The Income Tax Department has enabled the online income tax return forms, ITR-1, ITR-2 and ITR-4, for FY 2023-24 (AY 2024-25) on the e-filing portal. The online ITR forms have been enabled from April 1, 2024. With the availability of income tax return forms, taxpayers eligible to file their tax returns using these ITR forms can now file their ITR for FY 2023-24. The tax department had earlier released the offline Excel utilities of ITR-1, ITR-2 and ITR-4. The offline JSON utilities for ITR-1, ITR-2, ITR-4 and ITR-6 for FY 2023-24 (AY 2024-25) have also been released.The CBDT in its press release dated April 4, 2024 said, “This is for the first time in recent times, that the Income Tax department has enabled taxpayers to file their returns on the first day of the new financial year. This is another giant step towards ease of compliance and seamless taxpayer services.”

Also read: Offline ITR-1,4 forms: Income tax department releases JSON utilities for FY 2023-24 (AY 2024-25)

The last date to file income tax returns for FY 2023-24 (AY 2024-25) is July 31, 2024.

Ways to file income tax return

A taxpayer can file his/her ITR either completely online on the tax department’s e-filing income tax portal or partially online, partially offline using the JSON and Excel utilities.

Filing ITR completely online: A taxpayer can file his/her income tax return completely online by logging into his/her account on the e-filing income tax portal. Once logged in, a taxpayer can file his/her return completely online under the ‘File income tax return’ option. Here, most of the taxpayer’s data is pre-filled online from their Annual Information Statement (AIS) and Form 26AS. However, tax experts advise that the pre-filed data must be cross-checked from their documents such as Form 16, Form 16A, any other TDS certificate, interest certificate, salary slips etc.

Also read: New ITR-V, ITR acknowledgement forms notified: Read updated instructions carefully or else penal consequences can apply

Filing ITR using offline utilities: A taxpayer can file his/her ITR using offline utilities of JSON and Excel. The offline utilities can be downloaded from the e-filing income tax portal. Taxpayers can download the same to their system and use them to fill in their details. To get the pre-filled data in the offline utilities, taxpayers need to download pre-filled XML from their e-filing income tax account. Once the required details are filled in the offline utilities, the same is required to be uploaded on the e-filing website.

Eligibility criteria to file ITR-1, ITR-2 and ITR-4

A taxpayer can file his/her tax return using ITR-1, ITR-2 and ITR-4 depending on their sources of income in the financial year.

  • ITR-1 can be filed by taxpayers who are resident individuals (other than not ordinarily resident), having income from salaries, one house property, other sources of income such as interest, dividend, family pension and agricultural income up to Rs 50,000 and gross total income from all sources not exceeding Rs 50 lakh in a financial year.
  • ITR-2 can be filed by taxpayers having more than one house property, and those who have earned capital gains.
  • ITR-4 is used by taxpayers having income from business and professions which is taxable under sections 44AD, 44ADA and 44AE.

ITR forms notified early by CBDT

Unlike previous years when the income tax department used to notify income tax return forms in April, this year the forms were notified well ahead of time. With the start of the new financial year, the tax department has enabled online and offline utilities of ITR forms. However, many salaried taxpayers will have to wait till the end of June to collect the required TDS certificates before they can start the ITR filing process. The CBDT in its press release dated said, “In fact, about 23,000 ITRs for A.Y. 2024-25 have already been filed till date. Facility to file ITRs 3, 5 and 7 will be made available shortly.”

Divya Baweja, Partner, Deloitte India says, “The timely availability of ITR forms this year is a positive step, allowing taxpayers to plan and file their returns early. However, the salaried taxpayers may still need to wait till June for filing the returns as their employers are not expected to issue Form 16 until June 15th.”

Also read: ITR-1,4 for income tax return filing FY2023-24 notified by CBDT; last date to file July 31, 2024

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