What is filing Income Tax Return: Just follow 11 easy steps

As the calendar flips over to a new year, it brings with it the certain arrival of tax season. For many, the thought of filing income tax return (ITR) can be daunting, and confusing. However, it doesn’t have to be this way. Filing your income tax returns is an important responsibility that ensures you’re compliant with the law while also allowing you to avail yourself of potential refunds or credits.

Moreover, understanding the process can empower you to take control of your financial health and make informed decisions about your taxes. In this blog, we aim to explain the process of filing income tax returns, particularly for beginners. Whether you’re a recent graduate entering the workforce for the first time, a freelancer, or simply someone looking to understand the intricacies of tax filing better, this blog is for you.

What is Income Tax Return filing?

According to the Income Tax Act, filing IT to the government of India is mandatory for all Indian citizens to file Income tax returns. Under the Income Tax laws, all individuals, local authorities, or Hindu Undivided Family (HUF) whose annual income is above the prescribed limit are required to pay the income tax for each financial year.

Through filing Income Tax Returns, the taxpayer is recording the total income he/she earned during the fiscal year. Individuals can file their taxes online or offline at their convenience. It is filed in seven different forms of Income Tax Returns; say ITR-1, ITR-2, ITR-3, ITR-4, ITR-5, ITR-6, and ITR-7.

What are the documents required for filing Income Tax Return?

Documents required for filing Income Tax Return are:

What are the documents needed for ITR Filing
  1. PAN card
  2. Form 26AS
  3. Form 16A, 16B, 16C
  4. Salary Pay slips
  5. Bank statements
  6. Interest certificates
  7. TDS certificate
  8. Proof of tax-saving investments

What is the process of filing Income Tax Return?

  • Step 1 – Evaluate your income tax liability using the procedures outlined in the Income Tax Rules.
  • Step 2 – Check Form 26AS for a summary of your TDS payment for each quarter of the assessment year.
  • Step 3 – Check which group you fall into based on the eligibility requirements provided by the Income Tax Department (ITD).
  • Step 4 – Go to the Income Tax Department’s official e-filing portal.
  • Step 5 – If you are a first-time user, click the ‘Register’ button to create an account. If you have registered before, click the ‘Login’ option.
  • Step 6 – Under the ‘e-file’ menu, select the ‘File Income Tax Return’ option.
  • Step 7 – From the various categories on the website, select the one that applies to you – Individual, Hindu Undivided Family (HUF), and so on.
  • Step 8 – Select the appropriate ITR form out of the different income tax return forms.
  • Step 9 – Enter your bank account information. If this information was submitted before, you must pre-validate it.
  • Step 10 – Review the prefilled details of your ITR on the page. Once you are certain that all relevant data in the form is correct, confirm and validate it.
  • Step 11 – When the process is finished, verify the returns and mail a hard copy to the Income Tax Department.

What is the ITR filing due dates for FY 2023-24 (AY 2024-25)?

According to the Income Tax Act, penalties may arise if the income tax is not paid within the specified period. Filing income tax return should be completed within the assessment year following the financial year. Sometimes, the government may extend the due dates. Under sections 234A and 234F of the Income Tax Act, there are penalty provisions.

Due Date Nature of Compliance 
31 July 2024 Filing ITR for Individual/HUF/AOP/BOI 
31 October 2024 Businesses (Tax audit report) 
30 November 2024 Transfer Pricing (Domestic transactions or international transactions) 
31 December 2024 Revised Return 
31 December 2024 Revised return or belated return filing 

Penalties for late filing ITR

Huge penalties are imposed on the taxpayer if the returns are not filed by the deadline. If the returns are not filed, the person may experience extra hassles and repercussions in addition to penalties.

Depending on the date of filing income tax returns beyond the deadline, the taxpayer may be subject to fines ranging from INR 1,000 to INR 10,000.

Due Date of ITR FilingPenalty for Income below INR 5 lakhs Penalty for Income above INR 5 lakhs 
Before 31 July  Nil  Nil  
From 1 September to 31 December  INR 1,000 INR 5,000 
From 1 January to 31 March  INR 1,000 INR 10,000 

What is the importance of filing ITR?

  • Failing to file an income tax return can result in fines and legal repercussions. Everyone with a particular income level is required to file the Income Tax Report.
  • Submitting the Income Tax Returns acts as evidence of the Income earned and is required while requesting loans, or other official documents.
  • Filing an ITR enables people to claim tax credits and benefits, lowering their tax obligations and raising their take-home pay. 
  • It indicates financial responsibility and dependability to lenders and financial institutions, completing ITR regularly can help improve a credit score.
  • Last but not least, submitting an ITR also aids in the development of the country because taxes collected by the government are used for the development of infrastructure, social welfare programs, and other public services.

Conclusion

For taxpayers in India, filing Income Tax Return is a requirement that must be fulfilled to reap several benefits. For self-employed individuals, ITR is used as proof of income. To simplify the process of ITR filing, the Income Tax Department has streamlined the e-filing process. It is advised to all taxpayers to file their ITR on time to enjoy the benefits that come with it.

Contact 24efiling to seek help and guidance for filing your Income Tax Returns. Our experienced and qualified professionals will assist you in filing Income Tax Return on time.

FAQs
1. Which category needs to file Income Tax Returns in India?

Individuals whose income exceeds the basic exemption limit or those seeking refunds or benefits must file an ITR.

2. Can I file my Income Tax Returns online?

Yes, taxpayers can use the Income Tax Department’s online portal.

3. What are the important deadlines for filing ITR in India?

Generally, July 31st, but varies based on taxpayer type and extensions granted.

4. How can I rectify errors in my filed Income Tax Returns?

File a revised return within the specified period, including corrections or additional information.

5. Are there any consequences for not filing Income Tax Returns?

 Penalties, interest, legal notices, and difficulties in obtaining loans or visas may occur.

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