Last modified: 25.08.2016

Filing of Income Tax Return

The provisions contained in this page are applicable for furnishing the return of income for the assessment year 2016-17, i.e., financial year 2015-16.

Prescribed forms

Form ITR - 1 (SAHAJ)

Return Form ITR - 1 (SAHAJ) can be used by an individual whose total income includes:

  1. Income from salary/pension; or
  2. Income from one house property (excluding cases where loss is brought forward from previous years); or
  3. Income from other sources (excluding winnings from lottery and income from race horses).

Further, in a case where the income of another person like spouse, minor child, etc., is to be clubbed with the income of the taxpayer, this return form can be used only when such income falls in any of the above categories.

Non-applicability of ITR - 1 (SAHAJ)

Return Form ITR - 1 (SAHAJ) cannot be used by an individual:

  • Whose total income for the year includes income from more than one house property.
  • Whose total income for the year includes income from winnings from lottery or income from race horses.
  • Whose total income for the year includes income chargeable to tax under the head "Capital Gains".
  • Whose total income for the year includes agricultural income of more than Rs. 5,000.
  • Whose total income for the year includes income from business or profession.
  • Whose total income for the year includes loss under the head "Income from other sources".
  • Who has claimed relief under section 90 and/or section 91.
  • Who is having any assets (including financial interest in any entity) located outside India or signing authority in any account located outside India.
  • Any resident having income from any source outside India.

Form ITR 2A

Return Form ITR - 2A can be used by an individual or a Hindu Undivided Family whose total income for the assessment year 2015-16 includes:-

  1. Income from Salary / Pension; or
  2. Income from House Property; or
  3. Income from Other Sources (including Winning from Lottery and Income from Race Horses).

Further, in a case where the income of another person like spouse, minor child, etc. is to be clubbed with the income of the assessee, this Return Form can be used where such income falls in any of the above categories.

Non-applicability of ITR - 2A

Return Form - ITR 2A cannot be used by an individual or a Hindu Undivided Family whose total income for the assessment year 2015-16 includes,-

  1. Income from Capital Gains; or
  2. Income from Business or Profession; or
  3. Any claim of relief/deduction under section 90, 90A or 91; or
  4. Any resident having any asset (including financial interest in any entity) located outside India or signing authority in any account located outside India; or
  5. Any resident having income from any source outside India.

Form ITR - 2

Return Form ITR - 2 can be used by an individual or a Hindu Undivided Family whose total income for the year includes:

  • Income from Salary / Pension; or
  • Income from House Property; or
  • Income from Capital Gains; or
  • Income from Other Sources (including winnings from lottery and income from race horses).

Further, in a case where the income of another person like spouse, minor child, etc., is to be clubbed with the income of the taxpayer, this Return Form can be used if income to be clubbed falls in any of the above categories.

Non-applicability of ITR - 2

Return Form ITR - 2 cannot be used by an individual whose total income for the year includes income from Business or Profession.

Form ITR - 3

Return Form ITR - 3 can be used by an individual or a Hindu Undivided Family who is a partner in a firm and where income chargeable to tax under the head "Profits or gains of business or profession" does not include any other income, except the income by way of any interest, salary, bonus, commission or remuneration, by whatever name called, due to, or received by him from such firm.

In case a partner of the firm does not have any income from the firm by way of interest, salary, etc., and has only exempt income by way of share in the profit of the firm, he shall use Form ITR - 3 only and not Form ITR-2.

Non-applicability of ITR - 3

Form ITR - 3 cannot be used by an individual whose total income for the year includes income from Business or Profession under any proprietorship.

Form ITR - 4S (SUGAM)

Form ITR - 4S (SUGAM) can be used by an individual/HUF/Firm whose total income for the year includes :

  1. Business income computed as per the provisions of section 44AD or 44AE; or
  2. Income from salary/pension; or
  3. Income from one house property (excluding cases where loss is brought forward from previous years); or
  4. Income from other sources (excluding winnings from lottery and income from race horses).

Further, in a case where the income of another person like spouse, minor child, etc., is to be clubbed with the income of the taxpayer, this return form can be used where income to be clubbed falls in any of the above categories.

Non-applicability of ITR - 4S (SUGAM)

  • Whose total income for the year includes income from more than one house property.
  • Whose total income for the year includes income from winnings from lottery or income from race horses.
  • Whose total income for the year includes income chargeable to tax under the head "Capital Gains".
  • Whose total income for the year includes agriculture income of more than Rs. 5,000.
  • Whose total income for the year includes income from speculative business and other special incomes.
  • Whose total income for the year includes income from profession as referred to in section 44AA(1).
  • Whose total income for the year includes income from agency business or income in the nature of commission or brokerage.
  • Who claims relief under section 90, 90A and/or section 91.
  • Who has any assets (including financial interest in any entity) located outside India or signing authority in any account located outside India.
  • Any resident having income from any source outside India.

