5 things to know when filing for income tax returns

Want help in filing income tax returns online? Have no idea about Form 16 and Form 26AS credit statement or ITR1 & ITR2? This guide simplifies online tax filing for you.

It is coming around to that time of the year where you need to file for your income tax returns. So, you are armed with the Form 16 you got issued from your employer and ready to file those claims? Are you still a bit fuzzy about certain areas in the process of filing for returns? If that is the case, this article might shed some light on those areas, enabling you to make the whole process of filing for IT returns easy and effective.

Related: How to file taxes online in India

Eligibility criteria

So, first of all, when can we actually file for returns online? You are eligible for e-filing if your annual salary income exceeds Rs. 5,00,000. In this scenario, it is mandatory that you opt for e-filing. If your main source of income, that is your salary does not exceed Rs 5,00,000, but you have additional income sources that eventually push you into the greater than Rs. 5,00,000 bracket, you still need to file online. To put it in a nutshell, if your annual income goes above Rs 5,00,000 any way, through any number of sources, it is imperative that you file for returns online.

If your annual income is reported to be below the Rs. 5,00.000 benchmark and the interest rate for your savings account comes to less than Rs 10,000 you do not have to file online. That being said, you may choose to file online even if you do not come in the eligibility bracket. What needs to be kept in perspective is that you gain access to a quicker response to refund claims.

Getting help

You do not have to go through the process on your own if it really does not sound like your cup of tea. You can have your auditor file it on your behalf and get your signature on the printout. If you are a do-it-yourself person, and you are doing it the first time, you can make use of any of the several paid websites that facilitate the filing of your income tax returns for a small fee. Some of the popular websites include -
  • Myitreturn
  • Cleartax
  • Taxsmile

You can also do it for free if you are using the official income tax website; however, paid websites will provide you a more user friendly platform helping you file returns quicker.

You also need to note that if you are a salaried employee, you are not required to have a digital signature. You could pretty much get the job done by taking a printout of the final copy and forwarding it to the central processing cell in Bangalore.

Picking the right form

There are several forms to file your returns depending on your source of income. You need to be careful when it comes to selecting the appropriate form as an error could result in you having to repeat the process from scratch. When it comes to forms for salaried individuals, there are two kinds of forms, which are:
  • ITR1
  • ITR2
Although these are basically the same, you will have to choose the ITR2 form if you have an exempt income that goes above Rs 5,000 a year.

An exempt income includes allowances like -
  • HRA
  • LTA
  • Conveyance
  • Medical allowances

Basically, if the total deduction from these sources goes over Rs 5000 a year, you will need to use the ITR2 form.

TDS deduction

Regardless of whether you are filing online or offline, you are most probably going to have TDS deducted through various sources - from an employer, a bank, or a company. If you have been issued with a Form 16 or a TDS certificate by all of these sources, you will need to make sure that they are in congruence with the Form 26AS credit statement.

To gain more information on this, just register online with the IT department or log in to your bank account and it will be visible in the menu. Clicking on it will take you to the income tax website by default. You will get a statement that details the summary of tax deductions. This includes advance tax paid or refund that needs to be made by various entities.

Hard copy

When you file your returns online, make sure that the signed ITR V acknowledgement sheet is sent through speed post within 120 days of you filing your return. This is especially important if you are expecting to get a refund. Also, make sure you include your personal email ID so that the taxman has a medium to communicate with you.

Here are some of the other articles to read:How to correct mistakes in online tax returns and How to check income tax refund status online in India

Make the best of the available resources and ensure that you file in your returns on time.

Article by Juana
Juana is a freelance writer publishing with Constant Content and sister sites of Techulator. She writes on a variety of subjects that interest her. She is a voracious reader and that helps her keep abreast with the latest in technology. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Eng. Lit, is a mom, a wife, a homemaker and a qualified teacher.

Follow Juana or read 101 articles authored by Juana

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