Paying Income Tax in set periodicities is the responsibility of all citizens who fall in the Income Tax bracket. The Income Tax Department of India has set clear cut rules and periodicities for proper guidance of all Assessees including the first timers. However, the feeling that we are doing something that is closely governed and unfamiliarity with the tax filing process makes people tensed causing them commit mistakes while filing income tax returns. Such mistakes necessitate claiming refund of the excess tax deducted from the Assessee. Let us look at step by step guide to claim Income Tax Refund in a detailed manner.
Step – 1
Be aware of the Income Tax terminologies and Income Tax filing date
Being aware of the Income Tax terminologies is one of key requisites to understand the returns filing process completely. Income Tax Returns filing involves two years in total. One is the Financial or Fiscal year for which the tax is being processed. The other is the Assessment year during which the tax for the previous Fiscal year is being paid. For instance, the period between 1st April 2007 and 31st March 2008 is considered as Financial or Fiscal year. Income tax filing for the period 1st April 2007 and 31st March 2008 must be done before 31st July 2008. The vast extent of time provided both for assessing as well as filing must be used for handling things in a collected manner to avoid making mistakes during the filing process.
Step – 2
Perfect documentation is the key
Claiming refund for the excess tax deducted mainly depends on the proof of records you are able to submit at the time of filing Income Tax. The document proof that need to be submitted while filing Income Tax returns mostly depends on the investments made on a case to case basis. Some documents that are common for proper consideration of tax filed are Investment proof like bills and vouchers, Form 16 generated by the Employer, Salary statements, Interest paid certificates, Bank statements, Statements showing business Income, 26AS tax credit extract document, donation receipts and Insurance documents. Missing any of the documents that act as a proof for Tax Savings may lead to excess payment of tax at the time of filing returns. Ensure you file all relevant documentation in a periodical manner so there no hassles in submitting the same at the time filing returns.
Step – 3
Filing the Income Tax return
The next logical step is to file Income Tax Return. There are various types of forms to fill, It is important to fill in the relevant form in a complete manner without leaving out any spaces blank. Fill in your name and address in the space allocated for the same. Ensure you fill in the tax details like your total annual income, their sources, total taxable income for the fiscal year, TDS to be paid if any, refund amount due to be received by you etc. in the respective column allocated for the same. The form(s) are actually guiding in nature and so filling in will not be a difficult task even for first time tax filers.
Step – 4
Identifying the Refund amount
Filing Income Tax Return online automatically provides the Refund amount after taking into consideration all the income and investment details you enter. If the income you earn and investments you have made weigh over that actual tax you need to pay for the total income you earn during the year, the excess amount deducted will reflect in the refund column. This amount can be easily identified on clicking the ‘Validate’ button provided for the purpose in the ‘Taxes Paid and Verification’ screen. When the screen displays the refund amount that you deserve to receive make a note of the same. Ensure a copy of the ITR Form generated is retained for future reference in your files.
Step – 5
Send the signed form to the Income Tax Department
When you click on the ‘Validate’ button that the ‘Taxes Paid and Verification’ displays, you will get information about the refund amount you deserve to get back from the Income Tax Department. Note the amount and print the ITR Form generated. Sign in the specific column allocated for the same. Seal it in an envelope and write the address of the Income Tax Office specified underneath the form. Ensure the cover is sent either through Speed Post or Ordinary post only since Income Tax Department specifically mentions this as a requirement. Signed Form sent through any other mode will be rejected and the concerned Income Tax filing will be considered as void.E-Verification can be done by Aadhaar based otp system and Internet Banking Also.
Step – 6
Get your refund after the process is over
The Income Tax Department receives the signed ITR Form from you either through Speed Post or Ordinary Post in the address specified in the form. On receipt of the duly signed ITR Form, the Income Tax Department sends an SMS to your registered mobile number. This SMS is the proof that the Income Tax Department has received your duly signed ITR Form. The Income Tax Department reviews the form to assess the validity of the Refund claimed, After careful consideration of all the relevant aspects with respect to Tax filing and refund details, the Income Tax Department approves the refund based on the same. You will receive pertinent updates about the Refund Process from time to time from the Income Tax Department through the Mail ID or Mobile number provided by you in the form while filing the returns. Following the above given simple steps in a meticulous manner will help you get your Income Tax refund on time without falling into any disputes. Ensure you take utmost care to do everything mentioned in each step above carefully. Take the help of your Chartered Accountant just in case you feel struck in any of the above aspects. Particularly when it comes to maintaining documentary proof for investments, safeguard every little paper sp so they come in handy at the time of filing your Income tax returns.