In case of a taxpayer who is engaged in any business eligible for the presumptive taxation scheme of section 44AD or section 44AE but he does not opt for the presumptive taxation scheme, then such a taxpayer has to maintain the books of account of the business as per the provisions of section 44AA and has to get these accounts audited. In such a case he cannot use ITR 4S.

Form ITR - 4

Form ITR - 4 can be used by an individual or a Hindu Undivided Family who is carrying on a proprietary business or profession.

Non-applicability of ITR - 4

Form ITR - 4 cannot be used by any person other than an individual or a HUF. Further, an individual or a HUF not having income from proprietary business or profession cannot use ITR - 4.

Form ITR - 5

Form ITR - 5 can be used by a person being a firm, LLP, AOP, BOI, artificial juridical person referred to in section 2(31)(vii), cooperative society and local authority.

Non-applicability of ITR - 5

Form ITR - 5 cannot be used by a person who is required to file the return of income under section 139(4A) or 139(4B) or 139(4C) or 139(4D) or 139(4E) or 139(4F) (i.e., trusts, political parties, institutions, colleges, investment fund etc.).

Form ITR - 6

Form ITR - 6 can be used by a company, other than a company claiming exemption under section 11 (exemption under section 11 can be claimed by a charitable/religious trust).

Non-applicability of ITR - 6

Form ITR - 6 cannot be used by a company claiming exemption under section 11 (exemption under section 11 can be claimed by a charitable/religious trust).

Form ITR - 7

Form ITR - 7 can be used by persons including companies who are required to furnish return under section 139(4A) or section 139(4B) or section 139(4C) or section 139(4D) or section 139(4E) or section 139(4F) (i.e., trusts, political parties, institutions, colleges, investment fund etc.).

Non-applicability of ITR - 7

Form ITR - 7 cannot be used by a person who is not required to furnish return under section 139(4A) or section 139(4B) or section 139(4C) or section 139(4D) or section 139(4E) or section 139(4F) (i.e., trusts, political parties, institutions, colleges, investment fund etc.).

Modes of filing the return of income

Return Forms can be filed with the Income-tax Department in any of the following ways, -
  1. by furnishing the return in a paper form;
  2. by furnishing the return electronically under digital signature;
  3. by transmitting the data in the return electronically under electronic verification code;
  4. by transmitting the data in the return electronically and thereafter submitting the verification of the return in Return Form ITR-V;

Note: Where the return of income is filed in the manner given at (iv) without digital signature, then the taxpayer should take two printed copies of Form ITR-V. One copy of ITR-V, duly signed by the taxpayer, is to be sent (within the period specified in this regard, i.e., 120 days) by ordinary post or speed post to Income-tax Department - CPC, Post Bag No. 1, Electronic City Post Office, Bengalore-560100 (Karnataka). The other copy may be retained by the taxpayer for his record.

Mandatory e-filing of return

Following taxpayers shall file their return of income only through e-filing mode:

  1. From the assessment year 2015-16 onwards any assessee filing ITR 1/2/2A (other than an individual of the age of 80 years or more at anytime during the previous year) having a refund claim in the return or having total income of more than Rs. 5,00,000 is required to furnish the return of income electronically with or without digital signature or by using electronic verification code.
  2. Every company shall furnish the return of income electronically under digital signature. In other words, for corporate taxpayer e-filing with digital signature is mandatory.
  3. A firm or an individual or a Hindu Undivided Family (HUF) whose books of account are required to be audited under section 44AB shall furnish the return of income electronically under digital signature. In other words, in such a case, efiling with digital signature is mandatory.
  4. A resident assessee having any assets (including financial interest in any entity) located outside India or signing authority in any account located outside India or Income from any source outside India shall furnish the return of income electronically with or without digital signature or by using electronic verification code.
  5. Taxpayers claiming relief under section 90, 90A or 91 shall furnish the return of income electronically with or without digital signature or by using electronic verification code.
  6. A person who is required to file ITR - 5 shall file the same electronically with or without digital signature. However, a firm liable to get its accounts audited under section 44AB shall furnish the return electronically under digital signature.
  7. A taxpayer who is required to furnish a report of audit under sections 10(23C)(iv), 10(23C)(v), 10(23C)(vi), 10(23C)(via), 10A, 10AA, 12A(1)(b), 44AB, 44DA, 50B, 80-IA, 80-IB, 80-IC, 80-ID, 80JJAA, 80LA, 92E, 115JB or 115VW or to give a notice under section 11(2)(a) electronically shall furnish the return electronically with or without digital signature or by using electronic verification code.
  8. Return Form ITR-3 is to furnish electronically in the following modes:
    1. by furnishing the return electronically under digital signature;
    2. by transmitting the data in the return electronically under electronic verification code;
    3. by transmitting the data in the return electronically and thereafter submitting the verification of the return in Return Form ITR-V.
  9. Return Form ITR-4 is to be furnish electronically in the following modes:
    1. by furnishing the return electronically under digital signature;
    2. by transmitting the data in the return electronically under electronic verification code;
    3. by transmitting the data in the return electronically and thereafter submitting the verification of the return in Return Form ITR-V;
    However, where the books of accounts are required to be audited under section 44AB, the return is required to be furnished in the manner provided at (i) i.e. e-filing with digital signature.
  10. Return Form ITR - 7 is to be furnished electronically in the following modes :
    1. by furnishing the return electronically under digital signature;
    2. by transmitting the data in the return electronically under electronic verification code;
    3. by transmitting the data in the return electronically and thereafter submitting the verification of the return in Return Form ITR-V;

