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Filing of Tax Return

The filing of income tax return is a legal obligation of every person whose total income during the previous year exceeds the maximum amount which is not chargeable to income tax under the provisions of I.T. Act, 1961. The return should be furnished in the prescribed form on or before the due date(s).

At present, there is an emphasis on self compliance on the part of the taxpayers. The assessing officer will accept the returns, u/s 143(1)of the I.T. Act on the basis of the returns/documents submitted by the assesses. That is the end of the matter for a majority of the cases, except in the small number of cases selected for scrutiny. It is, therefore, advisable for the tax payers to furnish correct and complete particulars in the Income-Tax return itself.

Rates of Income Tax

Visit Income Tax Slabs & Rates page for Income Tax slabs and rates for various Assessment Years.

Tax Return Forms

Visit ITR forms page to select and download applicable ITR form.

Due Dates for Filing of Income Tax Returns

The due dates for filing of Income Tax returns by various categories of tax payers are as under:

IWhere the assessee is a Company30th September of the Assessment Year
II. Where the assessee is a person other than a company:-
  1. where accounts of the assessee are to be Audited or
  2. a working partner of a firm whose accounts are required / lo be audited under the Income Tax Act or any other law

30th September of the Assessment Year
b.Any other assessee31st July of the Assessment Year

Consequences of Filing Return after Due Date

If a return is submitted after the due date, the following consequences will be applicable

  1. The assessee will be liable for penal interest under section 234 A. ( Simple interest @ 1% for every month or Part thereof from the due date of filing of the Return to the date of furnishing of the return & in case return is not filed, it is upto the date of completion of assessment u/s 144.The interest is calculated on the amount of the tax on the total assessed income as determined under sub-section (1) of section 143 or on regular assessment u/s143(3) as reduced by the Advance Tax, if any, paid and any tax deducted or collected at source. )
  2. A penalty of Rs 5,000 may be imposed under section 271 F if belated return is submitted after the end of the assessment year.
  3. If the return of loss is submitted after the due date, a few losses cannot be carried forward. If the return is submitted belated, deductions allowable under certain sections will not be available.

Is Tax to be paid during the Financial year on the basis of PAY AS YOU EARN ?

Yes, Such payments have to be made in installments and are known as 'Advance-Tax' payments. However the liability for payment of advance tax arises only where the amount of such tax payable by the assessee during that year is Rs. 10,000 or more.

Useful Tips for Filing of Income Tax Returns

  1. Use appropriate forms as notified by Income Tax department for the Assessment Year for which the return is to be filed.
  2. Attach No Enclosures to the Return : Rule 12(2) of the I.T Rules provides that the return of income and return of fringe benefits required to be furnished in Form No. ITR-1, ITR-2, ITR-3, ITR-4, ITR-5, ITR-6, or ITR-8 shall not be accompanied by a statement showing the computation of tax payable on the basis of return, or proof of tax, if any, claimed deducted or collected at source or the advance tax or tax on self assessment, if any, claimed to have been paid or any document or copy of any account or form or report of audit required to be attached with the return of income or return of fringe benefits under any provisions of the Act.
  3. For timely delivery of refunds, ensure correct address and account number on your Return of Income.
  4. Manner of filing the new Forms : These Forms can be submitted in (i)paper form, (ii)e-filing or (iii)a bar-coded paper return.
  5. Filling out Acknowledgement : Where the return is furnished in paper format, acknowledgement form attached with the return should be duly filled in. The new forms are not required to be filed in duplicate.
  6. Intimation of Processing : The acknowledgement of the return is deemed to be the intimation of processing under section 143(1). No separate intimation is sent to the taxpayer unless there is a demand or refund.

Where to File the Income Tax Returns ?

An existing assessee must file his Income-Tax Return with the Assessing Officer who had previously assessed him or with the Assessing Officer where his case stands transferred. A new assessee should file the Return with the Assessing Officer having territorial jurisdiction over the area where he resides or his principal place of business is situated or with the Assessing Officer having special jurisdiction over specific assessees or classes of income. A doctor or C.A. or an Advocate should file the returns in professional circles if any specified.

The return may be delivered at the counter in the concerned Range /Circle or it may be sent by registered post. The return is attached with two acknowledgement forms which should be duly filled in by the assessee. One copy of the acknowledgement form is to be returned by the official at the counter duly signed, stamped, numbered and dated in support of having received the return. In case of any doubt or problem, the taxpayer should can contact the Public Relations Officer for guidance and help.

