Income Tax Return Filing FY 2023-24: Top myths busted – what you should keep in mind when filing ITR

By Parizad Sirwalla
Income Tax Return Filing FY 2023-24: The process of Income Tax Return (ITR) filing in India has become technology oriented. This article provides a high-level understanding on personal income tax filing for Financial Year (FY) 2023-24, outlining the conditions and necessary documents.
Who is required to file ITR?
Individuals are required to file only if their total income in a financial year FY (April to March) exceeds the basic exemption limit viz.if opting for the old tax regime – Rs 2.50 Lacs (if age below 60 years or a Non-Resident), Rs 3 Lacs (if age is 60 years or more but below 80 years) or Rs 5 Lacs (if age is 80 years or more). In case you choose the default new tax regime, the basic exemption limit is Rs 3 Lacs.
There are additional conditions which require an individual to file an ITR, even if income falls within the basic exemption limit. The illustrative list is:

  1. Resident and Ordinarily Resident (ROR) holding foreign assets or has signing authority in any foreign account.
  2. Deposit in aggregate of Rs 1 Crore or more in one or more current bank account(s) or Rs 50 lakhs or more in one or more savings bank account(s)
  3. Expenditure of Rs 2 Lacs or more on foreign travel (for yourself or any other person)
  4. Expenditure of Rs 1 Lac or more on electricity bills
  5. Taxes Deducted / Collected at Source (TDS/ TCS) is Rs 25,000 or more (Rs 50,000 for senior citizen)

Also, in case there is a TDS / TCS, and you do not have an ITR filing requirement, you will be required to file the ITR for claiming a tax refund. Similarly, if you must claim a loss to be carried forward to future years you may have to file an ITR.
Also Read | Income Tax expectations Budget 2024: Tax exempt limit for savings account interest to be raised to Rs 25,000?
Illustrative Myths
Myth: ITR is not required if interest income only from banks and/or TDS is already deducted.
Fact: If any of the defined ITR filing condition is met then ITR should be filed even if you have received only interest income and/ or TDS has already been deducted. There is a relief only in case of specified senior citizens having pension income and bank interest income subject to satisfaction of specified conditions.
Myth: I am a ROR having only income less than Rs 2.5 Lacs (and no TDS/ loss) and I have made investment in foreign equity. I don’t have to file ITR.
Fact: ITR filing is mandatory as you have assets outside India.
Myth: Gifts are completely tax free
Fact: Gifts can also be taxed when money is received from non-relative having value more than Rs 50,000
Also Read | Form 16 for ITR filing: Top points to check in Form 16 before filing your income tax return for FY 2023-24
ITR filing: What documents to keep handy?
An illustrative checklist below that may help you in the filing process:

  • PAN and Aadhaar: Linking these two is compulsory (except for notified exclusions).
  • Form 16: Issued by employers, reflecting details of the salary paid and corresponding TDS
  • Form 16A/16B/16C: Income and TDS details on incomes other than salary
  • Form 26AS: Consolidated annual tax deducted/ collected statement reflecting in income-tax records
  • Annual Information Statement (AIS) and Taxpayer Information Summary (TIS):

These statements provide a comprehensive view of information, as submitted by various reporting entities (banks, investment brokers, etc.) and reflecting in income-tax records. Tax department has also launched a mobile app “AIS for taxpayers” to download these forms.

  • Bank Statements: To report interest income and verify other financial transactions.
  • Investment Proofs: Documents supporting deductions under sections 80C, 80D, 80G, etc.
  • Home Loan Statement: For claiming interest and principal repayment benefits.

Which ITR form to file?
It is also important to file ITRs in the correct form. For instance, if you are a resident individual (without foreign assets) having salary, pension, one-house property, interest and total income in aggregate is less than Rs 50 lacs, you are required to file ITR-1 (SAHAJ). ITR-2 can be filed by individuals not covered under ITR-1 and who do not have business/ professional incomes.
What are the consequences of late filing?
Due date to file for FY 2023-24 is 31st July 2024 (for non-tax audit cases). Some consequences for belated filing includes:

  • Additional interest liability on account of delay
  • Fee of Rs 1,000/ Rs 5,000 (based on income)
  • Carry forward of business or capital losses not allowed
  • Choice of opting out of the new tax regime is lost.

Also Read | Income Tax Return Filing: Is it compulsory to file ITR if income does not exceed Rs 7 lakh?
Early bird catches the worm: Don’t wait until the last minute to file your ITR to avoid any issues or correct any errors.
A watchful eye: Seek professional help if your income profile is complex or you have doubts.
Put The Finishing Touches: After e-filing your ITR, ensure that it’s successfully verified within 30 days.
(The author is National Leader, Global Mobility Services – Tax, KPMG in India)


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