A beginners guide to filing income tax returns on time

NEW DELHI: In a breather for taxpayers, the government has extended the Income Tax Return (ITR) filing deadline by one month till August 31, 2018 from the earlier July 31, 2018.

However, for a beginner, ITR filing may seem like a big deal. If this is your first time at it, here are some pointers to help you sail.

Checklist before e-filing

If you are a salaried employee and have no means of income, things are very easy. Register yourself with a valid email id and phone number at Income Tax department’s exclusive web portal for e-filing. Avoid last-minute registration as technical glitches due to surge in return filing are likely.

Getting documentation right

Salaried employees require PAN number, Form-16 issued by your employer, Form 26 AS to match how much tax is actually deducted, bank statement to calculate interest paid on quarterly basis. If you trade in stocks markets, then you would require statement for that also.

Tax exemptions

The next step is to calculate your exemptions.  If you have invested in your PPF account, have invested in a tax saver mutual fund, have any health insurance policy or life insurance policy in your name, you can claim exemption under 80C. All investment made under PPF, NSC, ULIPS, ELSS, LIC qualify for deductions under Section 80C. The maximum amount that can be claimed under Section 80C is Rs 1.5 lakhs. Also if you have paid for the health insurance of your parents, you can claim exemption.

“Premiums paid on health insurance can be claimed as an exemption from tax. If the premium is paid for parents who are senior citizen (above 60 years) the limit of exemption is Rs 50,000. However if the age of parents is below sixty, the limit of exemption is limited to Rs 25,000,” says Archit Gupta, founder and CEO

ClearTax

Even payment of interest on education loan will also come under exemption. However you will require proof of investment for all the categories listed above. Once you have all the papers its easier for you to calculate all you income based on your salary break up and file your return. It is always a good idea to read all the instructions carefully. Do the calculations first before filling the form and submitting it.

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