July 31st is generally the last date to file returns for this year. This rule applies for residents of India living in India and also non resident Indians who are otherwise called NRIs. If you are a NRI, and want to know the ways and means to file IT returns, the following information can assist you.
Please be advised that you would need a PANcard from India to pay your income tax online.
Who qualifies for income tax returns (IT returns)?
If you are an NRI, and looking to file returns for this financial year, then you need to fulfill the following conditions.
- NRIs have a tax-threshold limit of Rs.1.6 lakh. If your income during your stay or non-stay in India is above this threshold limit, you fall in the tax-paying pool. Your income starting from Rs.1.6 lakhs and upwards is subject to tax.
- If you have invested in properties in India and sold it to realize gains, this amount is subject to tax. If you have realized gains above the basic exemption limit, your profit from the proceeds is taxed. This tax is otherwise known as capital gains tax.
- There is exemption-furtherance for senior citizens and women. But this is applicable only for people living in India and not outside of the country.
- You do not have to file returns, if your capital gains have been taxed. If tax deducted at source (TDS) has been applied to your capital gains, you do not have to file your returns. This rule applies to any income you make via investments. Remember that you are exempt from filing returns, but not from paying tax. Paying tax and filing returns are two different activities but progressively related to each other.
- Talking about income earned from investments, you may have invested in long term equity shares or mutual funds in India. Any income you realize from such shares and mutual fund units is not taxable, and hence you don’t file returns. Reiterating this point once again – this income is not taxable. So don’t make the mistake of paying tax, leave along filing returns.
- Claim refund if the TDS is more than your tax liability. For instance, if the bank deducted more tax than what should have been deducted on your investment income, you apply for a refund. Before you do this, you have to file your returns.
- If you want to carry forward your capital gains losses, to realize lower tax liability, you need to compulsorily file returns.
When to file returns
The last date to file returns is July 31st of this financial year. If you do not have any tax liability, on account of tax being deducted at the source of your income, you can still file returns. Do this before 31st March.
If you delay filing your return you are charged an interest percentage. If you miss filing returns by July 31st, an interest of 1% is levied on your taxable income every month.
This interest is charged till the time you file your returns. Additionally, you are levied a penalty of Rs.5000 every year if you have not filed your return. You have two years from the last date to file your returns.
How to file returns successfully
NRIs can use the online route to file returns.
The Income Tax Department’s website allows e-filing facility. You need to download the form (ITR-V), fill it, and upload it. After receiving an acknowledgement in your email, you take a printout of the form. You then mail the copy of this printout to the Income Tax Office in your city within a specified period of time.
Online e-filing may not be straightforward initially, but is the easiest and the most time-saving option.