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Some golden tax-saving tips

July 03, 2009 11:04 IST

It's that time of the year again. Time to get ready with your investments and taxes.

Were you prudent with your investments last year? Did they help you save tax? Or did you end up paying more than you could afford?

What investment mistakes did you make last year? Are there ways to rectify them? What investment options should you go for this year?

What should you do to bring your tax liability to the minimum level?

In an hour-long chat on rediff.com on Thursday, direct tax expert Vikas M Gandhi offered some valuable tips:

Vikas Gandhi says, 
Good evening friends and welcome back to the tax chat session.


sanchita1 asked, My gross tatal income for the financial year 2008-2009 did not exeed Rs.180000. Means my income didn t exceed minimum exemption limit. My question is shall I have to submit retun file to Income Tax department?
Vikas Gandhi answers,  at 2009-07-02 15:25:40Since your total income is within the exemption limit, by law, you are not suppose to file your income tax return. However if you have been regularly filing your Income Tax Return, I would advise you to file your return for this year also, to maintain continuity.
satish asked, Since 2005-2006 i have not filed it return and for 2008-2009 i want to continue filing IT return is there any way?
Vikas Gandhi answers, You can file your income tax return for this year. However in case Income Tax Officer asks the reason for not filing returns for missing years, you may need to satisfactorily answer the same, else you will be penalised. But this does not mean that you should skip filing this year also. If your income is above the exemption limit, you are duty bound to file the return.
Krish asked, I am a salaried employee and also earns commission on distribution of Mutual Funds. What is the tax rate on the commission if the gross commission received is 15000 and expenses relevant are 8000. Please give me your valuable advise.
Vikas Gandhi answers, There is no special rate of tax for commission income. All your income have to be aggregated and determine tax thereafter based on the slab rates applicable.
Krish asked, Kindly clarify. Long term capital gain on sale of shares (held for more than a year) on which securities transaction tax is paid is taxable or not
Vikas Gandhi answers, Long Term Capital Gains on sale of shares on which STT is paid is fully exempt from tax.
satish asked,  Individuals now need to mention a unique transaction number (UTN) against every tax deducted at source entry. What is this ? From When this will be applicable?
Vikas Gandhi answers, For your kind information, mandatory mentioning of UTN in the income tax return has been done away with. So you can go ahead and file your income tax return without bothering for UTN.
red asked, what if i miss paying tax till the last date and pay the next day. will there b penalty and of yes then how much??
Vikas Gandhi answers, If your tax calculation results in additional tax payment and if you miss paying this tax before the due date for filing return, you will have to pay a penal interest @ 1% per month from 1st April till the date of payment.
sameer srivastava asked, i am paying tution fees for my sister education.can i get tax exemption
Vikas Gandhi answers, Deduction for tuition fees can be claimed only for children and that too for two children only. Hence tuition fees paid for sister would not qualify for deduction.
Bijay asked, Is the income tax slab is going to be increased from 1 lac to 1.5 lacs.?
Vikas Gandhi answers, The current tax exemption limit is already Rs.1,50,000/-.
sudhakar asked, Hi Varun, My annual salary is 8 lacs.My Employer deducted around 65,000 and paid advance tax. I lost around 90,000 in equity trading in 2008-09,can I claim the refund or can i carry the losses to next year. Thanks Sudhakar
Vikas Gandhi answers, You cannot adjust the loss (out of sale of shares) against Salary income. File your return and you will be able to carry forward such loss for adjusting against similar income in subsequent years.
aditya asked, Hello vikas, Ny current status is NRI , due to me staying outside the country on account of my profession. I work on oil rigs , hence stay outside the country for a period of more than 183 days. My income from foreign sources on that account is non-taxable.
I am planning to buy an apartment and give it on rent. Will this income be taxable as it will be from domestic source ? Thanking you in advance. Aditya
Vikas Gandhi answers, Yes, being a non-resident only your Indian income will be taxable in India. Hence the rental income you earn on the property located in India will be taxed in your case.
sajal asked, I have 12 lakh savings in my salary account. I earned around 40k interest last year. Do I need to pay tax on this?
Vikas Gandhi answers, Yes. This is your income and that too taxable. By not disclosing such income while filing the return, you are evading tax for while you can be penalised also. Hence you should disclose such Interest income and pay tax on the same.
kj asked, Which ITR form we need to submit if we have a Home Loan? I guess it is ITR2
Vikas Gandhi answers, Your guess is correct. You will have file your return in ITR-2
sdfgx asked, I have made short term losses in shares.and i have no other income.Should i file return?Before this,my earning was also nil, so it will be my first return and i also want ot adjust it with my long term gain in subsquent years.
Vikas Gandhi answers, You should file your income tax return, just to claim carry forward of the loss that you incurred. If you do not file your return, you would not be able to claim set-off of the loss in subsequent year.
ab asked, if i pay fees for my daughters mba can i take an income tax exemption for the fess paid
Vikas Gandhi answers, Yes, you can claim the deduction.
dhananjay asked, Hello Sir, I am buying a flat & the loan amount is 13lakh.Should I take jointly with my wife who is also working.can be both claim tax rebate
Vikas Gandhi answers, If the flat is jointly owned by both of you, both of you can take loan and claim tax rebate in your individual capacity.
na asked, Sir, Under Section 80DD, on A PH dependant deduction is Rs. 50,000 from total income. I have Two PH dependants. Could I claim deduction of One Lakh on TWO PH dependants. In section 80DD, "A dependant deduction is 50,000". "A pendant or only one dependant.
Vikas Gandhi answers, According to me, irrespective of the number of handicapped dependants, you can claim maximum deduction of Rs.50,000/- only.
kapil asked, Sir in case I invest in NSC I will be taking tax rebate. So on muturity are these instrument taxable. Say I take NSC of Rs.20000 this year, will that be taxable on maturity. If yes,then at what rate
Vikas Gandhi answers, The interest that accrues every year on NSC is taxable. However since this interest gets reinvsted, you can also claim deduction for the same after offering the same for income. Once you have done this, the amount you receive on maturity will be fully exempt.
cvnikas asked, Kindly tell, my income is only long term capital gain through shares only. should i file return? if yes, then which form? should i maintain all contract e-mails/records and profit loss account?
Vikas Gandhi answers, As you have mentioned that you only have long term capital gain through sale of shares, your income is totally exempt. In such case since your total taxable income is within the exemption limit, you are not required to file your returns. However it is advisable to maintain all the contracts, records etc for verification of Income Tax Department if demanded.
Adhish asked, Currently i am in Mumbai and working for a mumbai based company. Can i file my return from kolkata?
Vikas Gandhi answers, e-File your returns and you will be saved from this question. Department has initiated centralised filing of ITR-V this year and hence irrespective of your address, you have to file your ITR-V at Bangalore.
ashok asked, What comes u/s 80E
Vikas Gandhi answers, Under sec. 80E you get deduction for interest paid on Education loan taken from Financial institution for the purpose of higher education for self or dependants.
Shiju asked, Is Form 26AS mandatory to file tax returns this year?If yes, how do I get it?
Vikas Gandhi answers, Form 26AS is not mandatory for filing income tax return. However it is advisable to have Form 26AS. For more details on this visit www.tin-nsdl.com.
Vikas Gandhi says, That is all for this session, friends. Chat with you in next session.