However, a political party shall compulsorily furnish the return in the manner mentioned at (i) above. Where the Return Form is furnished in the manner mentioned at (iii), the assessee should print out two copies of Form ITR-V. One copy of ITR-V, duly signed by the assessee, has to be sent by ordinary post to Post Bag No. 1, Electronic City Office, Bangalore-560100 (Karnataka). The other copy may be retained by the assessee for his record.

No documents to be attached along with the return of income

ITR return forms are attachment less forms and, hence, the taxpayer is not required to attach any document (like proof of investment, TDS certificates, etc.) along with the return of income (whether filed manually or filed electronically). However, these documents should be retained by the taxpayer and should be produced before the tax authorities when demanded in situations like assessment, inquiry, etc.

In case of a taxpayer who is required to furnish a report of audit under section 10(23C)(iv), 10(23C)(v), 10(23C)(vi), 10(23C)(via), 10A, 10AA, 12A(1)(b), 44AB, 44DA, 50B, 80-IA, 80-IB, 80-IC, 80-ID, 80JJAA, 80LA, 92E, 115JB or 115VW or to give a notice under section 11(2)(a) shall furnish it electronically on or before the date of filing the return of income.

Form 26AS

Form 26AS reflect the details of tax credit appearing in the Permanent Account Number of the taxpayer as per the database of the Income-tax Department. The tax credit will cover TDS, TCS and tax paid by the taxpayer in other forms like advance tax, Self-assessment tax, etc.

Income-tax Department will generally allow a taxpayer to claim the credit of taxes as reflected in his Form 26AS.

Many times the actual amount of TDS and TDS credit as appearing in Form 26AS may differ and it may happen that the TDS credit appearing in Form 26AS may be less as compared to actual TDS, this may happen due to reasons like non-furnishing of TDS details to the Income-tax Department by the deductor, deducting the tax in incorrect Permanent Account Number, etc. In such a case, the taxpayer may not be able to claim the credit of correct TDS. Hence, the taxpayers are advised to confirm the tax credit appearing in Form 26AS and should reconcile the difference, if any. In case of any difference the deductee should approach the deductor and request him to take the necessary steps to rectify the discrepancy due to above reasons.

Precautions to be taken while filing the return of income

Following is the list of few important steps/points/precautions to be kept in mind while filing the return of income:

  • The first and foremost precaution is to file the return of income on or before the due date. Taxpayers should avoid the practice of filing belated return. Following are the consequences of delay in filing the return of income :
    • Loss (other than house property loss) cannot be carried forward.
    • Levy of interest under section 234A.
    • Penalty of Rs. 5,000 under section 271F can be levied.
    • Exemptions/deductions under sections 10A, 10B, 80-IA, 80-IAB, 80-IB, 80- IC, 80-ID and 80-IE are not available.
  • Belated return cannot be revised under section 139(5). However, w.e.f. 01-04- 2017, income-tax return for the Assessment Year 2017-18 and onwards filed under Section 139(1) or Section 139(4) 'belated return' can also be revised.
  • Taxpayer should download Form 26AS and should confirm actual TDS/TCS/Tax paid. If any discrepancy is observed then suitable action should be taken to reconcile it.
  • Compile and carefully study the documents to be used while filing the return of income like bank statement/passbook, interest certificate, investment proofs for which deductions is to be claimed, books of account and balance sheet and P/L A/c (if applicable), etc. No documents are to be attached along with the return of income.
  • The taxpayer should identify the correct return form applicable in his case.
  • Carefully provide all the information in the return form.
  • Confirm the calculation of total income, deductions (if any), interest (if any), tax liability/refund, etc.
  • If any tax is payable as per the return of income, then the same should be paid before filing the return of income.
  • Ensure that other details like PAN, address, e-mail address, bank account details, etc., are correct.
  • After filling all the details in the return of income and after confirmation of all the details, one can proceed with filing the return of income.
  • In case return is filed electronically without digital signature do not forget to post the acknowledgement of filing the return of income at CPC Bengaluru (as discussed earlier).

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The visitors may visit the web site of Income Tax Department for resolving their doubts or for clarifications.

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