Income Tax Return FAQ

Frequently Asked Question on Return of Income

What is a return of
It is a prescribed
form through which the particulars of income earned by a person in a
financial year and taxes paid on such income is communicated to the
Income tax department after the end of the Financial
year. Different forms are prescribed for filing of returns for different Status
and Nature of income
From where can I get a
return form?
The Public Relation
Officer [PRO] can be contacted for this purpose. The form can also be
downloaded from the site http://www.incometaxindia.gov.in/.
How can I know which
form is applicable for my income?
You should choose a
return form according to your status and nature of income from the following:
For Individuals having Income
from Salary/ Pension/ family pension & Interest
For Individuals and HUFs not
having Income from Business or Profession
For Individuals/HUFs being
partners in firms and not carrying out business or profession under any
For individuals & HUFs
having income from a proprietary business or profession
For firms, AOPs and BOIs
For Companies other than
companies claiming exemption under section 11
For persons including companies
required to furnish return under section 139(4A) or section 139(4B) or
section 139(4C) or section 139(4D)
Return for Fringe Benefits
Where the data of the Return of
Income/Fringe Benefits in Form ITR-1, ITR-2, ITR-3, ITR-4, ITR-5, ITR-6
& ITR-8 transmitted electronically without digital signature
What documents are to
be enclosed along with the return of income?
The new return form
numbering 1 to 8 is annexure less. Hence no documents need to be attached.
Where and how am I
supposed to file my return?
A return is to be
filed before your Assessing officer. It may even be sent by post or filed
electronically. Nowadays returns are also being received at designated post
Who is an Assessing officer?
He/She is an officer
of the
Income tax department who has been given jurisdiction
over a particular geographical territory or class of persons. You can find
out from the PRO or from the Departmental website
http://www.incometaxindia.gov.in/ as to your jurisdiction.
How is a return filed electronically?
Companies and firms
are compulsorily required to file their return electronically, while for
others it is still optional. For electronic filing of return you have to log
on to the Departmental website 

http://www.incometaxindia.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 file a paper return
quoting the provisional acknowledgement number received on completion of
I am going out of India. Who will file my Income tax return for this
You can authorize any
person by way of a Power of Attorney to file your return. A copy of the Power
of Attorney should be enclosed with the return.
Will I be put to any disadvantage by filing my return?
No. On the
contrary 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.
What are the benefits of filing my return of income?
Filing of 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.
Is it necessary to file return of income when I do not have any
positive income?
If you have sustained
a loss in the financial year, which you propose to carry forward to the
subsequent year for adjustment against its positive income, you must make a
claim of loss by filing your return before the due date.
What are the due dates for filing returns of income/loss?
The due dates are as
Companies & their Directors
31st October
Other business entities, other
than companies, if their accounts are auditable & their working
31st October
In all other case
31st July
.  If I fail to furnish my return within the due date of filing,
will I be fined or penalized?
Yes. This may take the
form of interest if the return is not filed before the end of the
assessment year. If the return is not filed even after the end of the
assessment year, penalty may also be levied.
Can a return be filed after the due date?
Yes. It 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 2006-07, the belated return can be filed before 31st March
So far I have never paid any tax. If I file a return this year
will the IT department ask me about my earlier years income?
It is never too late
to start honoring your constitutional obligations for payment of tax. The
department may ask you to file return of income for earlier years if it finds
that you had taxable income in those years.
If I have paid excess tax how and when will it be refunded?
The excess tax can be
claimed as refund by filing your
return. It will be
refunded by issue of cheque or by crediting to your bank account. The
department has been making efforts to settle refund claims within four months
from the month of filing return.
If I have committed any mistake in my original return, am I
permitted to file a corrected return?
Yes, 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.
How many times can I revise the return?
Theoretically a return
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 event takes place earlier.
Am I required to keep a copy of the return filed as proof and
for how long?
Yes. 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.
There are various
deductions that have not been reflected in the Form 16 issued by my employer.
Can I claim them in my return?
Why is return filing
mandatory even though all my taxes and interests have been paid and there is
no refund due to me?
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
Am I liable for any
criminal prosecution [arrest/ imprisonment etc] if I don’t file my
Income tax return even though my income is taxable?
Non-payment of tax
attracts interests, penalty and prosecution. The prosecution can lead to
rigorous imprisonment from 6 months to 7 years and fine.
Source: Income Tax Website Question Bank