Filing income tax returns (ITR) is a crucial annual task for individuals in India. The Indian government requires taxpayers to report their income and taxes paid during the financial year through various ITR forms. Among these forms, ITR 1 holds significance as it is specifically designed for salaried individuals or pensioners with a straightforward income source. In this comprehensive guide, we delve into the nuances of ITR 1, detailing its purpose, eligibility criteria, components, and the process of filing.

What is ITR 1?

ITR 1, also known as Sahaj Form, is the most basic income tax return form prescribed by the Income Tax Department of India. It is meant for individuals who earn income from salary or pension, own one house property, and have income from other sources such as interest or dividends. ITR 1 is a simplified form aimed at taxpayers with relatively uncomplicated financial affairs.

Eligibility Criteria for Filing ITR 1:

To file ITR 1, individuals must meet certain eligibility criteria:

  1. Income Sources: ITR 1 is suitable for individuals whose income sources include:
    • Income from salary or pension
    • Income from one house property (excluding cases where loss is brought forward from previous years)
    • Income from other sources like interest, dividends, etc., where total income does not exceed Rs. 50 lakhs.
  2. Residential Status: The individual should be a resident of India. Non-residents and individuals having income from business or profession are not eligible to file ITR 1.
  3. Not Eligible for Hindu Undivided Family (HUF): ITR 1 cannot be filed by Hindu Undivided Families.

Components of ITR 1 Form:

ITR 1 form is divided into various sections to capture different aspects of the taxpayer’s income and deductions. Here are the key components:

  1. Part A – General Information: This section requires basic details such as name, address, PAN (Permanent Account Number), Aadhaar number (if applicable), and contact information.
  2. Part B – Gross Total Income: Here, taxpayers need to provide details of income under various heads such as salary, house property, other sources, and total gross income.
  3. Part C – Deductions and Taxable Total Income: Taxpayers are required to mention deductions claimed under various sections of the Income Tax Act, such as Section 80C (investment in specified instruments), Section 80D (medical insurance premium), and others.
  4. Part D – Computation of Tax Payable: This section calculates the total tax payable after considering deductions and exemptions.
  5. Part E – Other Information: Taxpayers need to provide additional information such as bank account details, whether they are governed by Portuguese Civil Code, and details of any advance tax or self-assessment tax paid.
  6. Schedule IT: If the taxpayer’s income includes income from sources outside India, this schedule needs to be filled with relevant details.

Process of Filing ITR 1:

Filing ITR 1 can be done online on the Income Tax Department’s e-filing portal or offline by submitting a physical copy of the form. Here’s a step-by-step guide to filing ITR 1 online:

  1. Registration: Taxpayers need to register on the Income Tax Department’s e-filing portal using their PAN. If already registered, they can log in using their credentials.
  2. Select Form: Choose ITR 1 (Sahaj) form for filing the return.
  3. Fill Details: Enter the required details accurately in each section of the form. Use Form 26AS, salary slips, bank statements, and other relevant documents to ensure accuracy.
  4. Calculate Tax: Compute the total taxable income, deductions, and tax payable using the information provided.
  5. Verify and Submit: Review the filled form carefully. Once verified, submit the form electronically using Aadhaar OTP, EVC (Electronic Verification Code), or by sending a signed physical copy (if applicable).
  6. Acknowledgment: After successful submission, an acknowledgment (ITR-V) is generated. Taxpayers should download, print, sign, and send it to the Income Tax Department within the stipulated time for verification.

Conclusion:

Filing income tax returns accurately and timely is not only a legal obligation but also a responsible citizenship duty. ITR 1 serves as a simplified tool for salaried individuals and pensioners to report their income and taxes paid during the financial year. By understanding its purpose, eligibility criteria, components, and filing process, taxpayers can fulfill their tax obligations efficiently and contribute to the nation’s development.

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