Tax Optimizer – Frequently Asked Questions
About Tax Optimizer:
Q: What is Tax Optimizer (TO)?
A: Tax Optimizer (TO) helps you optimize taxes, i.e., to plan and save more tax within your CTC. It also helps to cut your tax outgo by restructuring income, expenses and investments for deduction in the year based on the tax laws (Click here to know more). TO’s prime objective is to maximize tax savings. In fact, it helps you to decide the right tax saving investments for you keeping in view the tax efficiency. Whereas, the Investment Companies or agents try to lure you with their flashy marketing strategies to achieve their sales targets. Tax Optimization is done by tax experts, not sales agents with sales targets.
Q: What is Tax Optimizer+ (TO+)?
A: TO+ helps in selecting the right investment option and amount to be invested depending on the financial goals, net worth and income. The investments, expenses and income should be planned as per projected cash flow e.g., if there is monthly cash surplus of Rs. 1 lakh then one should plan for SIP, RD instead of keeping funds in savings account @4% interest. Tax optimization without identifying and matching the goal is short term view on your financials, i.e., saving tax only for that particular year. We recommend to take the investment decisions including the tax saving investments on long term basis and keep reviewing annually. TO+ also helps in diversification of assets in the right proportion to get higher returns with moderate/low risk. Insurance planning is part of TO+, i.e., providing adequate insurance for life based on the financial liabilities and cost of insurance. It further informs about the tax efficient options for regular income during retirement life and how much to contribute towards each option. Tax2Wealth – To compute and compare the return on investment and replace them to generate superior post tax returns is the ultimate goal of TO+.
Q: What is the difference between TO and TO+ services?
A: TO helps you optimize taxes, i.e., to plan and save more tax within your CTC. It also helps to cut your tax outgo by restructuring income, expenses and investments for deduction in the year based on the tax laws (Click here to know more). These recommendations are tax efficient but not necessarily as per your financial goals. The investments, expenses and income should be planned as per cash flow. The asset allocation and investment amount in the same is best possible if we know your current asset position as well as financial goals. This helps in diversification of assets and insuring life and health risk profile. TO+ takes a 360-degree holistic approach to your personal balance sheet, profit and loss statement, and cash flows to arrive at the best possible outcomes. This involves analyzing your assets and liabilities, and your net worth. These outcomes are a function of the macroscopic and microscopic lens and in-depth analysis by our team, taking into account each and every aspect of individual financial health. This report is a comprehensive solution which balances tax optimization and financial planning.
Q: Will my Tax Optimization be based only on further investment?
A: No, our tax experts would check your current Tax payable situation and accordingly would suggest you from the 30+ components divided in 4 categories, i.e., Perquisites,Allowances,Investments and Home Loan.Hence, it would depend on your current situation and choice which of the components you want to implement for your Tax Saving.
Q: Are the 30+ Tax saving components based on IT Act?
A: Yes, everything suggested by the tax experts at TaxSpanner is under the purview of IT Act.
Q: Besides the investments under Section 80C, what are the other options available for Tax Saving?
A: There are 25+ other components available in the Tax Optimization Report, apart from 80C which will help you in saving tax as per the IT act.
Q: How is taking a home loan a good Tax Saving option?
A: We always advise our customers to stay in a rented house and give their own house, which has been acquired by opting for home loan option, on rent. This gives them tax benefits u/s 80C as well as entitles them to avail loss on house property which reduces their taxable income and in turn the taxes. Ideally, home loan on rented property helps in saving almost 20% of the total taxes, making it a very lucrative tax saving option.
Q: Do you recommend medical insurance over and above medical cover provided by my employer?
A: Medical deduction under section 80D is the least used tax benefit due to ignorance on the part of most persons, who rely on the basic medical coverage provided by the employer applicable only when one is employed with them. Moreover, the actual medical bills are way higher than basic medical cover, i.e., Rs. 3-5 lakhs provided by the employer. Hence, as part of tax optimization, we recommend the best medical insurance and tax saving plan applicable to you and your family.
Process and Packages:
Q: What is the process of availing Tax Optimization services?
A: Salaried employees can avail Tax Optimization services in three simple steps as mentioned below:
Step 1: Salaried employee portal would display a page dedicated to Salaried employees’ financial well-being. Here, you would findTaxSpanner offeringsw.r.t. Tax Optimization services, especially designed for Salaried employees – you can view packages, get their details, contact support, etc.
