e-filing rules

May 21 2013, 02:37 IST
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SummaryWith the government making it mandatory for all those with annual income of more than Rs5 lakh to file returns electronically

If you are filing your income-tax returns electronically for the first time, here are a few precautions you must take to ensure that it’s completely error-free

With the government making it mandatory for all those with annual income of more than R5 lakh to file returns electronically, more and more people will now be required to do so. If you are e-filing your returns for the first time, it is imperative that you take certain precautions. First and foremost, it is crucial that there are no errors and all mandatory columns are filled. If there are any errors, the returns will be classified as defective under Section 139 (9) of the Income-tax Act, 1961.

From this year, e-filing is mandatory for even those taxpayers who claim tax-treaty benefit under Section 90 or 90A of the I-T Act. Also, e-filing is a must for taxpayers who claim relief from double taxation under Section 91 of the IT Act in absence of a tax treaty.

There have been some important amendment related to Form Sahaj (ITR 1). A person incurring a loss under the head “other sources” cannot file return of income through this form. Also, residents with assets outside India cannot use Form Sahaj.

While the deadline for filing returns is July 31, to avoid any last-minute hassle, it’s desirable that you don’t wait for the last date. In case of refunds, till last year, it was mandatory to mention the bank account number and the nine-digit MICR code. From this year, the income-tax department has made it mandatory to submit bank details in all cases, irrespective of refunds or not. Also, instead of the MICR code, an assessee will have to quote the IFSC Code, which is an 11-character code for identifying bank branches where online fund transfer can be done and the code is unique for each branch. This is being done in case a refund arises after the I-T department does its calculations.

Most common errors committed by an assesse while e-filing returns are related to data, which includes non-filing of key schedules or giving wrong details. Bank details like account number and the MICR code should be mentioned clearly to ensure quick refunds. Also, tax credits available in Form 26AS should be verified before filing the returns. Any mismatch between Form 26AS and returns filed will be treated as incorrect filing and any anomaly should be taken

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