Tax filing has become more convenient than it used to be a few years ago. Yet, a lot of taxpayers find it difficult to file their returns. Here, we will help you file your tax return on your own. BEFORE you get down to filing your tax return, you should check whether the tax you paid during the year has been correctly credited to you. You can do this by checking your tax credit statement.Also know as the Form 26AS, it has details of the tax paid by an individual.
Any TDS linked to your PAN or self assessment tax paid by you during the year will reflect in this form. If you are a salaried taxpayer, you need to match the TDS details in the Form 16 from your employer with the details in the Form 26AS. If your bank or bond issuer has deducted tax on the interest income, it would be in this statement.
You can access the Form 26AS on the Income Tax department’s e-filing portal (https://incometaxindiaefiling.gov.in/).
When you click on “Check tax credit statement“ you will be directed to the relevant page. First time users will have to register before they can log in and access their tax credit statement. But there is an easier way if you have a netbanking account. Just click on your tax credit statement and you will be directed to the Traces (TDS Reconciliation Analysis and Correction Enabling System) webpage without the hassles of registration.
If there is a mismatch in the details, you need to bring it to the notice of the establishment that deducted the tax and get the mistake rectified. “Tax authorities use Form 26AS as the basis for issuing notices and refunds. Therefore, you must verify the details in advance.
The Form 26AS should serve as a warning for taxpayers who, deliberately or otherwise, under-report their income in the tax return. Many taxpayers wrongly assume that if TDS has been deducted on the interest earned on fixed deposits and bonds, they don’t have to pay any more tax. But TDS on bank deposits is 10% while the tax may be 30% if the person earns over `10 lakh. If he ignores the income from interest, the tax department will immediately find out.
THE form to be used for filing your tax return is crucial. If you choose the wrong option, your application may get rejected. The frequent changes in rules has not helped matters much. The simple ITR-1 is the most used tax form, but many assessees may not be using it correctly. Last year, the Central Board of Direct Taxes had made it mandatory for taxpayers to use ITR-2 if their exempt income exceeded `5,000 a year.
This rule is open to a lot of interpretations. Going by the definition, exempt income would include the allowances for house rent, leave travel, medical and transport. So, most salaried taxpayers would have to use ITR-2 instead of ITR-1.