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What Is Income Tax Return (ITR)? 


Income Tax Return(ITR) is a form in which every taxpayer furnishes the information related to their income and the payable income tax to the Income Tax Department. The information is based on income and tax liability for the particular financial year.

The IT department introduced seven different IT return forms, such as the ITR - 1, ITR - 2, ITR - 3, ITR - 4, ITR - 5, ITR - 6 and ITR - 7. The choice of the specific ITR return form depends on the sources of income, amount of income earned, and the category of taxpayer, whether individual, company, HUF, etc. The taxpayer should file the income tax return form on or before the notified due date.


Here is a detail about the income under different heads.

Heads of Income

Examples

Income from salary

Salary, pension, gratuity, annuity, wages, EPF and EPS contributions

Income from other sources

Dividends and interests earned from securities, mutual funds, bank deposits, lottery winnings, race winnings, gifts received

Capital gains

Long-term and short-term capital gains earned from transferring or selling assets such as stock, house property, and mutual funds. It can include short-term and long-term losses set off against gains.

Income from profession/business

Profits or losses from the business, including salary, bonuses, and interest paid to partners

Income from house property

Rent from properties possessed or acquired and not occupied by the taxpayer. A notional interest is considered for the house property under this head if no interest is received.

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Why Should You File IT Return?


Every taxpayer must file the IT return, if they are eligible to pay the income tax based on the exemption limit and the income tax slab. It is mandatory as per stated income tax rules. Here are a few reasons explaining why income tax return filing is important.

  • To avoid penalty - Every eligible citizen of India should pay income tax. Failing to pay and filing the ITR before the IT return last date can result in paying severe penalty charges.

  • To claim income tax refund - Tax refund refers to the reimbursement of any excess income tax paid by the taxpayer to the government. You can claim the excess income tax paid by filing the income tax return form.

  • For easy loan approval procedures - When you apply for a home loan or a car loan, the bank might ask you to provide the latest IT return form for the loan approval procedure.

  • For using it as proof of income - For any application, the ITR return is considered one of the most important sources for proof of income or address.

  • For easy visa processing - Embassies or consulates will ask for your income tax return forms for the previous years while processing your visa application. Therefore, it is important to file the ITR return without fail to go through a hassle-free visa application procedure.


 

Who is Eligible to File IT Return?


You are eligible for income tax return filing in India based on the following conditions:

  • If your annual income is more than the basic exemption limit as detailed below:

a. Individuals below 60 years of age - ₹2.5 Lakh

b. Individuals between 60 years and 80 years - ₹3 Lakh

c. Individuals above 80 years of age - ₹5 Lakh

  • If you want to claim an income tax refund

  • If you have invested in assets from a foreign land or earned from them during that particular financial year

  • If the taxpayer is a firm or company

  • If you, as a taxpayer, want to apply for a loan or visa.

  • If you are an NRI, income tax liability will depend on the residential status. If you are a resident Indian, your global income is chargeable to tax. And, if your status is NRI, income accrued or earned in India is chargeable to tax in India. In such cases, you are eligible to file the ITR.

  • If your income is less than the basic exemption limit, you are still eligible to file the income tax return in case of the following scenarios:

a. Deposited more than ₹1 crore in one or many bank accounts

b. Incurred expenditure of more than ₹2 Lakh on foreign travel for self, family or any other person

c. Incurred expenditure of more than ₹1 Lakh towards electricity consumption

d. If the Tax Deducted At Source and the Tax Collected At Source is more than ₹25,000 for individuals less than 60 years and ₹50,000 for senior citizens in the previous year.

e. If the total sales, turnover or gross receipt from your business exceeds ₹60 Lakh

f. If you are engaged in a profession for which the gross receipt is more than ₹10 Lakh for the previous year.

 

Documents Needed While Filing Income Tax Return

While processing your income tax return form, you will keep a few documents ready to furnish the information and keep it safe for future reference. Here is a detail of the documents required for filing the ITR return.

  • Documents required by salaried employees

○ PAN card - The Personal Account Number is an important proof of identification for all the taxpayers in India.

○ Form 16 - Form 16 is a Tax Deduction at Source(TDS) certificate. It is issued by your employer and reflects the tax paid directly from your salary.

