Income tax return FAQ Attachments, Due Dates, and Revisions

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Quick FAQ and notes

How to file the return of income electronically?
The income-tax department has created an exclusive portal for e-filing of incomes returns. To access the service, one can visit and there is a superb video available on the IT department’s website as well, which provides an understanding of how to do it.

Is it necessary to attach documents along with the return of income?
ITR return forms do not require any attachments. You don’t need to submit additional documents (such as proof of investment, TDS certificates) with your ITR form, regardless of whether it’s filed manually or electronically, unless you are subjected to an audit case.

You should keep these documents, and present them to the tax authorities upon request, such as during assessment, inquiry or scrutiny. For audit cases however, a digital version of the balance sheet, P&L and any supplementary notes in addition to the audit report must be supplied.

What is the difference between e-payment and e-filing?
E-payment is the practice of making tax payments electronically, such as via net banking or SBI’s debit/credit cards.

Submitting one’s return of income electronically is known as e-filing. It is a convenient way to complete the process.

Through the e-payment and e-filing system, quickly and easily make your tax payments and submit your returns without difficulties.

Is it necessary to file the return of income when I do not have any positive income?
If you’ve experienced a financial loss which you want to carry forward and use to reduce your income in the following year, then it’s important that you make a claim by submitting your return before it is due.

What are the due dates for filing returns of income/loss?
If no audit: July 31st

If audit: September 30th

What is to be mentioned as the “nature of business” on ITR 3 (ITR 4 until 2017)? 

Nature of business can be mentioned as Trading-Others (Code: 0204) – until 2017

For FY 2017/18, Code: 13010 – Financial intermediation/Investment activities. This seems to be the closest category to investment/trading related activity.

If I fail to furnish my return within the due date, will I be fined or penalised?
If you don’t turn in your return by the due date, you will have to shell out interest on the tax owed. On top of that, a penalty of Rs 5,000 will be charged for not submitting it within the assessment year, as per section 271F.

How to show profit and loss on the balance sheet?  

Positive turnover can be recorded as gross receipts, and negative turnover indicated as gross sales.

Can a return be filed after the due date?
Yes, you can file a return of income after the due date has passed. This is referred to as a belated return. It must be submitted within one year from the end of the financial year or before any assessment process is completed, whichever comes first. Interest and penalties may apply, as stated in a previous FAQ.

In the case of income earned during FY 2013-14, the belated return should be filed before 31st March 2016. In the event of filing the return after this date, the penalty under section 271F may be imposed.

If I have committed any mistake in my original return, am I permitted to file a revised return to correct the mistake?
Provided you have submitted the original return before the due date, and the IT Department has not completed the assessment, revisions are permissible provided the mistake was done in good faith and with no intent to disguise or rectify any deliberate mistake. However, a belated return cannot be revised.

Revisions can be made to returns within a year of the end of the relevant assessment period, or before assessment is complete – whichever comes first.

For FY 2013-14, income tax returns should be filed by 31st July 2014 to avoid a belated return. Assuming assessment is not complete, the return may be revised up to 31st March 2016. If the deadline is missed, no revisions are allowed.

ITR forms are most often Microsoft Excel spreadsheets, wherein you can fill in all the essential information and let the calculations take place automatically.


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