Income Tax Return

The Income Tax Department has mandated all individuals and businesses to file Income Tax Returns that fall under specific income tax slabs. Income Tax Return serves as a declaration of your financial status for a given fiscal year, providing information about your earned income, allowable expenses, eligible deductions, and the taxes you have already paid. ITR is also important if you want to claim tax refunds and to avail deductions and exemptions.

Filing for income tax returns will help you maintain transparency and accountability, keeping a legal income record to avoid penalties and legal consequences. You can file for ITR before July 31st for individuals, September 30th for business and companies, and December 31st for filing belated returns and if there are any errors with the ITR filed, you can file a revised return by 31st March.

Understanding Income Tax Returns

Understanding the filing process and the forms you need for filing your IT returns is mandatory to ensure you pay the correct amount of tax, and to make it easier for you to avail financial services like loans and tax refunds if required. The Income Tax Department offers different types of ITR forms that suit various types of taxpayers and income sources. Given below are the different types of ITR and who they are suited for:

  • ITR 1 or Sahaj: This form is to be submitted by individuals with an annual income of less than ₹50 lakhs which they receive from their salary or pension or if they have only one house as their property.
  • ITR-2: ITR 2 is to be used by shareholders of private companies, company directors, NRIs, and individuals with income from capital gains, or who have two or more house properties, and foreign sources, with an income over ₹50 lakh.
  • ITR-3: Individuals running a proprietorship or working as professionals must submit the income tax return 3.
  • ITR-4 or Sugam: The form is to be submitted by individuals who fall under the presumptive taxation scheme and are earning less than ₹50 lakh from their professional income or less than ₹2 crore from business income.
  • ITR-5: This form should be submitted by associations, bodies of individuals, LLPs, and partnership firms to report their income and tax computation.
  • ITR-6: Form ITR-6 is supposed to be filed by companies registered in India.
  • ITR-7: This form is specific for entities who are claiming exemptions as universities, colleges, scientific research institutions, political parties, and religious or charitable trusts.

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Requirements for Filing an Income Tax Return

Several individuals and entities must file for income tax returns if they fall under the following criteria:

  • Any assessee with a total income of ₹5 lakhs or more.
  • Any resident Individuals or HUFs with assets located outside of India.
  • The assessees are required to file returns under Section 139(4B) (ITR 7).
  • Assessees must provide the assessing officer with a notice under Section 11(2)(a).
  • Persons claiming relief or deductions under sections 90 or 90A.
  • Residents with a signing authority over any account situated outside of India.
  • All businesses are required to file returns.
  • Assessees are obliged to provide an audit report under sections 10(23C)(IV), 10(23C)(V), 10(23C)(VI), 10(23C)(Via), 10A, 12A(1)(b), 44AB, 80IA, 80IB, 80IC, 80ID, 80JJAA, 80LA, 92E, or 115JB.
  • Associations of Persons (AOP), Bodies of Individuals (BOI), Local Authorities (ITR 5), Artificial Juridical Persons, or Cooperative Societies who do not fall under Section 44AB.

Documents For ITR

Along with your Income Tax Returns you will need to submit several other documents, these documents are given below:

  • PAN Card
  • Salary Pay Slips
  • Bank Statements
  • Interest Certificates
  • TDS Certificate
  • Form 26AS
  • Form 16A, 16B, 16C
  • Proof of Tax-Saving Investments

Benefits of Filing Your Income Tax Return

Filing your income tax returns is a basic responsibility of all Indian citizens. Filing for ITR will offer you numerous benefits and advantages, these are:

  • For Legal Compliance: Filing for ITR helps to ensure compliance with tax laws and to avoid paying penalties or facing legal consequences in case of a mismatch of tax payments.
  • Ease for Claiming Refunds: By filing income tax returns, it becomes easier for you to claim refunds in case there is an excess of taxes paid. Helping you get back the overpaid amount.
  • Carry Forward Losses: Tax returns allow you to carry forward business and capital losses to offset your future income, thereby lowering your tax liability.
  • Proof of Income: Your ITR also serves as a document for proof of income, which is important for applying for loans, credit cards, and visas.
  • Eligibility for Government Benefits: You can be eligible for various government schemes, benefits, and subsidies when you file for ITRs.
  • Establishes Financial Credibility: By regularly filing your ITRs, you can establish your financial credibility with various financial institutions.
  • Claiming Deductions: You can also claim deductions and exemptions under various sections when filing for your income tax returns. Which reduces your overall tax liability.

