The income tax return forms, ITR-1, ITR-2 and ITR-4, for FY 2023-24 (AY 2024-25) are now available for e-filing on the Income Tax department portal. The online ITR forms were made available from April 1, 2024. Taxpayers eligible to file their tax returns can now login and fill their ITRs for FY 2023-24 using these ITR forms. The last date to file income tax returns for FY 2023-24 (AY 2024-25) is July 31, 2024.

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The Income Tax department had earlier released the offline Excel utilities of ITR-1, ITR-2 and ITR-4. The offline JSON utilities for ITR-1, ITR-2, ITR-4 and ITR-6 for FY 2023-24 (AY 2024-25) have also been released.

Income tax forms

There are seven types of ITR forms, ranging from ITR 1 (Sahaj), ITR 2, ITR 3, ITR 4, ITR 5, ITR 6, and ITR 7, for different individuals, businesses, and companies.  Now, while filing the ITR, the common question arises about which form the taxpayers need to use. ITR-1 and ITR-4 are simpler forms that cater to a large number of small and medium taxpayers.

1.    ITR 1 (Sahaj): This is the basic ITR form for individual taxpayers with total income up to Rs 50 lakh from salary, one house property, other sources of income like interest, family pension etc., and agricultural income of up to Rs 5,000.  Individuals who have income from outside India, own any asset (including financial interest in any entity) located outside the country, or have tax deducted u/s 194N, cannot use this form.  

2.    ITR-2: This form is meant for individuals and Hindu Undivided Family (HUF) who are not covered under the ITR-1. The person/HUF will use ITR-2 if they do not have income under the head Profits, Profession or Gains of Business. 

3.    ITR-3 can be used by individuals or Hindu Undivided Families who have their income under the head “profits or gains of business or profession” and who are not eligible to file Form ITR-1 (Sahaj), ITR-2 or ITR-4 (Sugam).

4.    ITR-4 (Sugam): ITR-4 can be filed by individuals, Hindu Undivided Families (HUFs), and firms (other than LLPs) with total income up to Rs 50 lakh and having income from business and profession. These taxpayers have income from Business and Profession, which is computed on a presumptive basis and income from salary/pension, other sources (interest, dividend etc.), one house property, and more”.

5.    ITR 5: This form is suitable for bodies such as firms, Body of Individuals (BOIs), Limited Liability Partnerships (LLPs), Artificial Juridical Person (AJP), Association of Persons (AOPs), the estate of insolvent, the estate of deceased, investment fund, business trust, local authority, and co-operative society. 

6.    ITR 6: This form is to be filed by every company irrespective of its structure registered under the Companies Act 2013 or the earlier Companies Act 1956.  

However, the companies whose source of income comes from the property that is held for religious or charitable purposes are not required to file ITR 6 Form. 

7.    ITR 7: Firms, companies, local authority, association of Person (AOP) and Artificial Judiciary Person are eligible for filing Income Tax Return through ITR-7 Form if they are claiming exemption as one of the following categories: under Section 139 (4A)- if they earn from a charitable /religious trust. 

Who should file the ITR?

Individuals who earn income above a certain threshold limit are required to file an Income Tax Return (ITR). Individuals with Total Income exceeding the Basic Exemption Limit: For the financial year 2022-2023 (AY 2023-2024), the basic exemption limits for filing ITR in India were as follows:

1. Age factor

>> For individuals below 60 years of age: ₹2.5 lakh.

>> For individuals between 60 and 80 years of age (senior citizens): ₹3 lakh.

>> For individuals above 80 years of age (super senior citizens): ₹5 lakh

If your total income (before deductions) exceeds these thresholds, you are required to file an ITR.

2. Individuals with certain types of Income

> Individuals who have earned income from business or profession.

> Individuals who have earned income from capital gains, such as sale of property or investments.

> Individuals who have earned income from foreign assets or have foreign income.

> Individuals who are claiming a refund of taxes.

> Individuals who are eligible for relief or deduction under double taxation avoidance agreements.

 How to file ITR

Taxpayers can file their ITR either online or partially online, partially offline. One can file the IT returns partially online, partially offline using the JSON and Excel utilities.

Online: One can file income tax return online by logging into online accounts on the e-filing income tax portal. 

Going to the ‘File income tax return’ tab, most of the taxpayer’s data is pre-filled from their Annual Information Statement (AIS) and Form 26AS. One can cross-check from your documents and complete the form. Documents you need to file the ITR online are Form 16, Form 16A, any other TDS certificate, interest certificate, salary slips etc.

One can file ITR offline using utilities of JSON and Excel which can be downloaded from the e-filing income tax portal. Taxpayers can also get a pre-filled data in the offline utilities from your e-filing income tax account.

Once the required details are filled in the offline utilities, the same is required to be uploaded on the e-filing website.

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