For most salaried individuals, filing tax returns every year meant usually waking up anywhere from, depending on our lassitude, a few days to just a few hours before the deadline to find the previous year’s Form 16 buried in our mailboxes, and forwarding the same to the CA to file returns.
If you fall in the above category (there’s no shame in raising your hand to this, I myself was in this category till a few years back), did you know that this may not be enough and you may not be fulfilling your annual tax-filing duties adequately and completely? From what we have seen, this is mostly an awareness issue among the salaried class.
Sadly, the IT department does not differentiate between lack of awareness and lack of intent when it comes to penalizing you for evading taxes. And in today’s online and digital age, there is enough data for the IT department to identify such “mistakes” – your credit card bills, your bank statements, your real-estate purchase/sales, your loans, etc – all of these are easily interconnected with your PAN and Aadhar, as well as other personal data (phone number, for starters).
Also remember, even if there is no tax due, we have an obligation to report through our IT return our entire incomes, through all sources. Therefore, whichever category you fall into, the attached article by Ashwini Kumar Sharma published in Mint is a timely and ready primer to quickly browse through your books and assets to determine whether there are some incomes that you have inadvertently failed to report.
Some such sources of income which are detailed in the article are – Interest income, capital gains, income from dividends (domestic or foreign), Insurance proceeds, Business income, gifts & inheritances, and income from investments in names of your minor children or spouse. Hence, with the deadline extended, use this additional time fruitfully to have the peace of mind that your IT returns are complete.
Image Credit: Livemint