We have two types of taxes in India – Direct Tax and Indirect tax.
Direct Tax is a tax that is calculated directly on your Income e.g. tax on salary etc. Income tax is a Direct Tax.
Indirect Tax is a tax that is indirectly charged. And is put on goods or services. So if you are purchasing a mobile phone or a new suit. Most indirect taxes have now come under Goods and Services Tax (GST).
Income Tax (Direct Tax)
Anyone earning an income above a certain amount is subject to income tax. The income could be from salary, rent, and interest income from savings, income from mutual funds, sale of property or business or professional income. Income tax rates are decided at the start of the financial year in the Union Budget (in the Parliament of India). The tax paid on these incomes is called the income tax.
Income Tax Return
It is simply a form to be filed with the Income Tax Department. A Form to be filed as a statement of income earned. It is arranged in such a way that calculating tax liability, scheduling tax payments, or requesting refunds for the overpayment of taxes has been made convenient for the taxpayers. They must, first, determine the type of Income Tax Return (ITR) Form they need to fill before actually filing their Returns. Which Form is to be filled, depends on the income that the taxpayer earns. Its purpose is to report our income and taxes paid thereon to the government.
Many investors have very low or zero tax liability and therefore this section does not have to file returns mandatorily. Even though they have some sort of income occurring.
And there is another section that only file returns when something urgent requirement comes up asking for their last few years of ITR. They approach a nearby CA and file their old tax returns.
There has been low-Income Tax filing Compliance in India. However, in recent years, the Govt. of India has taken some stringent measures to enforce the Income Tax Law by linking various benefits for prompt tax filers.
Advantages of tax filing are, but not limited to:
If you plan to travel overseas, proof of earning is required. If you are salaried then a certificate from the employer will work. But if you are self-employed then income proof & details need to be submitted.
Many salaried individuals don’t file ITR as they think that the tax on their income has already been deducted and they have Form 16. But your employer may have paid more tax on your behalf. Not taking into consideration your actual house rent, children’s school fees, tax-saving investments, or insurances. So, the filing of ITR will enable you to get a refund from the IT department.
The capital losses can be carried forward for 8 consecutive years, as per the IT Act.
This helps to establish the income of the person to arrive at appropriate compensation.
Different penalties have been directed for various defaults committed by the taxpayer, under the Income Tax Act. Some of them are mandatory and a few are at the consideration of the tax authorities. Given below are the provisions relating to various penalties leviable.
In case an incorrect form has been used to file the returns, then it will be treated as “defective” and the assessee will be asked to file a revised ITR using the correct form.
Now, the taxpayer gets some time to amend the mistake. And the return must be filed within 15 days from the date of receipt of the intimation, as per Section 139(9). This time limit may be extended by the assessing officer (AO) on an application by the assessee. If the defect is not corrected within the stipulated time, then it will be treated as an invalid return. That is the same as not filing a return at all.
Therefore, the person will be facing all the penalties prescribed to not filing ITR. As well as, interest will get charged, u/s 234A, for the delay.
If it is found that the actual income exceeds the income declared by the person. Or when no return has been filed despite income exceeding the basic exemption limit. Penalty at 50% of tax payable on such under-reported income shall be payable.
200% of the tax will get if under-reporting results from misreporting of income.
As per Section 234F of the Income Tax Act, if you file after 31st July (it was extended to 31st August for AY 2019-2020) but before December, a penalty of Rs. 5000 will be levied. For returns filed after December, the penalty will be Rs. 10,000.
However, to provide relief to small taxpayers, the IT department has stated a maximum penalty of only Rs. 1,000 will get levied. The condition is that your total income is less than Rs 5 lakh.
Penalty for Default
In case a demand notice u/s 156, has been issued to the taxpayer for payment of tax (other than notice for payment of advance tax). Then such amount, as per section 220(1), shall be paid within 30 days of the service of the notice at the place and to the person mentioned in the notice. If the taxpayer defaults in payment of any tax due, then apart from other penal provisions, he is treated as an assessee in default. For an assessee in default, the penalty will get levied as decided by the AO. However, the penalty cannot exceed the amount of arrears in tax.
Before penalizing, the taxpayer is given a reasonable opportunity of being heard. No penalty is levied if the taxpayer can prove that the default due to a good and sufficient reason.
Delay in filing the TDS/TCS statement
Every person liable to deduct tax at the source is liable to furnish the statement of TDS, as per Section 200(3). It is termed as TDS Return. And every person liable to collect tax at the source, as per Section 206C (3), has to file a statement in respect of TCS, i.e. TCS Return.
