Income Tax Return (ITR) is a method to report gross taxable income from different sources, claiming tax deductions and declaring net tax liability to the Income Tax Department. It is filed by salaried or self-employed individuals, Hindu Undivided Families (HUF), companies or firms. A taxpayer can file the ITR online on the e-portal of the Income Tax Department. The process of filing ITR online is referred to as e-filing. The following article will explain important aspects of e-filing Income Tax Returns.
How to File Income Tax Returns Online?
The Income Tax Department provides the e-filing software for all ITR forms. However, only ITR-1 and ITR-4 can be filed completely online without downloading any software in Excel or Java. After keeping the required documents ready, you can file tax returns completely online by following these steps:
Step 1: Go to the Income Tax e-Filing website
Step 2: If you are new to e-filing, register yourself on the portal
If you are already registered, login to your income tax account by providing your User ID (your PAN), password and captcha
Step 3: In the “e-file” menu, click on the “Income Tax Return” and follow the steps mentioned below:
Step 4: Select the appropriate assessment year, ITR form name as ITR-1 or ITR-4 as per the applicability, “Filing Type” as “Original/Revised Return” and submission mode as “Prepare and Submit Online”.
If you had filed online ITR before, you can select details that will be automatically prefilled to the selected ITR form. Select those details which you want to be prefilled and click on “Continue”.
Step 5: Now you will be redirected to a page where you will start filling out the form. However, before you start filling the form, read the “General Instructions” given at the start carefully to avoid mistakes.
Step 6: Once you are done reading the instructions, you can start filling in the required information in different tabs, i.e., “General information”, “Income Details”, “Tax Details” “Taxes Paid and Verification” and “80G” in the ITR form.
Step 7: Before submitting the form, recheck it to avoid any mistakes and click on the “Preview and Submit” button. Your form will appear allowing you a preview before the final submission is made.
Step 8: Once you click on “Submit” your ITR will be uploaded and you will be asked to verify the return using any of the options available.
Step 9: You can verify your return electronically by using Aadhaar OTP or Electronic Verification Code (EVC) method or through an offline method by sending a signed printout of the ITR V to “Centralized Processing Center, Income Tax Department, Bengaluru – 560500” within 120 days from the date of e-filing.
Note: Once your return is successfully uploaded, an Acknowledgement or ITR-V will be simultaneously sent to your registered email address. The acknowledgement will also reflect in your account on the e-filing website from where you can download it as and when required.
Step 10: Once you verify your ITR, the department will process it and will notify you about the same through an email on your registered email ID and an SMS on your registered mobile number.
It is not necessary that an individual can only file for an income tax return from the authorized site of the Government of India but there are also many private sector entities that assist in the income tax return filing. Private sectors charge a particular fee from the individual in return for the service rendered. The amount of fee charged varies from firm to firm.
Who is required to file ITR?
As per section 139(1) of the Income Tax Act, 1961, any individual whose total income in the financial year exceeds the income tax exemption limit is liable to file the income tax return. Apart from that, any private or public company based out of India or doing business in India, firms, Hindu Undivided Family (HUFs), Association of Persons (AOP), Body of Individual (BOI) etc. are also liable to declare net profits/losses of the year and pay their tax liability by filing ITR.
Individuals that need to file income tax returns are as follows:
- A person with an age of less than 60 years has an annual income of more than Rs. 2.5 lakh.
- A person with an age between 60 years and 80 years and has an annual income of Rs. 3 lakh or more.
- A person who is above the age of 80 years and has an annual income of more than Rs. 5 lakh.
- A company or an organisation is bound to file for an income tax return no matter if the company is in loss or profit.
- If there is a loss that you want to carry forward under the head of income.
- If a resident Indian has an asset or any financial interest in an entity situated outside the geographic territory of the country.
- If an individual applies for a loan or a visa, proof of filing tax returns might be required.
- If an individual receives income from property that is held under any kind of trust for charitable purposes or any research association, educational centre or medical centre, trade union or non-profit university.
- If a non-resident Indian has his/her income sources from India, then he/she is also liable to pay the taxes and also to file Income Tax Returns.