○ Monthly payslips - Monthly payslips will have the details of your basic salary, dearness allowance, house rent allowance, leave travel allowance, contribution to provident fund, arrears earned, etc., for mentioning the applicable deductions and exemptions.

  • Documents based on interest income

○ Bank statement - It furnishes information regarding your savings account and the interest income earned.

○ TDS certificate provided by banks - The interest you earn from a savings account, post office schemes, fixed deposits, etc., are classified under "Income from other sources" and are completely taxable. The TDS certificate from banks will furnish such details and tax paid on your behalf.

  • Documents for claiming tax deductions in the ITR Return form

○ Original documents corresponding to the following investments will help you claim the applicable deductions.

    ○ Life insurance

    ○ Investments in PPF, ELSS, NSC, etc.,

    ○ The housing loan principal and interest payments

    ○ Children's school fees

    ○ Charges on stamp duty and registration

    Education loan interest payments

    ○ Stock trading

  • Other documents

    ○ Form 16A - It details TDS deducted on payments apart from salaries such as interest received from recurring deposits, fixed deposits, etc.,

    ○ Form 16B - It details the TDS amount paid to you by a buyer for selling a property.

    ○ Form 16C - It details the TDS deducted on the rent paid to you by your tenant.

    ○ Form 26AS - Form 26AS is a consolidated document of taxes paid against your PAN, such as TDS deducted by banks, your employer, advance taxes and self-assessment taxes paid.



How to File ITR Online?

 

The Income Tax Department has introduced the online method to make the income tax return filing process effortless. One of the most important advantages of using the online IT return filing process is its applicability to using pre-filled individual financial information such as your gross total income, deductions, etc.

Here is a step-by-step guide to IT returns filing online:

  1. Log in to the website - https://www.incometax.gov.in/iec/foportal.
  2. Click on the "e-File" tab.
  3. Under the "e-File" tab, choose "Income Tax Returns" and further the "File Income Tax Return" option.
  4. Select the assessment year.
  5. Select the mode of filing as online.
  6. Click on continue.
  7. Click on the "Start New Filing" option.
  8. Choose the category of taxpayer, whether individual, HUF or others, and click on continue.
  9. Select a suitable ITR return form and click on proceed.
  10. Your return will already be pre-filled based on the information available in the Income Tax Department. Therefore, confirm the details in the individual sections are correct to proceed.
  11. To validate your pre-filled return:
    1. Verify your personal information.
    2. Verify your total gross income and add exemptions, if any.
    3. Provide details regarding applicable deductions.
    4. Verify the taxes paid by you in the previous financial year.
  12. The system will compute your income tax liability. Verify the same and click on proceed.
  13. The system will display your tax summary details on the screen.
  14. Proceed to e - Verify and submit.

 

Which Income Tax Return Form to File and Who is Applicable?


There are 7 different IT return forms based on different income sources and taxpayers' categories. After understanding what is ITR, it is important to know the different ITR forms.

Here is a detail about the income tax forms and their applicability.

 ITR 1 or SAHAJ

○ ITR 1 is for the resident (other than not ordinarily resident) individual whose total income can be from:

i.    Income earned from salary or pension

ii.   Income earned from one house property

iii.  Income from other sources

iv.  Agriculture income up to ₹5000

○ ITR 1 is not applicable in case:

i.    If total income is more than ₹50 Lakh

ii.   Agriculture income exceeds ₹5000

iii.  You are non-resident and resident, not ordinarily resident (RNOR)

iv.  You own foreign assets or get foreign income.

v.   You have taxable capital gains.

vi.  You earn income from business or profession.

vii. You are the Director of a Company.

viii. If you are assessable based on the income of another person for which taxes is not deducted for the other person

ix. Tax payments and deductions have been deferred on ESOP.

x.  You have brought forward any loss, or the loss has to be carried forward under any heads of income.

ITR 2

○ ITR 2 is for Hindu Undivided Family(HUFs) or an individual whose total income can be from:

i.   Income from salary or pension more than ₹50 Lakh

ii.  Income from more than one house property and more than ₹50 Lakh

iii. Income from other sources such as winning a horse race, lottery, etc.,

iv. Foreign income

v.  Income from foreign assets, including having the signing authority in any account outside India

vi.  Income from other sources more than ₹50 Lakh

vii. Income from capital gains

viii. Investments from unlisted shares

ix. Being a non-resident and resident not ordinarily resident (RNOR).

x.  Being a Director in a Company

xi. Agriculture income higher than ₹5000

○ ITR 2 is not applicable if the income is earned from a business or profession.

