E-filing Income Tax Returns in India – An Overview

The form that contains information of income and tax paid of an assessee is called Income Tax Return. The Income Tax Department of India has various forms for it such as ITR 1, ITR 2, ITR 3, ITR 4S, ITR 5, ITR 6 and ITR 7.

Things to remember during income tax return filing

  • Do not wait for the due date to file the return.
  • Always collate all the documents needed to file ITR
  • Pick the correct IT return form. This is important.

Why file IT returns?


The advantages of filing for IT returns are:

  • Loans: Bank loans like education loans, vehicle loans, personal loans, can be availed easily as they require last three year’s IT returns.
  • Visa: As Immigration centres scrutinize many documents and IT returns proofs is a mandatory document for visa applicants.
  • Avoid penalties: Hefty amounts would be charged for non-filing of income tax returns and hence it is always better to file it to avoid legal repercussions.

How to file your income tax return online?


  • Gather all documents like bank statements, last year’s return and Form 16
  • Log on to www.incometaxindiaefiling .gov.in.
    • Register at the website using the PAN number. It becomes your ID.
    • View Form 26AS. It shows the tax deducted by the employer. The TDS on Form 16 should match this amount.
    • Download the ITR Form that is applicable to you. If you do not know the right form, consult Vakilsearch.
    • Complete the entire form by filling in the required details and then submit it.
    • Click the Calculate Tax button, to know your payable amount.
    • If applicable, pay the required tax.
    • Enter the challan details on the tax return section of the form.

Due dates for filing IT return

  • July 31: A firm or individuals who are not liable for audit.
  • September 30: A company or other who is liable to audit.
  • March 31: All individuals and companies filing belated returns.

Income Tax Return acknowledgment

Once ITR is filed, an acknowledgment slip in duplicate is issued. It consists of details like:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Status
  • Permanent Account Number
  • A brief statement of taxable income
  • Deductions
  • Tax paid
  • Verification

Who should file income tax return?

It is mandatory to file a tax return, if the income is above the basic limit, even if the payable amount is zero or refundable. Each category given below has its own taxable slab.

  • All partnership firms regardless of income.
  • A university, college or other institution referred to u/s 35(1)(ii)/(iii).
  • Non-resident Indians. Those covered by u/s 115AC and 115G are exempt.
  • Co-operative society, company, and local authority, notwithstanding of income.
  • Units/undertakings claiming deduction u/s 10A 2[or 10B], SO-lA, 80-IAB, 80-IB or 80-IC .
  • Any person who has suffered a loss from a business or profession or speculative business or capital.
  • Individuals, Hindu undivided families, Association of Persons/ Body of Individuals and artificial juridical persons.
  • Societies and Trusts – Income gained from property held for charitable, religious purposes or receiving voluntary contribution.
  • Persons who have not filed their return and have received a notice for assessment under Section 142(1) or reassessment u/s 148.
  • A scientific research institution, news agency, association or institution, fund or trust or university or other educational institution or any hospital or other medical institution or trade union.
  • Any person who has paid TDS or advance tax in excess of tax payable on total income, or who has paid tax but does not have taxable income.

Documents required for Income Tax Filing in India

  • Bank statements
  • Proof of investments
  • T.D.S. Certificates in Form 16 or 16A as applicable
  • Documents on purchase and sale of investments/assets
  • Challan of tax paid such as advance tax or self-assessment tax
  • If PAN is applied but not received, a copy of filed PAN application and its acknowledgment
  • In case not applied for PAN, a PAN application form duly filled in and two passport size photographs
  • For businesses – a copy each of the audit report, balance sheet, trading, profit and loss account, personal account of proprietor or partners
  • Statement of receipts and payments when no regular books are maintained
  • Receipts of payment of insurance premium, provident purchase of NSCs, new equity shares, mutual fund, NSS, donations, etc. to support claimed deductions