What is the Income Tax Slab for FY 2021-22
Income tax slabs for individuals and HUF (less than 60 years old) for FY 2021-22:
|Income Tax Slab (Rs.)||Tax Rate||Health & Education Cess|
|Income up to 2.5 Lakh||Nil||Nil|
|2.5 Lakh < Income <= 5 Lakh||5% of income exsceeding Rs. 2.5 Lakh||4%|
|5 lakh < Income <= 10 lakh||Rs. 12,500 + 20% of income exceeding Rs. 5 lakh||4%|
|Income > 10 lakh||Rs.1,12,500 + 30% of income exceeding Rs. 10 lakh||4%|
- If the net income exceeds Rs. 50 Lakh but less than Rs. 1 Crore, a surcharge of 10% is levied on the net payable tax.
- If the net income exceeds Rs. 1 Crore, a surcharge on income tax at 15% is applicable on the income tax payable.
New Tax Regime
Assessees can opt for the new tax regime as well for FY 21-22. This system can be beneficial for those who invest less in tax-saving options. The new tax slab is mentioned below:
|Income Tax Slab (Rs.)||Tax Rate||Health & Education Cess|
|Income up to 2.5 Lakh||Nil||Nil|
|2.5 Lakh < Income <= 5 Lakh||5% of income exceeding Rs. 2.5 Lakh||4%|
|5 lakh < Income <= 7.5 lakh||Rs. 12,500 + 10% of income exceeding Rs. 5 lakh||4%|
|7.5 lakh < Income <= 10 lakh||Rs. 37,500 + 15% of income exceeding Rs. 7.5 lakh||4%|
|10 lakh < Income <= 12.5 lakh||Rs. 75,000 + 20% of income exceeding Rs. 10 lakh||4%|
|12.5 lakh < Income <= 15 lakh||Rs. 1,25,000 + 25% of income exceeding Rs. 12.5 lakh||4%|
|Income > 15 lakh||Rs. 1,87,500 + 30% of income exceeding Rs. 15 lakh||4%|
Note: The tax surcharge shall remain the same for both tax regimes. The rebate up to Rs. 12,500 for taxpayers having total taxable income up to Rs. 5,00,000 under section 87-A shall be applicable for those who opt for new tax regime as well.
Types of ITR Forms
On the Income Tax Department of India website, there are different forms that can be used to file income tax returns based on different income sources and types of taxpayers (resident/non-resident/individual/non-individual, etc.).
As of Assessment Year 2021-2022, there are seven forms available from ITR-1 to ITR-7. Some of these forms might be longer than others and may require additional disclosures such as profit and loss statements. To help you know which one of the forms fits best to your requirements, here is each one of them briefly explained:
- ITR-1 – This form is also called SAHAJ. ITR – 1 is meant to be filed by an individual who gets income from salary, pension, one house property, interest or income from other sources (excluding winning from lottery winnings and income from race horses) and having the total income of up to Rs. 50 lakh.
- ITR-2 – This form is for individuals or the Hindi Undivided Families (HUFs) who have income which is not from the profits and gains of a business or otherwise profession.
- ITR-3 – This form is for different persons or the HUFs whose source of income is from the profits and gains of a business or profession.
- ITR-4 – This form is for those who have presumptive income from a business or professionals.
- ITR-5 – This form is for everyone other than individuals, HUF, company and person filing Form ITR-7.
- ITR-6 – This form is for all those companies which are not claiming exemption under Section 11 of the Income Tax Act.
- ITR-7 – This form is relevant for all people including those enterprises who are required to file tax returns under the Section 139(4A), Section 139(4B), Section 139(4C), Section 139(4D), Section 139 (4E) or 139 (4F).
How to Download Income Tax Return Form
Taxpayers can find income tax return forms on the official website of the Income Tax Department. To download forms, follow these steps:
- Visit the Income Tax Department website
- Click on the ‘Form/Downloads’ option
- Select the ‘Income Tax Returns’ option from the drop-down menu
- Once you are redirected to the ‘Income Tax Return’ webpage, download the form that seems applicable as per your source of income and assessment year.
