Here’s a checklist of basic precautions you should take during and after filing your income tax return.
Get acknowledgement of return filed
Ensure you have got the acknowledgement of your return having been filed. If you have e-filed your return and verified it just after uploading then you would get a one page ‘Indian Income Tax Return Acknowledgement’ on your registered email.
If you have chosen to verify your return later then an ITRV or ‘Indian Income Tax Return Verification Form’ is send to the email ID registered in your e-filing account. Receiving either of these confirms that you have successfully filed your return. If you are filing through a chartered accountant ensure that you get a copy of one of them from him.
2. If you don’t get acknowledgement email
If you do not receive either one of the above after filing the return you can also download them from your e-filing account on the income tax e-filing website. Log-in to your account, click on ‘My Account’ tab and click on option ‘View e-filed returns and forms’.
This option is also available on your Dashboard. After this, a list of ITRs filed you will be displayed and you can click on the ‘Acknowledgement number’ which is hyperlinked and then download the acknowledgement and then the ITR filed by you as recorded on the site.
3. Check ITRV before verifying return
If you have chosen to verify your return later and received an ITRV then check this form carefully to ensure that it reflects the information you filled in your ITR correctly. The ITRV is auto-generated from the return you file therefore most of the information in ITRV is picked from the return you file.
Verify your return (E-verify your return later or sign the ITRV and send it physically to CPC, Bengaluru) only after checking it for accuracy. When you verify your return you are confirming to the IT department that the return is actually filed by you and you verify it as correct.
This is particularly important for those who do not file their returns themselves but via private tax-filing website and chartered accountant firms because legally you are responsible for the information given in your return once you verify it.
4. Ideally, communication email ID and mobile number should be yours
Ideally, the email ID and mobile number given in your return for communication purpose should be the same as those registered in your e-filing account. Further, both these should be yours and not that of the chartered accountant. This will help you keep track of these important communications and preserve them in case you change your service providers.
If you are filing your return using these service providers then ensure that they forward you all the communications -acknowledgements, notices etc-that they receive from the income tax department in relation to your PAN/e-filing account.
5. File through a trustworthy organisation/individual
If you can’t file your return yourself, choose a trustworthy organisation to file your returns for you. Ensure that you have the password to your e-filing account in case it has been created for you by your chartered accountant.
Remember, as you will have to give your chartered accountant complete access to your e-filing account to file your return he will also have the ability to change your password or file anything from your account.
6. Confirmatory mails you must get and keep
Confirmatory emails from the income tax department you must keep with you:
a. ITR acknowledgement or ITRV as mentioned above.
b. Confirmation of verification of your ITR in case you do not e-verify it immediately after uploading and verify it later.
c. Confirmation that the tax department has received ITRV if you send it physically.
Remember that this time the department will start processing your return only after it is verified and also your PAN is linked to Aadhaar. Therefore their mail confirming receipt of ITRV ensures that the return will be taken up for processing once your PAN and Aadhaar are linked.
If you verify your return immediately after uploading it then the acknowledgement generated is also confirmation of verification of the return so you may not get a separate mail regarding this.
7. Form 26AS should show self-assessment tax paid too
If you pay any advance/self-assessment tax, check Form 26AS to ensure that this payment also reflects there (although this may take a week or so to show up in the form). The tax department when processing your return will give you credit only for the taxes that reflect there including any taxes paid directly by you (apart from TDS).
If you have paid your self-assessment tax just before filing your return your Form 26AS may reflect the amount paid some days after you file the return. Even so, you should check and verify that the amount paid shows in Form 26AS after you file the return.