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How To File ITR Online – Step By Step Guide To Efile Income Tax Return for FY 2023-24 (AY 2024-25)

How To File ITR Online - Income Tax Return

Filing income tax returns is an essential duty for individuals and entities to comply with tax regulations. Here’s a brief overview of the income tax filing process:

  1. Determine Your Tax Status: Understand whether you’re required to file taxes based on your income level, age, and tax residency status.
  2. Collect Relevant Documents: Gather all necessary documents such as Form 16, bank statements, proof of investments, and previous tax returns.
  3. Choose the Correct ITR Form: Select the appropriate Income Tax Return (ITR) form based on your income sources. For FY 2023-24, forms like ITR-1 (SAHAJ), ITR-2, ITR-3, and ITR-4 (SUGAM) are available.
  4. Fill in the Details: Accurately report your income, deductions, and taxes paid. Ensure all information is correct to avoid future discrepancies.
  5. Calculate Your Tax Liability: Determine if you owe taxes or are eligible for a refund. Use online calculators or consult a tax professional if needed.
  6. E-File Your Return: File your return online through the official Income Tax e-filing portal. Offline filing options are also available for certain taxpayers.
  7. Verify Your Return: After filing, verify your return through Aadhaar OTP, EVC, or by sending a signed ITR-V to the Central Processing Centre.
  8. Keep Records: Save a copy of the filed return and acknowledgment receipt. It’s important for future reference or in case of an audit.

 

Latest Updates on Income Tax Return

Here are some latest updates related to income tax return (ITR) for the Financial Year (FY) 2023-24 (Assessment Year, AY 2024-25):

Income Tax Slabs and Rates:

    • The revised tax slab applies to the new tax regime introduced in Budget 2023. Here are the updated tax rates for FY 2023-24:
      • Total Income:
        • Up to ₹3,00,000: 0%
        • ₹3,00,001 to ₹6,00,000: 5%
        • ₹6,00,001 to ₹9,00,000: 10%
        • ₹9,00,001 to ₹12,00,000: 15%
        • ₹12,00,001 to ₹15,00,001: 20%
        • Above ₹15,00,000: 30%
    • Advantages of the New Tax Regime:
      • Simplified tax planning: With the new regime, taxpayers no longer need to maintain a record of travel tickets and rent receipts.
      • Increased basic exemption limit: The limit has been elevated from ₹2.5 lakhs to ₹3 lakhs, making the new tax regime more appealing.
      • Highest tax rate: The highest tax rate of 30% applies to income exceeding ₹15 lakhs.
    • Changes in Surcharge Rate:
      • The surcharge rate has reduced from 37% to 25% for individuals with income exceeding ₹5 Crores who choose the new tax regime.
    • Rebate Limit:
      • Under the new tax regime, the rebate limit has increased to ₹25,000 (from ₹12,500) for taxable income less than or equal to ₹7 lakhs

Types of Income Tax Return (ITR)

In India, there are several types of ITR (Income Tax Return) forms designed for different categories of taxpayers based on their income source, amount, and category. Here are the main types:

  • ITR-1 (Sahaj): For individuals being a resident (other than not ordinarily resident) with income up to Rs. 50 lakh from salaries, one house property, other sources (interest, etc.), and agricultural income up to Rs. 5,000.
  • ITR-2: For individuals and HUFs not having income from profits and gains of business or profession.
  • ITR-3: For individuals and HUFs having income from profits and gains of business or profession.
  • ITR-4 (Sugam): For presumptive income from business & profession. For Individuals, HUFs and Firms (other than LLP) being a resident having total income upto Rs.50 lakh and having income from business and profession which is computed under sections 44AD, 44ADA or 44AE and agricultural income upto Rs.5 thousand.
  • ITR-5: For persons other than individual, HUF, company, and person filing ITR-7.
  • ITR-6: For companies other than those claiming exemption under section 11 (income from property held for charitable or religious purposes).
  • ITR-7: For persons including companies required to furnish return under sections 139(4A), 139(4B), 139(4C), and 139(4D) (like trusts, political parties, institutions, colleges, etc.).

What are the Benefits of Filing an Income Tax Return?

Filing your Income Tax Return (ITR) offers several advantages, even if it’s not mandatory. Let’s explore some of the key benefits:

  1. Easy Loan Approval: When applying for various loans (such as vehicle loans), major banks often require a copy of your tax returns as proof of your income statement. Having a filed ITR can facilitate loan approval.
  2. Claim Tax Refund: If tax has been deducted (TDS) from your income, even if your total taxable income is below the basic exemption limit or you have no tax liability for that year, filing an ITR allows you to claim a refund of the TDS.
  3. Income & Address Proof: Your ITR serves as proof of your income and address. It can be useful for various purposes, including visa applications and other official documentation.
  4. Quick Visa Processing: When applying for a visa, embassies and consultants often require copies of your tax returns from the past couple of years. These documents are mandatory requirements for visa processing.
  5. Carry Forward Losses: By filing your return within the original due date, you can carry forward losses to subsequent years. These losses can be offset against future income, reducing your tax liability.
  6. Avoid Penalty: If you are required to file tax returns according to the income tax act but fail to do so, the tax officer has the right to impose a penalty of up to ₹5,000.
  7. For Buying Term Insurance: Insurance providers often require applicants to submit their ITR records as proof of their annual income when approving term insurance plans. The coverage amount is determined based on an individual’s earnings, and presenting the ITR helps assess a person’s higher income level.
  8. Claim Refund of Excess Tax Payments: Even if your income is below the taxable threshold, taxes may still be deducted from sources such as your salary or fixed deposits. Filing an ITR allows you to recover any tax deducted at the source.

