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Ready to meet the ITR rush?

With the July 31 deadline for filing tax returns around the corner, Arnav Pandya gives a few tips to help you navigate the paperwork smoothly.

india Updated: Jul 24, 2007 02:26 IST
Arnav Pandya

Filling in the income tax return form for individuals is a tough task especially for the lay investors notwithstanding the announcements being made about the new returns being very simple. This happens because the forms are difficult to understand unless you are very familiar with the tax terms. Even some chartered accountants are having tough moments in dealing with specific issues related to the filling in of these returns.

The way the new income tax returns (ITR onwards) are structured is that initially basic details regarding the individual have to be given.

This is followed by the summary of the various heads of income that the person has earned during the year. This summary part looks at the consolidated figures. This is followed by the various tax workings including the amount to be paid and the tax already deducted. After this are several pages of schedules where one has to fill in the details for each applicable head of income and then the final figure here is taken to the summary part. In completing the process there are a few things that the individual can undertake.

Determine the return form that you have to fill

Depending upon your income you will be required to fill in a specific return of income. Thus if you have only salary and interest income you will need to file in ITR-1, if there is some dividend or house property along with salary it will be ITR-2 and if you have professional income as a sole proprietor then it will be ITR-4. Get the details of your income and select the right return to start the entire process.

Collect all the required information

All the information related to the return has to be entered on the return because no attachments are allowed. For this purpose the individual must ensure that all the details right from the amount and the type of income to the details of the tax deducted are present in the manner required. This will be helpful because once you have the required information in hand it will be easier to fill it in the appropriate place in the tax return form.

Take one head of income at a time

The best approach to filling in the return form would be to take one head of income and start filling in all the details as required by the return form. Once all the details are entered the final figure here should match against the income that is generated from this area. This will help in navigating the area easier because some details could left out otherwise which will lead to an incomplete return being generated.

Get a tax guide along with you

If you plan to fill in the tax return on your own then get a tax guide along with you that will help you understand some sections with what has to be done. At several places details required by the return is set out in terms of section numbers and hence if one is not familiar with these then there can be a problem in understanding what is actually required. This can lead to a situation where some wrong information is entered or missing out on the information altogether.

Have a backup ready

It is also quite likely that several people might just want additional help or they would find the entire process too confusing and would like to give it to a professional. In such a case have a backup ready where this thing can be actually implemented because it is likely that in the last minute rush, getting someone to help you in time might not be possible. A little bit of care early on will be helpful.