ITR 3

○ ITR 3 form is for an individual or Hindu Undivided Family whose income can come from:

i.   Income from a business or profession.

ii.  Being a partner in a firm

iii. Being an Individual Director in a company

iv. Investments made in unlisted shares

v.  Salary or pension, house property and income from other sources.

vi. A business with a turnover of more than ₹5 crores.

○ Individuals who cannot file ITR - 1, ITR - 2and ITR -4 for some reason should file ITR - 3.

ITR 4 or Sugam

○ ITR 4 is for resident individuals and HUFs, Partnership firms other than LLPs whose total income is less than ₹50 Lakh and received from:

i.   Business income as per the presumptive income scheme stated under Section 44AD or 44AE

ii.  Professional income as per presumptive income stated under Section 44ADA

iii. Income from salary or pension

iv. Income from house property

v.  Income from other sources

○ Individual freelancers with the income as mentioned above, not more than ₹50 Lakh, can opt for the presumptive scheme under Sections 44AD, 44AE, and 44ADA and file ITR 4.

○ ITR 4 is not applicable if:

i.  Total income is greater than ₹50 Lakh.

ii. Income is from more than one house property.

iii.  Income is from outside Indian borders.

iv. If you have invested in unlisted shares

v.  You are non-resident and RONR

vi. If you are assessable based on the income of another person for which taxes is not deducted for the other person

vii. Tax payments and deductions have been deferred on ESOP.

viii.  You have brought forward any loss, or the loss has to be carried forward under any heads of income.

ITR 5

○ ITR 5 is for:

i.    Firms

ii.   Limited Liability Partnerships

iii.  Association of Bodies

iv. Body Of Individuals

v.  Business Trust

vi. Artificial Juridical Person

vii. Estate Of Deceased

viii. Estate Of Insolvent

ix. Investment Fund

 ITR 6

ITR 6 is for companies who receive an income from the property held for charitable or religious purposes and do not claim an exemption under Section 11.

 ITR 7

○ ITR 7 is for persons and companies who need to furnish returns under:

i. Section 139 (4A) - For income earned from property held under a trust for religious or charitable purposes.

ii. Section 139 (4B) - For a political party wherein the total income without considering the provisions section under 139A exceeds the maximum limit that is not chargeable to tax.

iii. Section 139 (4C) - For Scientific research association, Newsagency, Association or Institution mentioned under Section 10 (23A), Institution mentioned under Section 10 (23B) and Fund, Institution, University or Educational Institution, Hospital or any Medical Institution.

iv. Section 139 (4D) - For Universities, Colleges, or other Institutions that do not detail the income under any other provisions based on this section.

v. Section 139 (4E) - For Business Trust is not required to furnish the income under any other provisions under this section.

vi. Section 139 (4F) - For investment funds mentioned under Section 115UB that do not furnish the income under any other provisions under this section.

How to Download Filed Income Tax Return (ITR) Form?

The e-filing portal lets you download the ITR forms online in simple steps.

  1. Log in to the website - https://www.incometax.gov.in/iec/foportal.
  2. Click on the "e-File" tab.
  3. Under the "e-File" tab, choose "Income Tax Returns" and further the "View Filed Returns" option.
  4. The e-filed returns are available for download against the assessment year.
  5. You can click on the "Download Form" corresponding to the required assessment year and get the ITR form downloaded. 

How to Download Income Tax Return (ITR) Form for Filing the IT Return Offline?

You can also file the ITR return offline using the following steps.

  1. Log in to the website - https://www.incometax.gov.in/iec/foportal.
  2. Click on the "e-File" tab.
  3. Under the "e-File" tab, choose "Income Tax Returns" and further the "File Income Tax Return" option.
  4. Select the assessment year.
  5. Select the mode of filing as offline.
  6. Select the filing type and the ITR type.
  7. Click on continue.
  8. You will be redirected to the page where you must upload the filled ITR in .json file format.
  9. On the same page, on the right side, you can find the option to download the offline utility and your pre-filled data for filing the income tax return. "Click here" to download the utility.
  10. You can download the offline utility based on the ITR type and your computer operating system.
  11. Using the utility and pre-filled data, you can file the ITR, create the .json file, and upload it under the link mentioned above.