Step 2: Make payment for the packagesuitable to your requirements.
Step 3: Post successful payment, you would be directed to TaxSpanner portal where you candownload your basic TaxOptimizer report and review it (included in Self package as well).A TaxSpanner representative will connect withyou over call as per the SLA mentioned in package details, to start the tax optimization process.
Q: What will be the charges of availing TO?What are the different services/packages especially available for Salaried employees?
A: There are 4 packages for Tax Optimization that are being offered to Salaried employees at discounted rates:Q:
What will be the process of Tax Optimization?
A: Once the payment has been made, a TaxSpanner representative will connect with you over call as per the defined SLA and your Tax Optimization process would start as follows:
- Share the documents/information (depending on the package availed) as mentioned below:
- Pay Slip (Latest)/ CTC details
- Income Tax Computation sheet
- Housing Loan/property details
- Investments details (LIC, Medical Insurance policy, etc)
- Dependent Relatives with ages (mention if anyone in the family suffers from a disability or illness)
- Rent Paid (if applicable), or rent received (if applicable).
- Get Tax Optimization Report (TOR) in 1 business day from the payment date
- Read carefully the complete TOR with point wise explanation given in the report
- List down your top queries or doubts for discussion as the time for discussion is limited to 60 minutes (you may extend the time @Rs.999 for 30 minutes in advance or as per need)
- Send these queries for discussion with CA with preferred timings
Q: Can we upgrade the package from TO to TO+?
A: Yes, you have the option to upgrade the package according to your requirements, by paying the difference in amount of the higher package.
Q: How much time will it take for the completion of Tax Optimization service?
A: It takes 1 to 3 business days for the full Tax Optimization service to be completed.
Q: In how much time a CA gets assigned to me once I have made the payment?
A: After subscription of the paid package, a CA will be assigned to you within 4 to 24 hours.
Q: What are the documents that I need to sharefor TO service?
A: In order to prepare your TO Report, we would need the below mentioned documents:
- Pay Slip (Latest)
- Income Tax Computation sheet
Q: What are the documents that I need to sharefor TO+ service?
A:In order to prepare your TO+ Report, we would need the below mentioned documents:
- Pay Slip (Latest)
- Income Tax Computation sheet
- Housing Loan/property details
- Investments details (LIC, Medical Insurance policy, Mutual fund, Equity, etc.)
- Completely filled Input sheet (Click here to access it)
Q: I don’t have Income Tax Computation sheet.Can you help me without it?
A: In this case, we can prepare your Tax Optimization report using your latest Pay slip and the current Investment documents.
Q: Can I make investmentsthrough TaxSpanner website?
A: Yes, now you can make your investments through TaxSpanner website itself. Click here to get started
Why Tax Optimization:
Q: Why should I go for Tax Optimizer?
A: In our experience of more than 10 years, we have observed that most of the employees pay higher taxes as compared to their tax efficient peers in the same income and age group. As per our understanding, this is primarily because they have been managing your taxes themselves instead of taking expert help. When you are ill, self-help is not sufficient and you have to consult a health expert, i.e., a doctor for accurate diagnosis and medication to improve your health. Similarly, you should consult a tax expert for optimization of your tax outgo and savings.
Q: How is Tax Optimizer better than my current saving plan?
A: You might be one of the few taxpayers who actually are inclined towards tax saving. The shortcoming of pure tax saving is that its goals are limited. On the other hand, tax optimization process ensures that the financial goals of individuals are met to the maximum possible extent. While buying a tax saving product helps you save taxes, return from these tax saving investments or withdrawal can be taxable. Tax optimization helps you choose such tax saving investments and options that are tax efficient in terms of return and withdrawal as well.
Q: Why should I pay for Tax Expert services when I have already done maximum tax savings?
A: Tax experts have complete and accurate knowledge of tax laws just like you must have in your domain. Since you are not as aware about tax laws as an expert, decisions made based on your own assumptions lead to loss of your hard-earned money in taxes, YOY. Changes in tax laws as well as your financial circumstances are more frequent than you would have noticed or acted upon. A tax expert helps in adapting to these changes more efficiently and accurately.
Q: Why do you think that I am losinga lot ofmoney by paying too much taxes?
