Common mistakes people make when filing income tax returns

Incorrect filing of tax returns will lead to many troubles. It’s better to file return correctly as well as on time to ensure mental peace

K Ramalingam

All those who have taxable income are required to file their return. Also, those with income above Rs 5 lakh have to compulsorily e-file their return from assessment year 2013-14. It’s very important to file error free Income tax Return to avoid future problems. Let’s see the most commonly committed mistakes those could be avoided.

Incorrect personal details:  
Every year a large number of returns are rejected for incorrect personal details like name, bank account number, IFSC code and address. This leads to delays in refunds. So please be sure to fill correct personal details.

Mistakes in claiming deductions under section 80C:
Many of us think that employer’s contribution to EPF has to be included in claiming sec 80C benefits. It’s incorrect. Similarly only the principal repaid on housing loan is eligible for sec 80 C. Many other deductions are claimed under wrong heads leading to their rejection and consequent arising of tax liability.

Failure to include certain income:
There are certain incomes which are left out erroneously. These could be
Interest from Bank FD. Yes the interest on FD is taxable, 
Income from investments made in name of spouse/children.
Income from previous employer

Interest Income on savings account:
Though interest received in savings account up to Rs 10000/- a year it is not taxable, the interest received has to be mentioned in the return under the head ‘Income from other sources’ and claim exemption.

Non reporting of exempt income:
‘Exempted Income’ like the PPF (Public Provident Fund) interest, dividends, LTCG (long term capital gain) from equities, maturity proceeds of insurance policies need to be mentioned in the separate annexure of ITR (income tax return). This will reduce unnecessary income tax queries later.

Failure to account for more than one property:
These days many of us own more than one property. These may be self occupied or vacant. However as per the IT Act 1961, only one property can be claimed as self occupied. The other property is taxed at realisable municipal rates after deducting 30% for taxes and repairs.

Discrepancy in TDS details:
Many of us file returns without verifying Form AS26 credit of TDS (tax deducted at source) held with IT Department. If your employer or anyone else who has deducted TDS does not deposit the same with IT Department or fails to mention your PAN Correctly, that amount will not reflect in from AS26 leading to default. Hence do check that credit for TDS deducted has been mentioned in Form AS 26. If there is a problem take timely action to rectify the same.

Failure to pay advance Tax or self assessment tax:
Many of us have income from sources where TDS is not applicable. The individual is required to calculate the tax liability and pay Advance tax or self assessment tax before the closure of financial year, ie, 31st March. The failure to do so will attract penalty of 1% per month from 01 April next financial year. At times people file returns without paying the applicable penalty.

Filing of incorrect ITR Form:
Many are unable to choose the correct IT Form due to lack of knowledge. To illustrate, let’s say you are a salaried person, having owning one house, get some tax free allowances and getting interest on savings account. You may feel that you need to fill ITR 1. This is correct only if exempt income during the financial year is less than 15000. If it is more than Rs 15000 then you are required to file ITR2.

Failure to dispatch ITR V in time:
If you do not have digital signature while e-filing IT return, it is mandatory to send duly signed ITR V to CPC Bangalore by ordinary or speed post only. Sign the ITR V in blue or black ink in the box provided. The ITR V has to be sent within 120 days of filing of return. If you fail to do so within stipulated time your return will be treated as null and void.

Incorrect filing of tax returns will lead to many a headaches and troubles. This is not what we want. So please avoid above mentioned mistakes. If you are not confident of filing return all by yourself please seek professional help. It’s better to file return correctly as well as on time to ensure mental peace. Happy filing of return! 

The writer is the chief financial planner at Holistic Investment Planners  

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