If you are a working professional, a businessman or just an earning citizen of India, you might have read or at least heard multiple times about the last date of filing tax returns. It is normally the last day of July or could extend to the first week of August. It is a busy period for Chartered Accountants (CA) who files tax returns for a lot of their clients.
However, many of us may not know a CA or would be too busy to find time to go to a CA to get our tax returns filed. What’s the option then?
E-File your Tax Returns
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You can just login to an e-filing portal such as Cleartax, fill in your details using an online or a mobile interface, file your tax returns and claim refund, if any, within five minutes. Amazing, isn’t it?
Moreover, there are some inherent advantages of e-filing Income Tax Returns (ITR).
It is safe: The portals or mobile interfaces that facilitate e-filing of taxes provide secure access. The tax returns filed by you and your data is uploaded to the income tax department directly. This also helps you to ensure that there is no manual error in the entry of your personal as well as financial details. Such errors are highly likely when you are among the hundreds of people whose ITR filing is undertaken by a CA’s office.
It is convenient: While e-filing your ITR, you can import your form 16, the intuitive e-filing portal pre-fills your employer information, and asks you to answer a few simple and basic questions to enable you to successfully file your ITR. The experience at the CA’s office may not be as seamless.
It is cost-effective: The e-filing portal allows you to file taxes for free. Such income tax e-filing portals can also enable you to understand how to invest in tax savings. This is unlike a CA who will charge you for his ITR filing and tax saving services.
It maximizes deductions to ensure low taxable income: The E-filing portal guides you through a step-by-step process and accounts for various allowable deductions that you may have missed. This helps you to maximize your refund from the income tax department when you file your returns.
It is super quick: The e-filing solution can not only do the calculations but also ensure that information pertaining to you is checked and verified. The refund process can also be faster when you e-file ITR as against going the traditional route.
So, would you e-file your taxes in July 2017 or still go the CA route? While going through a CA is perfectly legal and legitimate, I would recommend you try e-filing this year and decide for yourself if it is a smarter, faster and cheaper avenue.