ITR - Income Tax Return & IT Return

Income Tax Returns or ITR is a form that is used to declare the net tax liability, claiming of tax deductions, and to report the gross taxable income. It is mandatory for individuals who earn a certain amount of money to File IT Returns. Firms or companies, Hindu Undivided Families (HUFs), and self-employed or salaried individuals must file ITR to the Income Tax Department.

Income tax filing can be defined as the procedure by which IT return is filed. The process by which taxpayers file their returns online is called efiling or ITR filing. The process to file tax returns online can be completed on the Income Tax Department official website.

Read about the Union Budget 2021 Highlights:
The Centre simplifies ITR fling with pre-filing of details
The Union Budget 2021 was announced on 1 February 2021 by the Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. In the announcement, the Finance Minister announced a reform in terms of the ITR filing system.

As per the latest announcement, to ensure the ease of filing of Income Tax Returns, the FM has announced that the details in regard to capital gains from listed securities, interest from banks, dividend income, interest from post office, and so on will be pre-filled in the forms. At present, the details of salary income, TDS, tax payments, etc. are already pre-filled in the income tax returns.

How to Download ITR Form?

Here is a step-by-step procedure to download the ITR forms:

  1. Visit and click on ‘IT Return Preparation Software’ under the ‘Download’ section ITR Forms India
  3. Select the Assessment year. ITR Assessment year
  5. Next, download the required ITR form which can be found under the ‘Microsoft Excel’ column. ITR Forms Download

Types of ITR forms

Depending on the type of income that is generated by the taxpayer, the form that must be submitted will be different. The various forms can be downloaded from the official website of the income tax department The different types of ITR forms that are available are mentioned below:

ITR Form Name Applicability
ITR-1 The form must be used by individuals who make an annual income of less than Rs.50 lakh via pension or salary and from only one house property.
ITR-2 The form must be used by shareholders of private companies, Directors of Companies, Non-Resident Indians (NRIs), or individuals who make an income via capital gains, from two or more house properties, and from foreign sources. However, the income of the individual must be more than Rs.50 lakh.
ITR-3 The form must be used by individuals who run a proprietorship or are professionals in India.
ITR-4 Individuals who are under the presumptive taxation scheme must use this form. In order for individuals to join the scheme, they must earn less than Rs.50 lakh from professional income or less than Rs.2 crore from business income.
ITR-5 In order for association and body of individuals, Limited Liability Partnerships (LLPs), and partnership firms to report their income and tax computation, this form must be used.
ITR-6 Companies that are registered in India must use this form.
ITR-7 In case entities are claiming an exemption as universities or colleges, scientific research institutions, political parties, and religious or charitable trusts, this form must be used.
ITR Filing
Income Tax Return

Why ITR Filing is Important?

Currently (FY 2019-20), it is mandatory for one to file income tax returns in India if the following conditions are applicable -

  • Individuals who fall within the respective tax slabs.
  • If it’s a company or firm, irrespective of the profit or loss made in a financial year
  • If a tax refund needs to be claimed
  • If a loss under a head of income needs to be carried forward
  • If being a resident of India, one has an asset or financial interest in any entity located outside India
  • If being a resident of India, one is a signing authority in a foreign account
  • If one receives income derived from property held under a trust for charitable or religious purposes or a political party or a research association, news agency, educational or medical institution, trade union, a not for profit university or educational institution, a hospital, infrastructure debt fund, any authority, body or trust
  • If one is applying for a loan or a visa
  • If an NRI derives any or all of his/her income through sources in India, that income is liable to be taxable in India, and income tax returns for the same will be necessary.

With the implementation of e-filing of Income Tax Returns, the following cases will require an e-filing Income Tax:

  • In case a refund is required
  • In case the gross total annual income exceeds Rs. 5,00,000
  • In case an income tax refund is required
  • ITR-3, 4,5,6,7 have to be mandatorily e-filed

What is the Penalty for Late ITR Filing?

