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Understanding Income Tax Returns in India

We have two types of taxes in India – Direct Tax and Indirect tax.

Direct Tax is a tax that is calculated directly on your Income e.g. tax on salary etc. Income tax is a Direct Tax.

Indirect Tax is a tax that is indirectly charged. And is put on goods or services. So if you are purchasing a mobile phone or a new suit. Most indirect taxes have now come under Goods and Services Tax (GST).

Income Tax (Direct Tax)
Anyone earning an income above a certain amount is subject to income tax. The income could be from salary, rent, and interest income from savings, income from mutual funds, sale of property or business or professional income. Income tax rates are decided at the start of the financial year in the Union Budget (in the Parliament of India). The tax paid on these incomes is called the income tax.

Income Tax Return
It is simply a form to be filed with the Income Tax Department. A Form to be filed as a statement of income earned. It is arranged in such a way that calculating tax liability, scheduling tax payments, or requesting refunds for the overpayment of taxes has been made convenient for the taxpayers. They must, first, determine the type of Income Tax Return (ITR) Form they need to fill before actually filing their Returns. Which Form is to be filled, depends on the income that the taxpayer earns. Its purpose is to report our income and taxes paid thereon to the government.

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Types of ITR

There are up to 8 types of Income Tax Return Forms, currently. We have divided them into 2 parts:
ITR Forms for Individuals ITR Forms for Non-Individuals
ITR – 1 (Sahaj) – For individuals earning income from salaries, one house property, interest income, agriculture, other sources, etc. ITR – 5 – Entities other than,- (i) individual, (ii) HUF, (iii) company, and (iv) person filing Form ITR-7
ITR – 2 – For Individuals and HUFs having income other than from profits and gains of business or profession. It may be from capital gain, lottery or foreign assets, etc. ITR – 6 – All companies except those that claim tax exemption as per Section 11.
ITR – 3 – For individuals and HUF with income from profits of a business or profession. ITR – 7 – Person incl. companies required to furnish returns under sections 139(4A) or 139(4B) or 139(4C) or 139(4D) only.
ITR – 4 (Sugam) – For Individuals, HUFs, and Firms (other than LLP) having presumptive business income tax returns. This is computed under sections 44AD, 44ADA, or 44AE.

Benefits of Filing Income Tax Returns

Many investors have very low or zero tax liability and therefore this section does not have to file returns mandatorily. Even though they have some sort of income occurring.

And there is another section that only file returns when something urgent requirement comes up asking for their last few years of ITR. They approach a nearby CA and file their old tax returns.

There has been low-Income Tax filing Compliance in India. However, in recent years, the Govt. of India has taken some stringent measures to enforce the Income Tax Law by linking various benefits for prompt tax filers.

Advantages of tax filing are, but not limited to:


Different penalties have been directed for various defaults committed by the taxpayer, under the Income Tax Act. Some of them are mandatory and a few are at the consideration of the tax authorities. Given below are the provisions relating to various penalties leviable.

Incorrect Form

In case an incorrect form has been used to file the returns, then it will be treated as “defective” and the assessee will be asked to file a revised ITR using the correct form.

Now, the taxpayer gets some time to amend the mistake. And the return must be filed within 15 days from the date of receipt of the intimation, as per Section 139(9). This time limit may be extended by the assessing officer (AO) on an application by the assessee. If the defect is not corrected within the stipulated time, then it will be treated as an invalid return. That is the same as not filing a return at all.

Therefore, the person will be facing all the penalties prescribed to not filing ITR. As well as, interest will get charged, u/s 234A, for the delay.


If it is found that the actual income exceeds the income declared by the person. Or when no return has been filed despite income exceeding the basic exemption limit. Penalty at 50% of tax payable on such under-reported income shall be payable.

200% of the tax will get if under-reporting results from misreporting of income.

Late Filing

As per Section 234F of the Income Tax Act, if you file after 31st July (it was extended to 31st August for AY 2019-2020) but before December, a penalty of Rs. 5000 will be levied. For returns filed after December, the penalty will be Rs. 10,000.

However, to provide relief to small taxpayers, the IT department has stated a maximum penalty of only Rs. 1,000 will get levied. The condition is that your total income is less than Rs 5 lakh.