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Is it Mandatory to File ITR Online

Filing your Income Tax can be done offline or online. While it is not mandatory to file your ITR online, it does have added benefits like convenience and efficiency.

Steps to File Your Income Tax Return

The Income Tax Department offers you two ways to file for your Income Tax Return; Offline Mode and Online Mode.

Offline mode using Java Utility:

  • Step 1: Visit the Income Tax e-Filing portal
    ( to download the utility. Go to 'Downloads > Income Tax Return' and download the applicable ITR utility (Java version for ITR-1 to ITR-4, and ITR-5, 6, 7 separately).
  • Step 2: Extract the downloaded ZIP file then open the utility from the extracted folder.
  • Step 3: Run the utility file and click on “Continue. Then ”Go to 'Returns > File Return.' and download the pre-filled data, import it.
  • Step 4: Enter PAN, select assessment year, attach pre-filled JSON data, and proceed. Then import the draft ITR filed online or JSON generated from Excel/HTML utility.
  • Step 5: You should then validate all tabs, confirm calculations, preview the return, and ensure there are no errors.
  • Step 6: You will then need to upload the JSON by logging in to the e-Filing portal using your PAN and password and uploading the JSON file. Choose to e-verify the return now or later.
  • Step 7: You can then e-verify by an OTP on your mobile registered with Aadhaar, Digital Signature Certificate (DSC), or Electronic Verification Code (EVC) through net banking, bank account, or Demat account.

Offline Mode Using Excel Utility:

  • Step 1: Go to Download the Excel utility for the applicable ITR form (ITR-1 to ITR-7) and assessment year.
  • Step 2: Extract the ZIP file, go to properties, click on 'Unlock,' and apply.
  • Step 3: Enter the data or import JSON/pre-filled data.
  • Step 4: Validate all tabs, confirm calculations, and generate the JSON file.
  • Step 5: Login to the e-Filing portal using your PAN and password. Select 'Income Tax Return,' select assessment year, select 'Offline,' choose return type, select ITR type, and continue. Then attach the JSON file and proceed to verification.
  • Step 6: You can then verify using your OTP, DSC, EVC, or ITR-V.

File Income Tax Return Online

  • Step 1: Visit the Income Tax e-Filing Portal: Enter your user ID (PAN), confirm the secure access message, enter your password, and click “Continue.”
  • Step 2: Go to 'e-File' > 'Income Tax Returns' > 'File Income Tax Return.'
  • Step 3: Select 'Assessment Year then choose 'Online' in 'Select Mode of Filing, click on 'Start Filing, select 'Type of Assessee' and click 'Continue.'
  • Step 4: Then click on 'Start New Filing', select 'Individuals/HUF/Others, and choose 'ITR Form' (e.g., ITR-1, ITR 7, ITR 4…). Then click 'Proceed with ITR-1.' Then choose 'Let’s Get Started.'
  • Step 5: Select the reason for filing the Income Tax Return then click 'Continue.'
  • Step 6: Read the instructions carefully then fill in all the applicable and mandatory fields of the online ITR form confirm all tabs and click 'Proceed.'
  • Step 7: You can then preview by clicking 'Preview Return', ticking the checkbox, and clicking 'Proceed to Preview.' Download or print the ITR form if needed. Then click 'Proceed to Validation.'
  • Step 8: Now, you can choose to e-verify later or verify the ITR by choosing a verification option, i,e.
    • OTP on registered mobile number with Aadhaar.
    • Digital Signature Certificate (DSC).
    • Electronic Verification Code (EVC) through net banking, bank account, or Demat account.
    • ITR-V

Steps to Check ITR Status Online

To check the ITR status online, you can follow the steps below:

  • Step 1: Visit the Income Tax e-Filing Portal:
  • Step 2: Log in to your account and enter your user ID (PAN), password, and captcha code.
  • Step 3: Go to the 'My Account' or 'e-File' section then select 'Income Tax Return Status.'
  • Step 4: Enter the required details like your assessment year and the acknowledgment number after filing the ITR.
  • Step 5: Click on 'Submit’. And you will be able to see the status of your ITR.

