have rental income, interest income, professional/consulting receipts, contractual or commission receipts.

5. Pay off any self-assessment tax if required, before you file your return.

In technical terms, the tax so paid is called self-assessment tax. Nowadays this self-assessment tax can even be paid online.

6. Fully disclose all sources of income.

Many tax filers willingly don’t disclose even interest income earned from one’s savings balance, fixed deposits or small savings schemes. Don’t expose yourself by omitting any obvious disclosure.

7. Annual Information Return (AIR) details must be filled.

  • Single purchase or sale of an immovable property valued at Rs.30 Lacs.
  • Single payment of Rs.5 Lacs or more for acquiring bonds or debentures of a company Credit card payments aggregating to Rs.2 Lacs or more on a single card.
  • Mutual fund purchase aggregating to Rs. 2Lacs or more in a single fund.
  •  Cash deposits aggregating Rs.10 Lacs or more in one bank account.
  •  Single investment of Rs.1 Lacs or more in shares of a company.
  •  Payment aggregating to Rs.5 Lacs or more for investment in RBI bond.
8. State your correct bank details to ensure timely refunds. The following details must be correctly stated on your return:  Account type - Savings or Current, account number and MICR code of your bank branch (this is the 9 digit number at the bottom of your cheques).

9. July 31 deadline – avoid coming close to it. If you attempt to squeeze in your return in the last minute you will cause yourself a lot of stress, and are exposing yourself to careless errors that can be avoided if you were to start the process early and leave enough time to review your return to your satisfaction.  Keep in mind that closer to the deadline, the tax department servers get overloaded. If you are choosing to e-file your return, you might get delayed if you can’t get connected to the tax department’s server. 

10. State complete details related to your tax deductions. Your tax credit depends upon the authenticity and completeness of the data you transcribe on your ITR from the TDS certificates, Advance Tax Challans and Self Assessment Tax Challan. Ensure that there are no errors when stating the TAN of the employer or deductor, the amount and date of the deduction. Also, in case of self assessment or advance tax challans, ensure that the name, branch address and the BSR code of the bank where the tax is deposited, challan serial number, amount and date of the deposit are clearly stated. 

Shrusti Jain

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