Claim deductions when you file returns – CHANDRALEKHA MUKERJI

If you were not able to claim some deductions, file your return and get a refund
For taxpayers who didn’t submit proof of investments or other deductions in time, March can be vicious. Delayed tax planning and failure to submit receipts of tax-free expenses by employees means their employer would add it all to their salary and accordingly deduct tax. “Employees are careful about declaring investments such as those under Section 80C or medical insurance premiums and home loan interest. It is the rent receipts, medical or travel bills for claiming LTA that they miss,“ says Priya Sundar, Director, PeakAlpha Investment Services. However, even if you missed the deadline for submitting documents to your employer, you can still claim the deductions for which you are eligible. Form 16 from your employer is only a TDS certificate.Even if some deduction is missing in the form, you can claim it when you file your income tax return.
For instance, if you were unable to produce your rent receipts on time, this deduction won’t figure in your Form 16. You can claim the deduction when you file your tax return. If someone does not receive house rent allowance as part of his compensation package, he can still claim deduction if he is living on rent. Under Section 80GG, up to `2,000 a month can be claimed as deduction for rent paid.
Exemptions such as LTA must be claimed through the employer.LTA can be claimed twice in a fouryear block. If someone missed claiming it this year, he can either carry forward this benefit to next year or claim exemption for fresh travel next year.
But not all of the tax-free income you have missed can be claimed.The tax-free reimbursements offered by your employer cannot be claimed past the deadline. Companies also offer employees up to `15,000 a year in tax-free medical expenses and travel reimbursements that can be claimed against actual bills. If you were unable to submit these bills, the balance will be paid out as taxable income.
However, deductions such as medical insurance premium and Section 80C investments can be claimed when filing tax returns.The criteria being you have the paperwork to support it. “The I-T Department can ask for proof of up to six years from the year of assessment,“ says Sudhir Kaushik, CFO and Co-Founder, Taxspanner.
In case you missed any of these tax deductions last year, you can get a refund by filing a revised return. This option can be exercised within two years of filing your original return.
Filing revised returns
Can be filed under Section 139(5) of the Income-tax Act within two years.
You can revise returns filed online and offline. An online return can be revised only online, and an offline one can be revised offline.

To be eligible you should have filed your returns before the due date, that is, 31 July.

There is no restriction on the number of times you can file a revised return, provided it is done within the prescribed time limit.

Source : The Economic Times
Date : 16th March 2015

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