The due date for filing income tax return for Assessment Year 2017-18 is just a few weeks away and taxpayers are getting ready for this annual ritual. In fact, every person having taxable income exceeding the exemption limit before claiming deductions under Chapter VI-A of the Income-Tax Act, 1961 is required to file income tax return. However, apart from making one’s preparations for ITR filing, like collecting Form 16 from one’s employer and computing income from other sources, if any, it is also essential to select the right ITR Form, otherwise your tax filing will be rejected by the Income Tax Department.
It is to be noted that for a salaried individual, the relevant tax return forms notified for FY 2016-17 or AY 2017-18 are:
ITR-1 or SAHAJ
This Income Tax Return Form can be filed by an individual having income up to Rs 50 lakh and who is receiving income from salary/ one house property or has other income like bank interest etc. In other words, this Return Form should be used by an individual whose total income for the Financial Year 2016-17 includes income from salary/ pension, income from a single house property or income from other sources.
In other words, Return Form ITR – 1 (SAHAJ) can be used by an individual whose total income includes:
(i) Income from salary/pension; or
(ii) Income from one house property (excluding cases where loss is brought forward from previous years); or
(iii) Income from other sources (excluding winnings from lottery and income from race horses, income taxable under section 115BBDA or Income of the nature referred to in section 115BBE).
Further, in a case where the income of another person like spouse, minor child, etc., is to be clubbed with the income of the taxpayer, this return form can be used only when such income falls in any of the above categories.
This ITR form cannot be used if one’s total income for the Assessment Year 2017-18 exceeds Rs 50 lakh, if the total income for the year includes income from more than one house property, the taxpayer owns foreign assets or has income from any source outside India, his/her agricultural income is more than Rs 5,000, or if he/she has won a lottery. The introduction of this form also marks the end of the 7-page cumbersome ITR -1 form which was earlier filed by salaried individuals.
This Return Form should be used by an individual or an Hindu Undivided Family whose total income for the Financial Year 2016-17 includes income from salary/ pension, income from more than one house property, income from capital gains or income from other sources, income of a person as a partner in the firm, foreign assets/foreign income, or agricultural income in excess of Rs 5,000.
Further, the ITR-2 should be used in cases where the income of another person, like one’s spouse, child, etc, is to be clubbed with the income of the assessee. This form cannot be used by those having income from proprietary business or profession.
How and from where to download ITR forms
You can efile your IT return by logging in to the Income Tax Department’s website. However, for downloading the relevant IT return form, you need to log in to the Income Tax Department’s website (http://www.incometaxindia.gov.in/Pages/default.aspx/) and click on the ‘Income Tax Returns’ below Forms/Downloads. You can download the relevant form from there. Alternatively, you can go to http://www.incometaxindia.gov.in/Pages/downloads/income-tax-return.aspx and download the relevant form. Individuals who have income less than Rs 5 lakh (not having any refund of taxes) or are super senior citizens have an option of filing the form manually.
You also need to remember that from July 1, 2017 onwards, it has become mandatory for an individual filing his income tax return to mention his Aadhaar number or the Aadhaar enrolment ID in the new ITR forms. Otherwise you won’t be able to file your IT return.