If you’re an individual who is a salaried employee or has a business of your own, filing an income tax return (ITR) is something that you should do without fail. However, when it actually comes to filing ITRs, you’ll quickly find out that the process is not as easy as it may seem. And that you have more questions than answers. And so, here are a few FAQs that can help give you some clarity.
15 FAQs about filing Income Tax Returns
1. What is an Income Tax Return?
An Income Tax Return is basically a statement of all the incomes earned by you during a financial year. By filing an ITR, you’re essentially disclosing details of all of the incomes earned by you and the taxes paid during a financial year to the Income Tax Department.
2. Is filing an ITR mandatory?
Filing an Income Tax Return is mandatory if your total income for a financial year is more than the maximum amount which is not chargeable to Income-tax [for individuals (other than senior and super senior citizens) the limit is INR 2,50,000].
3. Can I file an ITR on my own?
Of course. You can file ITR forms on your own. All that you have to do is visit the Income Tax website, log into your account, and file your ITR.
4. What are the different ITRs?
The Income Tax Department has notified 7 different types of Income Tax Returns - ITR-1, ITR-2, ITR-3, ITR-4, ITR-5, ITR-6, and ITR-7.
5. Do I have to attach any document while filing an ITR?
No. Unless you’re required to furnish an audit report under the Income Tax Act, 1961, you don’t have to attach any documents while filing an ITR.
6. What are the different ways of filing an ITR?
You can file an ITR through multiple ways. Here’s a quick look.
- Directly on the Income Tax website
- Through the e-filing utility provided by the Income Tax Department
- Through the offline mode via physical submission of the ITR
7. Can I file an ITR through offline mode?
Yes. You can file an ITR offline in paper form only if you’re a super senior citizen aged 80 or above. Also, this option is available to you only if you’re required to file ITR-1 or ITR-4.
8. What are the ways through which an ITR can be verified?
Once you’ve filed your ITR form, it has to be verified before it can be processed by the tax authorities. Here are a few ways in which you can verify it.
- Using your digital signature
- Using an Electronic Verification Code (EVC), which includes Aadhaar OTP verification
- By sending a copy of your ITR-V to the Income Tax Department via ordinary post or speed post.
9. What is the due date for filing an ITR?
Generally, for individuals the due date for filing an ITR is July 31 of every financial year pertaining to the ITR of the previous financial year. However, for individuals who are required to undergo an audit under the Income Tax Act, 1961, the due date is October 31.
10. What happens if I file my ITR after the due date?
You will attract a penalty for filing an ITR after the due date applicable to you. If your total income is Rs. 5 lakhs or less, the late filing fee would be Rs. 1,000. And if it is more than Rs. 5 lakhs, then the fee would be Rs. 5,000.
11. I’ve made a mistake when filing the ITR, is there anything that can be done? (H3) If you have either missed entering certain information or have entered any wrong information in your ITR, you have the option to rectify the same by filing a revised return.
12. Whom do I contact in case of any queries regarding filing of ITRs?
If you have any doubts or queries regarding filing of an Income Tax Return, you can reach out to the e-filing help desk of the Income Tax Department at 1800 180 1961.
13. Is it necessary to file an ITR even if I’ve encountered a loss in my business?
No. It is not mandatory to file an ITR in the event of a loss. However, if you wish to carry over the loss to the subsequent years to set it off against any profits that you make under such subsequent years, you must file an ITR within the due date.
14. Should I have a record of the ITRs filed by me?
Ideally, yes. It is advisable to have a record of all of the Income Tax Returns filed by you since legal proceedings can be initiated against you even after 6 years from the current financial year.
15. Can I use the old Income Tax website to file my returns?
Unfortunately, no. You cannot use the old Income Tax website to file your tax returns anymore.
With this, hope you’ve gotten some much needed clarity regarding filing an income tax return. That said, if you haven’t filed yours already, make sure that you do it at the earliest to avoid penalties for late filing. Also, before you go ahead and file your ITR forms, always use an Income Tax calculator. This way, you will get to know just how much tax you’re required to pay.