The extended income tax season is soon coming to an end. Owing to the pandemic, the due date to file your return for Financial Year 2019-20, has been pushed to 31 December, 2020. If you’ve neglected this responsibility, or simply postponed doing it, not to worry. We’ve put together just the guide you need. In addition to a step by step process of how to file your return yourself, here are 10 additional things to keep in mind while filing your Income Tax Return (aka ITR), things that are usually overlooked or hardly talked about.

Let’s dive right in.

Claiming Employee’s Contribution to Provident Fund 

There are a host of investments that one can claim as a deduction from their total taxable income. The most common section for these deductions is Section 80C of the Income Tax Act. While your own share (employee’s share) of contribution towards Provident Fund is clearly mentioned in your Form 16, this amount does not auto-populate when filing your ITR. Be sure to mention this amount, subject to the section’s overall limit of ₹1.5 lakhs.

Claiming TDS Amount

Tax Deducted at Source (TDS) that is deducted throughout the year can be claimed only if your Income Tax Return is filed. Also, simply filling the TDS column in the return is not sufficient to claim a refund. You need to fill one more column titled, “TCS/TDS credit out of (5) being claimed this year”. This is basically a confirmation that you’re claiming the amount in the current financial year. So, remember to fill in not one, but two columns for TDS.

Medical deductions

Under Section 80D of the Income Tax Act, amounts up to ₹25,000 spent towards buying a health insurance policy are eligible as deductions. Further, amounts up to ₹5,000 spent towards preventive health check-ups are also eligible.

Similarly, you may claim a deduction if you have bought a health insurance policy for your parents. The limits are ₹25,000 for parents below the age of 60, and ₹50,000 for senior citizen parents. It’s pertinent to note that in case senior citizens do not have health insurance, you may claim actual medical expenses up to ₹50,000.

Note that all these payments should have been made by any mode other than cash.


Donations to certain trusts and NGOs are eligible for tax deductions. You may claim a deduction of up to 50%, if you have donated to an organisation that is recognised by the Income Tax Department. That means if you donate ₹10,000 to ABC, you can claim ₹5,000 as a deduction from your total taxable income. In case the donation is made to certain notified entities, like the Prime Minister Relief Fund, you may claim up to 100% of the amount donated.

Tax Rebate for Rent Paid by Individuals not receiving HRA

This deduction is specific to those who pay rent, but do not receive House Rent Allowance from their employer. You may claim a maximum deduction of ₹5000 per month, i.e. ₹60,000 annually, under Section 80GG. So, whether you are an employee not getting the benefit of HRA, or you are a freelancer incurring rent, this section is made for you.

Job Switches

If you’ve switched jobs during the financial year, there is often a confusion during the filing process. You would receive a Form 16 from both your employers. In most cases, you can very well refer to the latest Form 16 to file the return. However, we’ve observed that there can be some errors in the tax calculations. Be sure that all the relevant deductions are taken into account. If you have any doubts whatsoever, don’t hesitate to get these calculations checked by an advisor.

Bank Interest

Interest on your savings accounts and fixed deposits are often skipped while calculating our income for the year. Both these need to be declared as income under the head “Income from Other Sources”.

Further, Section 80TTA allows savings interest to be deducted up to ₹10,000. No such deduction exists for interest on fixed deposits. The important thing to note here is that one must add the interest to the total income, and only then claim the deduction. Skipping this step altogether is what must be avoided.

Foreign Travel and Electricity Consumption Disclosure

The Income Tax Department introduced two new declarations starting with FY 2019-20. If you have spent an amount exceeding ₹2 lakhs on foreign travel, you are required to disclose the actual amount spent in your Income Tax return. Similarly, if you have spent more than a total of ₹1 lakh on your electricity bills for the year, you are required to disclose the actual amount. Both these disclosures are simply declarations, and do not affect the tax payable.

Details of Investment post March, 2020

Due to COVID-19, the Income Tax Department had relaxed the due date for making tax-saving investments, from 31 March to 30 June. Any investments made between 1 April, 2020 and 30 June, 2020 are to be mentioned separately to claim the deduction.

Verification of ITR

Submitting your income tax return is not the final step. Once submitted, you need to verify it, either online or offline. Online modes like generating an Aadhar OTP or verifying via net-banking are the quickest ways to do so. Offline would mean taking a print out of the acknowledgement, signing it, and sending it to the Income Tax Office by post. In either case, this verification is to be done within 120 days of filing your ITR.

While 31 December might seem like a far off date, the year is coming to an end quite quickly. So, set yourself a deadline, and aim to file your return before you get into the festive mood again. If you follow this guide, it will take you less than an hour to complete the entire filing process.

As always, feel free to reach out to me in case you face any difficulties while filing your ITR.

PS: Rupiko also conducts sessions to help you plan your taxes and investments better. You may take a look at the session details here –

Rushina Thacker

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