ITR filing for FY 2017-18: Are you saving your tax legally?

The last date for filing the ITR is July 31.

ITR filing for FY 2017-18: Are you saving your tax legally?

New Delhi: The tax filing season for salaried class taxpayers has just begun and you must be ready to file Income Tax Return (ITR) –the annual ritual by individuals and other category of taxpayers – for the financial year 2017-18 (Assessment Year 2018-19).

Though it is most advised that you take all the necessary benefits assured by the government on tax saving instruments, you must also stay away from unscrupulous tax advisors or planners who help you in preparing wrong claims to get tax benefits.

(Also Read: ITR filing for FY 2017-18 – List of various ITR forms and which return form to use)

If you claim tax benefits by investing in all the saving instruments assured by the government, you are well within the legal framework. But if you try to counter-punch the prescribed rules and thereby evade taxes, you could be at fault.

There is another grey area where you try to avoid taxes by exploiting loopholes in the income tax and thus avoid paying taxes. Here, though you may not be legally answerable, it is best avoided, for the I-T department is constantly tightening the noose around those at fault.

Infact, the Income Tax Department has recently cautioned salaried class taxpayers against using illegal means like under-reporting of income or "inflating" deductions while filing their returns, stating violators will be prosecuted and their employers will be intimated to take action against them.

Calling it a "cautionary advisory" on reports of tax evasion by under-reporting of income or inflating deductions or exemptions by salaried taxpayers, the department said such attempts "aided and abetted by unscrupulous intermediaries have been noted with concern".

The advisory comes in the backdrop of the investigation wing of the department, in January, unearthing a racket of extracting fraudulent tax refunds by employees of bellwether information technology companies based in Bengaluru, in alleged connivance with a tax advisor.

The last date for filing the ITR is July 31. The latest ITR-1 form, largely used by the salaried class of taxpayers, has been activated on the official e-filing portal of the Income Tax Department. The single Income Tax Return (ITR) form, has been put on its website, https://www.Incometaxindiaefiling.Gov.In. Other ITRs wil be available shortly.