How to Check Your IT Return Status Online?

After Income Tax Return (ITR) filing and e-verification, you can track the status online. There are two different methods to do it online.

● With login credentials

○ Log in to the website - https://www.incometax.gov.in/iec/foportal.

○ The current status of the filed return will be displayed on the dashboard on the right-hand side with the following details:

i. Return Filed On - The date on which you filed the return.

ii. Return Verified On - The date on which the return was e-verified.

iii. Return Processing - The date of commencement of processing.

iv. Processing Completion - The date of processing completion

v. You can also view a more detailed status of the previously filed returns using the following path under the e-File tab. e-File tab ->Income Tax Returns -> View Filed Returns

 

● Without login credentials

You can also view the status of the filed ITR without login credentials using the following steps:

a. Visit the link - https://www.incometax.gov.in/iec/foportal.

b. Under the Home tab, on the left-hand side, click on the Income Tax Return(ITR) Status option.

c. You will be redirected to a page where you must enter the acknowledgement and mobile number.

d. Click on Continue.

e. Once you authenticate using a mobile OTP, you can check your Income Tax Return status.

What are the Advantages of Filing an Income Tax Return?

Filing an income tax return is mandatory for every eligible citizen of India. However, income tax return filing can provide different types of advantages. Here is a detail about it.

  • Simple and seamless processing of refunds - IT returns filing online has made the process simple and quick. The process and instructions are detailed in simple language to make it easy for every taxpayer. Therefore, you can claim the IT return refund using a hassle-free process.
  • Accurate validation - When you do the IT returns filing online, you can minimise the errors to a great extent. The e-filing portal and the in-built validations help surpass unnecessary simple errors that are bound to occur while opting for the paper process. It can also avoid human errors while transferring the data from the paper to the system.
  • Comfortable and convenient - Filing the income tax return online is comfortable and convenient. You can be at your house or office and take up the process in a few minutes when you have the required documents handy. You can also conveniently file the ITR on any date before the IT return last date.
  • Access to past data - You can access your previous sources of income and the taxes paid for any further references at any time. The data is securely stored for easy access.
  • Proof of acknowledgement - When the IT return filing is complete, and further processing is done, you will receive timely proof of acknowledgement on your registered email ID.
  • Online banking - As the income tax deposit and the tax refund process is applicable through online banking, the deposit and the credit activities happen instantly. 

Due Dates for Filing IT Return

Every taxpayer should file the IT return on or before the respective due dates to avoid any penalty charges. However, as the IT return filing portal online is simple, easy to understand and convenient to use, you can do it anytime before the due date. Here is a detail about the income tax return due date for different categories for taxpayers. 

Category of Taxpayer

Due Date For Filing ITR for FY 2021-22

Individuals / HUFs/ AOP/ BOI

31-07-2022

Businesses for which auditing is required

31-10-2022

Businesses for which TP (Transfer Pricing) Report is required

30-11-2022

Penalty for Late Filing of ITR

If you have missed filing the ITR on or before the income tax return due date, you can file it at a later date. It is referred to as the belated return. The IT department notified the due date for the belated return as 31st December for the assessment year, which is subject to extension. However, in case of missing filing the income tax return before the due date, you are liable to pay the penalty charges. Here is a detail about the penalty charges.

Due date for filing ITR

Penalty for total income less than ₹5 Lakh

Penalty for total income more than ₹5 Lakh

Before 31-07-2022

Nil

Nil

Between 1st September and
31st December

₹ 1000

₹ 5000


In addition, the taxpayer must pay interest on the tax liable based on the delayed date.


 

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Income Tax Return (ITR):

Can I submit my own ITR?

Yes, you can submit your own ITR by visiting the online portal - https://www.incometax.gov.in/iec/foportal, filing the appropriate ITR form and verifying it for further processing. 

If the ITR is not filed, are there any fines assessed?

Yes, you are liable to pay the penalty if the ITR is not filed before the income tax return due date.

Is filing an ITR required for salaried employees?

Yes, salaried employees need to file the income tax return form mandatorily.

Can I skip completing my income tax return if I have already paid my advance taxes and have no dues or refunds?

No, you cannot skip completing and filing the income tax return even if you have paid advance taxes and have no refunds or dues. 

Is it possible to file a tax return after the deadline?

