SIX REASONS TO FILE YOUR INCOME TAX RETURN EVEN WHEN YOU DON’T HAVE TAXABLE INCOME

Whether a return should be filed or not depends on your income level. When total income is within the minimum exemption limit, it’s not compulsory to file a tax return. The minimum exemption limit is INR 2.5 lakh if you are less than 60 years old. For those who between 60 and 80 years of age, income is exempt up to INR 3 lakh. And for those who are 80 years and above INR 5 lakh is the exemption.

It may come as a surprise that return filing may be mandatory or beneficial in some circumstances where you do not have taxable income. Let’s understand in detail.

YOU OWN FOREIGN ASSETS OR FOREIGN BANK ACCOUNTS:

Return filing is mandatory if you are resident as per income tax act and own foreign assets Or where you have financial interest in an entity located outside India or have a foreign bank account. This applies even though you have less than taxable income or no income at all. Non-reporting of foreign assets has attracted a lot of attention from the tax department. Penal provisions apply if your status is resident and you do not report them. You must file a return and report all your foreign holdings.

SIX REASONS TO FILE YOUR INCOME TAX RETURN EVEN WHEN YOU DON'T HAVE TAXABLE INCOME


REASON – 1: WHEN YOU BUY/SELL SHARES:

Sale purchase of equity shares result in capital gains. Many a times retired individuals or housewives trade in equity shares but do not report their gains or losses. Not that it is mandatory to do so when your total income is below exemption limit. But if you have short term capital losses, you can adjust them against capital gains. And in case losses are not fully adjusted they can be carried forward for 8 years and adjusted against capital gains in future. These losses can be carried forward by submitting your tax return for the year to which they belong.

REASON – 2: WHEN YOU ARE SEEKING A REFUND:

The only way to claim a refund of taxes is by filing an income tax return. This applies to NRIs who have less than taxable income but is subject to TDS on rent payments. Or where, you could not submit Form 15G/Form 15H timely and TDS were deducted. Tax is already deposited by way of TDS, and the deductor cannot refund this TDS to you. It can only be claimed by filing a tax return. All returns seeking a refund must compulsorily be filed online.

REASON – 3: CLAIM DEDUCTIONS VIA RETURN:

We know that the minimum exemption limit is INR 2.5 lakh. But is this limit before or after allowing deductions? If you are claiming any deductions under section 80, those must be claimed through a tax return. So, INR 2.5 lakh exemption is the gross income level. If your income before deductions is more than this limit, you should file a tax return and claim deductions in the return. This applies even if there is no tax payable.

REASON – 4: REPORT EXEMPT INCOME:

Sometimes, we earn a large income which is exempt from tax such as commuted pension or tax-free gratuity or long-term capital gains from shares and we do not file a tax return or do not report them.

REASON – 5: ANNUAL INFORMATION REPORT (AIR):

The government tracks investments and expenses of PAN holders via AIR submitted by banks and financial institutions. Explaining the source of a large investment or expense made via exempt income, may be easier when such income is reported in your tax return.

REASON – 6: PLANNING TO APPLY FOR A LOAN OR A VISA:

The most trusted indicator of your earnings is your tax return. Visa authorities’ may ask for copies of your return. Lenders also request for tax return copies as proof of your income capacity. Sometimes, tax returns also have to be submitted for applying for a credit card. So even though, you may have less than taxable income you can benefit by filing your returns regularly.

Disclaimer: These are few of the important reasons to file your income tax return even when you don’t have taxable income. Expert advice and user discretion is recommended prior to application of the contents of this document to specific situations.

* * * * * * * * *

What is tax e-Filing?

What is tax e-Filing?

