The tax returns season is underway. You must take all steps to ensure your return filing is error-free. For this it is important to file your returns punctually by the July 31 deadline and to keep yourself updated about any changes in the tax filing norms.
If you wait till the last minute to file your returns, you may commit mistakes in a hurry and will have to file a revised return by March 31, 2019. From assessment year 2018-19, if you file your income tax return (ITR) after the due date, you may have to pay a penalty up to Rs 5,000 if you file by December 31 and Rs 10,000 thereafter. For those whose income is under Rs 5 lakh, the penalty is Rs 1,000.
There are several such developments in recent times. To be on the right side of the norms, it is important to file your returns on time.
Take a look at some important changes to ensure an error-free filing well within the July 31 deadline: Change in tax-related rules
Income tax slab rates have changed for AY19. For individuals whose taxable income is between Rs 2.5 lakh and Rs 5 lakh, a rate of 5% would be applied. The tax slab of 20% remains the same for individuals earning Rs. 5 lakh to Rs 10 lakh, and 30% for income above Rs 10 lakh.
If you own more than one home, then till AY18 the entire interest paid on the home loan was allowed as deduction under Section 24B, but now it has been restricted to Rs 2 lakh in a financial year. Earlier, the complete loss from house property was allowed to be set-off without a ceiling, but it is now restricted to Rs 2 lakh in a financial year and the remaining loss can get carried forward for the next 8 years.
Earlier, the holding period to claim long-term capital gain tax on immovable property was 3 years, but from AY19 the holding period has been reduced to 2 years.
The base year to calculate the indexation for ascertaining LTCG was 1981 earlier, It is 2001 from this assessment year.
Earlier, there was no surcharge on an individual’s income, but from this year a 10% surcharge will be applicable if the total income exceeds Rs 50 lakh up to Rs 1 crore. If the income exceeds Rs 1 crore, a surcharge of 15% will be applicable.
Section 87A earlier provided a rebate up to Rs 5,000, but the same has been slashed to Rs 2,500.
Changes in ITR form
Sahaj or ITR-1 form will now require additional details related to salary break-up. It would need details of perquisites, allowances, et al. It would also require detail of income from the property including rental income, tax given to local authority, etc.
In the new ITR form, you have to mention the details of exemption from capital gain separately. For each section such as Sec 54, 54 B, 54 EC, 54 GB, etc you have to mention the details in the relevant column.
ITR 4 has also changed, as it would now need additional details such as secured/unsecured loan details, fixed assets, capital account, etc.
GST details required while filing ITR
Starting this year, you have to specify the exact turnover details mentioned while filing Goods & Services Tax. This can be cross-checked by the Income Tax Department. You also need to mention the GST detail in ITR.
To make your tax filing process an error-free exercise, it is important you keep your documents handy, do your calculations beforehand and file before the July 31 deadline.
Depending on your mode of filing returns - either through a private tax filing portal or through the government one, you should be aware of the form you need to fill. In case it is done through a private portal, the correct form will be chosen for you. If you file via the government website, you will have to manually choose it.
Since the I-T Department has introduced 7 new forms this year, it is wise to have some time in hand to pick the correct form and avoid mistakes.
While filing your returns, you would also require time to verify your tax deducted at source details in Form 26AS. Any mismatch should be brought to the notice of your employer. Again you need time to make rectifications, therefore plan ahead to avoid last-minute rush which can cause errors.
Things to keep in mind Keep all important documents handy while filing returns to save time and to keep errors away. Claim all tax benefits and deductions properly -even the ones you forgot to mention in your tax declaration. Take note of important details like interest earned from recurring deposits and fixed deposits, which are fully taxable at the applicable slab rates. Interest earned up to Rs 10,000 from savings bank account is exempt under Section 80TTA. By being aware about the changes and updates in the tax filing norms discussed above, you can avoid the last minute hassles and have an error-free filing process.
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