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Mar 7, 2024

Mastering Taxes: A Beginner's Guide for Indian Millennials

Shebi Sharma



Welcome to the world of adulting in India, where the spice of life includes navigating the maze of taxes. Let’s face it, adulting can be as tricky as a game of kabaddi, and when it comes to taxes, it feels like you’re the last player standing, trying to tag the complexities and make it back to safety.

As I step through my twenties, I’ve come to realize that there are countless life skills that our school textbooks skipped over. From mastering the art of bargaining at the local bazaar to planning a budget-friendly trip across the country, and yes, even the daunting task of filing taxes.

The mere thought of taxes can send anyone into a fuss – this year marks my debut in the tax-filing league, and I confess, the forms look as complex as a classical raga composition.

But fear not, because one thing I’ve learned is that you never have to face these challenges solo. I’ve sought the wisdom of a Chartered Accountant (CA) and gathered some insights to guide us through the process, step by step.

Dive into the ‘Taxes 101 Guide’ tailored for us, the Indian audience, to crack the intricacies of taxes:

When someone mentions “filing taxes,” what’s the deal?

In the simplest terms, filing taxes means reporting your income to the government and calculating whether you owe them money or they owe you a refund. It’s like settling scores after a friendly cricket match but with the Income Tax Department.

Do I really need to file a tax return? Yes, if you:

  • Earned income above the basic exemption limit.
  • Have savings or investments that generate income.
  • Want to claim a refund for the excess tax deducted at source.

Or else you can check this as well: Income Tax Slab Rate for FY 2023-24

How to File Your Taxes

Filing taxes is like preparing a thali; you need to have all the right components in place:

  • Gather all your income details, just like you’d collect all the spices for a perfect masala.
  • Calculate your deductions, akin to measuring out ingredients for a balanced meal.
  • Submit your tax return online, much like sharing a recipe on a food blog.

If you want to check a detailed guide on how to Pay Your Income Tax Online: A Simple and Secure Way, I have got you! In this blog, a step-by-step procedure is written with snapshots! Are you doing a happy dance?

How do I know the IT department received my tax return?

You’ll get an acknowledgement, just like getting a ‘seen’ on your WhatsApp message. Once you've filed online, you'll get a receipt called an ITR-V.

Here’s how to ensure the IT Department has given your tax return the green light:

  • Step 1: Start your quest at the e-Filing portal.

  • Step 2: Look for the ‘Income Tax Return (ITR) Status’ link—it’s your gateway to peace of mind.

  • Step 3: On the ITR Status page, it’s time to enter your acknowledgement number and your mobile number, then hit ‘Continue’ like you’re advancing to the next level in a video game.

  • Step 4: Wait for the magic digits—a 6-digit OTP—on your mobile. It’s like getting the secret code to a hidden treasure. Enter it and press ‘Submit’ to unlock your ITR status.

Keep in Mind:

  • The OTP is as fleeting as a monsoon shower—it lasts for only 15 minutes.
  • You get three attempts at entering the OTP correctly—make them count like a cricket batsman on the final ball.
  • The countdown timer is your ticking clock, reminding you of the OTP’s shelf life.
  • Hit ‘Resend OTP’ for another chance if needed.

Once you’ve crossed the finish line with the correct OTP, voilà! Your ITR status will be revealed, confirming that the IT Department has acknowledged your tax return. It’s like getting a thumbs-up for your skills at the workplace!

What’s the deadline for filing?

Mark your calendars and set your reminders; here are the key dates for your tax journey:

Due Date: 31 July 2024

  • Nature of Compliance: ITR filing for Individuals, HUFs, AOPs, BOIs

Due Date: 31 October 2024

  • Nature of Compliance: Businesses submitting their Tax Audit

Due Date: 30 November 2024

  • Nature of Compliance: Transfer Pricing Report for specific domestic or international transactions

Due Date: 31 December 2024

  • Nature of Compliance: Filing of Revised Return

Due Date: 31 December 2024

  • Nature of Compliance: Filing of Belated Return

Remember, in the world of taxes, being punctual is as important as adding the right amount of spices to your biryani. Get these dates etched in your mind like the lyrics of your favorite Bollywood song!

Anything else I should be aware of?

Yes, always double-check your information, like confirming your order at a restaurant, to ensure everything is just right. Keep track of all your receipts, bills, bank statements etc.

Embrace the journey of adulting with a dash of humor and a spoonful of patience. After all, understanding taxes is just another recipe in the cookbook of life. Bon Appétit, or as we say in India, Khana shuru karein?

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