In summary, filing your income tax return not only fulfills legal obligations but also provides financial benefits and serves as essential documentation for various purposes. Remember that even if your income is below the taxable limit, filing an ITR can still be advantageous

 

What is the Due Date to File an Income Tax Return?

 

Income Tax Return Due Dates
Income Tax Return Due Dates

The last date to file your Income Tax Return (ITR) for the Financial Year 2023-24 (Assessment Year 2024-25) without incurring a late fee is 31st July 2024. If you miss filing within the due date, you can still file a belated return before December 31, 2024. Here are some key points to keep in mind:

  1. Due Date for ITR Filing:
    • For Individuals, HUFs, AOPs, and BOIs (where books of accounts are not required to be audited), the due date is 31st July 2024.
    • For Businesses (requiring audit), the due date is also 31st October 2024.
    • For businesses requiring transfer pricing reports (in case of international/specified domestic transactions), the due date is 30th November 2024.
    • If you need to file a revised return, the deadline is 31st December 2024.
    • For belated or late returns, you have until 31st December 2024 to file.
    • If you want to update your return, you can do so until 31st March 2027 (which is 2 years from the end of the relevant Assessment Year).
  2. Interest and Penalties:
    • If you submit your return after the deadline, you’ll be liable to pay interest at a rate of 1% per month or part month on the unpaid tax amount (as per Section 234A).
    • In case of late filing, Section 234F imposes a late fee of Rs. 5,000, which reduces to Rs. 1,000 if your total income is below Rs. 5 lakh.
    • If you’ve incurred losses from sources like the stock market, mutual funds, properties, or any businesses, you can carry them forward and offset them against your income in subsequent years. However, this provision won’t apply if you miss filing your ITR before the deadline

Remember to file your ITR on time to avoid penalties and take advantage of tax benefits!

 

Who Should File an Income Tax Return?

The requirement to file an Income Tax Return (ITR) depends on various factors, including your age, income, and specific conditions. Here are the key points:

  1. Basic Exemption Limit:
    • Under the old regime, individuals below 60 years of age must file an ITR if their income exceeds Rs. 2.5 lakhs. For individuals above 60 years, the threshold is Rs. 3 lakhs.
    • In the new regime, the basic exemption limit for individuals below 60 years is Rs. 3 lakhs. Note that this limit was increased from Rs. 2.5 lakhs in the budget for FY 2023-24.
  2. Mandatory Filing:
    • If your gross total income exceeds the basic exemption limit, you must file an ITR.
    • Additionally, you may need to file an ITR if you meet specific conditions, such as:
      • Depositing more than Rs. 1 crore in a ‘current’ bank account.
      • Depositing more than Rs. 50 lakh in a ‘savings’ bank account.
      • Spending more than Rs. 2 lakh on foreign travel.
      • Electricity expenditure exceeding Rs. 1 lakh.
      • TDS or TCS deductions exceeding Rs. 25,000 (or Rs. 50,000 for senior citizens)
      • If an individual has Income from foreign assets or is a beneficiary of an asset located in a foreign country.

What Documents are Required to File ITR?

To file your Income Tax Return (ITR) in India, you’ll need to gather several important documents. Here’s a comprehensive list to help you prepare:

For Salaried Employees:

  • PAN Card: Your Permanent Account Number is essential for filing ITR.
  • Aadhaar Card: Mandatory for linking with PAN and verifying your ITR.
  • Form 16: Issued by your employer, detailing your salary and TDS.
  • Salary Slips: To provide information on taxable allowances and exemptions.
  • Bank Statements/Passbook: For interest income from savings accounts.
  • Form 26AS: A summary of taxes deducted on your behalf and taxes paid by you.
  • Investment Proofs: Under Section 80C (PPF, NSC, ULIPS, ELSS, LIC, etc.) for tax deductions.

For Business Income:

  • GST Registration Number: If registered under GST.
  • Profit and Loss Statement: For the relevant financial year.
  • Balance Sheet: As of the end of the financial year.
  • Bank Statements: Detailing transactions throughout the year.

Additional Documents:

  • Interest Certificates: From banks/post offices for fixed deposits.
  • TDS Certificates: Issued by banks or other institutions.
  • Tax-saving Investment Proofs: Receipts for investments made under various sections like 80C, 80D, etc.
  • Capital Gains Statements: If you have sold assets or investments.

Remember, the specific documents required may vary based on your income sources and financial transactions.