A: Most taxpayers make a major mistake of underestimating the compounding value of tax loss during their working years. The monthly TDS amount reflecting in your salary slip doesn’t bother you too much. But it affects you and your family’s financial security in the long run. The compounded tax loss runs in lakhs and even crores by the time you retire. A mere saving of Rs. 3000 from your monthly TDS can increase your retirement corpus by Rs. 10,27,122, Rs. 50,85,990, and Rs. 1,94,73,533 in 10 years, 20 years, and 30 years respectively by the time of retirement. This saving in tax outflow can be used in building assets for your family.
Q: What is the difference between common Tax Saving and Tax Optimization?
A: Tax Optimization’s prime objective is to maximize tax savings. However, it also helps you to match the tax saving investments with your life goals and makes you understand their impact on your finances. In fact, it helps you to decide the right tax saving investments for you keeping in view the tax efficiency, real return, risk appetite and cash flow requirements for years to come. Whereas, the Investment Companies or agents try to lure you with their flashy marketing strategies to achieve their sales targets. Tax Optimization is done by tax experts, not sales agents with sales targets.
Q: How will TO+ help me in achieving my financial goals?
A: TO+ takes a 360-degree holistic approach to your personal balance sheet, profit and loss statement, and cash flows to arrive at the best possible outcomes. This involves analyzing your assets and liabilities, and your net worth. These outcomes are a function of the macroscopic and microscopic lens and in-depth analysis by our team, taking into account each and every aspect of individual financial health. This report is a comprehensive solution which balances tax optimization and financial planning. The money earned is then spent to first meet your basic needs, partly spent to meet your discretionary needs also called aspirations, and the rest is saved or invested further to meet your short, medium and long-term goals in life.
Q: What are the benefits of Tax Optimizer+ (TO+)?
A: Tax Optimizer+ (TO+) is an all-in-one solution for your tax and financial planning, as well as investment needs. This is a unique and highly specialized offering with many benefits as stated below:
- Single Dashboard for your complete financial well-being
- Well established and trusted
- Enhances return up to 30% thus adding to your wealth
- Balances the maximum return and minimal risk in your journey to be rich
- Balances tax optimization and financial planning
- Prepares personalized financial roadmap customized for you
- Serves as financial roadmap for life with annual review
Q: Is Tax Optimizer approved or appreciated by any agency?
A: TaxSpanner has a vast experience in tax optimization of taxpayers. Over the last 10 years, we have helped thousands of our customers save lakhs of rupees every year. Times of India – India’s largest media and entertainment group, also trusts our expertise in tax management. Tax Optimizer case studies are being published in ET Wealth and Times of India for the last 5 years to help taxpayers in reducing their taxes within the tax laws.
Q: Can a tax expert guide me on the basis of my Company Rules as my company doesn’t allow me to do changes in my salary structure?
A: It is very common among tax payers to assume that their company doesn’t allow them to do changes in salary structure. As per our experience, employees do not understand the benefits and full details of the CTC structure offered by their company. Moreover, if you understand the benefit not being allowed by your current employer, the same should be requested to your HR and Finance departments.
Q: Can Tax Expert also help in proof submission to my employer?
A: It is a tendency with majority of taxpayers to start assessing various tax saving investment options under Section 80C, whenever proof submission activity is just around the corner. With focus being on exhausting 80C limit, it’s highly possible that you end up investing in options that are not suitable for you. A tax expert would help you decide the right tax saving investments for you keeping in view the tax efficiency, real return, risk appetite and cash flow requirements for years to come.
Q: What is the right way of doing tax saving investment?
A: The right way to invest is to match your tax saving with financial goals. Here are the key points to note:
- Calculate your tax liability before investing to know the scope of saving tax u/s 80C
- Check how much you have already contributed or need to contribute towards your existing commitments this year
- Link your tax saving plans with your financial goals
- Evaluate various products in terms of financial need, diversification and return on investment
- Do not restrict tax saving only to investing under Sec 80C
Proof submission activity gives you the right opportunity to not only assess options u/s 80C, but also to go beyond and explore all possible tax saving strategies available to you within the Income Tax laws. And our Tax Optimizer+ does this exactly for you. Moreover, our team would help you to get the right investment as well with our associates.
Q: Why should I hire a Tax/Financial planner to manage my money?
A: A financial planner will be able to connect all of the financial dots in order to provide you with an overall plan to meet your financial goals. They have got the training and experience in all kinds of financial products and financial aspects of your life – equities, bonds, insurance, taxes, and estate planning – in order to make the right recommendations for your personal situation. A financial planner can also save you thousands of rupees in tax deductions and find higher-yielding investment products at little or no extra risk.
