Last Updated on Jan 24, 2022 by Manonmayi

Filing for income tax returns can be a cumbersome process. It requires considerable time, loads of paperwork and other prerequisites. The government of India (GOI), keeping in mind the same, usually provides a window of four months for filing income returns. 

However, the post-pandemic recovery and glitches in the new income tax portal this year has led the government to delay the last date for tax filing to 31 December 2021. All responsible citizens are required to provide details of the income earned during the previous year, supported by documentary evidence. 

Following is a detailed read, listing the documents needed for filing an ITR, explaining what kind of documents are required and who needs to procure them.

This article covers:

Choosing an appropriate ITR form

There are seven ITR forms available in total, each with a different set of requirements. Filing returns using the wrong ITR form could lead to mismatched returns and deductions. And thus it is paramount to carefully choose the most suitable ITR form for you. 

Since the new portal has gone live, the income-tax department has provided the facility of pre-filled forms. A pre-filled form has all your available details already filled, with a correction facility available. However, you can choose a normal ITR form if it suits your convenience.

The GOI has announced that in case of failure to link Aadhaar (a 12-digit identification number issued by the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) with PAN (Permanent Account Number – 10-digit alphanumeric number allotted by the I-T department), your PAN will become inoperative. The last date for linking Aadhaar with PAN was 31 September 2021, however, it has been extended until 31 March 2022.

Form 26-AS

It can be downloaded from your income tax portal. Form 26-AS can, in simpler terms, 26-AS is like a passbook for all the taxes paid (on your behalf) and taxes deducted from payments (received by you). 

It also reflects the details of self-assessment tax paid, advance tax paid, and tax refund received by you in the financial year.

Chapter VI A deductions

Chapter VI A deals with various subsections of Section 80, including Section 80C, 80D, 80G, 80CCD, etc., that allow an assessee to claim deductions from their total gross income. 

These sections cover a range of charity expenditures, tax-saving investments, permitted expenditures, and donations that reduce your tax liability. Most of these sections promote the habit of investing among individuals by offering them tax benefits under some specified investments. Make sure you have the original receipts for these investments, expenses, in case documentary evidence is required for proof.

If you wish to claim deductions under any of the above-mentioned sections, you would need to furnish the following documents (as proof):

Documents for salaried assessees

There’s a general bias prevailing that Form 16 is all you need for filing returns if one is a salaried assessee. Though in the majority of the cases, Form 16 is sufficient enough, still following documents need to be presented to avoid defaults. 

Form-16: It is a salary certificate issued by the employer containing details of salary paid, deductions, and tax deducted. Form-16 makes filing of income tax returns a lot more convenient, as one only needs to furnish only the details already present in Form-16.

Monthly salary slips: These slips are required to ascertain the month-wise breakup of income. 

Pension certificate: Since pension is considered a taxable income in the hands of the assessee, eligible assessees should check pension certificates. 

Arrears in salary: Assessees should check for any salary received in arrears because arrears increase the salary for the assessment year, and consequently the tax liability for the year under consideration. To save yourself from paying higher taxes on arrears of salary, Section 89(1) is introduced, which provides relief from paying higher taxes on dues of past years included in the current year’s income. 

Assessees should mandatorily file an additional form called Section 89(1)10E to save themselves from paying additional tax on the arrears by claiming relief under Section 89(1).

Bank account details

Providing your banking details is a must when filing returns. You must provide details of all bank accounts held by you in the financial year, even though you may have closed some of them. 

Make sure you provide up to date information regarding your bank account, especially when you are eligible for a refund because your refund amount will be transferred by the government in the bank account you’ll provide after your return is processed and verified. 

Details of your bank account include:

  • Bank name
  • Account number
  • Account type 
  • IFSC code

Conclusion

Collating and single filing all the documents required for filing your income tax returns will save you from any last-minute troubles and, most importantly, help you present an accurate and fair representation of the incomes earned by you. Make sure to file your income tax returns before 31 December 2021, which is the last date of filing returns without late fees and additional penalties.

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