Income Tax Return common Questions and Answers

By | December 21, 2015

Income Tax Return : Common Questions and Answers

Income Tax Return

What is Income Tax Return ?

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 are communicated to the Income-tax Department. Different forms of returns of income are prescribed for filing of returns for different Status and Nature of income. These forms can be downloaded from www.incometaxindia.gov.in or  http://incometaxindiaefiling.gov.in

Under the Income-tax Law, different forms of Income Tax Return are prescribed for different classes of taxpayers. The Income Tax Return forms are known as ITR forms (Income Tax Return Forms). The forms of Income Tax Return prescribed under the Income-tax Law for filing of return of income for the assessment year 2015-16 (i.e., financial year 2014-15) are as follows (*):

Why is Income Tax 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 Income Tax Return . Only then the Government assumes rights over the taxes paid by you. Filing of Income Tax 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 3 months to 2 years (when the tax sought to be evaded exceeds Rs. 25,00,000 the punishment could be 6 months to 7 years).​​

What are the different forms for filing Income tax return ?

Return Form Brief Description
ITR – 1 Also known as SAHAJ is applicable to an individual having salary or pension income or income from one house property (not a case of brought forward loss) or income from other sources (not being lottery winnings and income from race horses).
ITR 2A It is applicable to Individuals and Hindu Undivided Family not having income from business or profession and capital gains and resident who do not hold foreign assets do not have foreign income.
ITR – 2 It is applicable to an individual or a Hindu Undivided Family having income from any source other than “Profits and gains of business or profession”.
ITR – 3 It is applicable to 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 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.
ITR – 4S Also known as SUGAM is applicable to individuals and Hindu Undivided Family who have opted for the presumptive taxation scheme of section 44AD/44AE.
ITR – 4 It is applicable to an individual or a Hindu Undivided Family who is carrying on a proprietary business or profession.
ITR – 5 This Form can be used by a person being a firm, LLP, AOP, BOI, artificial juridical person referred to in section 2(31)(vii), co-operative society and local authority. However, a person who is required to file the return of income under section 139(4A) or 139(4B) or 139(4C) or 139(4D) shall not use this form (i.e., trusts, political parties, institutions, colleges, etc.)
ITR – 6 It is applicable to a company, other than a company claiming exemption under section 11 (exemption under section 11 can be claimed by charitable/religious trust).
ITR – 7 It is applicable to a 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) (i.e., trusts, political parties, institutions, colleges, etc.).
ITR – V It is the acknowledgement of filing the return of income.

From where can I get forms  for filing  Income Tax Return?

The Income Tax Return form can be downloaded from the site http://www.incometaxindia.gov.in or http://incometaxindiaefiling.gov.in​

What are the different mode of filing Income Tax Return ?

Modes of filing the return of income

This Income Tax Return Form can be filed with the Income-tax Department in any of the following ways, –

  (i) by furnishing the return in a paper form;

 (ii) by furnishing the return electronically under digital signature;

(iii) by transmitting the data in the return electronically under electronic verification code;

(iv) by transmitting the data in the return electronically and thereafter submitting the verification of the return in Return Form ITR-V;

Note

Where the Income Tax Return 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.

​(*) Refer next FAQ for cases in which e-filing is mandatory.​​

For Whom E filing of Income Tax return is mandatory ?

Mandatory e-filing of Income Tax Return

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

(1) From the assessment year 2015-16 onwards any asessee 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 Income Tax Return or having total income of more than Rs. 5,00,000is required to furnish the return of income electronically with or witho​ut 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, e-filing 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 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 Income Tax Return 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 shall furnish the report electronically on or before the date of filing the return.

(8) Income Tax Return Form ITR- 3 is to furnish electronically in the following modes:

   (i) by furnishing the return electronically under digital signature;

  (ii) by transmitting the data in the return electronically under electronic verification code;

 (iii) 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:

   (i) by furnishing the return electronically under digital signature;

  (ii) by transmitting the data in the return electronically under electronic verification code;

  (iii) 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 :

   (i) by furnishing the return electronically under digital signature;

  (ii) by transmitting the data in the return electronically under electronic verification code;

 (iii) 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.

What documents are to be attached with Income Tax return ?

No documents to be attached along with Income Tax return

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.

As discussed above, no documents are to be attached along with the return of income, however, in case of 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 shall furnish it electronically on or before the date of filing the return of income.

Is it necessary to attach any documents 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.

As discussed above, no documents are to be attached along with the return of income, however, in case of a taxpayer who is required to furnish a report of audit under section​ 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 or115VW​​​​ shall furnish it electronically on or before the date of filing the return of income.

