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It is a common misconception that filing returns requires organizing and collecting a large number of documents. However, filing income tax returns (ITR) does not have to be tedious or challenging.
With new-age technological developments, you may easily file your returns electronically. With a few clicks, you may complete the e-filing procedure within a short period. This enables you to file returns from the convenience and comfort of your home or office without spending time waiting in long queues.
Electronic filing, also known as e-filing, refers to completing the online tax filing procedure for a particular assessment year. E-filing income tax returns eliminates the need to visit any office to physically file the returns. You simply log in to the e-filing website and complete the entire procedure within a few minutes.
Filing your income tax returns on time has several benefits. It ensures that you do not pay huge penalties due to not filing the ITR in a timely manner. Here are some benefits of online income tax e-filing:
Some part of your income, whether as a salary or business earnings, is deducted at source. Section 80C and other sections of the Income Tax (IT) Act provide tax benefits when you invest in certain types of financial products. When you invest in these instruments, the actual tax liability may be lower than what is deducted. Therefore, you need to avail of a refund, which is possible only when you file your ITR in a timely manner.
When you travel abroad, in most cases you require a visa. Foreign countries often require you to provide your income tax returns for the last few years at the time of visa application. Therefore, when you file your ITR in time, the process to procure a visa becomes easier.
When you apply for a credit card, the issuer checks if you are able to pay the bills without any delays. The ITR is proof that shows your annual income. When you file your income tax returns regularly, you may be able to enjoy a higher limit on your credit card.
Every lender requires proof of filed ITR when you apply for any type of loan. These returns are necessary to enable the lenders to know your earnings, thereby determining your repayment capabilities. Lenders may reject your application if you do not file your ITR on time.
Income tax laws allow individuals to carry forward losses that may be set-off against future taxable earnings for up to eight consecutive years. To take advantage of this provision, you need to file your ITR for every assessment year.
Having understood the benefits of e-filing ITR, let’s take a look at the different ways to complete this procedure:
1. Use a Digital Signature Certificate (DSC), which is a convenient way to sign your documents electronically
2. Generate the Income Tax Return-Verification (ITR-V), which must be signed and sent to the Central Processing Center (CPC) in Bangalore within 120 days from the filing date
3. Verify the ITR using your Aadhar number; in this case, you do not require the ITR-V
The process for income tax e-filing in India is very simple and quick. Here are the steps to follow:
To register on the e-filing portal, you will require your Permanent Account Number (PAN), date of birth, and name. The PAN is your user ID and you need to provide a password.
2. Choosing the relevant form
There are several forms on the e-filing website and you need to choose the one relevant to your requirements. Here are the available forms:
i. ITR 1 is for individuals with an annual income of up to INR 50 lakh from salaries and house property
ii.ITR 2 is for individuals and Hindu Undivided Family (HUF) not having any proprietary business income
iii.ITR 3 is for individuals and HUFs earning proprietary business income
iv. ITR 4, also known as Sugam, is used for presumptive earnings from business and profession
The relevant ITR form may be completed either online or offline. You may download the form and save it to your computer. Once you complete filling the form, you may upload it on the e-filing website.
Once you upload the ITR form, you will receive Form ITR-V. If your Aadhar details are not linked, a physical copy of this form must be sent to the CPC in Bengaluru within 120 days from the date of filing.
When your TDS exceeds the total tax liability, you are eligible for a refund. You need to provide accurate bank details to ensure that the refund is received without any delays. You may also check the refund status online.
Most people are unaware of what needs to be done after the ITR is filed. Here is what must be done:
As mentioned above, you will receive an acknowledgement through the ITR-V, which needs to be verified. If your Aadhar is linked, you may self-verify the same using an Electronic Verification Code (EVC) received on the registered mobile number. Alternatively, you need to send the ITR-V to the CPC within 120 days from the date of filing the returns.
The aforementioned guide should help you in the process of e-filing your tax returns in a swift and easy manner.
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