Taxpayers earning income from salaries should ideally plan their investments early as details are required to be provided to the employers. Employers take these investment declarations during the beginning of the year and deduct tax every month. Towards the end of the year, employers ask their employees to provide proofs of actual investments to finalise the employee tax liability.
Most employers have already sent a mandate to employees to provide their proof of investments and some are in the process of sending it. Hence, its important to keep the documents ready so that taxes are deducted correctly. As a thumb rule, while submitting investment proof, you need to ensure the following:
Investment proof being submitted are in your name. The documents can be in the name of spouse/children in specific cases as the Act provides. The documents, receipts, etc, pertain to the current financial year. In case of investments in PPF and bank deposits, ensure that besides the receipt, copy of the passbook page showing the deposit entry is also submitted if required by the employer. The documents have to self-attested if required by the employer.
If you are claiming exemption from House Rent Allowance, then you will be required to submit the rent receipts. Landlords PAN is also required to be mentioned in case the rent exceeds R2 lakh per annum. Your employer may also insist on a lease deed or bank details to ensure that the amount has been genuinely paid to claim the exemption.
From FY13, a new deduction is available under Section 80TTA of the IT Act where a deduction up to R10,000 can be claimed for the interest earned on savings bank account. While declaring your interest earned on savings bank account, you can request your employer to provide this deduction.
Additionally, an individual can invest in the Rajiv Gandhi Equity Savings Scheme and claim tax benefit under Section 80CCG of the IT Act. Tax benefit is available for investment up to R50,000 and the tax deduction is 50% of the amount invested, subject to certain conditions. You should keep the necessary documents of the investment made and avail this deduction.
In many cases, it may be possible that your insurance premium payment date falls after the timeline provided by the finance department. Employers recognise this problem and, therefore, usually accept copies of the previous years receipts with a signed declaration for the date of investment. In such a case, the actual proof of investment in the current financial year needs to be submitted before March. In case of failure to submit the proof of investment, the employer may not provide you tax deduction.
It is a good practice to keep copies of the original documents with you. This can come handy in case of any assessment from the I-T office later.
The author is director, KPMG. The views expressed are personal