If a person fails to file the TDS/TCS return on or before the due date prescribed, then he shall be liable to pay, by way of fee, a sum of Rs. 200 for every day of the delay, as per Section 234E. This amount, however, shall not exceed the amount of TDS/TCS. A late TDS/TCS return cannot be filed this late fee.
Penalty in case of income from undisclosed sources
The AO may make an addition to the income of a taxpayer as per Section 68, 69, 69A, 69B, 69C, or 69D if the explanation about the nature and source of his income is not satisfactory.
The AO is empowered to levy penalty at the rate of 10% of the tax payable if any addition is made. However, no penalty shall be levied if this income has been disclosed in the ITR and tax paid, u/s 115BBE, on or before the end of the relevant previous year.
Fee for default in furnishing return of income
The taxpayer, who is required to furnish ITR u/s 139 failed to furnish a return of income within the due date as prescribed under section 139(1) then as per section 234F, he will be liable to pay penalty same as delayed filing.
However, if the total income of the person is less than Rs. 5 lakh then the fee payable shall be Rs. 1000.
Listed below are some of the most common tax filing mistakes you can avoid.
The appropriate ITR form for filing of returns must be selected. Failure can result in your return not getting processed by the income tax department.
Which form is to be selected depends on the sources from which income is earned in the financial year and the category.
All incomes that are taxable and/or tax-exempt are to be reported using the correct ITR form applicable. If the ITR is filed in the wrong type of Form, then the return will be termed as “defective”. Then, you will have to file a revised return using the correct form, within a certain time frame.
By using the LegalRaasta e-filing platform, where the selection of form is done technically, you do not have to worry about choosing the right form.
A common mistake taxpayers make is failing to disclose all the sources of their income. The income must be disclosed whether it is taxable or exempt.
All incomes, not only the primary one earned from employment, profession, or business, are to be reported. Whether they are savings account interest, fixed deposit interest, rental income from house property, income from short-term capital gains, and any other source.
Remember, any income earned by a minor from interests, investments, etc. is taxable for the parent. According to the tax slab, an exemption up to Rs. 1,500 u/s 10(32) can be claimed when a minor’s income gets clubbed with the parents.
Not reporting such incomes might attract notice from the income tax department.
If you have switched jobs, make sure you report the income earned through your previous employer also. Not reporting such incomes might attract notice from the income tax department.
Because all information will get recorded in the Department’s databank and may be verified, it is extremely important to enter the personal details correctly before filing your taxes. PAN number, name, address, mail id, phone number, date of birth, bank account number, IFS Code, etc. must be accurately mentioned. A minor mistake in these details means that you may miss your refund claim or some other important notifications. So check and re-check before filing.
It is important to compare ITR with Form 26AS before filing. Form 26AS includes all the income details, Tax Deducted at Source (TDS), advance tax paid by you, self-assessment tax, etc. TDS may have been deducted from your salary. You must verify the details of Form 16, issued by the employer, with the Form 26AS.
If the TDS is not reflected in Form 26As, your refund and tax deduction credit will be lost. The mismatched would lead to more tax being paid.
Income tax laws require all income to be reported, whether exempt or not. Many types of incomes are exempt from tax. For example, long-term gains, dividends, etc. Although you do not have to pay any taxes on them, you still need to report them.
Also, though your gross total income may not exceed the basic exemption limit, you are to file ITR in certain situations.
There is a set format for filing returns. All details are to be entered in a particular format, in the rows and columns provided. If incorrectly put in this complicated format, the returns will have errors. This is where taking professional assistance from LegalRaasta is recommended.
Employers are required to deduct tax at source from salary, and interest income respectively. It is mandatory to file an income tax return when your annual income exceeds Rs. 2.5 lakh. And report the interest income in those returns. You should disclose the income on which tax has been deducted and claim credit for TDS in the income tax return.
The interest on deposits with banks is provided after deducting a flat tax rate of 10%. You can claim a deduction under section 80TTA up to Rs 10,000 for interest earned on your deposits. For senior citizens, a deduction of interest up to Rs 50,000, can be claimed u/s 80TTB.
A deduction of up to. Rs 1.5 lakh in a financial year by investing in certain funds and schemes. But how much can be claimed from these schemes is complex. Similarly, most taxpayers are not aware of some expenses that are eligible as deductions.
You could use your valuable knowledge and experience. And join hands with the nation’s leader in return filing. LegalRaasta offers the highest commission, accompanied by the lowest processing fee.
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