The Income Tax Department has released the offline forms (JSON utility) for ITR-1 and ITR-4 applicable for FY 2023-24 (AY 2024-25) on March 18, 2024. These offline income tax return forms will be used for filing ITR from April 1, 2024 for FY 2023-24 (AY 2024-25)

The JSON utility is a file format used when downloading or importing your pre-filled return data into the offline utility and it is also used when generating your prepared ITR in the offline utility, as per the income tax e-filing website

The last date to file income tax returns for FY 2023-24 (AY 2023-24) for those taxpayers whose accounts are not required to be audited is July 31, 2024.

Two ways to file ITR on the income tax e-filing website

The income tax department allows taxpayers to file their income tax returns either fully online or via a partial offline mode.

ITR filing using JSON utility: In the partial offline route, a taxpayer downloads the utility form from the income tax e-filing website (JSON utility released by the tax department). Once the utility form is downloaded, a taxpayer is required to manually fill in the income and other required information applicable to the particular financial year. You can also import data in the JSON utility instead of manually filling in the data. Once all the details are filled, the schema will be uploaded on the income tax e-filing website.

The JSON utility released by the income tax department for FY 2023-24 (AY 2024-25) can be downloaded here.

ITR filing online via tax filing portal: In the fully online mode, a taxpayer logs into their account on the e-filing portal and uses the ‘File income tax return’ option to file their income tax return. Usually, most of the income-related details are auto-populated. However, a taxpayer must cross-check all the details in the online ITR forms before making the final submission. The income tax department is yet to release the online ITR forms for FY 2023-24 (AY 2024-25).

Do keep in mind that the income tax department has notified the income tax return forms even before the financial year 2023-24 has ended on March 31, 2024 (the forms were notified between December 2023 and February 2024). Once the ITR forms are notified, the income tax department is required to release the online and offline forms on the e-filing website. Usually, the income tax department notifies the ITR forms after the financial year ends (usually in April).

Who can file ITR-1, 4?

A taxpayer is required to choose the ITR form depending on their sources of income.

The ITR 1 form will be used by a taxpayer if he meets the following criteria:

  • For individuals being a resident (other than not ordinarily resident)
  • having gross total income up to Rs 50 lakh,
  • having income from salaries, one house property, other sources (interest etc.), and agricultural income up to Rs 5,000.

Similarly, the ITR 4 form is applicable for individuals, HUFs and firms (other than LLP) being a resident having total income up to Rs 50 lakh and having income from business and profession which is computed under sections 44AD, 44ADA or 44AE and agricultural income upto Rs 5,000.

Salaried individuals having capital gains from the sale of equity shares, equity-oriented mutual funds, debt mutual funds or any other assets, are required to file ITR using ITR-2 form. The income tax department is yet to release online and offline forms for other income tax return forms.

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