Frequently Asked Questions relating to Filing of Tax Returns

What is a return of income?
It is a prescribed form through which the particulars of income earned by a person in a financial year and taxes paid on such income is communicated to the Income tax department after the end of the Financial year. Different forms are prescribed for filing of returns for different 'Status' and 'Nature of income'.
From where can I get a return form?
The Public Relation Officer{PRO] can be contacted for this purpose. The form can be downloaded from this site or from the official site of Income Tax Department.
How can I know which form is applicable for my income?
You should choose a return form according to your status and nature of income.
What documents are to be enclosed along with the return of income?
The new return forms numbering 1 to 8 is annexure less. Hence no documents need to be attached.
Where and how am I supposed to file my return?
A return is to be filed before your Assessing officer. It may even be sent by post or filed electronically.
Who is an Assessing officer?
He/She is an officer of the Income tax department who has been given jurisdiction over a particular geographical territory or class of persons. You can get information about jurisdiction relating to you from the PRO or from the Income Tax Department website http://www.incometaxindia.gov.in/
How is a return filed electronically?
Companies and firms are compulsorily required to file their return electronically, while for others it is still optional. For electronic filing of return you have to log on to the Income Tax Deptt. website http://www.incometaxindia.gov.in/ and upload the information of income and taxes in the prescribed form. If you have digital signature the same can be appended and there would be no need to file a paper return. In case you do not have a digital signature you will be required to file a paper return quoting the provisional acknowledgement number received on completion of uploading.
I am going out of India. Who will file my income tax return for this period?
You can authorize any person by way of a Power of Attorney to file your return. A copy of the Power of Attorney should be enclosed with the return.
Will I be put to any disadvantage by filing my return?
On the contrary by not filing your return in spite of having taxable income, you will be laying yourself open to the penal and prosecution provisions under the Income-tax Act.
What are the benefits of filing my return of income?
Filing of return is your constitutional duty and earns for you the dignity of consciously contributing to the development of the nation. This apart, your IT returns validate your credit worthiness before financial institutions and make it possible for you to access many financial benefits such as bank credits etc.
Is it necessary to file return of income when I do not have any positive income?
If you have sustained a loss in the financial year, which you propose to carry forward to the subsequent year for adjustment against its positive income, you must make a claim of loss by filing your return before the due date.
What are the due dates for filing returns of income/loss?
The due dates are as follows:
Companies & their Directors31st October
Other business entities, other than companies, if their accounts are auditable & their working partners31st October
In all other case31st July
If I fail to furnish my return within the due date of filing, will I be fined or penalized?
Yes. This may take the form of interest if the return is not filed before the end of the assessment year. If the return is not filed even after the end of the assessment year, penalty may also be levied.
Can a return be filed after the due date?
Yes. It may be furnished at any time before the expiry of two years from the end of the financial year in which the income was earned. For example, in case of income earned during FY 2006-07, the belated return can be filed before 31st March 2009.
So far I have never paid any tax. If I file a return this year will the IT department ask me about my earlier years' income?
It is never too late to start honoring your constitutional obligations for payment of tax. The department may ask you to file return of income for earlier years if it finds that you had taxable income in those years.
If I have paid excess tax how and when will it be refunded?
The excess tax can be claimed as refund by filing your income tax return. It will be refunded by issue of cheque or by crediting to your bank account. The department has been making efforts to settle refund claims within four months from the month of filing return.
If I have committed any mistake in my original return, am I permitted to file a corrected return?
Yes, provided the original return has been filed before the due date and provided the department has not completed assessment. However it is expected that the mistake in the original return is of a genuine and bona fide nature.
How many times can I revise the return?
Theoretically a return can be revised any number of times before the expiry of one year from the end of the assessment year or before assessment by the department is completed; whichever event takes place earlier.
Am I required to keep a copy of the return filed as proof and for how long?
Yes. Since legal proceedings under the income tax act can be initiated up to six years prior to the current financial year, you must maintain such documents at least for this period.
There are various deductions that have not been reflected in the Form 16 issued by my employer. Can I claim them in my return?
Why is return filing mandatory even though all my taxes and interests have been paid and there is no refund due to me?
Amounts paid as advance tax and withheld in the form of TDS or collected in the form of TCS will take the character of your tax due only on completion of self-assessment of your income. This self-assessment is intimated to the department by way of filing of return. Only then does the government acquire rights over the prepaid taxes as its own revenue. Filing of return is critical for this process and, hence, has been made mandatory. Failure will attract levy of penalty.
Am I liable for any criminal prosecution (arrest/imprisonment etc.) if I don't file my income tax return even though my income is taxable?
Non-payment of tax attracts interests, penalty and prosecution. The prosecution can lead to rigorous imprisonment from 6 months to 7 years and fine.


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