The process of electronically filing Income tax returns through the internet is known as e-Filing.

efiling

e-Filing of Returns/Forms is mandatory for :

1) Where accounts are required to be audited under section 44AB ;

2) Where (a) is not applicable and

a)  The return is furnished in ITR-3 or in ITR-4; or

b) The individual/HUF being a resident (other than not ordinarily resident) has Assets, including financial interest in any entity, located outside India, or signing authority in any account located outside India, or income from any source outside India;

c) Any relief in respect of tax paid outside India under section 90 or 90A or deduction under section 91 is claimed.

d) Where an assessee is required to furnish an Audit Report specified under sections 10(23C) (iv), 10(23C) (v), 10(23C) (vi), 10(23C) (via), 10A, 10AA, 12A(1) (b), 44AB, 44DA, 50B, 80-IA, 80-IB, 80-IC, 80-ID, 80JJAA, 80LA, 92E, 115JB, 115VW or give a notice under section 11(2)(a) shall e-File the same. These Audit Reports are to be e-Filed and any person required to obtain these Audit Reports are required to e-File the return.

e) Total income exceeds five lakh rupees or any refund is claimed (other than Super Senior Citizen furnishing ITR1 or ITR2)

3) In cases covered by (a) above, the return is required to be e-Filed under digital signature (DSC).

4) In cases covered by (b) above, the return is required to be e-Filed using any one of the three manners namely i) Digital Signature Certificate (DSC) or ii) Electronic Verification Code (EVC), or iii) Verification of the return in Form ITR-V.

In all cases of company the return is required to be e-Filed under digital signature (DSC)

In the case of a person required to file ITR-7:

a) For a political party the return is required to be e-Filed under digital signature (DSC)

b) In any other case of ITR 7, the return is required to be e-Filed using any one of the three manners namely i) DSC or ii) EVC or iii) ITR V

In case of Firm or Limited Liability Partnership or any person (other than a person mentioned in A, B & C above) who are required to file return in Form ITR-5

a) Where accounts are required to be audited under section 44AB, the return is required to be e-Filed under digital signature (DSC)

b) In any other case the return is required to be e-Filed using any one of the three manners namely i) DSC or ii) EVC or iii) ITR V.

A company and an assessee being individual or HUF who is liable to audit u/s 44AB are required to furnish Form BB (Return of Net Wealth) electronically under digital signature.

Information to be furnished for payments, chargeable to tax, to a non-resident not being a company, or to a foreign company in Form 15CA.

Appeal to the Commissioner(Appeals) in Form 35.

Trouble Shooting on e-Filling

trouble-e-filing

For DSC Registration

Problem Description: I am not able to register my Digital Signature Certificate. Or while trying to e-File Income Tax Return using Digital Signature Certificate, the ‘Select your .pfx file’ or ‘Select with your USB Token’ buttons are not displayed or are not clickable.

Corrective Action: This occurs due to the following reasons:

* Check if Java Runtime Environment 1.7 or above is installed in your PC. If it is not installed, click here to download.
If Java Runtime Environment 1.7 or above is installed in your PC and still you are unable to register DSC to e-Filing application, this is because the Java is disabled.
GO TO Internet Options .Advanced .Settings .Enable the check-box for ‘Java’.

Problem Description: An error appears on the screen: The E-mail ID in the Digital Signature Certificate does not match. Please retry.

Corrective Action: The registered e-mail ID in your e-Filing profile is not the same as in your Digital Signature Certificate. In case it is not the same, you can:

* GO TO ‘Profile Settings’ (in e-Filing Portal) -> ‘Update contact details’ and change the e-mail ID or,
* Get a new Digital Signature certificate from your Certificate Provider which contains the same e-mail ID as mentioned in your e-Filing profile.

Problem Description: An error appears on the screen: Invalid Digital Signature Certificate. Please contact your Certificate Provider.

Corrective Action: This could be due to the below reasons:

* Digital Signature Certificate is revoked.
* Digital Signature Certificate is not Level 2 or above. Only Level 2 or above Digital
* Certificates can be registered on e-Filing website.
* Digital Signature Certificate is not created in SHA-1 (Hash algorithm and 1024 bit RSA) or SHA-2 (Hash algorithm and 2048 bit RSA).