Penalty for Default

In case a demand notice u/s 156, has been issued to the taxpayer for payment of tax (other than notice for payment of advance tax). Then such amount, as per section 220(1), shall be paid within 30 days of the service of the notice at the place and to the person mentioned in the notice. If the taxpayer defaults in payment of any tax due, then apart from other penal provisions, he is treated as an assessee in default. For an assessee in default, the penalty will get levied as decided by the AO. However, the penalty cannot exceed the amount of arrears in tax.

Before penalizing, the taxpayer is given a reasonable opportunity of being heard. No penalty is levied if the taxpayer can prove that the default due to a good and sufficient reason.

Delay in filing the TDS/TCS statement

Every person liable to deduct tax at the source is liable to furnish the statement of TDS, as per Section 200(3). It is termed as TDS Return. And every person liable to collect tax at the source, as per Section 206C (3), has to file a statement in respect of TCS, i.e. TCS Return.

If a person fails to file the TDS/TCS return on or before the due date prescribed, then he shall be liable to pay, by way of fee, a sum of Rs. 200 for every day of the delay, as per Section 234E. This amount, however, shall not exceed the amount of TDS/TCS. A late TDS/TCS return cannot be filed this late fee.

Penalty in case of income from undisclosed sources

The AO may make an addition to the income of a taxpayer as per Section 68, 69, 69A, 69B, 69C, or 69D if the explanation about the nature and source of his income is not satisfactory.

The AO is empowered to levy penalty at the rate of 10% of the tax payable if any addition is made. However, no penalty shall be levied if this income has been disclosed in the ITR and tax paid, u/s 115BBE, on or before the end of the relevant previous year.

Fee for default in furnishing return of income

The taxpayer, who is required to furnish ITR u/s 139 failed to furnish a return of income within the due date as prescribed under section 139(1) then as per section 234F, he will be liable to pay penalty same as delayed filing.

That is:

  • 5000 if ITR is filed on or before 31 December of the assessment year.
  • 10,000 in any other case.
However, if the total income of the person is less than Rs. 5 lakh then the fee payable shall be Rs. 1000.

Common Mistakes While Filing ITR

Listed below are some of the most common tax filing mistakes you can avoid.

Selecting an Incorrect Form

The appropriate ITR form for filing of returns must be selected. Failure can result in your return not getting processed by the income tax department.

Which form is to be selected depends on the sources from which income is earned in the financial year and the category.

All incomes that are taxable and/or tax-exempt are to be reported using the correct ITR form applicable. If the ITR is filed in the wrong type of Form, then the return will be termed as “defective”. Then, you will have to file a revised return using the correct form, within a certain time frame.

By using the LegalRaasta e-filing platform, where the selection of form is done technically, you do not have to worry about choosing the right form.

Not reporting all sources of income

A common mistake taxpayers make is failing to disclose all the sources of their income. The income must be disclosed whether it is taxable or exempt.

All incomes, not only the primary one earned from employment, profession, or business, are to be reported. Whether they are savings account interest, fixed deposit interest, rental income from house property, income from short-term capital gains, and any other source.

Remember, any income earned by a minor from interests, investments, etc. is taxable for the parent. According to the tax slab, an exemption up to Rs. 1,500 u/s 10(32) can be claimed when a minor’s income gets clubbed with the parents.

Not reporting such incomes might attract notice from the income tax department.

If you have switched jobs, make sure you report the income earned through your previous employer also. Not reporting such incomes might attract notice from the income tax department.

Providing incorrect personal information

Because all information will get recorded in the Department’s databank and may be verified, it is extremely important to enter the personal details correctly before filing your taxes. PAN number, name, address, mail id, phone number, date of birth, bank account number, IFS Code, etc. must be accurately mentioned. A minor mistake in these details means that you may miss your refund claim or some other important notifications. So check and re-check before filing.

Failure to Reconcile TDS with Form 26AS

It is important to compare ITR with Form 26AS before filing. Form 26AS includes all the income details, Tax Deducted at Source (TDS), advance tax paid by you, self-assessment tax, etc. TDS may have been deducted from your salary. You must verify the details of Form 16, issued by the employer, with the Form 26AS.

If the TDS is not reflected in Form 26As, your refund and tax deduction credit will be lost. The mismatched would lead to more tax being paid.

Not including exempt income

Income tax laws require all income to be reported, whether exempt or not. Many types of incomes are exempt from tax. For example, long-term gains, dividends, etc. Although you do not have to pay any taxes on them, you still need to report them.

Also, though your gross total income may not exceed the basic exemption limit, you are to file ITR in certain situations.