However, due date for the assessment year 2014-15 for filing of audit report under 44AB by an assesse who is not required to submit a report pertaining to international or specified domestic transactions under section 92E has been extended to 30th November 2014 vide ORDER [F.NO. 133/24/2014-TPL], DATED 20-8-2014.​​

Where and how am I supposed to file my Income Tax return ?

​Return of income can be filed either in hard copy at the local office of the Income-tax Department or can be electronically filed at www.incometaxindiaefiling.gov.in

In the case of certain persons (already discussed in previous FAQ) e-filing is mandatory.​

​What is e-filing utility provided by the Income-tax Department for on line filing of Income Tax return ?

The Income-tax Department has provided free e-filing utility (i.e., software) to generate e-return and furnishing of return electronically. The e-filing utility provided by Department is simple, easy to use and also contains instructions on how to use it. By using the e-filing utility, the taxpayers can easily file their returns of income. Utility can be downloaded from www.incometaxindiaefiling.gov.in​

​Is there any e-filing help desk established by the Income-tax Department in case any help is required for Income Tax return ?

​​In case of queries on e-filing of return, the taxpayer can contact 1800 4250 0025.​​

​What are the due dates for filing Income Tax return?

​​Due date of filing of return of income

Sr. No. Status of the taxpayer Due date
1 Any company other than a company who is required to furnish a report in Form No. 3CEB under section 92E (i.e. other than covered in 2 below) September 30 of the assessment year
2 Any person (may be corporate/non-corporate) who is required to furnish a report in Form No. 3CEB under section 92E November 30 of the assessment year
3 Any person (other than a company) whose accounts are to be audited under the Income-tax Law or under any other law September 30 of the assessment year
4 A working partner of a firm whose accounts are required to be audited under this Act or under any other law. September 30 of the assessment year
5 Any other assessee July 31 of the assessment year . The due date of filing the return of income for the financial year 2014-15 has been extended to 31st August 2015.

If I fail to furnish my Income Tax return within the due date, will I be fined or penalized?

​​​​Yes, if you have not furnished the return within the due date, you will have to pay interest on tax due. If the return is not filed up to the end of the assessment year, in addition ​to interest, a penalty of Rs. 5,000 shall be levied under section 271F​​.

​Can Income Tax return be filed after the due date?

​Yes, if one could not file the return of income on or before the prescribed due date, then he can file a belated return. A belated return can be filed within a period of one year from the end of the assessment year or before completion of the assessment, whichever is earlier. Return filed after the prescribed due date is called as a belated return. A belated return attracts interest and penalty as discussed in previous FAQ.​

E.g., In case of income earned during FY 2015-16, the belated return can be filed up to 31st March, 2018. However, if return is filed after 31stMarch, 2018, penalty under section 271F​ (as discussed in previous FAQ) can be levied.​

​If I have paid excess tax how will it be refunded to me?

Yes, provided the original return has been filed before the due date and the Department has not completed the assessment. It is expected that the mistake in the original return is of a genuine and bona fide nature and not rectification of any deliberate mistake. However, a belated return (being a return filed after the due date) cannot be revised.​​

​If I have committed any mistake in my original Income Tax return, am I permitted to file a revised Income Tax return to correct the mistake?​

Yes, provided the original return has been filed before the due date and the Department has not completed the assessment. It is expected that the mistake in the original return is of a genuine and bona fide nature and not rectification of any deliberate mistake. However, a belated return (being a return filed after the due date) cannot be revised.

Return can be revised within a period of one year from the end of the relevant assessment year or before completion of the assessment whichever is earlier.

E.g., In case of income earned during FY 2015-16, the due date of filing the return of income (considering no audit) is 31st July, 2016. If the return of income is filed on or before 31st July, 2016 then the return can be revised upto 31st March, 2018 (assuming assessment is not completed by that date). However, if return is filed after 31st July, 2016, then it will be a belated return and a belated return cannot be revised. ​

How many times can I revise Income Tax 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 Income Tax return filed as proof and for how long?

​​Yes, since legal proceedings under the Income-tax Act can be initiated up to four or six years (as the case may be) prior to the current financial year, you must maintain such documents at least for this period. However, in certain cases the proceedings can be initiated even after 6 years, hence, it is advised to preserve the copy of return as long as possible. Further, after introduction of the e-filing facility, it is very easy and simple to maintain the copy of return of income.​​

Source : Incometaxindia.gov.in

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