In case the returns are not filed by the due date, huge penalties are levied on the taxpayer. Apart from penalties, there could be other inconveniences and consequences that the individual would face in case the returns are not filed. Depending on when the returns are filed after the due date, individuals could face penalties between Rs.1,000 and Rs.10,000.

Given below is the penalties that are levied for a delay in ITR filing for FY 2019-20:

Due Date of ITR Filing Penalty for Income below Rs.5 lakh Penalty for Income above Rs.5 lakh
Before 31 July Nil Nil
From 1 September to 31 December Rs.1,000 Rs.5,000
From 1 January to 31 March Rs.1,000 Rs.10,000

Apart from penalties, in case taxpayers are eligible to receive a refund, there will be a delay in case the ITR is filed late. Taxpayers will also have to pay a 1% interest on the pending amount in case the returns are not filed on time.

Is it possible to file IT Returns without Form 16?

Yes, it is possible to file Income Tax Returns (ITR) without Form 16.

Steps to file ITR without Form 16

Although Form 16 is one of the most important documents required to file Income Tax Returns (ITR) for salaried individuals, it is possible to file the returns without Form 16 as well. There might be circumstances where the assessee might not get a Form 16. The possible reasons behind that can be the employer closing the business or the assessee quitting the job without the completion of the prescribed exit formalities. Either way, not receiving the Form 16 cannot stop an individual from filing their returns. There are many other documents which can be used as a reference while filing the returns. The following steps are to be followed to file Income Tax Returns (ITR) without Form 16:

Step 1 - Computation of Income from Salary

The first and foremost step is to calculate the Income from Salary. The computation of the salary can be done with the help of salary slips, which will act as the main source of reference for the salary earned by the individual during the financial year. Thus, it is important to collect all the salary slips from all the employers for whom an individual has worked during the year. For the returns filed from this year, that is financial year 2019-20, an individual is required to furnish the complete breakup of his/her salary in the Income Tax Returns (ITR). Some of the fields that are needed to be furnished are income from salary or pension, allowances which are not exempted, deductions that are claimed under Section 16, profits arising from salary, and the monetary value of perquisites received by the assessee. Nevertheless, quite a few companies do not furnish the monetary value of the perquisites and the amount of profits arising from salary. In such cases, the assessee should get in touch with the Human Resource (HR) or the concerned accounts department of the company to get the above details. Other than the factors mentioned above, the allowances provided by the employer, contributions made towards provident fund (PF), and the tax deducted at source (TDS), etc. are furnished on the salary slips. It is also recommended to furnish and use the allowances provided by the employer to lower the tax liability. Allowances may include House Rent Allowances (HRA), Leave Travel Allowances (LTA), Transport Allowances (TA), etc. However, it is to be kept in mind that certain allowances are fully exempt under the act while others are partially exempt.

Step 2 - Tallying the Tax Deducted at Source (TDS) with Form 26AS

The Form 26AS is the form which contains the details of all the taxes that have been deducted from the salary of the assessee as well as any other source of income. Before proceeding to the filing of returns, the assessee should make sure that the figures reflecting on Form 26AS are in correspondence to the Tax Deducted at Source (TDS). In case the figures do not match and the returns are filed, the assessee will be receiving a notice from the Income Tax Department (ITD). Thus, in case of discrepancies, it is recommended to get in touch with the deductor of the tax to get a clear picture of the deduction.

Step 3 - Computation of income from house property

In the event where an assessee receives a rent by letting a house property owned by him/her, he/she would be required to report the income under the ‘Income from house property’ head. In addition to that, if the assessee has availed any housing loan (on the let out property or on the self-occupied property) and is paying interest on such advances, then he/she will be eligible to get deductions under the same head for the interests being paid. Further, if the assessee is the owner of 2 or more than 2 house properties, then he/she needs to check the deemed let-out concept. In case of rental income being earned, an assessee can claim a deduction of 30% as well as a deduction of the municipal taxes paid from the rental income.

