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How taxpayers should start the ITR filing process

​4 tasks for tax filing preparationGetty Images
​4 tasks for tax filing preparation
The income tax return (ITR) filing deadline for financial year 2019-20 is November 30, 2020. With almost two months left for you to finish the ITR filing process, now would be a good time to prepare and kickstart the process by collecting TDS certificates, if subject to any. TDS certificates should now be available from all deductors. A taxpayer can prepare for ITR filing by ticking off four initial tasks. Here is a look at each task in detail.
​Obtain TDS certificates from deductorsGetty Images
​Obtain TDS certificates from deductors
TDS can be deducted from your income for various income heads or financial transactions. Different types of TDS certificates are issued by different entities such as your employer, the bank etc. Since the last date to issue TDS certificates by any deductor was August 15, 2020, by now, you would have received the certificate for TDS deduction, if any, from your income. If you haven't received it yet, contact the respective deductor at the earliest.
​Most common TDS certificatesGetty Images
​Most common TDS certificates
The TDS certificate for salary payments and details is given by your employer/organization as Form 16. It has two parts- part A caters to all the details of the tax deducted by your employer during the year. Part B consists of your gross salary break-up details such as exempt allowances, perquisites etc. If you have interest incomes from bank fixed or recurring deposits and TDS has been deducted on these incomes paid/accrued to you, then the bank has to issue you Form 16A as well.

Rented out property? If the monthly rental exceeds Rs 50,000, then your tenant would have deducted tax on the rent payable to you and he/she will then have to issue you a TDS certificate, ie. Form 16C. Further, Form 16D is a TDS certificate issued to contractors or professionals if the payment made to them by an individual/HUF during FY19-20 exceeds Rs 50 lakh. The tax is deducted at the time of making payment of a commission, brokerage, contractual payment or profession fee.
​Collect tax-saving investment proofsGetty Images
​Collect tax-saving investment proofs
Due to covid-19, the government had extended the tax-saving deadline from March 31, 2020 to July 31, 2020. It is thus likely that the tax-saving investments made by you after March 31 will not reflect in your Form 16, which is likely to have been finalised by the end of FY19. You must check if this is the case and accordingly collect all the investment documents, corresponding to FY 2019-20, that will be claimed in the tax return. After all, you don't want to pay more than what's your due, right?
​Gather details on other incomesGetty Images
​Gather details on other incomes
When filing ITR, taxpayers are mandated to report all the types of incomes, regardless of whether such incomes are taxable or not. So if you have any income stream other than your salary, such as interest income on FDs, that from sovereign gold bonds, taxable bonds, dividend income from mutual funds, shares etc., you need to have the information on these to be able to report it in your ITR form.
Settling any due taxesiStock
Settling any due taxes
Before you start filing ITR, you need to pay the full income tax that is due. Usually, the last date to pay self-assessment tax is the same as that of ITR filing, i.e. November 30 in this case. CBDT had notified in June, 2020 that individuals with self-assessment tax liability of over Rs 1 lakh for FY 2019-20 should pay the taxes latest by July 31, 2020, otherwise penal interest will be levied at the rate of 1 per cent per month or part of the month, under section 234A of the Income-tax Act, 1961. If your self-assessment tax liability exceeds Rs 1 lakh and you have still not paid it, you should do so as soon as possible to avoid the heavy penal charges.


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