Contact the Certificate Provider and get your Digital Signature Certificate checked.

Problem Description: An error appears on the screen: Validity of the Digital Signature Certificate has expired. Please update a valid Digital Signature Certificate.

Corrective Action: The validity period of the Digital Signature Certificate has ended. Attain a new Digital Signature Certificate from the Certified Service Providers and then
register.
Problem Description: An error appears on the screen: Validity of the Digital Signature Certificate has not commenced. Please contact your Certificate Provider.

Corrective Action: The validity period of the Digital Signature Certificate has not yet started. A Digital Certificate cannot be registered if the validity period is yet to begin.
You can:

* Register the same Digital Signature Certificate post the ‘Start date’ of the Digital Signature Certificate.
* Contact your Certificate Provider and attain a Certificate with a ‘Start Date’ same or less than the date of registering the DSC with e-Filing website.

Problem Description: An error appears on the screen: Invalid Digital Signature Certificate. The trusted Parent Certificate could not be verified.
Corrective Action: Digital Signature Certificate does not belong to a Trusted Certificate Provider. To view the list of the Certified Certificate Providers. In this case, you should contact the Certificate Provider and get your Digital Signature Certificate checked.
Problem Description: An error appears on the screen: The PAN mentioned in the Digital Signature Certificate does not match. Please retry.
Corrective Action: This could occur due to the below reasons:

* The PAN in the Digital Signature Certificate does not match with your registered PAN. You should contact your Certificate Provider and get the PAN in your Digital Signature Certificate checked.
* If you are a Firm/Company/ AOP/BOI/ Legal authority/ Co-operative society, Artificial Juridical Person/ Trust, ensure that the PAN mentioned in the Digital Signature is that of the current Principal contact (Authorized signatory). If your principal contact has changed, ensure that you have updated the PAN details of the new principal contact (under ‘Profile Settings’ • ‘Update Principal Contact’s details), and the PAN encrypted in DSC matches with PAN of Principal contact.

Problem Description: An error appears on the screen: The Digital Signature Certificate is already registered.

Corrective Action: A Digital Signature Certificate (DSC) cannot be registered by multiple users. This error appears due to the below reasons:

* The DSC you are registering belongs to someone else. Make sure that the DSC you are registering belongs to you and has your PAN and e-mail ID encrypted.
* The only exception to this rule is that an authorized signatory (principal contact) for an organization should register his/her own DSC to e-File for the organization. The same DSC can be used for personal e-Filing too.

Problem Description: I am the Principal contact (authorized signatory) for a Firm/Company/ AOP/BOI/ Legal authority/ Co-operative society, Artificial Juridical Person/ Trust. I am trying to upload Income Tax Return using Digital Signature Certificate (DSC) for the same but I am getting an error message saying “PAN mentioned in Personal/ Verification section is invalid”. What should I do?

Corrective Action: Please ensure that the PAN entered in the Verification section of the Income Tax Return is your (Authorized signatory) PAN and not of the Firm/Company/ AOP/BOI/ Legal authority/ Co-operative society, Artificial Juridical Person/ Trust. Also, if the Income Tax Return is being digitally signed, the PAN encrypted in the DSC must match with the PAN mentioned in the verification section.

Problem Description: An error appears on the screen: Invalid File format. Please retry.

Corrective Action: The DSC uploaded is not a valid DSC. Please select a valid DSC and upload it.

For Opt for Higher Security/ LOGIN

Problem Description: An error appears on the screen: You need to register your Digital Signature Certificate before opting for Higher Security.

Corrective Action:

* For Individual/CA -Please register your DSC by navigating to ->My Profile -> Register Digital Signature Certificate. On registering, you can enable higher security by navigating to -> My Profile -> Opt for Higher Security.
* For Company/BOI/Local Authority/Firm/Trust/AOP/AJP -Please update your Principal Contact details and register your DSC by navigating to -> My Profile -> Update Principal Contact and then My Profile -> Register Digital Signature Certificate. On registering, you can enable higher security by navigating to ->My Profile ->Opt for Higher Security.