Step-by-Step on How To E-file ITR on The Income Tax Portal

E-filing your Income Tax Return (ITR) online is a convenient and efficient process. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you e-file your ITR on the Income Tax Portal:

Step- 1. Login:

    • Visit the official Income Tax e-filing website.
    • Click on the ‘Login’ button.
    • Enter your PAN in the User ID section.
    • Click on ‘Continue’.
    • Check the security message in the tickbox.
    • Enter your password and click ‘Continue’.
How to File ITR Step-1
How to File ITR Step-1

 

Step-2 File Income Tax Return:

  • Click on the ‘e-File’ tab.
  • Select ‘Income Tax Returns’.
  • Choose ‘File Income Tax Return’.

Step- 3. Select the Assessment Year:

  • Choose the relevant Assessment Year (AY):
  • For FY 2023-24, select ‘AY 2024-25’.
  • For FY 2022-23, select ‘AY 2023-24’.
  • Use the mode of filing as ‘Online’.
  • Select the filing type correctly as original return or revised return.

 

Step-4. Select Your Filing Status

  • Choose your applicable filing status
  • Individual, HUF, or Others.
  • For most individuals, select ‘Individual’ and click ‘Continue’.

 

 

Step- 5. Choose the ITR Type:

  • Select the appropriate ITR form based on your income sources:
  • ITR 1: For individuals with salary income and interest income.
  • ITR 2: For individuals and HUFs without business or profession income.
  • ITR 4: For individuals and HUFs with business or profession income.
  • Click ‘Proceed with ITR1’ or the relevant form.

 

Step- 6. Reason for Filing ITR:

  • Specify the reason for filing your returns:
  • Exceeding the basic exempted limit.
  • Meeting the criteria under Section 139(1).
  • Choose the right option.

 

Step-7. Validate Pre-filled Information:

  • Check the pre-filled data in the Personal Information section, which is auto-filled from your e-Filing profile. If you need to make changes to personal data that cannot be edited directly in the form, you can do so by updating your e-Filing profile.
  • Review the pre-filled information in the Gross Total Income section. Confirm or edit your income details from salary/pension, house property, and other sources. You can also add details of exempt income if applicable.
  • Total Deductions: In the Total Deductions section, add or delete deductions to claim under Chapter VI-A of the Income Tax Act. Ensure all applicable deductions are accurately reported.
  • Tax Paid: Confirm the taxes paid in the previous year in the Tax Paid section. This includes TDS from Salary/Other than Salary, TCS, Advance Tax, and Self-Assessment Tax.
  • Total Tax Liability: Review the tax liability computed as per the validated sections in the Total Tax Liability section to ensure it reflects the correct amount.
  • Remember, if you find discrepancies in the pre-filled data, you should correct them before submitting your ITR.

 

Step-8 E-Verify ITR:

  • The final step is to verify your returns.
  • You can choose from various verification methods (e.g., Aadhaar OTP, net banking, etc.).

Remember to keep your PAN, Aadhaar, bank statements, Form 16, and other relevant documents handy while e-filing your ITR.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Is e-Filing and e-Payment the same thing?

No. e-Filing is the process of electronically submitting your Income Tax Return on the e-Filing portal and e-payment is the process of electronically paying tax.

2. I made a calculation mistake in my filed ITR. Can I correct it and re-submit my return?

Yes, you can re-submit your return in case you have already filed your Income Tax Return but you later discover that you have made a mistake. This is called a Revised Return. Your return has to be revised three months before the end of the relevant AY. For AY 2024-25, the due date for filing revised return is 31st December 2024.

3. Can I file ITR for last 3 years now?

Yes, you can file ITR-U, if you have missed to file your previous two ITRs. For current year you can file your normal ITR.

4. What happens if I file Income Tax Return after the due date u/s 139(1)?

In case you miss filing the ITR within the due date u/s 139(1), you can still file your Income Tax Return, but you may be required to pay a late filing fee of up to ₹5000/-. Additionally, you will also be required to pay interest on the tax liability (if any).

5. Do I need to file returns if tax has been deducted by my employer / bank?

Yes, employers and banks deduct tax at source on salary and interest income respectively. You still need to disclose the income on which tax has been deducted and claim credit for TDS in the Income Tax Return.

6. Will I get a refund if I have paid excess tax?

Yes, any excess tax paid by you can be claimed as refund by filing your Income Tax Return. After your return is processed, ITD checks and accordingly accepts your refund claim, and then the amount is credited to your bank account. You will also get a message on your email ID registered on the e-Filing portal.

7. I have filed ITR-1 and opted for new tax regime in earlier years. What shall I select in ‘Have you ever opted for new tax regime u/s 115BAC in earlier years’ field?

All the questions of Section 115BAC are to be answered from the perspective of returns filed with business income and select the relevant dropdown, by ignoring the contents of the non-business returns filed, if any in between. Therefore, you may select ‘No’, unless any Circular/ Notification/Amendment says otherwise.

8. I have filed ITR-4, New Tax regime in FY 2020-21. In FY 2021-22, I have filed ITR-1, Old Tax regime. What are my option available for FY 2022-23?

You had opted for the new tax regime based on the latest business return, so you may continue to be under new tax regime, or you may opt out through filing Form 10IE for a non-business return, unless any Circular/ Notification/Amendment says otherwise.

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