If you are a salaried individual and need to file your income tax return for the financial year FY-2016 you can do it yourself for free and that too without any technical knowledge.
Online portals like H&R block, Clear tax etc. are offering hassle free easy step by step process that collects your tax related data and documents through simple questionnaires and e-file your returns online. These online e-filing portals are registered e-Return intermediary and information you provide them are absolutely safe & secure. You can download the list of all registered e-return intermediaries from Tax Information Network of Income tax department.
The dead line for e-filing your return for the assessment year AY 2016-2017 (FY 2015 - 2016) is 31st July 2016. You need to keep digital copies of following documents ready depending upon your income profile:
a) If you are a salaried person, you would need Form 16 from the employer.
b) If you have earned interest income keep your bank statement handy. If the bank has deducted TDS on your interest income you need to collect Form 16A from the bank.
c) If you have received dividend income from shares, you need to give details about it in your tax return even though income like dividend income is completely tax exempt in the hands of the receiver.
d) If you have earned any rental income from your property(s) in the past financial year then you need to report this income as well. If your tenant has deducted TDS while paying rent, you need to collect Form 16A from there too.
e) Gift above Rs 50,000 also needs to be declared as gift worth above Rs 50,000 received in a year is taxable in the hands of the recipient. Remember that the tax applies not only to gifts received in cash, but also to those received in kind, such as immovable property (including land or building) and specified movable property, such as jewelry, paintings, shares, debentures, bullion, archaeological collections, etc.
f) If you are claiming deductions for home loan, education loan, investments, medical etc you need to keep all the relevant documents and bank statements ready.
g) If you have sold any property, shares and mutual funds during the year, you need to keep details of the transactions for computation of capital gains tax.
E-filing of your ITR online saves substantial amount of time, cost and effort. Your Income tax return is a very valuable document as it assists you in availing loans, VISA for travelling and quick registration of immovable properties in some cities of India. Though IT return can be filed even after the due date as a belated return, make sure to file your return within 31st July to avoid possible penalties.