Filed your Income Tax Return (ITR)? Check if everything has been done right. These steps might help.
The Income Tax Department provides adequate time for every taxpayer to file their Income Tax Return (ITR), pay their tax dues, or claim their tax refunds. You could use a number of tax benefits such as those offered on your Home Loan, tax-saver Fixed Deposit or ELSS Mutual Funds. Many people, however, do not give adequate attention to their income tax obligations and consider their job done after they file their ITRs.
Filing your ITR before the stipulated last date is a wise choice. But unfortunately, you aren’t quite done yet. From filing and verification of your ITR to checking for any notices from the IT department and keeping an eye out for possible tax refunds, all of this should all be a part of your annual routine. Here’s what you should know.
Complete your ITR verification
If your ITR has not been digitally signed, you must send a copy of your signed ITR-V form to the Central Processing Centre in Bangalore. You should do this within 120 days of the filing. This is for the verification of your tax return. Without this step, the tax return process remains incomplete and you cannot claim any refunds. Note that you need to mandatorily file your return online if you have an income of over Rs. 5 lakhs. If you have filed your return online, you can verify your tax return online with an EVC – Electronic Verification Code. You can do this through methods such as net banking, or visiting the ATM (of stipulated banks only), or using Aadhaar OTP on the e-filing website.
Mistakes in tax filing and filing corrected ITRs
If you have filed your ITR within the stipulated due date, you also have the option to file a revised ITR, if required. This means that if you have noticed errors in your filed ITR like any unclaimed deductions or you missed out on reporting an income, you have the option to re-file your ITR to make amends. You can make use of Section 139(5) under the Income Tax Act and correct any error or omission by filing a revised tax return. The last date for filing a revised return is before the expiry of one year from the end of the associated assessment year. So, if you filed your ITR for the Financial Year 2017-18 within the stipulated due date, you can file your revised tax return before 31st March 2020.
Watch out for any emails from the IT Department
Any data mismatch between your ITR and the data of the IT department means that you could get a notice. Filing your ITR and verifying the same is just one part of the process. Watch out for any email communication from the IT Department which may alert you to any problems with your ITR. Earlier, the IT department used to send physical notices but have now moved to email communication. If you fail to respond to the notice within the stipulated period, you could be fined Rs. 5,000 – Rs. 10,000.
Keep an eye on your tax refunds
If you are expecting any tax refunds as per your filed ITR, keep an eye out for them. Filing your tax return on time gives you the benefit of faster tax refunds. Once your ITR is processed, you will get an intimation email under Section 143(1), informing you about the same.
If you think your tax refund is delayed, you can log on to the IT Department’s website www.incometaxindiaefiling.gov.in. Here, go to ‘My Account-My returns/Form’ and check the status of your refunds. You can also login to https://tin.tin.nsdl.com/oltas/refundstatuslogin.html with your PAN number to check the status of your tax refunds. You can do this as per the selected assessment year.
A word on non-declaration
You are well within your rights to revise your ITR if you missed out on providing some information. You can also do this if you detect any manual error in your tax return. Note that the revision process is available only for genuine omissions. Hiding any information deliberately can lead to a hefty fine and imprisonment of six months to seven years as prescribed under Section 277 of the IT Act.
Filing of your ITR is one of the essential duties of every citizen. Once you have filed your ITR, keep a look out for all the points in this article to avoid any miscommunication or adverse experiences with the IT department. Want to start saving taxes for next year? You could try investing in tax-saver Mutual Funds.