What is a Return of Income?
A return of income is a defined form which can list out the particulars of income and the taxes paid on the same by an individual, firm or organisation in a financial year. This in turn can be presented to the Income Tax Department. There are differing forms for incomes of different status and nature and they are readily available on the online portal of the Income Tax Department of India.
There are currently nine different forms available for filing of income tax returns. They go from ITR-1 to ITR-7 and also include the ITR-4S and ITR-V.
Filing an Income Tax Return – Is it Necessary?
Currently (as of 2015), is mandatory for one to file income tax returns in India if the following conditions are applicable –
- If the gross total annual income (before deductions under 80C to 80U) is Rs. 2,50,000 (for ages less than 60 years), Rs. 3,00,000 (for ages 60 years but less than 80 years) and Rs. 5,00,000 (for ages 80 years and above)
- If it’s a company or firm, irrespective of the profit or loss made in a financial year
- If a tax refund needs to be claimed
- If a loss under a head of income needs to be carried forward
- If being a resident of India, one has an asset or financial interest in any entity located outside India
- If being a resident of India, one is a signing authority in a foreign account
- If one receives income derived from property held under a trust for charitable or religious purposes or a political party or a research association, news agency, educational or medical institution, trade union, a not for profit university or educational institution, a hospital, infrastructure debt fund, any authority, body or trust
- If one is applying for a loan or a visa
If an NRI derives any or all of his/her income through sources in India, that income is liable to be taxable in India, and income tax returns for the same will be necessary.
With the implementation of e-filing of Income Tax Returns, the following cases will require an e-filing of Income Tax:
- In case a refund is required
- In case the gross total annual income exceeds Rs. 5,00,000
- In case an income tax refund is required
ITR-3, 4,5,6,7 have to be mandatorily e-filed