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Before you file your tax return

Every year we go through the tough task of compiling various documents required for preparing and filing our tax returns. Timely and meticulous planning on your part, however, can make this task easier for you.

After all, filing of tax return is compulsory for everyone whose gross total income exceeds the basic exemption limit, which is Rs 1.90 lakh for women below 65 years of age, Rs 2.40 for senior citizens and Rs 1.60 lakh for any other individual, for the financial year 2009-10 (ie for income earned between April 2009 and March 2010).

Some of us might have already finished our filings and can take it easy for now. For the rest, however, here’s a list of key points to be considered to ensure that tax returns are filed correctly and on time:

1. Due date for filing tax returns: The due date for filing the tax returns for financial year 2009-10 in case of individual tax payers (who generally get salary income) is July 31, 2010. The due date could be September 30, 2010 in case of individuals carrying on business, subject to certain additional conditions.

2. Documents to be compiled: The current tax return doesn’t require any documents to be annexed. However, in order to determine your own income, the following documents will be helpful. These documents will also help if any questioning comes up by the tax officer at a later stage.

Form 16: This is the certificate issued by an employer and helps the individual to know his salary income for the year and tax deducted by the employer.

Form 16A: It’s a certificate issued by banks, companies and other parties providing a summary of interest, rent, commission, professional fees, etc, paid to an individual during the year. Form 16A also provides a summary of tax deducted on such payments.

Bank statements/ passbook: Analysis of statements of accounts operated during the year will help collate / reconcile the details of income received, investments made during the year.

House property details: In case you have income from let out house property, copies of lease deed, details of rent received and receipts of municipal tax paid during year would be required to compute your income. In addition, if you have taken a housing loan, a certificate from the lending bank specifying the principal and interest payment during the year would also be needed to compute the exemptions.

Bills / Contract notes in respect of shares purchased or sold: You may find it comfortable to prepare a statement of sale and corresponding purchases of shares and other investments. This will help in arriving at the correct amount of long term/short term capital gain or loss. Your statement of demat account should help in case of investments made through such account.

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