According to the income tax laws, filing ITR is mandatory for some andvoluntary for others, however, filing it is essential regardless of the category one falls under.
Laxman: WHAT IS ITR?
Ram: Income Tax Return (ITR) is a form which a person is supposed to submit to the Income Tax Department of India.
It contains information about the person’s income and the taxes to be paid on it during the year. Information filed in ITR should pertain to a particular financial year, i.e., starting on 1st April and ending on 31st March of the next year.
Laxman: DO WE NEED TO FILE ITR ONLINE ONLY?
Ram: ITR is essentially a type of self-declaration by the taxpayer of their income, assets and applicable taxes paid. While it is mostly filed in the electronic mode, there is an option for senior citizens to file it manually as well.
Laxman: ARE ONLY INDIVIDUALS REQUIRED TO FILE TAX RETURNS?
Ram: Every person real or artificial, incorporated or otherwise subject to certain exemption limits is liable to file ITR. As per the law, a taxpayer may be a person, artificial judicial person, body of individuals (BOI), Hindu undivided family (HUFs), association of persons (AOP), firm, trust, company, or a society.
Laxman: DO WE NEED TO ATTACH ANY DOCUMENTS/PROOFS FOR ITR FILING?
Ram: Since ITR forms are attachment-less forms, taxpayers are not required to attach any documents such as proof of investments, tax deducted at source (TDS) certificates, etc., along with return of income filed electronically or manually. However, it is advisable to maintain these documents and furnish them before the tax authorities when required, especially in situations like assessment, inquiry, etc.
Laxman: WHEN ITR FILING IS COMPLETED?
Ram: The process is completed when the ITR filed by the taxpayer is e-verified through OTP generated using the Aadhaar registered mobile number or using internet banking.
Laxman: WHO IS REQUIRED TO FILE ITR?
Ram: The income tax law mandates taxpayers of certain categories to file ITR within the due dates. Below is the ITR filing criteria for taxpayers in India:
Individuals with gross annual income above exemption limits as mentioned below:
|1.||For individuals below 60 years||INR 2.5 lakh|
|2.||For individuals above 60 years but below 80 years||INR 3 lakh|
|3.||For individuals above 80 years||INR 5 lakh|
The above limit is before deductions under 80C and other sections.
Laxman: WHY MIGHT AN INDIVIDUAL FILE AN INCOME TAX RETURN EVEN THOUGH NOT REQUIRED TO DO SO?
Ram: There are certain instances where individuals have to file an income tax return even if their GTI is below the basic exemption limit. If you also fall under any of the categories mentioned below, ITR filing is mandatory for you.
- If your electricity bill exceeds 1 lakh for a single bill or in totality for the financial year.
- If you have deposited 1 CR in your current accounts maintained with a bank or cooperative bank.
- If you are an ordinarily resident individual with income from foreign countries AND/OR assets in foreign countries AND/OR have signing authority for any account outside the country.
- If you have spent 2 lakh on yourself/others for travel to a foreign country.
- If your GTI exceeds the basic exemption limit before claiming a deduction on capital gains incurred under any of the following sections – 54, 54B, 54D, 54EC, 54F, 54G, 54GA, or 54GB.
Laxman: WHAT ARE THE REASON/ADVANTAGES/MERITS TO FILE ITR?
Ram: Here are five reasons you should not miss out on filing income tax returns.
- It makes loan processing easier.
- It helps you claim any carried forward losses.
- It allows you to claim TDS refunds.
- It contributes to nation-building.
- It will help you with visa or credit card applications.