Problem Description: I am not able to enable Higher Security.

Corrective Action: To enable higher security, GO TO ‘Profile Settings’ •
‘Opt for Higher Security’.

If you are not able to enable higher security, it could be because your Digital Signature Certificate is NOT registered with e-Filing web-site. GO TO ‘Profile Settings’ • ‘Register
Digital Signature Certificate’ and register the Certificate. Once Certificate is registered, enable the option for higher security.

Problem Description: I have enabled higher security. I am uploading my Digital Signature Certificate during LOGIN but I am unable to LOGIN.
Corrective Action: In case you are not able to LOGIN using Digital Signature Certificate, it could be due to the following reasons:

* The Digital Signature Certificate used for LOGIN is not the registered Digital Signature Certificate. Use the same registered Digital Signature Certificate to LOGIN.
* Digital Signature Certificate is Revoked (Invalid). Contact the Certificate Provider in such cases.
* Digital Signature Certificate is not from a Trusted Certificate provider. Contact the Certificate provider in such cases. Also, to view the list of Certified Certificate Providers.
* The Digital Signature Certificate’s validity has EXPIRED. In such cases, you can LOGIN with User ID and Password ONLY (Date of Birth/ Incorporation in case of Individuals, Corporate and Chartered Accountants), but your higher security is disabled. To enable it again, attain a fresh valid Digital Signature Certificate and
register. To register, GO TO ‘Profile Settings’ • ‘Register Digital Signature Certificate’. Once Digital Certificate is registered, you can enable higher security.

Problem Description: I have enabled higher security. I am uploading my Digital Signature Certificate during LOGIN but I am getting an error: Invalid Digital Signature Certificate. Please retry.

Corrective Action: This is because the Digital Signature Certificate being used to LOGIN is not the registered Digital Signature Certificate. Use the same Digital Signature Certificate which is registered to LOGIN.

Problem Description: I have enabled higher security. I am uploading my Digital Signature Certificate during LOGIN but I am getting an error: Invalid Digital Signature Certificate. Please contact your Certificate Provider.

Corrective Action: This error occurs if the Digital Signature Certificate registered with e-Filing is revoked (invalid). Contact the Certificate Provider in such cases.

Problem Description: I have enabled higher security. I am uploading my Digital Signature Certificate during LOGIN but I am getting an error: Invalid Digital Signature Certificate. The trusted parent certificate could not be verified.

Corrective Action: This error occurs if the Digital Signature Certificate registered with e-Filing is not from a Trusted Certificate provider. Contact the Certificate provider in such cases. Also, to view the list of Certified Certificate Providers.

Problem Description: I have enabled higher security. I am uploading my Digital Signature Certificate during LOGIN but I am getting an error: Cannot read Certificate Keystore file <File Name>. The file is either not in PKCS#12 format (.P12 or .PFX) or is corrupted or the password is invalid.

Corrective Action: This error occurs if the Password is not entered properly OR the Digital Signature Certificate is improper. Ensure the password entered is correct. If the problem persists, contact your Certificate provider.

Forgot Password

Problem Description: I have forgotten my password. How can I reset my password?

Corrective Action: Password can be reset by following the below steps:

* Click on the ‘Login here’ option on the homepage.
* Click on ‘Forgot Password’ link.
* Enter your User ID and click ‘Continue’.
* You can choose to reset your password using one of the three options-Answer Secret Question, Upload Digital Signature Certificate (if registered)
* Provide the required details and Submit.
* On submission, the details entered are validated. On success, the user will be able to enter the new and confirm password and click Submit.
* User will be able to LOGIN with the new password.

Problem Description: What is the secret question and answer I need to provide to reset my password?

Corrective Action: The Secret Question and Answer is the one selected at the time of registration OR if you have changed it on a later date under ‘Profile settings’. Provide the same secret question and answer to reset the password.

