As the financial year draws to a close and tax filing season rolls around once more, you are probably rushing around trying to get your paperwork in order. But filing one's taxes can be a confusing and nerve-wracking process, thanks to the various ITR forms, taxes and other jargon you need to sift through.
Do you need a PAN card? What is self-assessment tax? How can you file your returns online? What is 'Income from other sources'?
To simplify the tax-filing process for you, we present the answers to these frequently asked questions and many more.
If I have a PAN card, do I have to file my tax returns? As per law, when should I file my returns?
You are legally obligated to file for your returns only if your taxable income exceeds the basic exemption limit (for FY 2007-08: male assessee - Rs 1.1 lakh; female assessee - Rs 1.45 lakh; senior citizen (above 65 years) - Rs 1.95 lakh).
Is the original PAN card mandatory for payment of taxes. I have the number, but lost the card?
If you have lost your PAN card, please apply for a duplicate card with the same number. Most of the time the income Tax Return (ITR) office requires one to attach a copy of the PAN card while filing so as to reduce the time to check the number. Alternatively, attach your copy of the application for Duplicate PAN and last years' Saral copy (if available) and go ahead with the filing. Today, the PAN card copy is required as proof for many purposes, hence, it is advisable to apply for the same.
Why is the Home loan certificate required again while filing taxes despite being submitted to the company?
During the year, the bank gives only a provisional certificate of interest since the year is not over. There could be changes in the actuals at the end of the year if the interest rate changes. Hence, it is required to submit the Home Loan Certificate at the time of filing your taxes.
Text: Anil Rego
Photograph: Manpreet Romana/AFP/Getty Images
Also read: Step-by-step guide to filing your income tax returns online