Know how to file Zero Income Tax Return

Understanding the concept of a Zero Income Tax Return is crucial for taxpayers to navigate the Indian tax system efficiently. A Zero Income Tax Return, often misunderstood, refers to the submission of an Income Tax Returns (ITR) when no taxes are payable due to income falling below the taxable threshold. This article aims to shed light on the significance, benefits, and procedures associated with filing a Zero Income Tax Return in India.

What is a Zero Income Tax Return?

An ITR submitted expressly to inform the Income Tax authorities that no taxes were paid for the relevant financial year is known as a Zero income tax return. In simple words, to prove to the Income Tax Department that you are below the taxable income threshold and did not pay any taxes during the year, a zero-income tax return is filed.

Only when income falls below the INR 2.5 lakh exemption threshold or when a rebate eliminates the tax obligation may zero returns be submitted. According to the Income Tax Act, anyone who makes less than INR 2.5 lakh must file an Income Tax Return. As a result, those who submit zero returns do so on their behalf.

When should you submit a Zero Income Tax Return?

An individual taxpayer has no tax burden and is exempt from paying income tax if their income for the financial year is less than INR 2.5 lakhs. Since they are not subject to a tax bracket, these people are exempt from filing an Income Tax Return.

However, it is referred to as a “Zero Income Tax Return”, if they submit ITRs even if their revenue is less than INR 2.5 lakhs. There are several advantages to submitting zero returns, even when it is not required.

When should I submit my Zero Income Tax Return?

Presenting an income tax return as evidence of income

  • You would like to maintain a record even if you are just starting and your total income is below the taxable limit. Income tax may be used as proof in several situations, such as when you apply for a visa or receive a passport.
  • You have been filing income tax returns for several years, and this year you were deemed to be “below taxable limit”. This is to keep up with record-keeping and to be proactive in case the Income Tax Department looks into matters.

To Get a Reimbursement

Your total income may exceed the taxable limit after all deductions are taken out, but it may fall below the INR 2.5 lakhs minimum exemption level. To get a refund if you overpaid taxes, you have to file an income tax return.

ITR Filing service in Bangalore

When you don’t have to file a Zero Income Tax Return?

If your total income exceeds INR 2.5 lakhs you must file income tax returns. Even if filing an income tax return is not required if your total income is less than INR 2.5 lakhs, it is advisable to file the income tax return.

How to complete an online Zero Income Tax Return form?

The process of submitting a zero income tax return is the same as that of a standard income tax return.

  • List your income and all of your deductions. After income tax is calculated, you will see that there is no tax owed.
  • Send your return to the Income Tax Department.
  • To finish the electronic filing procedure, transmit your Income Tax Return Verification (ITR-V) to CPC Bangalore.

What are the advantages of not filing any taxes?

  • ITR can be necessary to apply for a visa.
  • Applications for passports accept zero ITR as acceptable address verification.
  • To determine eligibility, loan applicants must provide ITR as supporting documentation.
  • Tax Deducted at Source (TDS) may be deducted by banks from deposit interest. You can request a TDS refund by submitting a zero ITR.

Some companies withhold the TDS from individuals who operate as independent contractors or consultants while paying them. To be eligible for a TDS refund, they have to file a zero income tax return if they are not in a tax bracket.
Even if an individual’s income falls below the INR 2.5 lakh level, they still need to file an ITR.  
If income is less than INR 2.5 lakhs, losses made in the stock market can be carried forward by submitting a zero ITR.

What is the deadline for a zero income tax return?

Before July 31st of the assessment year, individuals are required to file a zero return. The same deadline as a regular return applies to submitting a zero ITR.

On the other hand, the zero return will be regarded as a belated return if it is filed after the deadline. There won’t be any late filing costs if zero returns are filed after the deadline.


In conclusion, filing a Zero Income Tax Return plays a significant role in maintaining financial records, obtaining refunds, and complying with legal requirements, even when one’s income falls below the taxable limit. It serves as a proactive measure to establish transparency and credibility with tax authorities while availing various benefits such as visa applications, passport issuance, and eligibility for loans.

Choose 24efiling to ensure a hassle-free and timely submission. File your income tax with confidence.

1. What is a Zero Income Tax Return?

A Zero Income Tax Return refers to the filing of an ITR when an individual’s income falls below the taxable threshold, resulting in no tax liability.
Despite not owing any taxes, individuals file these returns to maintain financial records, comply with legal requirements, and avail of various benefits associated with tax compliance.

2. Who is eligible to submit a zero tax return?

People whose income falls below the federal minimum tax level but who nevertheless need to file a tax return to be eligible for certain credits or refunds, including the refundable tax credits.

3. What are the benefits of filing a Zero Income Tax Return?

Filing a Zero Income Tax Return offers several benefits, including serving as proof of income for various purposes such as visa applications, passport issuance, and loan eligibility. 
It also facilitates claiming tax deductions, obtaining refunds for excess TDS, and carrying forward losses incurred in the stock market.

4. What is the process for filing a zero-tax return?

The Indian Revenue Service (IRS) provides paper forms that you can use to file a zero tax return, or you can use one of the many online tax filing services. Make careful to correctly record all of your income sources and to claim any credits or deductions that may be available.

5. What paperwork is required to file a zero-tax return?

Documents like W-2 forms from employers, 1099 forms for any contract or freelancing work, and any other pertinent income statements are usually required. Documentation may also be required for any credits or deductions you want to make.

6. Is there any penalty for failing a zero-tax return filing?

In general, there won’t be any penalties if you don’t submit a return and your income is below the filing level. But, to receive a refund or some tax credits, you have to submit a return.

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