filing income tax yourself guide

If complex tax forms and tax terms bewilder you, let's break down your return filing process in segments. By taking these small, careful steps, you will be on a roll with your return filing this year.

Step 1: Get hold of your Form 16
Form 16 is a certificate your employer gives you when the TDS deducted on your salary is certified. Form 16 has most of the information you need to fill in your return. PAN and TAN details of your employer, name and address of your employer and similar details for you are mentioned which have to be filled in the return. You will see a number which is your 'total taxable salary' and that is the number you will have to pick to submit under the head salary in your return. Several tax filers allow you to upload your Form 16 and with that all this information gets picked up automatically in your return.

Step 2: Find out your income other than salary
Most of us earn a savings bank account interest or have some fixed deposits put away. This interest earned has to be added to your return under income from other sources. Get hold of your bank statement or look up online for credits to your account by the bank towards interest in your savings account. Most online banks also show a fixed deposit statement, where you can see the interest earned during the year. If you have any other bonds you subscribed to, where interest is accumulated, add this interest to your return. As a thumb rule, offer interest income on deposits and bonds when it is accrued each year, rather than when it is paid on maturity.

If you have taken a home loan to own a house and you live in that house, you get a deduction for the interest for the financial year. The interest amount is your loss, which will get adjusted against your salary and other income. If you have rented out your house, the rental income is offered for tax. You can deduct property taxes paid by you and a standard 30 per cent from the net amount (rental income less property taxes) is also allowed. For a rented property the entire interest on home loan is deductible. You'll also need to provide details of the property, address, date of construction, information about co-owners etc.

Step 3: Make sure you have included all the deductions
Deductions are allowed from your gross income under sections 80C to 80U. With the help of these deductions, you will be able to reduce your gross income and consequently pay lower tax. You will find these in your form 16. However, if you are eligible to claim certain deductions and you have not disclosed them to your employer, you can claim them at the time of filing your return. Say, if you deposited Rs 40,000 in PPF and could not share this with your employer or paid life insurance premium about which you could not intimate your employer; claim them in your return. Medical insurance premium payments are eligible to be claimed under section 80D and 80G; provided you meet the conditions listed in the relevant sections.

Step 4: From the total tax payable adjust your TDS details
Whatever TDS has been deducted from your various incomes by employer, banks or anyone can be reduced from your total tax liability. After all, this is the tax which has already been deducted from your income and deposited against your PAN. Goes without saying, including the income in your return on which TDS is deducted is essential. You can find out details of all the TDS deducted in your Form 26AS. If you have yourself deposited some tax to the government, you'll be able to find that information in it too.

Step 5: Make sure all your personal details are accurate
Your PAN, email address, bank account details (mention the account where you want to receive refund, whether or not any refund is due), and all the other information must be accurately provided by you in your income tax return. Allocate some time to review it properly.

Step 6: Review and e-file
Once you have done the above, now review your entire income tax return form. Remember if there is tax due, you have to first pay that tax and only then you can e-file successfully. Make the payment of any tax that is due. Review incomes, deductions, TDS and other information. You are now ready to e-file your return.

Step 7: Do remember to send your ITR-V
Sending your ITR-V is a critical and important step to conclude successful e-filing. It has to be printed out, signed and sent to CPC, Bangalore via speed post. The income tax department is working on a process to verify it via 'Aadhaar', details are awaited shortly. Don't miss this very important step. more  

View all 11 comments Below 11 comments
Yash Ji. ITR 1 is applicable to you and ITR 4 (Applicable in case of income from Business & Profession) in case of your wife. For any detailed discussion you may write at e-mail: more  
Now a days the filing if IT return is very easy and we need not go to a tax consultant.If you are computer literate you can try yourself. more  
Sir, Could you please advise which form to use -- (a) I get pension and have income from FDs and exempt income from tax free bonds. (b) My wife is providing tutions ( Income from profession ) ,FDs ,exempt income from Tax Free Bonds and also got income by selling some shares obtained 10 years back after death of my father ( capital gains ) Will be grateful for the advise as no new forms introduced this year appears to be applicable to my wife where as ITR 1 seems applicable to me but I filled ITR 2 last year as that contained column for filiing the exempt income and ITR 1 did not had such column and I had also made small capital gains by selling a small hohse . more  
It is Good step by the consultant.whether he is a tax consultant? more  
I agree Mr. Subramanyam. more  
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