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Friday, May 6, 2011

How can NRIs file income tax returns in India online?

Every citizen of India & NON Resident Indians (NRIs) & PIOs who makes an income in the country needs to pay taxes. In fact, it is the duty of every citizen to pay tax. India has been on a path of progress ever since she gained independence from the clutches of the British in 1947. This path of progress has not been easy because India has had many problems – communalism, a growing population, famines, floods, wars.

Yet, in spite of all odds, India has been progressing steadily. It is therefore a privilege to contribute to such fast paced progress. Every Indian should feel a sense of immense pride in knowing that they have contributed to the progress of their country. And how do they do that? Through their activities, achievements and by paying taxes.

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How To Pay Tax?
So as an individual tax payer, what are you supposed to do in order to file your tax returns? Get the tax form online, fill it out and then submit the hard copy to your local income tax authorities. Or, if you prefer you could file it online. For this you have to visit the Income Tax department’s website.

But in order to submit it electronically you will require a digital signature and if you don’t have that, this option is not open to you. If you don’t have this digital signature, you should file a hard copy of your online acknowledgement manually with the Tax Department. If you’re not an individual tax payer, but are paying for your family – Hindu Undivided Family- then you can still follow this procedure.

Who Pays Tax?
Now the all important question arises, do you need to file a tax return? Well, this basically depends on the amount of money you earn. If you are a resident Indian and have the following incomes:
  • Above One lakh, eighty thousand, then you need to pay tax.
  • If you are above sixty years of age and your income is above two lakh fifty thousand, then you need to pay tax.
  • If you are above eighty years of age and your income is above five lakhs, then you need to pay tax.
You would also need to file for tax if:
·         You get a tax refund at source
·         You receive a notice from the Income Tax Department for the return of your income.
·         You claim to carry forward losses from your previous year to the current year.

What is more, you need to file your tax returns on time because there are deadlines for the submission of the same. If you do not meet these deadlines you will have to pay interest or even pay penalties. In some cases, you might even have to face a tax enquiry and anyone can tell you that that is definitely not a pleasant business.

So what is the last date before which you should file your tax returns? July 31st for those individuals whose taxable accounts do not require any auditing. And for those whose accounts need auditing – such as companies-  the last date is September 30th.

What exactly is a tax audit? Basically your account needs to be audited if your turnover exceeds the sum of forty lakhs. You are a professional, if your professional receipts exceed the sum of ten lakhs. In case you are a salaried employee you don’t have to worry about tax audits of course. Who does the tax audit? Chartered accountants.


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