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Documents Needed for Filing Income Tax Returns in India


31st of July each year (unless otherwise agreed upon) is the assumed last date for filing of Income Tax Return for any financial year. The process of filing an ITR in India is a lengthy process and needs you to be prepared. For the same reason, the government provides you a Four Month period to gather all documents like income details, previous tax return statements, bank statements, etc. The step by step process of ITR filing varies depending upon the sources of income like business profits, investments, savings and the amount of annual income. 


In this article, we will discuss in detail about the documents needed for filing Income Tax Returns in India.


1. Choosing the applicable ITR form

Taxpayers have to choose the ITR form applicable to them for the AY 2020-21. There are 7 types of ITR forms depending upon the amount and source of total annual income of a tax paying entity. The first step would be to understand and then choose the correct ITR form for your return filing. 

2. Link Aadhaar with PAN

Linking Aadhaar to PAN is obligatory for all taxpayers for the annual year 2020-21. Any taxpayer preparing to file ITR must get their Aadhaar linked to PAN on or before the date of ITR filing.

3. For Salaried Employees

For salaried employees, the documents required are different than those of the business owners. A salaried employee must collect:

  1. PAN
  2. Form-16 issued by the employer
  3. Month wise salary slips


Effective from the AY 2019-20, it is important to collect information on all taxable allowances received and the amount claimed left out of all the said allowances for example, HRA, LTA, etc. and convey the same in the income tax return. 


4. Documents related to interest income

If most of your income comes as the interest on your savings, then you must compile the details and documents related to:

  1. Bank statement/passbook for interest on savings account.
  2. Interest income statement for fixed deposits.
  3. TDS certificate issued by banks and others.


5. Form 26AS

The short summary of all the taxes that you have paid or those deducted on your behalf is filed through form 26AS provided by the Income Tax Department 

Form 26AS is used to show the details of the tax deducted by deductors on your behalf, details of tax deposited by taxpayer and tax refunds received by the same in the given financial year. This form can easily be downloaded from the Income Tax Department’s website.

6. Section 80C Investments

Section 80C investments include investments made for savings purposes by you or on your behalf by the employer (in the case of salaried individuals). These investments include: 






7. Documents Required to Claim the Following Expenses as Deductions

Keep these documents at hand to claim the following expenses as deductions –

  • Your contribution to Provident Fund
  • Your children’s school tuition fees
  • Life insurance premium payment
  • Stamp-duty and registration charges
  • Principal repayment on your home loan
  • Equity Linked Savings Scheme/Mutual funds investment
  • The maximum amount that can be claimed under Section 80C is Rs 1.5 lakhs

8. Other Investment Documents

  • Interest paid on housing loan: Interest on housing loan is eligible for tax saving up to Rs 2,00,000. This is for a self-occupied house. For let out or deemed let out property, there is no limit of interest on housing loan eligible for tax saving till FY 2016-17.

From FY 2017-18, the total loss from house property available for set off against other income is capped at Rs 2 lakhs and therefore, interest on housing loan is eligible for tax saving up to Rs 2,00,000 for let out property as well.

  • Education loan interest payments.
  • Stock trading statement: The stock trades that were made during the year may be taxed under Capital Gain.

9. Documents Required for Income Tax Returns Filing

The income tax return you file is an ‘annexure less’ return, i.e. no documents or proofs are required to be attached with the returns. The Income Tax Act specifies obtaining certificates and proofs to claim deductions, which makes it ambiguous for the taxpayers as to whom they must handover those certificates and proofs.

The taxpayers must preserve those certificates and receipts for future references and need not attach or send it to anyone. In case an assessing officer (AO) sends a notice asking for documents or clarification about the transactions mentioned in the returns, the taxpayer will have to submit the proofs to the AO.

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