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Filing tax returns? Here's help!

June 12, 2009 09:12 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 Thursday, direct tax expert Vikas M Gandhi offered some valuable tips. Here is the transcript:.

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

madhav asked, Hi Vikas, I have paid an amount of money as TDS (deducted monthly) for the financial year 2008-2009. I have made an investment amount, which is more than the tax to be paid by me according to my salary. All these details of TDS, investment have been mentioned in the Form 16. Do I need to separately fill up some other form for refund of the amount deducted as TDS from my salary or filling the return with the Form 16 details is enough to get the refund?
Vikas Gandhi answers,  at 2009-06-11 15:33:04Form No.16 received from employer is not your Income tax return. Although all the income and deductions are shown in Form-16 and proper tax has been deducted, you have to file a separate Income Tax Return. If you are eligible for refund, you will be granted the refund only if you file the return.
Dayasagar asked, Dear Gandhi ji, Namaste. My wife used to submit returns till she has retired on 31.8.2007 but she has not submitted her return for the year 2008-09 as her income from pension is not taxable. Even the interest from the retirement benefits is also not coming to taxable income. But some one suggested to submit the same immediately. Will there be any penalty to be paid in case we submit the same by end of this month? Shall we submit returns for 2009-10? Kindly reply. Thanks and regards/Daya Sagar
Vikas Gandhi answers, An individual is required to file income tax return if his income exceeds the basic exemption limit. As mentioned in your query, even after including interest income, the total income does not exceed basic exemption limit and hence your wife is not required to file any return.
subby asked, how many times IT declaration can be given in a company? I heard Govt of India allows 3-4 times IT declaration in a year, is it true
Vikas Gandhi answers, By IT Declaration, if you mean Investment Declaration, there is no limit for submitting the same. if you have made changes to the investment declared earlier, you are free to submit a fresh declaration to your employer.
Anup asked, Hi Vikas , I have taken a housing loan and the house is about 15 kms from my office so i took a rented house near my office. can i get tax exempt on hra as well as interest on loan. My parents stay at at my house which i bought.
Vikas Gandhi answers, The distance between your house and work place is not so far that you cannot commute on day to day basis. Hence in my view you cannot claim both the benefits. You have to chose one and let go another.
Kans asked, what is the maximum permissible limit of charity from tax perspective? Is it technically possible to give the entire tax money as charity to deserving organizations?
Vikas Gandhi answers, One can give maximum of 10% of his total income as charity. Any amount given above this amount does not get eligible for deduction.
Amit asked, HI Vikas, Which is better ...Five year tax saving FD or NSC?
Vikas Gandhi answers, Given an option to chose between FD and NSC, I would advise investing in NSC.
pc asked, when is the last day for filing income tax returens?
Vikas Gandhi answers, For the persons not having to get books of account audited, the last date of filing income tax return in 31st
of July.
raja asked, Is it necessary to submit original rent receipt from house owner in order to show expenses on house rent in a central govt. office
Vikas Gandhi answers, This depends from employer to employer. However in any case original receipt is not to be submitted to the employer. Employer can ask for the originals to verify, but cannot keep the same into his records.
TaxMan asked, I am working For a Foreign Company based out of India and they do not have any office in India so I will not get any Form-16. I am paid direclty. No Tax is deducted at source. How should I pay advance tax and also to keep it minimum?
Vikas Gandhi answers, This means that you are working outside India and hence your residential status should be non-resident. In such a case, since the income generated is out of India, there is no income in India and hence you do not have to pay any tax in India.
Kiran asked, Hi Vikas...GE! I am Kiran. I am working as a Lecturer in Engg. College. The basic salary offered to me is Rs. 8000/-. I heard that i have to pay 10% of my salary to Govt. of India. Is this true? If yes then how can i get rid off it? I am in need of money and dont want to pay any such taxes. What could i do? Please help me!
Vikas Gandhi answers, With a basic salary of Rs.8000/- per month, your annual income totals to Rs.96,000/-. Assuming that you have no income other than salary, your total income is within the basic exemption limit and hence you are not required to pay any tax, nor file any income tax return.
heyram asked, I have paid my tax amount. My company auditor is not filing the tax return so far. Would I be blamed for if the tax return is not filed.
Vikas Gandhi answers, If you are expecting that the company auditor will be filing your income tax return, you are in some wrong notion. Your income tax return has to be filed by you. If you have asked any tax consultant to file your return and if he is not filing for some reason, the ultimate resposbility of filing is yours and it is only you who will be blamed or rather penalised for not filing or late filing income tax return.
premkumar asked, Hi Friend, This is prem from bangalore. I am sponsoring money to one poor student. is it any possible to get tax reduction? I am doing this job with the help of my friends.
Vikas Gandhi answers, Although this is a good cause, unfortunately there is no tax deduction for the same. Alternatively what you can do is to approach some charitable institution who work for such similar cause and donate the amount to them. Such donation would be eligible for tax deductions.
av asked, I was working in Gurgaon till March end. Now i have moved to hyd. Can i file returns from Hyd address?
Vikas Gandhi answers, From this year this is possible, as Government has introduced centralised filing system. this is possible only if you electronicaly file your income tax return. On filing you will received ITR-V, which you are required to mail it to Income Tax Department- CPC, Bangalore.
cavenkatasubramanyan asked, Dear Vikasji, now that ITRVs need to be submitted by mail only to CPC, Electronics City, Bangalore from all over India, what mode of mail is suitable?Ordinary mail or speed post or regd. post ack due or courier?
Vikas Gandhi answers, Since the mail has to be sent to a Post Box, in my view it would only be a Ordinary mail. I am not sure about Speed Post, but of course Registered Post or courier would not work as there would be any reciever at the other end.
kk asked, I do not get HRA, but house maintainance charges are done as I stay in their quarters. How to get the HRA benefit out of this?
Vikas Gandhi answers, If the maintenance charges are in the form of rent, you can claim deduction u/s 80GG of the Income Tax Act.
Vikas Gandhi says, Good bye friends.