You have until July 31, 2023, to file Income Tax Returns (ITRs) for the assessment year 2023-24. Filing ITR is essential regardless of your income. Non-reporting of capital losses in ITR prevents the carry-forward of a loss to the following year. Moreover, late or non-filing ITR attracts interest and late fees, ranging from Rs 1,000 to Rs 5,000. ITR filing is also essential to claim a refund for the tax deducted at source (TDS). Further, it aids in visa and loan applications.
To simplify the process for the taxpayers, the income tax department pre-fills some data in your ITR form, but you must enter other details for ITR filing. Keep your PAN Card, Aadhar card, and bank account details handy before starting the process.
The following documents are necessary for ITR filing.
Bank Statement or Interest Certificate: Keep a bank passbook or statement to calculate interest income on the savings account, fixed deposits, recurring deposits, etc. or get an interest certificate from the bank.
Form 26AS: Download this form from the Income tax department's TRACES website. It contains the TDS and tax collected at source (TCS) details deducted/collected by different authorised entities, including the employer, the bank, or some other entity during the financial year.
Annual Information Statement (AIS): This is a comprehensive statement with all your income details, including TDS/TCS, high-value investments, purchase of properties, interest in a savings account, rent received, dividend, purchase and sale of properties and securities, foreign remittances, and so on.
Form 16: Salaried individuals can use Form 16 for ITR, which the employer provides to employees. Form 16 contains a breakdown of salary details, such as allowances, perquisites, etc., and the TDS deducted from the salary.
Investment Proofs: Keep investment proofs for tax-saving investments such as tax-saver fixed deposits (FDs), equity-linked savings schemes (ELSS), Public Provident Fund (PPF), National Savings Certificate (NSC), Senior Citizens Savings Scheme (SCSS), Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana (SSY), insurance premiums towards life and health cover, donations given, and tuition fees for children paid during the year.
Demat Account Statement:Information regarding dividends from shares or mutual funds can be taken from the demat statement. Further, if you have made any capital gain or loss on the property, you can keep the property sale deed for reference. If you have a home loan, a home loan statement can be collected from the bank to verify the principal amount and the interest component on the equated monthly instalment (EMI) paid on the loan.
Select the assessment year and the appropriate ITR form based on your income source to file your tax returns online. ITR-1 is for individuals with income up to Rs 50 lakh from salaries, house property, other sources, and limited agricultural income. ITR-2 is for individuals and Hindu undivided families (HUFs) with income over Rs 50 lakh, excluding business or professional income. ITR-3 is for individuals and HUFs with business or professional income. Further details of forms are available here.
After entering basic details using the abovementioned documents, the next step is to claim relevant deductions on your taxable income. Declare deductions under Chapter 6A of the Income Tax Act. Sections like 80G, 80C, 80D, and 80E offer deductions for donations, investments, medical expenses, and education loans. Claim exemptions on savings account interest under Section 80TTA.
Also, refer to important rule changes before filing ITR for this assessment year.
The Income Tax Department has set the deadline for ITR filing on July 31, 2023, failing which late payment and other charges will apply. So be advised to file the ITR before the deadline expires.