Entering the details manually

There is a set format for filing returns. All details are to be entered in a particular format, in the rows and columns provided. If incorrectly put in this complicated format, the returns will have errors. This is where taking professional assistance from LegalRaasta is recommended.

TDS paid then no need to file ITR

Employers are required to deduct tax at source from salary, and interest income respectively. When your annual income exceeds Rs. 2.5 lakh, you are obligated to file income tax return online. And report the interest income in those returns. You should disclose the income on which tax has been deducted and claim credit for TDS in the income tax return.

The interest on deposits with banks is provided after deducting a flat tax rate of 10%. You can claim a deduction under section 80TTA up to Rs 10,000 for interest earned on your deposits. For senior citizens, a deduction of interest up to Rs 50,000, can be claimed u/s 80TTB.

Missing out on the Deductions that can be claimed

A deduction of up to. Rs 1.5 lakh in a financial year by investing in certain funds and schemes. But how much can be claimed from these schemes is complex. Similarly, most taxpayers are not aware of some expenses that are eligible as deductions.

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How LegalRaasta Works

Available Always

We understand the process is complex and confusing. So we put in extra efforts to stay with you every step of the way – preparation, scrutiny, assessment, filing, liaison, rectification, or refund.

Complete Range

ITR-1, ITR-2, ITR-2A, ITR-3, ITR-4, ITR-5, ITR-6, ITR-7, we file all. And that’s not all. Our CAs are experts in the reconciliation of ITR data with 26AS. We assist in TDS & GST compliance.

No Up-Selling

We do not try to sell any financial products in the guise of filing your returns. We do not advise you to buy a higher product than the one you actually require. Even the prices quoted here are exhaustive.

No Distraction

Our interface is Ad-Free and well-designed to keep it straightforward and practical. No clutter means nothing to divert your mind.


When it is about uploading sensitive information on the World Wide Web, the speed of the website matters. And matters BIG. Our site gives you an interruption-free experience.

Document Management

Store all the tax documents in one place and retrieve it as per requirement. So you don’t have to maintain a separate tax file. And your desk is always organized.


To maintain our spot under the government and preserve our position as the largest E-Filing Intermediary of the Income Tax department, we strictly adhere to the legal guidelines of data privacy.


Our server uses 128-bit encryption over the network and automatically backs up all your valuable data. All nationalized banks in India use the same level of encryption.

Concerns Related To Private Limited Company

Still, entrepreneurs prefer privately limited for the ease in share transfer and potential for future growth.

Penalties Provisions in LLP annual compliance default

It takes 15 to 30 working days (approx.) to finish the Limited Liability Partnership Registration procedure. The timeline may vary depending on responses from the ROC department.

What is Form 16?

Form 16 can be termed as Salary TDS (Tax Deducted at Source) Certificate that an employer issue to you for the TDS deducted. Form 16 is an Income tax form, used by the companies to provide their salaried employee’s information on the tax deducted.

As soon as the income from your salary for the financial year exceeds the basic exemption limit, the employer is required to deduct TDS. The deducted amount is to be deposited to the Government.

After deducting TDS from the salary, the employer is required to give a certificate to the employee consisting of the details. This certificate is known as Form 16.

It consists of two parts i.e. Part A and Part B. Part A consists of details about the employer & employee, name and address, PAN and TAN details, TDS deducted & deposited, etc. And Part B consists of details related to other income, deductions allowed, etc.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Every person or entity is liable to pay tax in India if his total income is more than the income notified by the government in the slab rates. 1. Individual - Salaried, Self-employed or Professional, 2. Hindu Undivided Family (HUF) 3. Company 4. Firm 5. Association of Persons (AOP) 6. Local Authority 7. Artificial Juridical Person 8. Body of Individuals (BOI) 9. Political Party, 10. Educational or medical institution, 11. Trade Union, etc.

Taxable income is to be calculated as per the provisions and rules contained in the Income Tax Act, 1961. For calculating income tax, slab rates are applied to the taxable income earned during the previous year. These slabs are notified in the budget at the end of each financial year. The income is calculated under various heads of Income and added. Next, deductions and/or exemptions available under Chapter VI-A, are deducted to get the Net Income Chargeable to Tax.