Problem Description: I am trying to upload the Digital Signature Certificate but it displaying an error.

Corrective Action: In case you are not able to upload Digital Signature Certificate, it could be due to the following reasons:

* The Digital Signature Certificate used is not the registered Digital Signature Certificate. Use the same registered Digital Signature Certificate to LOGIN.
* You have not registered your Digital Signature Certificate. You cannot use this option to reset the password till the time the DSC is registered.
* Digital Signature Certificate is Revoked (Invalid) or Expired. Contact the Certificate Provider in such cases.
* Digital Signature Certificate is not from a Trusted Certificate provider. Contact the Certificate provider in such cases.
* Legal Heir
Problem Description: What all document do I need to attach as a ZIP file during registering myself as Legal Heir?

Corrective Action: You need to scan the following documents and ZIP them in a file:

* Copy of the Death Certificate of the deceased person,
* Copy of the PAN card of deceased person,
* Self attested copy of PAN card of the Legal Heir.
* Self attested copy of Legal Heir Certificate
Problem Description: I received an e-mail from Income Tax Department stating that my request for Legal Heir has been accepted and I am assigned as the Legal Heir for the deceased. Can I e-File for the deceased person now?

Corrective Action: Yes.

Problem Description: I am assigned as the Legal Heir for the deceased person. How can I e-File for the deceased person?

Corrective Action: LOGIN using your own User ID, Password and Date of Birth. Once logged in, GO TO ‘e-File’->’Upload Return’. Select the PAN from the drop-down option as the deceased’s PAN. Fill the remaining details on the page and upload XML. Sign using DSC if available and applicable.

Problem Description: I am trying to upload Income Tax Return for a deceased but I am getting an error message saying “PAN mentioned on Personal/ Verification section is invalid”. What should I do?

Corrective Action: Please ensure that the PAN entered in the Verification section of the Income Tax Return is your (Legal heir) PAN and not of the deceased person. Also, if the Income Tax Return is being digitally signed, the PAN encrypted in the DSC must match with the PAN mentioned in the verification section.

Problem Description: Whose Digital Signature Certificate (DSC) can I use to e-File the deceased’s Income Tax Return?

Corrective Action: You need to use your own valid Digital Signature Certificate (DSC) which is registered with e-Filing.

Miscellaneous

Problem Description: I am the Principal Contact (authorized signatory) for a Firm/Company/ AOP/BOI/ Legal authority/ Co-operative society, Artificial Juridical Person/ Trust. I am trying to upload Income Tax Return for the same but I am getting an error message saying “PAN mentioned in Personal/ Verification section is invalid”. What should I do?

Corrective Action: Please ensure that the PAN entered in the Verification section of the Income Tax Return is your (Authorized signatory) PAN and not of the Firm/Company/ AOP/BOI/ Legal authority/ Co-operative society, Artificial Juridical Person/ Trust. Also, if the Income Tax Return is being digitally signed, the PAN encrypted in the DSC must match with the PAN mentioned in the verification section.

Problem Description: I am unable to select the date from the calendar provided.

Corrective Action: Open your Internet explorer browser and GO TO   Tools ->Internet Options -> Advanced ->Reset Internet Explorer settings, and Click the Reset button.

Problem Description: I am trying to upload the Income Tax Return XML but I am getting an error ‘fake path and can’t read the file’. What should I do?

Corrective Action: Please do the following settings: Internet explorer ->
Tools -> Internal Option -> Security -> reset the setting to medium high, close and reopen the Internet Explorer. OR Create a folder called ‘fakepath’ in your C drive and store the XML in the folder. On BROWSE, select this file and upload.

Problem Description: I am trying to upload my Income Tax Return but an error is displayed as ‘Please upload a valid XML’.

Corrective Action: This occurs when the file you are trying to upload is not an XML file. Please ensure that you upload the XML (generated from the Excel utility) and not the Excel.