3 tips to help you in the last minute of filing your income tax returns?

If you haven't filed your income tax returns (ITR) yet, there is very little time left as 31 July is the last date. And when you rush to do so, in all probability the e-filing website will not respond. This is because there are many who do it just like you at the last minute!

However, there is no escaping filing your returns. You just have to do it. If you are filing your returns now or plan to, here are three tips to help you avert pitfalls:

1) Pick a portal that works for you: Choose an online portal that populates your data automatically. This is especially for those of you who are lazy and hate to fill forms. Filing returns at an income tax website is free, but you will need to feed in the data yourself -- each alphabet and number at a time. If you are someone who can't be bothered to do it in this manner, then there is help. Just choose an online tax portal which automates the process. There are many out there which lets you scan your document or uploads them and what's more, their software reads the data and fills your form. But don't forget to set some time aside to double check the data though.

2) If you don't have Form 16: Here's what you can do if you haven't yet filed your returns because you are still waiting for Form 16 from your former employer and he hasn't sent it to you yet. Or, for some reason don't have access to Form 16. That is no reason for you to miss out on filing your returns and incur a penalty. Use your monthly payslip to find your taxable income, and another exempt component of your salary like Conveyance Allowance, etc. Your form 26-AS can help you in finding the exact tax deducted by your employer. You can also get this from the Income Tax website or from National Securities Depository Ltd (NSDL). Another way to know your HRA exemption is to look through your rent receipts.

3) Outsource: If you just don't have the time to do-it-yourself, you can outsource it, rather than miss the deadline of 31 July. You can either use the help of Chartered Accountants or tax return preparers (TRP) who are appointed by the Income Tax (I-T) department to assist income tax assesses in preparing and filing returns in an error-free manner. You can get a TRP at this website This will cost you a few hundred rupees, depending upon your file.

Use these three last minute income tax returns filing options. Yes, don't be under the assumption this year too there is a possibility that the deadline will be extended to 31 August, like the last few years. Times have changed now. So, it is about time you change your last minute returns filing habit, too.

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Item Reviewed: 3 tips to help you in the last minute of filing your income tax returns? Rating: 5 Reviewed By: PRASHANT ENTERPRISES