Yes, it is possible to file the ITR return even after the deadline. The income tax department notifies a belated date that extends upto 31st December for filing the income tax return. 

What is an Income Tax Return Notice?

You will receive an income tax return notice from the IT department if you have not filed the ITR, there is a discrepancy in the amount declared in the ITR, or the department wants to verify a particular document. 

What are the advantages of filing my income tax return?

Filing the income tax return has many advantages, such as:

  • Providing a simple and seamless way to process refunds.
  • Accurately validating the financial information online.
  • Providing access to past financial data.
  • Compatibility with online banking for receiving refunds or paying liabilities, if any.
  • Receiving prompt acknowledgement.

What safety measures must be taken before filing an ITR?

Before income tax return filing:  

  1. You need to gather the important financial documents such as Form 16, Form 26A, Monthly Payslips, Bank Statements, original documents regarding investments applicable for deductions, etc.,
  2. Get the calculations correctly.
  3. Disclose all the different sources of income.
  4. Include the appropriate exemptions and deductions
  5. E - Verify the ITR form before the IT return last date.

What is Form 26AS?

Form 26AS is a consolidated document of taxes paid against your PAN, such as TDS deducted by banks, your employer, advance taxes and self-assessment taxes paid. 

How will I get my tax money back if I overpaid?

You will get the excess tax paid as the ITR refund, credited to your bank account after the IT department successfully processes your ITR form. 

What is the e-verification of income tax returns?

The e-verification of the income tax return refers to verifying the filled IT return form using an Electronic Verification Code. It is a 10-digit alpha-numeric sent to your Email ID or mobile number registered with your e-filing portal, demat account or bank account. It has a 72-hour validity from the time it is generated. 

How do I determine whether I must file tax returns?

If your total gross income exceeds the basic exemption limit, you are mandatorily liable to file the income tax return. The exemption limit varies based on the age of the taxpayer.

How is the income of a taxpayer categorised?

The income for a taxpayer is categorised as income from salary, income from other sources, capital gains, income from profession/business, income from house property, etc., 

Is a family pension considered salary income for tax purposes?

A family pension received upon the death of an individual in the family is categorised as "Income from other sources". On the other hand, the pension provided to an employee based on past employment is taxable under the head, "Income from Salary." 

Is taxable income up to ₹5 Lakh exempt?

Taxable income up to ₹5 Lakh is exempt only for individuals above 80 years of age.

Will the money I make from farming be taxed?

In India, agricultural income is exempt under Section 10(1) of the Income Tax Act, 1961.

Who is eligible to get a rebate under Section 87A?

Individuals with a taxable income less than or equal to ₹5 Lakh will qualify for a tax rebate under Section 87A. The tax liability is nil in such cases and applicable to the old and the new regimes. 

Is there a limit on how many returns I can submit with a single email address and mobile number?

With a single email address and mobile number, you can file 10 ITR returns.

What is the ITR-1 form's structure?

The following is the structure of the form ITR -1 

  1. Section A – General Information
  2. Section B – Gross total income
  3. Section C – Deductions and total taxable income
  4. Section D – Computation of the tax liability
  5. Section E – Other information (Bank account details)
  6. Schedule IT - Statements related to advance tax and self-assessment tax payments.
  7. Schedule TDS - Statement of TDS and TCS
  8. Verification

Disclaimers

  • Insurance cover is available under the product.
  • The products are underwritten by Tata AIA Life Insurance Company Ltd.
  • The plans are not a guaranteed issuance plan, and it will be subject to Company’s underwriting and acceptance.
  • For more details on risk factors, terms and conditions please read sales brochure carefully before concluding a sale.
  • Please know the associated risks and the applicable charges, from your insurance agent or the Intermediary or policy document issued by the insurance company.
  • Every effort is made to ensure that all information contained in this document is accurate at the date of publication, however, the Tata AIA Life shall not have any liability for any damages of any kind (including but not limited to errors and omissions) whatsoever relating to this material.
  • Income Tax benefits would be available as per the prevailing income tax laws, subject to fulfilment of conditions stipulated therein. Income Tax laws are subject to change from time to time. Tata AIA Life Insurance Company Ltd. does not assume responsibility on tax implications mentioned anywhere in this document. Please consult your own tax consultant to know the tax benefits available to you
  • L&C/Advt/2022/Aug/1884