With this post on #TaxPlege I would like to take you back to the late eighties when I was a junior officer at biggest PSU of the country. Times were really different then, if I think of those times now…offices were different, colleagues were different, bosses were different and office culture was different! Believe me this transformation from those times to these times has been far from smooth.
As a very young official in those times, I was very curious youngster, that has not changed even now…I was very curious what senior officers discussed during their time in Cooler room…yes offices had big water coolers then and a room was dedicated to them. It was not only a place to satiate your thirst but also gossip (read network). Many a times I heard my senior officers were found discussing Tax ( Arre yaar I have to pay tax this month, salary would be half, expenses would be double etc. etc.). Then I use to think…this tax is really something great and enters in your life when you get promotion. All through, I yearned, when would tax enter my life? It entered yes, when time came!
& voila…what havoc tax played in my life. The carefree moments of getting salary and blowing it up shopping in Janpath & Connaught Place disappeared from life.
Going by the fact, I am the most rule & law abiding citizen you can think of, I started investing diligently under 80C since those times and paid taxes well and on time always. This is one part of the tax which every earning person should do as it leads to forced tax savings for your future and is a big source of revenue for the Government. Now came the time of Income Tax Return filing. I always thought it needs to be done by business groups, businessmen, self-employed or those having income from other sources. I have already paid tax to the Government on my salary, where is the need to file returns?
When my CA told me that I need to file returns, I went ahead and started doing it and I have been doing for many years…but this question still lingers on my mind. Why it is important to file returns for me?
It seems I too was living under perception like several others that having paid taxes at various sources, filing of returns is not important, because after all, the Government’s main objective is to ensure that its tax kitty is getting the revenue due to it. This is a misconception and it is essential to know that it is our constitutional obligation to file tax returns when you are required to do so. So your job does not end at paying taxes, filing returns is equally important.
My ex- CFO, Shri Balwant Jain, who is decorated with CA, CS, CFP, a great author & orator tried to convince me with this argument, “ Income tax authorities allow you to self assess your income and accordingly pay taxes. You tend to believe that your income tax return is a drop in the ocean for the income tax authorities and hence not declaring income or understating income may well is worth because it saves you a few bucks. Deliberately hiding your income from the income tax authorities, to reduce your tax liability, amounts to tax evasion. Some examples of tax evasion include, not declaring interest received on bank fixed deposits or accepting income in cash and not route it through the official system.”
Besides, you are not only part of the revenue stream to the Government, it is beneficial for you as an individual too if are a loan aspirant, if you are applying for VISA, want to become LIC agent, want to start your own venture – Start-Up or want to apply for Government jobs.
Still I was not convinced. But #TaxPledge contest provoked me to dig deeper. Let me add here that my CA has been filing my tax returns from several years but this year I switched to E-filing and attempted it with the help of my brother Prabhat Varma and documents support by husband Mukund. What an experience it was! So simple, so meticulous and I was thrilled like a child when acceptance note popped on my screen.
So you too go ahead with E- filing of Tax Returns yourself especially when the process can be done in a few clicks with e-filing platforms like H&R block. I have checked it personally and believe me it is most uncomplicated platform to file your IT Returns.
Please go ahead, visit HR Blocks website and in a jiffy you returns are filed, of course if you are armed with all relevant details. Watch video for all details:
People here you go…& you are in the list of law abiding citizens of the country as you have fulfilled your duty towards India.
Read Post II for continuity…