14 Jan 2020

As we know, taxes act as the main source of income for the Government. They are essential to maintain deficits and the optimum cash flow in any economy. Hence, towards the end of each financial year in India, taxpayers provide personal information consisting of their tax-filing status and dependent information in the form of an Income Tax Return (ITR). Though this appears to be a quick task, there goes a significant preparation towards filing before the deadline. So, what is it that a taxpayer should keep in mind to complete the ITR filing process?

The taxpayer must understand that the ITR allows them to schedule their tax payments, calculate any tax liability, and request a refund for overpaid taxes. Besides, the taxpayer must also have easy access to documents like Aadhaar Card, bank details, Form 16, Form 16A/16B/16C, Form 26AS, investment proofs, home loan statement, and statement on capital gains when filing the ITR.

In this section, we have discussed in detail everything you need to know about Income Tax Return. Let us begin by understanding why it is important to file ITR in India.

Importance of Filing Income Tax Return in India

Besides being a government mandate process, filing your ITR on time allows you to avail financial products and facilities easily. So, whether you want to seek a personal loan or apply for a credit card, having ITR records makes the process seamless. Also, know that the losses incurred in the previous year cannot be listed for exemption later. Therefore, having the record of the same allows you to reduce tax liabilities against it in subsequent years.

Eligibility Criteria for Filing Income Tax Return

When reading about ITR in India, it is common to have this question pop in your head - Who should file an ITR? In that case, as per the Income Tax Act of 1961, the following people need to file ITR in India mandatorily.

  • Any person or company that undergoes profit/loss.

  • Any person who wants to apply for a visa or loan.

  • Any person who wants to make investments.

  • Any person who wants to claim a tax refund.

  • Any person who has a steady income from house property, real estate, etc.

Furthermore, the total annual income of any individual, based on their age (see the table below), exceeds the set limit, they are liable to file ITR.

Age of the Individual

Total Annual Income

Under the age of 60 years old

Rs. 2.5 Lakh

Between the age of 60 years old and 80 years old

Rs. 3 Lakh

Above the age of 80 years old

Rs. 5 Lakh

Documents Required for Filing Income Tax Return

When you are filing your ITRs online, you need to submit the following documents:

  • PAN Card

  • Investment Proofs (if any)

  • Form 16A/16B/16C

  • Salary Slips

  • Bank Statements

  • TDS Certificate

  • Interest Certificate

  • Form 26A

The Different Types of Income Tax Return Forms

There are seven types of ITR forms, and the following table gives a brief overview of the same.

ITR Form

Who Should Fill This Form?


It is for anyone who earns their annual income from their salary and other sources and is less than Rs. 50 Lakhs.


It is for people whose annual income is more than Rs. 50 Lakhs. Also, people who profit/loss from capital gains and foreign sources need to fill this form.


It is for business owners and firm partners. Anyone with a presumptive annual income over Rs. 50 Lakhs also needs to download this form.


It is for the businesses with an annual turnover below Rs. 50 Lakhs.


This form is relevant to the following parties:

  • Firms

  • Limited Liability Partnership (LLP)

  • Association of Persons (AOPs)

  • Body of Individuals (BOIs)


It is for the companies that are not claiming exemptions under section 11.


It is for the people and/or companies who fall under the following sections:

  • Section 139 (4A)
  • Section 139 (4B)
  • Section 139 (4C)
  • Section 139 (4D)

Importance of Form 26A

Previously, Form 26A provides details of your taxable income and the taxes paid by you or on your behalf by your deductor (can be your employer, bank, etc.). The new content of Form 26A that everyone should be aware of is in two parts: Part A and Part B.

Form 26A


Part A

  • Permanent Account Number

  • Aadhaar Card Number

  • Name

  • Date of Birth/Incorporation

  • Contact Number

  • Email ID

  • Address

Part B

  • Tax Deducted/Collected at Source

  • Specified Financial Transactions (SFT)

  • Payment of Taxes

  • Demand and Refund

  • Pending Proceedings

  • Completed Proceedings

  • Any Information related to Sub-Rule (2) of Rule 114-I

You can access this form from the online portal of the Income Tax Department using your Permanent Account Number (PAN).

Claiming Deductions - Sections 80C, 80D, 80EE etc.

In India, Income tax deductions are commonly viewed in harmony with Section 80C of the Income Tax Act, 1961. However, a variety of sections under the Income Tax Act provides taxpayers with deductions. The amount paid as medical insurance premium (MediClaim) is eligible for deduction under Section 80D. Under section 80DD, the deduction is available to a taxpayer for the expenditure with regards to caring for disabled persons who are dependent on him. If the taxpayer has taken an education loan from any financial institution for themselves, their spouse, children, or a student for whom the taxpayer is a legal guardian, they can claim deductions under section 80E for the interest paid on the loan amount. Under section 80EE, the deduction is available to an individual for the amount paid as interest on a home loan. The maximum deduction that can be claimed under this section is Rs 50,000 per annum. An individual can claim a deduction of Rs 1.5 lakhs in a year under Section 80C for investments made in financial instruments like tax-saving fixed deposits, PPF and EPF.

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How to File an Income Tax Return?

You can file your ITR online through the official website of the Income Tax Department of India (http://www.incometaxindiaefiling.gov.in/). If you are a new taxpayer, first register yourself as a new user. Existing taxpayers can login with their credentials.

On the online portal, follow the steps below to file ITR online in India:

  1. Login with your new/existing credentials.

  2. Select the applicable assessment year and ITR form.

  3. After this, you will be redirected to a new page where you fill the form. Make sure that you are reading the guidelines carefully to avoid mistakes.

  4. Check the entered details and click on the ‘Preview and Submit’ button to proceed.

  5. Next, you need to verify the return via either Aadhaar card or an electronic verification code.

  6. Upon successful verification, you will receive an email on your registered email ID and SMS on your registered contact number.

How to Check the Income Tax Return Status Online?

You can follow the two methods below to check your ITR status online.

  1. Login the e-filing portal and click on ‘ITR Status’. Enter your acknowledgement number to retrieve the details.

  2. Login the portal with your credentials to check the status on your dashboard.

Penalties on missing deadline for ITR filing

The amount of late ITR filing fee depends on the amount of tax and the amount of duration exceeded. From last year onwards, the penalty for late filing of Income Tax return is up to a maximum of INR 10,000. The Government has provided relief to small taxpayers. If the gross annual income does not exceed INR 5 Lacs, the maximum penalty is INR 1,000.

Having understood the nuances of income tax return, you must ensure that the aforementioned preparation helps you in filing ITR smoothly and on-time. Additionally, send your ITR V for verification to the income tax department within 120 days of filing your returns.

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  • ✔️How will I get my tax refund paid?

    Once you file your ITR, the excessive amount will be transferred to your bank account or by cheque after your file is assessed by the IT authorities.

  • ✔️How many times can you file the revised return?

    You can file the revised return multiple times until the expiry date.

  • ✔️When will the IT refund processing start?

    You can expect your refund in as little as eight days from when you file.