Fintotal News Analysis | Who Needs to File Tax Returns in 2013?
Who Needs to File Tax Returns in 2013?
Ruby Jacob, 19 Jul 2013

There is less than 2 weeks left to complete the annual tax filing ceremony, yet a good number might still be left to do it. This year the tax department has introduced new changes in the applicability of ITR forms and threshold income for online filing of returns. Here are a few questions commonly encountered.

Do I need to file tax returns this year?

Everybody whose income is above the taxable limit is required to file their tax returns. So, for assessment year 2013-14 if your income in the previous year has been Rs 2 lakhs or more, you need to file tax returns. 31 July is the due date by which returns should be filed.

Filing tax returns is no herculean task. It is just a simple activity of tallying your income tax liability with tax payment for the year. If you paid extra you claim a refund; if less has been paid you pay it as self assessment tax. Wealth tax return is also supposed to be filed along with income tax returns, if your net wealth exceeds Rs 30 lakhs.

Do I need to file returns online?

If your taxable income is over Rs 5 lakhs then assessment year 2013-14 onwards you have to file returns online mandatorily. The government's intention is to bring more and more people under the e-filing net and this is a positive step both for you and the tax department since e-filing increases transparency in the system and also makes the whole process faster and economical.

This may sound a big deal for those who are not regularly used to the internet but e-filing is not complicated. You can do it yourself without assistance, especially ITR-1.

To get started log on to www.incometaxindiaefiling.gov.in, register with your PAN as user ID. Once registration is complete you can file return by selecting the appropriate ITR form. On completely filling and uploading the xml file, ITR V will be sent to your registered email. Get a print out, sign it and send by ordinary post to Bangalore office of CPC within 4 months. That's it, you're done.

Which ITR to use?

No matter how much the income, whether to file return in ITR 1 or ITR 2 depends on your sources of income. This is tabulated below

Form

Use if income is from

Don't use if

ITR 1

Salary/pension, 1 house, interest, dividends

Having income from more than 1 house, capital gains from shares, mutual funds, property, loss from house or other sources, lottery winning, race horses, foreign assets, business or profession;

Claiming relief on double taxation

ITR 2

Salary/pension, house/s, capital gains, income from other sources like interest, dividend, lotteries, card games, horse race, etc, loss from house or other sources

Having income from business or profession

If you have home loan, you might have to file in ITR2 since interest repayment can give loss from house property if interest payment is more than income from house (income is nil in self occupied house).

Further, from this year, if your total exempted income like savings account interest, PPF interest, equity dividends etc (but excluding salary exemptions like HRA, LTA etc) is over Rs 5,000 in 2012-13 you should use ITR 1 instead of ITR 2.

What if I make mistakes in tax filing?

If you discover you made some errors in your submitted tax returns, there is no need to worry. You can file a revised return any time before the end of 31 March 2014 unless the return has already been assessed by the officer. For this benefit the return should have been filed by due date; late filers are not entertained! If the assessing officer detects errors he can return the defective return back. All you have to do is correct the errors and file the return again, without panicking.

Summary

If your income after deductions in 2012-13 was Rs 2 lakhs or more you need to file returns this year by July 31. If it was more than Rs 5 lakhs you need to file returns electronically. If you miss the due date you cannot revise the return, cannot carry forward any losses and refunds will also be delayed, so better be on time!

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