Step 4 - Computation of income from capital gains

An assessee will be eligible to claim exemption on the gains earned from the sale of equities or equity-oriented mutual funds, provided they were held for more than a year and sold on or before 31st March of the respective financial year. However, as a document of proof, the summary statement of the equities or equity-based mutual funds has to be collected by the assessee from the broker. In case of gains arising from the disposal of land or building, the assessee should have the purchase and sale deed with him/her to refer to it and have the accurate amounts for calculation.

Step 5 - Computation of income from other sources

The income from other sources is also required to be furnished in the Income Tax Returns (ITR). Income from other sources include incomes such as interests earned on different bank accounts (including savings account, recurring deposits account, fixed deposits, etc.), interest earned on income tax refunds, dividends received, income from rented machinery, plant, or furniture, income from pension or annuity, etc. The details in regards to interest earned on income tax refund can be found in Form 26AS. The details pertaining to the income from interest from bank accounts can be found in the respective bank passbook.

Step 6 - Computing and claiming available deductions

The next most important step for an assessee would be to figure out all the available deductions that can be claimed by him/her. As per the provisions of the Income Tax Act, there are various sections under which an individual can claim deductions. These sections are Section 80C, 80D, 80CCC, 80CCD, etc. The most common deductions such as life insurance, equity-linked savings schemes, Provident Fund (PF), Public Provident Fund (PPF), repayment of principal amount of home loan, etc. fall under Section 80C. Medical insurance premium, on the other hand, falls under Section 80D. The Income Tax Act has a prescribed limit based on which the claims for deductions can be made. For example, under Section 80C, deductions can be claimed to the extent of Rs.1.5 lakh. Thus, it is necessary for an assessee to calculate all the deductions that he/she can avail in order to save on tax payment.

Step 7 - Computation of total taxable income

Once all of the above steps are completed, an assessee can figure out his/her total taxable income. To ascertain the total taxable income, all the deductions have to be subtracted from the total income arising from various sources. The end result is the total taxable income.

Step 8 - Calculation of income tax liability

For an assessee, it is also important to ascertain the total income tax liability that he/she has. There are a number of third-party websites on the public domain that offers the option to ascertain the income tax liability with the help of income tax calculator. These income tax calculators can be used by an assessee to find out the final income tax liability.

Step 9 - Making payment for additional tax liability

After finding out the final income tax liability, if the amount of tax paid as per the figures reflected in Form 26AS is less than the actual liability, the taxpayer will be required to pay the balance amount of tax to the Income Tax Department (ITD). However, if the amount reflected in Form 26AS is sufficient or more than the actual tax liability, the assessee is not required to make any extra payment.

Step 10 - Filing the ITR

This is the final step of e-filing without Form 16. Once all of the above steps are successfully carried out, the assessee can login to his/her profile on the e-filing portal and file his/her Income Tax Returns (ITR). However, it is important to e-verify the returns within 120 days from the date of e-filing.

The steps mentioned above can be followed to e-file Income Tax Returns (ITR) without Form 16. Keeping all the documents listed above handy will make the process of e-filing easier and hassle-free. It is also important to file the returns before the due date to avoid late fees under Section 234F.

FAQ'S On Income Tax Return

  1. I am a self-employed professional. My income this year is below the minimum income tax slab, but it was higher in the previous 2 years and I had filed ITRs then. Do I have to file a return this year?
  2. Ideally, if your income is below the minimum slab, you do not need to file your income tax return. But if you have been filing it previously, it would be better if you file a return this year declaring low income. This is because the Income Tax Department may construe your non-filing as a delay or non-compliance because of your past record of filing ITR. They might send you a notice. In case you do not want to file ITR, be prepared to reply to the income tax notice if it comes into your mail box.

  3. If I have already paid advance taxes and have no dues or refunds, can I skip filing of income tax return?
  4. No, it is mandatory to file your ITR. The government get a complete record of how your income is distributed with the help of the ITR.

  5. Is an ITR useful to me in daily life?
  6. Yes, it is useful to file your tax returns. In case you wish to apply for a loan, the ITR may be considered as a mandatory document that must be submitted.