The return can be filed both physically & electronically. For e-filing download the government utility from the Income Tax portal (in excel format or java utility). Complete all the fields with the information required. Pay the taxes due and generate the XML. You can upload this XML on the government portal by logging into your account. Once the XML has been uploaded, download the acknowledgment in ITR-V. This ITR-V can be verified, either by using EVC code or can be couriered to CPC Bangalore for further processing.

ITR-1 has 4 parts: Part A has Personal Details, Part B is about Gross Total Income, Part C has Deductions and Taxable Total Income, Part D has Tax Computation and Tax Status, Schedule IT contains details of Advance Tax and Self-Assessment Tax Payments, Schedule TDS gives details of Tax Deducted at Source. The ITR-1 cannot be used if you are claiming double taxation relief under Section 90/90A/91.

Yes, return filing is compulsory if your taxable income is above the slab, whether taxes have been paid or not. You can claim the benefit of tax credit or get a refund only if your return is filed.

If any error is discovered after the return is filed then it can be revised u/s 139(5). Revised Return of Income Tax can be filed by an assessee any time before the end of the relevant assessment year or before the completion of the assessment, whichever is earlier.

It is mandatory to file income tax returns in India if any of the below conditions apply to you, whether you are a man, woman, or NRI, for the Assessment Year 2019-2020 (as per the Income Tax Act): (a)Earn gross annual income (before deductions u/s 80C to 80U) more than- 1. Rs. 2.5 Lakhs - For individuals below 60 years, 2. Rs. 3 Lakhs - For individuals above 60 years but below 80 years, 3. Rs. 5 Lakhs - For individuals above 80 years, (b) Earn income other than salary like house property, etc., (c) Want to claim an income tax refund of taxes already paid. Such as TDS, Advance Tax, etc., (d) Earn from or have invested in foreign assets, (e) Looking to apply for visa or loan applications, (f) Company or a firm, irrespective of profit or loss, (g) Having Bank Deposits of over Rs. 1 crore, (h) Bought foreign exchange of more than Rs. 2 lakh, (i) Paid an electricity bill of more than Rs. 1 lakh.

It is mandatory to file income tax returns in India if any of the below conditions apply to you, whether you are a man, woman, or NRI, for the Assessment Year 2019-2020 (as per the Income Tax Act): (a)Earn gross annual income (before deductions u/s 80C to 80U) more than- 1. Rs. 2.5 Lakhs - For individuals below 60 years, 2. Rs. 3 Lakhs - For individuals above 60 years but below 80 years, 3. Rs. 5 Lakhs - For individuals above 80 years, (b) Earn income other than salary like house property, etc., (c) Want to claim an income tax refund of taxes already paid. Such as TDS, Advance Tax, etc., (d) Earn from or have invested in foreign assets, (e) Looking to apply for visa or loan applications, (f) Company or a firm, irrespective of profit or loss, (g) Having Bank Deposits of over Rs. 1 crore, (h) Bought foreign exchange of more than Rs. 2 lakh, (i) Paid an electricity bill of more than Rs. 1 lakh.

You just need Form – 16, if you are a salaried individual. No other document, like a TDS certificate, proof of investment, needs to accompany your ITR. Still, you must keep them handy, as you may need to submit to authorities if they ask for it. When you don't get Form-16, given below is a list of documents that you may have: (a) Copy of the previous year’s tax return (to declare any losses or other details), (b) Your Bank statements (for the interest paid to your loans, balances, etc.), (c) Your TDS certificates (to include taxes that have already been paid), (d) Your Savings Certificates, Deductions, Donations, etc. (to include deductions), (e) Certificates of Disability in your family (for deductions), (f) An Interest statement that shows the interest paid to you, (possibly from Bank and/or Post Office), (f) If having business income/loss, have balance sheets, Profit & Loss account statements, and other requisite Audit Reports.

The previous year is the same as the Financial Year in which the income is earned. Tax is payable on the income earned during this Previous Year. And this tax is payable in Assessment Year, which is the year next to the Financial or Previous Year. For example, for the Income earned in Financial Year (Previous Year) April 1, 2019, to March 31, 2020, the liability to pay tax will fall in 2020-2021, known as the Assessment Year.

The due date for filing all ITRs is 31st July for Individuals and 30th September for Businesses. After this deadline, tax returns would be as a “Belated Return” any time before 31st March 2020. With penalty. It is important to file Income Tax Returns within the stipulated time.

You can pay by either cash/cheque in any designated bank branch or online on the NSDL website. Payment is to be made in Challan-280 in both cases. The Challan must be filed accurately for further processing.


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