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Income tax: Common mistakes while e-filing returns

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Electronic filing or e-filing of income tax returns is mandatory for individuals having taxable income exceeding Rs. 5 lakh. It is important that there are zero errors while e-filing and all mandatory columns are filled properly, as erroneous returns will be classified as defective or invalid based on the severity of mistake. If you are going to file your income-tax returns electronically for the first time, it is crucial that you take certain precautions so that your tax return is not rendered defective or invalid.

Most common mistakes while e-filing returns are related to data and behavioural aspects. Through this article we will try to address these mistakes, their implications and steps to avoid them.

1. Behavioural errors
As humans we do not tend to move unless we are neck deep in water. In case of e-filing also, we follow the same instinct and wait till 30th of July to start the process. There are many who will be in the waiting list even on 31st and when they start the process they will start cribbing about the system. Government has made the process very easy and if you avoid last hour rush, 99 per cent of the errors will automatically get fixed. To avoid this last hour rush, it is recommended to e-file your returns one month in advance.

Failing to send ITR-V before deadline
Your income tax return is designated legally filed only when you send a signed copy of the ITR-V form to Income tax Bangalore office. Once you complete the e-filing and submit the return, you are informed about the same, but again the lethargic psychology comes into picture and we start counting the 120 days available at hand. Most of the time, we forget and simply do not send it leading to invalidity of return. To avoid this situation make it a rule to send the ITR-V the next day you file the return. It only takes an hour to post it, so why wait for 120 days.

2. Data errors
These are the most common form of mistakes while e-filing tax returns. They can be primarily classified into personal data errors and financial data errors.

Mistakes in personal data
One needs to register on income tax website before he becomes eligible for e-filing. You need to create a user id, which is your PAN. While e-filing tax returns one needs to furnish personal details like mailing address, DOB, status, email, mobile number. One should ensure that these details are correctly filled in the designated columns. Senior citizens should be careful while filling their date of birth, as any mistake might put them into higher tax bracket.

Mistakes in filling banking data
Furnishing bank account details is mandatory even if you are not liable for refund. Make sure the account number and the name in the bank account match and IFSC code and MICR code, account number etc. are accurate.

Mistakes in filling financial data
While e-filing, one should ensure that the salary details do not contradict tax deducted at source as this discrepancy is one of the major reasons for rejection of returns. Interest income from fixed deposits and income from other sources should be correctly mentioned. Income from house property should also be clearly stated together with short-term capital gains. Income tax from long term capital gains should be mentioned separately even though they are tax exempt. There is a lot of other financial data which needs to be mentioned properly and it's recommended to consult a tax advisor in case of doubt. One also needs to be careful about the income tax form he is picking for filing the return, as there are many for different cases.

Avoiding the mistakes
Although the government has tried to make e-filing through income tax website easy, you might feel uncomfortable as there are a number of data columns which need to be filled. If you are confused, you can seek help from professional tax consulting websites with auto check e-filing software installed. This software makes the e-filing journey easy, error free and less time consuming at a very low cost.

InvestmentYogi.com is a leading personal finance portal.

Disclaimer: All information in this article has been provided by InvestmentYogi.com and NDTV Profit is not responsible for the accuracy and completeness of the same.

Story first published on: July 30, 2013 12:49 (IST)

Tags: Income tax, Filing returns, e-filing

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