All About Income Tax Returns

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The
forms used to file income taxes with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) are
known as Income Tax Returns. Tax returns are set up in an excel worksheet
format, where the income figures are used to calculate the tax liability of
persons. Tax returns must be filed every year for an individual or business
that received taxable income during the year, whether through regular income
(wages), interest, dividends, capital gains, or other profits.
  
Income
Tax Returns are prescribed form through which the particulars of income earned
by a person in a financial year and taxes paid or payable on such income is
communicated to the Income tax department after the end of the relevant
Financial year. 
The
offline forms can be downloaded from the site http://www.incometaxindia.gov.in. and
for online submission, this site will be used http://www.incometaxindiaefiling.gov.in
Different
forms are prescribed for filing of returns for different nature of income &
status of the person. 

You
must choose an IT return form according to your status and nature of
income from the following: 
ITR1
This Return Form is to be used by an individual
whose total income for the year includes:-
(a) Income from Salary/ Pension; or
 
(b) Income from One House Property (excluding
cases where loss is brought forward from previous years); or
 
(c) Income from Other Sources (excluding
Winning from Lottery and Income from Race Horses)
This Return Form cannot be used by any resident
having any asset (including 
financial interest in
any entity) located outside India or signing authority in any account located
outside India.
ITR2
This Return Form is to be used by an individual or
Hindu Undivided Family whose total income for the assessment year includes:-
(a) Income from Salary / Pension; or
 
(b) Income from House Property (including
cases where loss is brought forward from previous years); or
 
(c) Income from Capital Gains; or
 
(d) Income from Other Sources (including
Winning from Lottery and Income from Race Horses).
 
Further, in a case where the income of another
person like spouse, minor child, etc. is to be clubbed with the income of the
assessee, this Return Form can be used where such income falls in any of the
above categories.
This Return Form should not be used by an
individual whose total income for the assessment year includes Income from
Business or Profession.
ITR3
For Individuals or Hindu Undivided Family being
partners in firms and not carrying out business or profession under any
proprietorship
ITR4
For individuals & HUFs having income from a
proprietary business or profession
ITR4S
Presumptive Business Income Tax Return
ITR5
For firms, AOPs and BOIs
ITR6
For Companies other than companies claiming
exemption under section 11
ITR7
For persons including companies required to furnish
return under section 139(4A) or section 139(4B) or section 139(4C) or section
139(4D)
ITRV
Where the data of the Return of Income in Form
ITR-1, ITR-2, ITR-3, ITR-4, ITR-4S, ITR-5 & ITR-6 transmitted
electronically without digital signature
These
Income Tax returns are to be filed before your Assessing officer. It can be
sent by post or filed electronically. Nowadays returns are also being received
at designated post offices.
The
due dates for filing Income Tax Returns are as follows: 
Companies & their Directors
 30th September
Other business entities, other than companies, if
their accounts are auditable & their working partners 
 30th September
In all other cases
 31st July 
It may
take the form of interest if the return is not filed before the end of the
assessment year & If the return is not even filed after the end of the
assessment year too, penalty may also be levied to you. 
A
return may be furnished at any time before the expiry of two years from the end
of the financial year in which the income was earned. For example, in case of
income earned during FY 2011-2012, the belated return can be filed before 31st March
2014. 
Being
sensitive to the changing economic climate, the new Income Tax return forms are
annexure less. Hence no documents need to be attached with them. The Central
Board of Direct Taxes have notified return forms for the assessment year
2008-09 and onwards, with a view to enabling tax-payers to file returns in the
electronic mode, these returns (except ITR-7) have been made annexure-less. The
instructions for filling up the return forms clearly stipulate that “No
document (including TDS/TCS certificate, report of audit) should be attached to
this form. 
All
Companies whether foreign or Indian, partnership firms and firms under audits
are compulsorily required to file their Income Tax returns electronically,
while for others it is still optional. For e-filing of your returns you have to
log on to the Departmental website http://www.incometaxindiaefiling.gov.in  and
upload the information of income and taxes in the prescribed form. If you have
digital signature the same can be appended and there would be no need to file a
paper return. In case you do not have a digital signature you will be required
to send the acknowledgement received on completion of uploading.
Filing
of Income Tax return is your constitutional duty and earns for you the dignity
of consciously contributing to the development of the nation. This apart, your
IT returns validate your credit worthiness before financial institutions and
make it possible for you to access many financial benefits such as bank credits
etc. By not filing your return in spite of having taxable income, you will be
laying yourself open to the penal and prosecution provisions under the
Income-tax Act, 1961. 
Another
benefit of return filing is also that if you have sustained a loss in any
financial year, which you prefer to carry forward to the next year for
adjustment against next year’s positive income, you can make a claim of loss by
filing your return before the due date. 
The
return once filed can be revised also, provided the original return has been
filed before the due date and provided the department has not completed
assessment. However it is expected that the mistake in the original return is
of a genuine and bona fide nature. These returns can be revised any number of
times before the expiry of one year from the end of the assessment year or
before assessment by the department is completed; whichever is earlier. 
You
must keep a copy of your return filed with you, Since legal proceedings under
the income tax act can be initiated up to six years prior to the current
financial year, you must maintain such documents at least for this period. And
I personally suggest you should keep it forever. It will be beneficial for
you. 
The
amounts paid as advance tax and withheld in the form of TDS or collected in the
form of TCS will take the character of your tax due only on completion of
self-assessment of your income. This self-assessment is intimated to the
department by way of filing of return. Only then does the government acquire
rights over the prepaid taxes as its own revenue. Filing of return is critical
for this process and hence, has been made mandatory. Failure will attract levy
of penalty.
RECOMMENDED READ  Calculate Interest U/s 234B & 234C

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