What is ITR and who all must file it?

What is ITR and who all must file it?

You have been paying your taxes on time. That’s great. But according to Indian tax laws, it is equally important to file your tax returns by the due dates.

Currently, the government has extended the deadline for filing income tax returns to 15 March 2022. The ITR deadline extension has come after various taxpayers asked the tax department and finance ministry to extend the income tax returns (ITR) filing dates due to the rising coronavirus cases and issues with the new income tax portal.

Here is everything you need to know about filing tax returns and what happens when you miss the deadline.

What is a tax return?

ITR is a consolidated statement of your income, tax payable, liabilities, and tax refunds. The due date for filing return of income is as follows:

Category of assesseeDue date for filing return of income
Assessee who is required to furnish report of transfer pricing under section 92E30th November of the assessment year

Working partner of a firm whose accounts are subject to tax audit

Cases where tax audit is applicable under section 44AB of the Income Tax Act, 1961
31st October of the assessment year
Others31st July of the assessment year 

Thus, for example, tax returns for the taxes paid in the fiscal year 2020-21 in case of an individual will have to be filed by 31st July 2021 (in the assessment year 2021-22).

Who must file tax returns?

You must file income tax returns if, amongst others:

  • Your total income is Rs. 2.5 lakh or higher (Rs 3 lakh for those between 60 and 80 years of age and Rs. 5 lakh for those over 80 years of age)

  • You are a company or a firm

  • You want a tax refund

  • You want to carry forward a loss to the next financial year

  • You have a financial asset outside the country

  • You are a signing authority in a foreign account

  • You receive income from a property held under a trust (charitable or religious)

  • You are a political party

  • You are a specified person

  • You are a university/ a college/ other institution

  • You are an infrastructure investment trust

  • You are a real estate investment trust

  • You are specified as an alternative investment fund

What documents do you need for filing tax returns?

To file the ITR online, you need

  • Bank statements

  • Salary slips

  • Form 16 (for TDS from salary income)/ Form 16A (for TDS from other than salary income). Click here to know more about Form 16.

  • Form 26AS: Form 26AS is a statement of your advance tax payments made through TDS. This must tally with details in Form 16 (furnished by your employer who deducts TDS).

  • Photocopy of previous year’s returns

  • Tax saving certificates

  • House rent receipts

  • Documents of homeownership

  • Interest certificate on home loan

  • Statements on stock trades

  • Mutual fund sale receipts

How to file the ITR?

You can file your returns easily online by visiting here. Read our guide on how to file your income tax return online.

What if you miss the deadline?

If you miss the due date for filing tax returns, 31st July, you can still file a belated return under Section 139(4) of the Income Tax Act by the end of the assessment year. However, owing to the COVID-19 pandemic, the last date for filing your ITR returns has been extended to 15st March 2022. From the financial year 2018-19, the government will charge a late filing penalty of up to Rs 5000 if filed before 31 December and Rs 10,000 if filed after 31 December. If your income is lower than Rs 5 lakh, you have to pay just Rs 1000 as a penalty.

If you wish to carry forward capital and business losses for tax treatment to next year, you cannot do so only if you are filing a late return.

(a) Research association, (b) News agency, (c) Association or institution referred in section 10(23A), (ca) person referred to in section 10(23AAA), (d) institution referred to in section10(23B), (e) specified organisations referred to in section 10(23C), (ea)  Mutual Funds, (eb) Securitisation Trust, (eba) Investor Protection Fund, (ebb) Core Settlement Guarantee Fund, (ec) Venture Capital Company or Venture Capital Fund, (f) Trade Union referred to in section 10(24), (fa) Board or Authority referred to in section 10(29A), (g) body or authority or Board or Trust or Commission (by whatever name called) referred to in section 10(46), (h) Infrastructure Debt Fund

(a) Research Association having its objective as an undertaking of scientific research or University / College / Other Institution to be used for scientific research, (b) Research Association having its objective as an undertaking of research in social science or statistical research or University / College / Other Institution to be used for research in social science or statistical research.

Investor can claim a deduction of a maximum of Rs. 1.5 lakh per annum by investing in a tax-saving FD. Know about your returns with FD Calculator.

Investor can claim a deduction of 1.5 lacs by investing in tax saving fixed deposit.

*The information provided in this article is generic in nature and for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for specific advice in your own circumstances. You are recommended to obtain specific professional advice before you take any/refrain from any action. All information is subject to the relevant Act, Rules, Regulations, Policy Statements, etc., of the Income Tax Department and subject to change. Viewers are advised to verify the content from original Government Acts/Rules/Notifications etc.