ITR e-Filing 2019: The last day to file your income tax return is here. However, there are certain things you need to take care of even after filing your returns.
ITR filing last date 2019: By now most of you would have filed your income tax returns for the Assessment Year 2019-20. The extended due date to file the ITR is ending today, ie. on 31 August 2019. So, if you’ve taken your tax filing down to the wire, it is apparent that you can’t afford to waste any more time if you want to avoid paying a penalty. However, if you are among the taxpayers who have already filed the ITR and now think that their work is over, you might want to rethink. Because here are some important tasks that you should complete after filing your income tax returns.
1. Track your returns
After filing the ITR, you must verify or e-verify the return. Following this, you must track the ITR status on the Income Tax Department website to see if it was processed. Once the processing is over, the ITR status would change to ‘ITR Processed,’ indicating that there was no discrepancy in the returns. The Income Tax Department also sends you a message or notice Under Section 143 (1) stating the acceptance of the ITR or informing if some discrepancy was found.
2. File revised returns if required
According to Section 139 (5) of the I-T Act, if you have filed a wrong ITR in terms of omission or if there is a mistake in the statement, you can file a revised return. While filing the ITR, despite extra care one may make a mistake like mentioning the wrong bank account number, missing some deduction or forgetting to factor in an income. In such cases, you can file a revised return before the end of the relevant assessment year. Any taxpayer who has filed the ITR can submit the revised return within the stipulated period.
Watch: How To File ITR-1 for AY 2019-20 in less than 15 minutes; Explained on Income Tax Portal
It would be important to note here that if you make any errors in your revised ITR too, you can still file another revised return. In fact, each time you submit a revised return you need to quote the details of the original ITR. After filing the revised ITR, verify it and track it like you did while filing the original ITR.
3. Make a list of shortfalls you might have noticed while filing your ITR
It’s not unusual for taxpayers to notice certain shortfalls while filing their ITRs, but they still go ahead and complete the filing process due to lack of time to take further measures. For example, taxpayers realise they could have saved more on their tax outgo by investing in a tax-saving instrument; they could have a capital loss to set-off some of the capital gains to reduce their tax liability, and so on and so forth. As such, you’ll be well-advised to make a list of such things which you missed while filing your ITR this time around, and start working towards making up for the shortfalls to maximise your tax benefits next year.
4. Keep tax records safely
Filing the ITR doesn’t guarantee that the I-T Department won’t issue you notice against it in the future. So, you must keep all the supporting documents such as bills, investment details, and relevant papers safely. Doing so will ensure you respond quickly and efficiently if you receive a notice any time in the future.
The question you may ask here is how long the documents need to be kept for your record. Well, there is no definite period mentioned by the I-T Department to keep the ITR records, but tax experts suggest that as per Section 149, the I-T Department can send a notice to a taxpayer 7 years after the end of the relevant financial year. That means, for example, that in 2019-20, you can get a notice for your ITR filed in 2012-13. However, it is recommended that you store your tax-related documents beyond the 7-year period to avoid any problem in the future as there are some instances when the I-T Department has opened cases as old as 10 years.
5. If you expect a TDS refund, plan on how to invest it
If you’re expecting a tax deducted at source (TDS) refund from the I-T Department, wait before you start spending the money even before getting it in hand. It’s important to understand that a TDS refund is also your hard-earned money and not a gift from the I-T Department. So, the best idea would be to start planning on how you can spend it wisely and not spend it frivolously. You can invest the refund in a tax-saving instrument to minimise your tax outgo for the current financial year, use it to clear outstanding debt, or save/invest it to reach any of your financial goals faster.
Filing your ITR isn’t the end of the returns filing process. You must back up the filing by verifying your returns, checking its processing status, storing your tax-related documents for your perusal in the future, and also taking action on any notices sent to you by the Income Tax Department.
(The author is CEO, BankBazaar.com)