Income tax payers: Five things you must do before 31 March to avoid paying additional dues

It is once again that time of the year that is crucial for income tax payers in many ways. The month of March has enormous amount of significance as the income tax laws in India has laid down deadlines for various compliances, most of which fall in the month of March especially on the 31 March year on year. Further, compliance with these deadlines is always advisable in order that you do not unnecessarily cough up any additional taxes to the revenue.

Here we discuss the top 5 things you must ensure you do before the 31st of March every year:

Pay off your advance tax dues

If you are a salaried individual and your entire tax liability is being take care of by your employer by way of tax deduction at source (TDS), you may relax. But, if you have any additional income on which you have a tax liability which after reducing the TDS comes to Rs 10,000 or more, you would be liable to pay your advance tax in 4 installments out of which the last installment would have been due on 15th March. In case you have missed paying it or any of the earlier installments, ensure you pay all your tax dues before 31st March to avoid paying interest.

Complete your tax saving investments

If you are keen on having a lower tax outgo, ensure you have adequately invested in tax savings instruments under Sections 80C, 80D etc which cover contribution towards ELSS, PPF account, National Pension Scheme, premium towards a life insurance cover, medical premium etc. If you are a salaried individual, you need to make these investments, if possible a little prior to 31 March to be able to furnish proof of such investments to your employer for the purpose of tax deduction. However, do note that 80C and 80D can also be claimed at the time of filing tax returns even if you do not submit the proofs to your employer. All you need to ensure that you are making the payment/investment before 31st March.

Representational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

File your belated returns

For those who were supposed to file their return of income, but missed doing so before 31 July, 2016 or 31 July, 2017 (the original due dates for filing returns for FY 2015-16 and 2016-17), can do so by filing returns for these Financial Years (FYs) now i.e. on or before 31 March, 2018. This will be called a belated return.

A belated return is the last chance you have to claim refunds, if any, due to you. For those who have a taxable income, take care to file your belated return on time before 31 March, 2018. By not doing so, you may be calling for trouble. This non-compliance could catch the eyes of the tax authorities and you may end up receiving a notice for 'Income escaping assessment'. Further, a return also acts a proof of your financial position which can be submitted to the bank for availing a housing or a vehicle loan.

File your revised returns

For those of you who have noticed an error or omission in your return of income filed for the FY 2015-16, do note that 31 March,TDS
2018 will be your final opportunity to carry out corrections by filing a revised return.

Submit medical bills to employer

As already discussed earlier, it would be important for you, if you are a salaried individual, to submit your tax proofs to your employer before 31 March to enable him adjust the TDS he deducts to compensate for the excess or shortfall in TDS for the earlier months. However, even if you fail to submit such proofs and your employer goes ahead with a higher deduction, you can always claim these directly at the time of filing return and accordingly apply for a refund of excess TDS.

An exception to this would be medical bills. These, if not submitted to the employer before 31 March, he will go ahead with a tax deduction on the medical reimbursement which you cannot claim as refund while filing of your return. So it is crucial you take care to submit your medical bills to your employer on or before 31 March every year.

(The write is Founder & CEO, ClearTax​)

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Updated Date: Mar 26, 2018 10:09:40 IST

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