Is it Mandatory to File ITR Online
Taxpayers belonging to any of the following classes are mandatorily required to file their income tax return only through e-filing mode:
- Individuals or HUFs having a total income of more than Rs. 2.5 lakh or having a tax refund claim is mandated to file ITR electronically. However, super senior citizens (Individuals with 80 or more years of age) filing ITR 1 or 4 have the option to file the ITR manually or electronically.
- Every company is required to file ITR electronically under a digital signature.
- A firm or individual or HUF whose books of account are to be audited under section 44AB are mandated to e-file the ITR.
- A person who is required to file ITR-5 or who is claiming tax relief under section 90, 90A or 91 of the Income Tax Act, 1961 are required to file tax return electronically.
- A resident taxpayer having assets located outside India is required to submit tax return electronically
Documents Required for ITR Filing
The documents that are necessary for the filing of income tax returns online are as follows:
|PAN card||Bank statement||Interest certificates from banks or post offices|
|Proof of tax-saving investments||Form 16 (for salaried individuals)||Salary Slips|
|TDS certificate||Form 16A/16B/16C||Form 26AS|
How to Check ITR Status Online
Once you have filed your income tax return, you can check its status. There are two ways to check your income tax return status:
Using Acknowledgement Number (without login credentials)
- Visit the Income Tax Department
- Select the ‘ITR Status’ option under the ‘Services’ tab
- Provide your PAN, ITR acknowledgement number and captcha code
- Submit the details and the status will be displayed on your device’s screen
By Using Login Credentials
- Login using your user id and password on the Income Tax Return e-filing Portal
- On the “Dashboard”, select the “View Returns/Forms” option
- Select the Income Tax Returns option and the relevant assessment year from the drop-down menus and submit.
Once all details are submitted successfully, the return status will appear on the screen.
Important Dates to Remember for ITR Filing
The due date for filing Income Tax Returns for any financial year is usually the same, which is 31st July however it may be extended by the tax authorities. However, there are a few categories of taxpayers that have a different due date. The following table will help you find due dates for the current financial year:
|Category of Taxpayer||Due Date for Tax Filing|
|Individual||31st July (may be extended)|
|Body of Individuals (BOI)||31st July (may be extended)|
|Hindu Undivided Family (HUF)||31st July (may be extended)|
|Association of Persons (AOP)||31st July (may be extended)|
|Businesses (Requiring Audit)||30th September|
|Businesses (Requiring TP Report)||30th November|
Q- Do I need to submit documents when filing my tax returns?
Ans – You do not need to submit any documents when you are filing your income tax returns. However, do keep key documents such as your Form 16, business balance sheet/P&L account details, audit reports, investment proof, etc. handy, in case you receive a notice from the tax department and have to provide these to the tax authorities at a later date.
Q – How do I correct my ITR if I made a mistake when filing it earlier?
Ans – If you made a mistake when filing your ITR, you have the option of correcting your error by filing a revised return. While there are no penalties for filing a revised return, you do need to keep in mind that you need to file the revised return prior to completion of the assessment by the assessing officer or the end of the applicable assessment year, whichever is earlier.
Q – What happens if I miss the income tax return filing deadline?
Ans – In case you have missed the income tax return filing deadline, you have the option of filing a belated return by the end of the applicable assessment year. For AY 2021-22, there are various penalties that you might need to pay depending on your annual income and how late you are filing your tax returns. If your annual income is Rs. 5 lakh or less, your late filing fees will be Rs. 1,000 irrespective of when you are filing your returns.
Q- How much would it cost me to get my taxes filed by an authorized e-filing intermediary?
Ans – There is no standard rate chart when it comes to getting income tax returns filed by an income tax e-filing intermediary. However, rates are higher for more complicated income tax returns such as capital gains returns, returns of a business/self-employed individual under Section 44AB, etc.
Q- I do not have a PAN card. Can I file my Income Tax Return?
Ans – It is not possible to file Income Tax Return without providing PAN. However, this is expected to change with the interoperability of Aadhaar and PAN in coming years.