Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Of ignorance and the lack of it

The first two years of my professional life I paid my Income tax knowing almost next to nothing about it. I didn't even know the bare basics. What is taxable income? What are the tax slabs all about? What are deductions? What is the difference between paying the income tax and filing the Income Tax return?  And such. Partly because the company did everything for me. I was paying more than necessary but I was not bothered.

One good thing though, I somehow always filed it, which helped me in buying a car for myself. Last year, after quitting my first company and shortly after joining my new company I started reading extensively about it, all thanks to my new organization for keeping me in the free pool.

I found innumerable articles to read in the interwebs relating to the topic. When I asked around I understood that so many IT professionals, more experienced or as experienced as I, did not know much about these things either. They were pretty much in the dark as I was.

I feel this is one case where people do not have to be ignorant. It might take a while to figure out, but it is very easy to understand the basics; and this is a learning for life. As long as we have an income, like it or not, we are obligated to pay a tax for it. Anybody can understand the basics and anybody in India can file their returns online themselves through the website

Ever since I cultivated a penchant for it, I have helped so many of my friends and family to file their returns- some through clarifying their doubts and for the more lazy ones even doing it end to end. I also got refunds for myself, for the years some mistakes were made in calculations, using the two year window period rule. And the Income Tax Department has been kind enough to return the refund amount plus interest for the period.

Weird though it may sound, I feel a new found liking for this time of year, something I did not have before, and kind of look forward to filing my returns. Waiting to receive the Form 16 from my company.

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