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Common questions you may encounter while e-filing your tax returns:

Updated: Mar 19

With the deadline for filing tax returns less than a month away, it is time to start making initial preparations. You can download the forms, keep the relevant documents like Form 16, interest statements, TDS certificates, investment, insurance & home loan details in handy. People usually have few doubts while filing tax returns electronically. Here are some common questions answered about filing e-returns:

  1. Is listing all bank accounts necessary?

The government has made it mandatory to report details of all bank accounts in the ITR form. However, one can avoid giving details of those accounts which are dormant, i.e., not operational for the past 3 years. Note that even if you have not conducted any transaction in a bank account but if it has received dividend or interest income, it will be considered operational. You need to furnish details like number of operational savings & current account, name of the bank, account number, IFSC code, etc. If you fail to disclose all the active bank accounts in your tax return, you can be liable for penalty in case your omission is detected by the IT department.

  1. Is it mandatory to provide Aadhar card details?

Yes, if you have Aadhaar card or if you have enrolled for it, you need to enter details in the income tax return. However, it is not compulsory for those who do not have Aadhaar card.

  1. What if I see a tax due in my return even after all taxes being paid?

When you add up your total income details and calculate the tax liability, chances are you may see a tax due initially while filing up the ITR. You need to reconcile your calculations and check how much TDS has been deducted by your employer on salary income and the bank on interest income. If you have not declared salary income from previous employer, your calculations will show a difference. Further, banks deduct TDS at 10 per cent on deposit incomes. If you fall under the 20 or 30 per cent tax bracket, you are likely to see a tax due in your return. Ensure to declare all income and pay self-assessment tax accordingly.

  1. What if I filed an erroneous return?

Sometimes, in a rush to file returns, tax payers make mistakes. This could be income reported wrongly or incorrect bank details, personal details like address, contact no, etc. You can make correction and file revised return under section 139 (5). For example, if a person has filed his original return for the financial year 2016-17 within the due date which has errors, then he can file a revised return before March 31, 2019 or before the completion of the assessment of the particular financial year, whichever is earlier. For filing the revised return, you will be required to enter the acknowledgement number and the date of filing of the original return in the revised form.

  1. Have not filed returns since past few years. Can I file now?

Some people stop filing tax returns because they have taken a sabbatical or they have retired. Because of the gap in filing returns, there are many assesses who might have received tax notices and they are clueless whether to file returns or not. They feel that filing returns again will call for scrutiny. But this is not true. You can always make a fresh start if you missed filing returns in the past. If you do not respond to the notices from the IT department, the interest and penalty will keep on increasing in case of pending tax liability. So, it is better to file returns of the past years. You can seek expertise of a qualified chartered accountant.

  1. How do I verify my e-filing?

An ITR although filed is not valid until it is verified by the tax payer. Once you have uploaded your ITR, you will receive an acknowledgement number from the tax department on your registered email id. A pre-generated electronic verification code (EVC) needs to be entered in the provided text box. Then, click submit to e-verify. You can also e-verify through net banking or Aadhar number which needs to be mandatorily linked to PAN card.

  1. What if I miss the deadline?

July 31 is the deadline every year by which tax payers are supposed to file their IT returns. If for some reason, you miss the date, you can file belated returns before the end of the assessment year. For e.g., if you miss the deadline of July 31 2017, you can file a belated return by 31st March 2018. Besides failing to file returns, if you have not paid the taxes on time, you will have to pay interest on the tax arrears. You may also be liable to pay penalty of Rs.5,000 for failure to file returns on time.

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