With the July 31 deadline for income tax return filing only a few weeks away, it is time to gather all your tax-related documents for a smooth tax filing process. This will not only speed up your filing process, but also reduce the chances of unforced errors and missed details.
Here are all the important tax-related documents that you must keep handy before filling your ITR for the financial year 2017-18 or the assessment year 2018-19:
1. General Documents
Whether you are a salaried individual or self-employed, there are some documents common for all. These documents are required every time you file your ITR. Hence it makes good sense to keep them together in safe custody for future reference as well.
# PAN: PAN is the most important financial detail required for all your tax related information. This number acts as a user ID for the e-filing website of the Income Tax Department too. While you just need to know your PAN number and do not require the physical card, it is important to keep the physical copy of PAN safe.
# Aadhaar: Just like your PAN card, you also need your Aadhaar number for easy ITR filing and e-verification using Aadhaar-based OTP. The e-verification can only be done if your Aadhaar is linked to your registered mobile number and the former is linked to PAN as well.
# Bank Account Statements: You will need to have all your bank account statements for the relevant financial year before calculating your overall tax liability. You need to especially keep an eye for any high-value transactions done through your accounts which you will need to report.
# Original ITR for revised ITR filing: Those filing a revised ITR for any previously missed entry or a correction must know that the copy of the previously-filed ITR is needed for filing a revised ITR.
2. Form 16
Form 16 is also known as a salary certificate issued by the employer for every salaried individual. It contains the details of salary paid, tax deducted at source, exemptions, deductions etc. For those having switched jobs in a financial year, make sure you have Form 16 from all previous employers with you. In case you don’t, keep your salary slip handy to tabulate your salaried income and add it to the total taxable income while filing ITR.
3. Form 16A
Form 16A offers details of all TDS certificates on incomes other than a salary income. Many freelancers, self-employed individuals doing project-based works with TDS deductions are issued Form 16A for tax deducted by their clients for work-related payments.
4. Form 12B
Any individual joining a new company in the middle of a financial year should submit Form 12B with the new employer as per rule 26A of the I-T Act. Although it is not mandatory to submit Form 12B, it helps as the new employer gets details of the individual’s previous financial information. The new employer can then release a consolidated Form 16 before the end of the financial year.
5. Form 26AS
Form 26AS is a tax credit statement or an annual statement released by the Income Tax Department. Form 26AS includes details of all taxes paid by you or on your behalf including any advance tax or self-assessment tax. Form 26AS can be downloaded from the TRACES portal of the IT Department.
6. Investment Documents
Documentations for investments especially those in all tax saving instruments like health insurance, life insurance, donations to various charities, loan repayments, tax-saving FDs etc. should all be put together in one place to ensure full utilization of tax deductions on offer.
7. Interest Certificates
Interest certificate is a form detailing TDS on all your fixed deposits. Interest certificate can be useful especially when using Form 15G or 15H for reversal of TDS for either a nil taxable income for the FY or for senior citizens availing deductions.
(The writer is CEO at Bankbazaar.com)