Important Deadlines for Filing

Filing your Income Tax Return should be done within a stipulated time. Here are the important deadlines for filing your ITR:

  • Individual taxpayers should file their ITR on or before the 31st of July.
  • Businesses requiring audit should file their ITR on or before 30th September.
  • Companies and Businesses requiring a transfer pricing report should file on or before 30th November.
  • For revised or belated returns on or before 31st December
  • To file an updated return, you should file on or before 31st March.

Common Mistakes to Avoid When Filing ITR

When filing your Income Tax Return, there are certain things you should avoid to prevent delays and ensure a smooth filing process. These are:

  • Selecting the Wrong ITR Form: There are different ITR forms for various taxpayers, so, selecting the incorrect form can delay the process or even lead to rejection of your ITR.
  • Inaccurate or Incomplete Information: Properly check for typos, and errors in PAN details, bank account numbers, or income figures before submitting your ITR.
  • Avoid Missing Deadlines: Avoid filing the ITR late as it attracts penalties. Always file your ITR before the due date.
  • Check for TDS Discrepancies: Verify the TDS amount reflected in your ITR and ensure it matches the Form 16 or other TDS certificates you receive.
  • Verify Deductions and Exemptions: Check for eligible deductions and exemptions as it can reduce your tax liability.
  • Not E-Verifying Your ITR: E-verification is mandatory as it confirms the authenticity of your ITR filing.

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The Income Tax Slab for FY 2024-25

The income tax slabs for 2023-24 are given below:

Income tax slabs for the old tax regime:

Income Tax Slab for Individuals who are below 60 years & HUF

Income Tax Slabs Income Tax Rates
Up to ₹2,50,000 Nil
₹2,50,001 - ₹3,00,000 5% (Tax rebate Under Section 87A)
₹3,00,001 - ₹5,00,000 5% (Tax rebate Under Section 87A up to ₹5,00,000)
₹5,00,001 - ₹10,00,000 20%
Above ₹10,00,000 30%

Income Tax Slab for Senior Citizens (60 to 80 years)

Income Tax Slabs Income Tax Rates
Up to ₹2,50,000 Nil
₹2,50,001 - ₹3,00,000 Nil
₹3,00,001 - ₹5,00,000 5% (Tax rebate Under Section 87A up to ₹5,00,000)
₹5,00,001 - ₹10,00,000 20%
Above ₹10,00,000 30%

Income Tax Slabs for Individuals above 80 years (Super Senior Citizen)

Income Tax Slabs Income Tax Rates
Up to ₹2,50,000 Nil
₹2,50,001 - ₹3,00,000 Nil
₹3,00,001 - ₹5,00,000 Nil
₹5,00,001 - ₹10,00,000 20%
Above ₹10,00,000 30%

Income tax slabs for the new tax regime:

Income Tax Slabs Income Tax Rates
Up to ₹3,00,000 Nil
₹3,00,001 - ₹6,00,000 5% (Tax rebate Under Section 87A)
₹6,00,001 - ₹9,00,000 10% (Tax rebate Under Section 87A up to ₹7,00,000.
₹9,00,001 - ₹12,00,000 15%
₹12,00,001 - ₹15,00,000 20%
Above ₹15,00,000 30%

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Frequently Asked Questions

Individuals and entities whose income limit exceeds a certain threshold, having foreign assets, or claiming deductions will be required to file.

The due date for filing an ITR is July 31st.

Yes, you can file your Income Tax Return online through the e-filing website.

Late filing of Income Tax Returns will result in a penalty of ₹5,000 maximum or 1% of tax due per month, whichever is higher.

You can check the status of your ITR filing through the e-Filing website using the acknowledgement number.

The different types of ITR are: ITR1, ITR 2, ITR 3, ITR 4, ITR 5, ITR 6, and ITR 7.

Form 26AS shows your tax payments which you can compare to your records for accuracy before filing ITR.

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