The most common reason to receive a notice from the income tax department is failing to file your income tax returns (ITR) on time. There are more commonly occurring discrepancies in your tax records that could attract a notice without you knowing what it was about.
Here are 5 such common situations where an Income Tax notice could be issued to you:
1. Mismatch in TDS claim
TDS or tax deducted at source is tax paid on your behalf on your income by any organisation that credits such an income to you.
For example, your employer will file tax on your salary on your behalf and this amount will be reflected on your Form 16 (issued by the employer to you) and on Form 26AS-which is a summary of all the TDS filed under your PAN for a particular financial year. When the amount you claim and the amount deducted by the organisation does not match, you will receive a tax notice under section 143(1).
The tax deducted should be same on form 26AS and on form 16 or 16A.
As a precautionary measure, you can check the Form 26AS (available on the income tax e-filing website) before you file ITR.
If there is a mismatch, you can approach the deductor to make the correction (in case their report is not updated) or ask them to pay the tax (if tax was never paid but only deducted from your income).
2. Not disclosing income
Through your PAN, the income tax department gets information of any income that you may have earned from different sources like banks, tenant or an employer. You are required to disclose such an income in your ITR and if you fail to do so, a notice will be issued to you under the section 139(9) or 143(1) for non-disclosure.
It is always wise to list out all the possible income sources before you start filing your ITR.
3. Not declaring investments made in spouse’s name
If you have made an investment in the name of your spouse from the income earned by you, you are liable to show any income made by such an investment under your name.
Suppose you have opened a fixed deposit in the name of your spouse, the interest earned will be combined with your income. Losses too are combined with your taxable income. Such income is noted by the Income Tax department and you could receive a notice for non-disclosure.
Note that if you transfer money to your spouse for personal expenses, it will not be considered as income in the hands of the receiver.
4. Wrongly reporting LTCG
You should know that any long-term gains made beyond the limit of Rs 1 lakh by sale of equity or equity-linked mutual funds in the financial year 2018-19 is taxable at the rate of 10 percent.
Reporting this income could seem confusing and if your calculation results in a shortfall, the tax authorities will charge a penalty for tax evasion and send you a notice.
You can take the help of the capital gains statement directly from your broker or mutual fund company to get the correct details. You can also seek help from a tax advisor if the calculation seems to complex.
5. Filing the wrong form
If you fail to file the correct income tax form, you will receive a defective return notice under section 139(9) of the Income Tax Act.
Based on your income sources, pick the correct ITR form that applies to you.
If you do receive such a notice, respond to it within 15 days. You may need to file a revised ITR and make sure to file it before the deadline ends.