Q: What is the difference between my insurance/mutual fund/real estate/investment advisor and a tax expert?
A: A tax expert provides unbiased tax saving advice for a fee. However, an investment agent works on a commission and towards achieving his sales targets. An investment agent who generally belongs to real estate, insurance, mutual funds and similar fields, may not have tax knowledge beyond 80C. They rely mostly on their marketing skills and not tax knowledge to lure you into buying inefficient tax saving instruments. Thus, the choice is to save on tax expert fees or be get stuck with tax inefficient and/or sub optimal return investments. This is one of the most common reasons why one ends up paying higher tax.
Tax E-Filing – Frequently Asked Questions
- What is a return of income?
Ans: It is a prescribed form through which the particulars of income earned by a person in a financial year and taxes paid on such income is communicated to the Income tax department after the end of the financial year. Different forms are prescribed for filing of returns for different Status and nature of income.
- What are the benefits of filing my return of income?
Ans: Filing of return is your constitutional duty and earns for you the dignity of consciously contributing to the development of the nation. This apart, your IT returns validate your credit worthiness before financial institutions and make it possible for you to access many financial benefits such as bank credits etc.
- Will I be put to any disadvantage by filing my return?
Ans: No, on the contrary by not filing your return in spite of having taxable income, you will be laying yourself open to the penal and prosecution provisions under the Income-tax Act.
- What is the due date for filing returns of income/loss?
Ans: For an individual or HUF, 31st July of assessment year is the last day for filing return of income/loss.
- Why is return filing mandatory even though all my taxes and interests have been paid and there is no refund due to me?
Ans: Amounts paid as advance tax and withheld in the form of TDS or collected in the form of TCS will take the character of your tax due only on completion of self-assessment of your income. This self-assessment is intimated to the department by way of filing of return. Only then does the government acquire rights over the prepaid taxes as its own revenue. Filing of return is critical for this process and, hence, has been made mandatory. Failure will attract levy of penalty.
- When is it mandatory for an individual to file return of income?
Ans: Individuals are mandatorily required to file return of income if their income from all sources – salary, interest income, etc. – exceeds basic exemption limit of Rs. 2.5 lakhs. For senior citizens and super senior citizens, this limit is Rs. 5 lakhs.
- So far, I have never paid any tax. If I file a return this year will the IT department ask me about my earlier year’s income?
Ans: It is never too late to start honoring your constitutional obligations for payment of tax. The department may ask you to file return of income for earlier years if it finds that you had taxable income in those years.
- Is it necessary to file return of income when I do not have any positive income?
Ans: If you have sustained a loss in the financial year, which you propose to carry forward to the subsequent year for adjustment against its positive income, you must make a claim of loss by filing your return before the due date.
- My taxable income is above 5 lakh, do I need to file return of income electronically?
Ans: Yes, as per notification from CBDT (The Central Board of Direct Taxes) dated 01.05.2013, it is mandatory to file return of income electronically (E-filing).
- From where can I get a return form?
Ans: The Public Relation Officer [PRO] can be contacted for this purpose. The form can also be downloaded from the site http://www.incometaxindia.gov.in/ (Click on ‘Downloads’ and select ‘Income Tax Returns’).
- Which return form is applicable for me on the basis of my Total Income or Sources of income?
Ans: Any individual having an annual income of up to Rs. 50 lakhs from salaries, a house, interest income, family pension income, etc., has to file ITR 1-Sahaj form.However, if an individual earns upto Rs. 50 lakhs annually, but also have a house, deposited more than Rs 1 crore in a bank account or incurred Rs. 2,00,000 on foreign travel or Rs. 1,00,000 on electricity bill,they have to file ITR 4-Sugam form.
- Where and how am I supposed to file my return?
Ans: A return is to be filed before your Assessing officer. It may even be sent by post or filed electronically. Nowadays returns are also being received at designated post offices.
- Who is an Assessing officer?
Ans: He / She is an officer of the Income tax department who has been given jurisdiction over a particular geographical territory or class of persons. You can find out from the PRO or from the Departmental website http://www.incometaxindia.gov.in/ as to your jurisdiction.
- I am going out of India. Who will file my income tax return for this period?
