Saturday, July 28, 2007

Filing your tax returns online

I filed my tax returns online today. Impressions:
  1. You need Acrobat Reader 8.1. Since only 7.0 is available for Linux, you need Windows. Big bummer.

  2. Don't try opening the PDF in 7.0, either in Windows or in Linux. Acrobat will chew your RAM up and pretty much freeze your machine.

  3. v8.1, while it does the job, is still not perfect. The first time I was in the middle of filling the form it crashed on me, forcing me to reenter all the data (Note to Adobe developers: it's not cricket to raise the hopes of users by volunteering to recover the lost document and not fulfilling your promise).

  4. Doing your own taxes is not a cinch, but is still doable, provided you are willing to invest the time (three and one half hours in my case).

  5. The surcharge is 10% of the total tax; the education cess is 2% of (tax + surcharge). This one stumped me for a while (the education cess bit, that is).

  6. When you are Googling for tax slabs and such, make doubly sure that you are looking at the figures for the correct year, or you'll end up tearing your hair out, trying to match the numbers obtained from a tax calculator for 2002-03 with your Form-16.

  7. I don't understand the need for having something called an assessment year. Why can't we just say we are filing the returns for FY 06-07, instead of saying AY 07-08?

  8. You still cannot avoid standing in a physical queue, unless you digitally sign the form.