  7. How long do we need to wait to get income tax refund?
  8. Once you have filed the tax returns online and e-verification has been completed, it may take up to 45 days for you to receive the refund. However, in case verification is done via ITR-V to CPC Bengaluru, the processing time for the refund may be longer.

  9. Can I File Income Tax Return after Due Date?
  10. Yes, you can file your Income Tax Return after the due date. However, a penalty will be levied in case the ITR is filed after the due date.

  11. How to Check the Status of Income Tax Return?
  12. The status of the Income Tax Return can be checked on the official website of the Income Tax Department of India. The status can be checked with the help of your Permanent Account Number and password.

  13. What is Income Tax Return Notice?
  14. If you do not file your Income Tax Return in an Assessment Year, then you may receive a notice from the Income Tax (IT) Department. The IT Department keeps a track on financial transactions and activities of individuals who are identified as non-filers. If there is a discrepancy with the amount of tax that you have declared in your ITR, then you may receive a notice from the IT Department. You may also receive a notice if the department wants to review any documents related to the ITR that you have filed.

News About Income Tax Return

  • Pre-filled income tax returns provided to taxpayers, ITR form now contains details of certain incomes says FM

    ‘Platform for transparent taxation— honouring the honest’ initiative was rollled out by Prime Minister Narendra Modi earlier this year to strengthen the government’s direct tax reforms. Under the reforms, the Income Tax department introduced pre-filled forms with the aim of making the process of filing tax forms easier.

    The processes of linking taxpayers' Aadhaar card, PAN card and bank accounts allowed the tax department to pre-fill the forms for taxpayers. The facility has been further extended to ensure that the majority of the details such as bank interest, salaries and tax deductions are automatically filled in the form.

    However, some of these fields were pre-filled in the 2019 form, and for salaried individuals, the move essentially meant no need to file an income tax return. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that in order to make tax compliance more convenient, pre-filled Income tax Returns (ITR) have been provided to individual taxpayers. Certain details of incomes such as salary incomes will already be pre-filled in the form.

    12 November 2020

  • Income tax department issues new ITR forms

    The Income Tax Department which has brought in some key changes in the income tax return forms has now released ITR forms for the financial year 2019-20 (Assessment year 2020-21). The finance ministry issued ITR 1 (Sahai), ITR 2, ITR 3, ITR 4 (Sugam), ITR 5, ITR 6, ITR 7 and ITR V forms. It must be noted here that the IT department has earlier withdrawn ITR form 1 and ITR form 4 to incorporate changes made in income tax rules in the wake of the Covid pandemic.

    Given the lockdown, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had recently extended the last date for filing of all ITRs for 2019-20 to November 30 this year.

    01 June 2020

  • Joint homeowners cannot file ITR-1 and ITR4 even if they are individual taxpayers

    The government recently made a few significant changes in the income tax return filing forms for individual taxpayers. Any individual taxpayer who owns a house property in joint ownership and has paid Rs.1 lakh in electricity bills cannot file their annual income return using the simple ITR-1 form. Apart from this, the individual, if he or she has spent Rs.2 lakh on foreign travel, will not be able to file their returns with this form.

    Returns in ITR-1 Sahaj can be filed by any citizen whose total income does not exceed Rs.50 lakh per annum. On the other hand, From ITR-4 Sahaj is meant for citizens from the country belonging to Hindu-Undivided Families and Firms. The citizens opting for ITR-4 must have a total income of up to Rs.50 lakh per annum.

    According to the notice by the government, the two major changes in the ITR forms are that an individual taxpayer cannot file returns through an ITR-1 or ITR4 if he or she is a joint owner of a house property. Secondly, the ITR-1 form will not be accepted for individuals who have deposited more than Rs.1 crore in the bank account or have spent Rs.1 lakh Rs.2 lakh on paying electricity bills or foreign travel respectively.

    For these taxpayers, different return forms will be issued and will be notified in due time. The Income Tax Department has notified ITR forms of ITR-1 and ITR-4 for 2020-2021 from the first week of January.

    23 January 2020

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