Income Tax Return Filing Deadline One Month Away: Things You Should Know About Sahaj, Other ITR Forms

Income tax return can be filed online on the tax department's portal
Income tax return can be filed online on the tax department's portal

As the last date to file income tax returns (ITR) looms closer, the income tax payers are often urged by their chartered accountants and acquaintances to file their income tax returns (ITR) way before July 31 and not to wait till the eleventh hour. In case you have the form number 16 in your possession already, and have already paid your tax liabilities, then filing the income tax return (ITR) remains mere a formality. In such a case, filing of income tax return (ITR) online can be done quite conveniently on the income tax department's website: It is pertinent to note that the portal is quite user-friendly and enables you to calculate as many as 30 components of income tax/ exemptions on its income tax calculator.

Before one files the income tax return (ITR), one must be apprised of the seven different income tax forms that have already been uploaded by the department of income tax. To cut down on your tax outgo, you can also make some investments which include equity-linked savings scheme (ELSS), National Pension System (NPS) and Tax Saving Fixed Deposits (FDs). However, one must remember that these savings will help you save on income tax in the 2018-19 financial year while you are set to file your income tax return (ITR) for the 2018-19 financial year.

The seven income tax forms and their benefits are as follows:

ITR-1 (Sahaj): This is meant for individuals who are residents and who have income from salaries, with one house property and some other sources of income (interest etc). The individuals may have a total income of upto Rs 50 lakh. For instance, Miss X working as an engineer in an IT firm and also has income from investments in mutual investments, fixed deposits should file her income tax return via form ITR-1.

This form can be filed online as well as offline. The form number 1 is also known as Sahaj.

ITR-2: This form is meant for the individuals who are not carrying out business or profession under any proprietorship. The individuals who are not getting salaried income but have other sources such as income from abroad or as a partner in a firm are meant to file their income tax returns (ITR) through ITR form number 2. This form is only in the offline format.

ITR-3: The income tax form number 3 is also very common just as Sahaj. This is supposed to be used for filing of income tax return when the tax payer has income from a business or profession. Any small scale businessperson or a professional such as a doctor or architect or a lawyer must use form number 3 for filing of income tax return. The form number 3 is also in the offline format and not in the online format, says income tax department's website:

ITR-4: When the tax payer has a presumptive income from business and profession, s/he is supposed to file income tax return under the form number 4. The form is available in online as well as offline format, just as Sahaj.

This form is meant for the businesspersons and professionals who are too small to maintain books of accounts and get them audited. There are three income tax provisions under which presumptive income provision can be availed by the professionals.

The first one is section 44AD: For businesspersons who are not meant to maintain accounts or to get them audited.

Section 44ADA is meant for the professionals. The professionals who can use the form include legal, medical, engineering or architectural, accountancy, technical consultancy, interior decoration and any other profession as notified by CBDT

Section 44AE is meant for the small businesspersons engaged in the business of hiring, plying and leasing of goods carriages, informs the tax department's website.

ITR-5: This is meant for persons other than individuals, HUF (Hindu undivided family), company and person filing form ITR-7. These include firms, association of firms and body of individuals. This form can only be filed offline only.

ITR-6: The ITR's form number 6 is meant only for the companies claiming exemption under section 11. The section 11 gives exemption to charitable trusts.

Just as form number 5, it can only be filed in the offline mode.

ITR-7: The form number 7 is supposed to be filed only by the persons including companies that are required to furnish return under sections 139 (4A), or 139 (4B), or 139 (4C), or 139 (4D), or 139 (4E) or 139(4F). The persons who are supposed to file income tax returns under the above mentioned sections include trusts, political party, scientific research association, university, college, news agency. Just as form number 5 and form number 6, the ITR form number 7 can also be filed only in the offline mode.