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How to file your tax returns

Tax-filing rules have changed and the due date is fast approaching. Here's a last-minute guide to filing returns

Vineet Agarwal 

The time to file your returns is just around the corner. By July 31, 2013, all individuals have to file returns for FY 2012-13. But unlike the last time, The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has made some changes to the income threshold above which individuals have to file returns.

In financial year 2010-11 and 2011-12, a notification was issued by the CBDT, said that an individual with income up to Rs 5 lakh did not have to file tax returns, subject to certain conditions. The has not issued any such notification in FY 2012-13 and has clarified that returns have to be filed. Hence, for FY 2012-13 individuals earning more than the basic exemption limit (Rs 2.5 lakh for senior citizens and Rs 2 lakh for other tax payers) and up to Rs 5 lakh have to file returns. They can file it in hard copy or electronically.

Individuals earning above Rs 5 lakh are required to file returns electronically. Last year this limit was Rs 10 lakh.

Other changes and the implications
From financial year 2012-13, the IFSC code has to be mentioned and bank account details have to be given in all returns. This will expedite the refund processing mechanism and ensure speedy receipt of refunds

If you have exempt income like dividend, agricultural income, etc, above Rs 5,000, you have to file 2. This will help better monitoring of the tax office and obtaining more details from individuals with exempt income of Rs 5,000.

Disclosure of assets
From financial year 2012-13, it is mandatory to disclose personal assets and liabilities for partners and businessmen under Schedule AL where income exceeds Rs 25 lakh. This may require reporting of personal assets such as property, deposits, jewellery, motor vehicles etc. You will also have to use appropriate forms to file your tax returns based on the type of income you have received during the financial year.

Implications for not filing within the due date
If you are unable to file the returns on time, you can file a late return within a year from the end of the assessment year, provided an assessment year has not yet begun. However, its important to note that if return is not filed within the due date, it cannot be revised. Moreover, there will also be interest implication of 1 per cent of the tax due under Section 234A and you will not be able to carry forward losses from business and profession or capital gains. Tax payers with income up to Rs 5 Lakh have to file tax returns, and tax payers with income exceeding Rs 5 Lakh should file electronically. Keeping in view the governments inclination towards technology, the filing of returns is becomes speedy and hassle-free exercise for the ordinary man or woman.

Steps for e-filing:

  • Create your e-filing account on the Income Tax website and register yourself.
  • Download the Form 26AS. Form 26AS is a consolidated tax statement which summarises the amount paid against each PAN number.
  • Download the income tax return form from the website.
  • Fill the details in the tax form which will include your name, PAN, complete address, date of birth, e-mail ID, mobile number, etc. Also fill the details of income earned and tax deducted / paid.
  • Validate the details by clicking on the validate button provided on all sheets.
  • Calculate your tax liability and if any tax is payable, deposit the tax and update the form.
  • Generate the XML file by clicking on Generate XML.
  • Submit the income tax return by uploading your return. V will be generated.
  • Sign the V in blue ink and send it to the Income Tax Department - CPC, Post Bag No - 1, Electronic City Post Office, Bengaluru by ordinary post or speed post within 120 days.
  • Check your emails for an acknowledgment of the receipt. You will also receive an SMS on your mobile number acknowledging the receipt.

The author is a Director in KPMG. The views expressed are personal.

First Published: Sat, July 27 2013. 21:25 IST