Filing tax from overseas to understanding Form 16: Rupee Rani answers your questions

You can and should file your income tax return, even if you don’t have Form 16.
Filing tax from overseas to understanding Form 16: Rupee Rani answers your questions

Filing tax from overseas to understanding Form 16: Rupee Rani answers your questions

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Over the last month, we received emails from readers regarding tax related queries that they have. We’ve tried our best to answer all of them and we hope you find them useful! If you have any other personal finance related query, please shoot an email to the email address at the bottom of this article and we’ll do our best to answer. 

I’m not an income tax payer. I’ve never filed any return so far because my annual income never touched two lac fifty thousand so far. Last year, I moved to a new house, and that physical address was not updated in PAN card, but my mobile number remains the same. I wish to know whether income tax sends sms, all the times, for all its queries? Please clarify 

The Income Tax Department does send out text messages to assessees regarding important updates and communication/letters that they may have sent you. However, it is recommended that you update your address irrespective of whether you’re a tax paying assessee or not. The process to update contact information is very simple and can be done online. All you have to do is register in the Income Tax E-Filing website with your PAN details and you can update your address, phone number and email address in a few easy clicks. 

I do file ITR every year before due date, but this year as I am out of my country I am not able to file within July and I may return to India only after July. The IP address of the PC is not allowing me to submit from a foreign country and is not allowing me to view 26AS. Will I be exempted from paying penalty?

It is highly unlikely that you will be exempted from paying penalty, especially because e-filing is not restricted by geography. Perhaps you could try using a different computer/internet connection or a VPN (Virtual Private Network) application like Hola. You could also send an email to the Webmaster – You will not be exempted from penalty unless the due date is extended, which seems quite unlikely at the moment. Good luck!

I lost my job last year in Feb 2017. Since then, I've zero income and I've the following queries. First, how can I file my return since this time I don't have Form 16? Can I mention my savings under section 80C like school fees, LIC premium, etc.? This time I delayed paying LIC premium of last year 2017-18, and paid the same in June 2018, can it be considered under 80C for this year’s return, i.e. AY 2018-19? I didn't touch my PF this year and no amount was put in the account since Feb 2017, due to job loss. Will it remain functional? Can I continue the same account number once I get a new job. Is there any effect if the account is not functional for more than a year? 

You can and should file your income tax return, even if you don’t have Form 16. The Income Tax department has made the filing process very user-friendly, so if you register (or log-in, if you’ve already registered) in the Income Tax website and click on ‘File return’, you will be able to prepare and submit your Income Tax return using Form ITR1 for the FY 2017-18 (AY 2018-19) online. The form will be auto-populated - so if you have FD interest income on which TDS was deducted, for example, it will show up ‘Income from Other Sources’ - and will already have the TDS amounts pre-filled. You can include any other income you may have earned during the year and you will have space to deduct those savings that are eligible under section 80C, 80D, 80TTA and so on. 

Insurance premium can be taken as a deduction only in the Financial Year that it was actually paid, so even if your insurer accepts a delayed payment, the department won’t, and so you cannot take the benefit of premium paid in June 2018 for the Financial Year ended 31.03.2018. However, you can take the total amount of premium paid (that is, the premium paid for FY 17-18 and FY 18-19) as a tax deduction for FY18-19, i.e the year in which the premiums were actually paid. 

Finally, your PF account will continue to be active and collect interest, even if there are no contributions made. An account will be classified as ‘dormant’ only if it hasn’t received contributions over a period of 36 months. You can also easily transfer your PF account to your new employer using your Universal Account Number (UAN). If your PF account is linked to your Aadhaar, the process can be done online, but if your PF isn’t Aadhaar linked, you will have to get the relevant forms from the EPFO office, fill them up and submit them. The online process is far quicker, but either way, you need not open a new PF account just because you have a new job.  

Rupee Rani is a weekly column on finance for women. Write to us with your queries at 

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