Ans: You can authorize any person by way of a Power of Attorney to file your return. A copy of the Power of Attorney should be enclosed with the return.
- If I fail to furnish my return within the due date of filing, will I be fined or penalized?
Ans: Yes. This may take the form of interest if the return is not filed before the end of the assessment year. Fees for late filing of return [Section 234F]
[Applicable for ITR 1 to 7]
Up to Assessment Year 2017-18, if assessee fails to file the return of income before the end of the assessment year, penalty under Section 271F may be imposed by the Assessing Officer. This penalty provision was omitted by the Finance Act, 2017.
In lieu of such penalty, the Finance Act, 2017 levies a new fees if assessee does not furnish the return of income on the due dates prescribed under Section 139(1).
The amount of such late filing fees shall be:
- Rs. 5,000 if return is furnished after the due date but before December 31 of the assessment year [Rs. 1,000 if total income is up to Rs. 5 lakhs].
- Rs. 10,000, in any other case.
After introducing this new provision, the assessees shall now be required to pay the late filing fees under section 234F along with interest under section 234A, 234B and 234C before filing of return of income. The Income-tax Dept. shall not be required to initiate the penalty proceedings separately to levy such fees on late filers.
Relevant changes have been incorporated in the new ITR forms wherein a new row is added to enable the assessee to fill the details of late filing fees.
- Can a return be filed after the due date?
Ans: Yes. It may be furnished at any time before the expiry of one year from the end of the financial year in which the income was earned. For example, in case of income earned during FY 2018-19, the belated return can be filed before 31st March 2020.
- If I have paid excess tax how and when will it be refunded?
Ans: The excess tax can be claimed as refund by filing your income tax return. It will be refunded by issue of cheque or by crediting to your bank account. The department has been making efforts to settle refund claims within four months from the month of Filing return.
- There are various deductions that have not been reflected in the Form 16 issued by my employer. Can I claim them in my return?
- If I have committed any mistake in my original return, am I permitted to file a revise return?
Ans: Yes, but only before completion of assessment year provided the department has not completed assessment. However, it is expected that the mistake in the original return is of a genuine and bona fide nature. For example, for Assessment year 2020-21 you can revise your return upto 31-March-2021.
- How many times can I revise the return?
Ans: Theoretically a return can be revised any number of times before the end of the assessment year or before assessment by the department is completed; whichever event takes place earlier. For example, for Assessment year 2020-21 you can revise your return upto 31-March-2021.
- Am I required to keep a copy of the return filed as proof and for how long?
Ans: Yes. Since legal proceedings under the income tax act can be initiated up to six years prior to the current financial year, you must maintain such documents at least for this period.
- Am I liable for any criminal prosecution [arrest/imprisonment etc.] if I don’t file my income tax return even though my income is taxable?
Ans: Non-payment of tax attracts interests, penalty and prosecution. The prosecution can lead to rigorous imprisonment from 6 months to 7 years and fine.
23: Who should pay advance tax and why?
Ans: Taxpayers are required to make advance tax payments if their total tax liability (including income from other sources and so on) in a financial year is more than Rs 10,000. However, most people believe that they don’t have to pay it since tax is already deducted at source from their salaries. As a taxpayer, you can be liable to pay advance tax if you have not reported other sources of income such as interest income to your employer. Penal interest on shortfall in advance tax is payable at 1 percent under section 234B and also under Section 234C, separately, depending on the amount of shortfall in advance tax and dates by which it was not paid as required.
24: How do I pay tax to the government?
Ans: The process to pay ‘tax due’ online to NSDL is:
- Visit the link: https://onlineservices.tin.egov-nsdl.com/etaxnew/tdsnontds.jsp
- Select Challan No 280
- Select code 0021 for tax applicable, relevant assessment year (mention current year filing), and Type of payment as ‘300’ for self assessment tax or ‘100’ for advance tax
- Enter the whole amount of the tax due under the head Basic Tax, leaving all other entries blank
- Save the soft copy of the challan generated by your bank on your PC
25: Why should I choose TaxSpanner for Filing My ITR?
Ans: Here are the Top 10 reasons to choose TaxSpanner to file your income tax returns:
- Always there for your support
- Awesome UX
- It’s Fast
- Leaves nothing on chance
- All you may need in one place
- Data Privacy & Confidentiality
- Your data is always secure
- Complete solutions
- No mis-selling
- No hidden fees