It does not come as a surprise that a lot of taxpayers have their hands full, for the most part of the year. Either with work at home, office or business. Amidst all this, should a taxpayer bother himself/herself with filing of tax returns? Is it really needed, or can it be skipped? There are a few questions that might be bugging a lot of taxpayers.
There are two aspects to filing your tax returns. Firstly, it is mandated by the government. Any individual who earns enough to exceed the minimum exemption level set by the government, i.e. INR 2,50,000 must file their tax returns. The second aspect is being a responsible citizen of the country.
Being a responsible citizen, you are already paying your due taxes. Filing your returns only takes it a step further. In fact, there are quite a few benefits of filing your tax returns on time. Here are the major ones.
- Easy loan processing
Though tax returns are not the only criteria, they do play a crucial role when you apply for any loans or major financial transactions. Irrespective of whether you are looking for a two wheeler loan or four wheeler loan or home loan etc. financial institutions would be interested in looking at your income tax returns.
- Easy visa processing
Such is the impact of ITR, that even embassies take a closer look at them. The next time you apply for any visa, providing your ITR would a lot of weight to your application.
- Loss carry forward
Undergoing losses either personally or for a business is quite common. And there are clauses in the Income Tax Act, which allow you to carry forward them. However, you must file your returns regularly to be able to do so.
- Duck penalties
Not filing your returns on time will fetch hefty penalties from the assessment year 2018-2019. The deadline for filing your returns is the 31st of July. When you submit your returns between the 31st of July and 31st of December, you will have to pay INR 5,000 as a penalty. And INR 10,000 for submissions after that.
How to submit ITR?
There are two ways to file your income tax returns. Here are the steps involved in the first method.
- Login to the income tax e-filing website.
- Access e-file -> Income Tax Return.
- Select the correct assessment year and the correct ITR form.
- You can then start filing the ITR with all relevant information from your Form 16.
- It is recommended to review and check twice before clicking on the submit button.
- On clicking the submit button, your ITR will be submitted and you will receive an acknowledgement number.
The second method and the easier one requires you to visit https://myitreturn.com/. Upload your Form 16 and let the system read all the details from the Form. You just need to review all the details and click on submit. You will then receive an acknowledgement number for your ITR.
Once you do have your acknowledgement number, you need to verify your return. Since you have e-filed your return, verifying it online is relatively easy as well. There are different ways by which you can verify your returns.
For starters, you can use the OTP option on the income tax e-filing website to verify your returns. Taxpayers using net banking can avail the facility to verify their returns from the website of their bank.
You also have the option to take a printout of the ITR and send it to the address mentioned in the ITR after signing it. But remember you have 120 days to do the same. The 120-day timeline starts post receiving your acknowledgement.
Failing to submit your verification would result in non-receipt of ITR-V. Where ITR-V stands for income tax return verification. And if you have filed your ITR but haven’t verified it, the income tax department treats it as Invalid e-return.
Essentially it means that you have not filed your return for the specific assessment year. You must file your return again, as the original return after invalid ITR-V is also considered as invalid.
If the Original Return has been rejected at CPC due to any reason :
Case I : 120 days period (with extension, if any) has not elapsed – The assessee is required to send a signed copy of ITR-V again to ""Income Tax Department – CPC, Post Bag No - 1, Electronic City Post Office, Bengaluru - 560100, Karnataka"" within 120 days of uploading the return by ordinary post or speed post only.
Case II : 120 days period (with extension, if any) has elapsed : The assessee is required to file a revised return, however, the revised return filed now will be treated as Original return.
There could be genuine hardships and issues due to which you might not have been able to submit your ITR-V on time. If you belong to this category, you can file for a condonation request, providing details as to why you could not file in the first place. This will ensure you do not have to go through the hassle of filing your returns all over again.
The income tax department will assess the delay request and accept the same if any one of the following conditions is met.
- There is a genuine reason behind not filing the ITR-V.
- The income for which you have filed ITR is not in the hands of anyone else.
- The ITR is correct and genuine.
- How to solve invalid ITR for assessment year?
There are two ways to get out of such a situation. One method involves you having to file your tax return again. The original return will be deemed invalid and the new or revised return will be considered. Alternatively, you can request for a condonation delay. But there are a few criteria that you must meet to qualify for the delay request.
- What are the different ways to verify return?
Depending on accessibility and convenience, you can use any of the following methods.
> You OTP facility on the income tax e-filing website to verify your return.
> You can generate an EVC from your net-banking and use the same in the income tax e-filing website to file your returns.
> Verify your returns using your demat account.
> Use your bank’s verification system to e-verify your ITR.
Or, you can take a printout of the ITR and send it across to the Centralized Processing Center in Bengaluru, after signing the document. The address of which is mentioned in the ITR.