By Chetan Chandak
Taking charge of one’s financial lives is something that every person must do and working women are no exception. In fact, being the custodians of the household budgets for times immemorial they are better money managers. Tax filing is also one such job that they should do on their own without being dependent on their spouse or parents. Nowadays there are many simple, easy, quick, online ways in which you may file your taxes and this is a boon for working women.
There are primarily two ways in which you can file taxes – online and offline. Offline tax filing is allowed only for those who have income below Rs 5 lakh with no refund claims. The only exceptions to this are citizens above the age of 80 years. All others need to file their taxes online. Filing taxes offline even for those who do not earn up to Rs 5 lakh can be a tedious task since this involves paperwork and can be time consuming and prone to errors.
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Women who need to file their taxes should prefer the online route since this will save them the most important thing in their life – TIME. Inevitably a working woman faces many challenges like striking a work-life balance, taking care of house and kids along with work, managing finances, fulfilling expectations of family and work and many more. Amidst all this, filing the tax returns can seem burdensome to a woman. Hence the online route can be the best option.
Income tax returns can be filed online on the incometaxindiaefiling.gov.in website. You can easily file your tax returns using your PAN and date of birth details using the CAPTCHA code on the website. You also need to know how to check your Form 26AS so that you know the exact tax liability or any discrepancy in your taxes due. You need to choose the correct e-filing options on the website and fill in all the details pertaining to your income, taxes and deductions per your Form 16. The website has all the required information to guide you through the e-filing process. This is absolutely safe and free. Once you are done with submitting your ITR, do not forget to verify or e-verify your ITR. The website will guide you through this. Remember that unless you verify your ITR your return is as good as not e-filed.
Alternatively, you have many online tax filing portals that either offer free self-filing option or online assisted services. Retail services are also available where you can walk-in an office and get taxes filed by a professional.
Typically DIY services offered by such portals are self-explanatory and offer all the help required. Some even offer chat support throughout the tax filing process. The online assisted service requires you to submit your tax documents like Form 16 and other documents online and the tax experts prepare and e-file your returns for you.
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The option of taking professional help to file your taxes can prove to be convenient since you may save on the time to calculate and verify your tax liability and other things like deductions, rebates etc. Depending on the income level you may either choose to file on your own or take professional help. If you are in a low income bracket with less assets and investments, then your tax filing will be easy and you can even do it very quickly. In case you belong to the high-income brackets with multiple assets, investments and income avenues then taking professional help is recommended to have peace of mind that you have paid the correct amount of taxes.
It’s time women take up this task and be truly independent in all spheres of their financial lives.
(The Author is Head of Tax Research, H&R Block India)