Plan to file income tax returns? Keep these documents ready

With the July 31 deadline just two weeks away, most tax payers are busy collecting their documents and investment proofs required for a smooth filing of income tax returns. An early check of documents will not only speed up your filing process, but it will also reduce the chances of errors and missed details. Here's a checklist of documents you should keep handy every time you file your returns.
General Documents

At the time of filing returns, irrespective of whether you are a salaried individual or self-employed, a few documents are required for all income tax payers. So keeping and maintaining a file with all documents in one place is advisable.

PAN: Permanent Account Number is the most important financial detail required for all your tax related information. This number acts as a user ID for the e-filing website of the Income Tax Department. Only the number is required, the physical card is not needed.

Aadhaar details

A crucial document nowadays, you need your Aadhaar card or the 12-digit number for e-verification and filing. An Aadhaar-based OTP is sent to your registered mobile number, which is also linked to your PAN.

Bank account statements

You will need to have all your bank account statements for the respective financial year. This would help you calculate your overall tax liability.
Form 16

Form 16 is a salary certificate issued by the employer to every salaried individual for the required financial year. It contains the breakup of the salary paid, tax deducted at source, exemptions, deductions etc.
Those who have switched jobs during the financial year must make sure to get hold of Form 16 from the previous employer.
Form 16A: This form gives you details of all incomes other than salaried income. This is generally given to workers, freelancers or self-employed individuals engaged in projects or contractual jobs.

Form 12B

Any individual joining a new company in the middle of a financial year should submit Form 12B with the new employer. Though it is not mandatory, but the form helps your new employer get an idea of the tax deducted in your previous job. The new employer can then release a consolidated Form 16 before the end of the financial year.
Form 26AS

Form 26AS is the tax credit statement or an annual statement that includes details of all taxes paid by you. It is readily available on TRACES portal of the I-T Department and can be downloaded.
Investment documents

All documents under this head, such as health insurance, PPF account, life insurance, donations to various charities, loan repayments, tax-saving FDs, rent paid, etc. should be kept handy.
Interest certificates

This gives you all details about TDS on all your fixed deposits. Interest certificate can be useful especially when using Form 15G or 15H for reversal of TDS for a nil taxable income especially for the senior citizens availing deductions.

Original ITR for revised ITR filing

Those filing a revised ITR for any previously missed entry or a correction must know that the copy of the previously-filed ITR is needed for filing a revised ITR.