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Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Is it mandatory to file Income Tax Returns?

[Last Updated : 5-Jul-2017]
Is it mandatory to file Income Tax Returns? Or, based on your income, no taxability etc., are you exempt from filing IT returns? There are certain conditions...read on..

If you are not sure whether you need to file your Income Tax returns or not, do ascertain the same by checking against the following conditions:
  • If you are an individual (other than a company or a firm) than you will have to file your return if your "Gross Total Income" before any deductions is more than your basic exemption limit, you need to file your income tax returns.
    • Gross Total Income refers to the income after you have claimed all exemptions such as HRA, Conveyance Allowance and HRA
    • Note that the Gross Total Income is post exemptions but pre-deductionsDeductions in this case will be the usual Section 80C to 80U deductions. The difference between exemptions and deductions is subtle but understandable. Read this post for more details : Tax exemptions Vs Tax Deductions 
  • Even if you have paid all your taxes, and there is no tax liability on you, you are still liable to file your income tax returns if the first condition is met
  • If your gross total income is below the basic exemption limit but you have a tax refund to claim, then obviously, you would need to file your income tax return to claim your refund. This can happen in cases, like income from bank interest.

The Minimum Exempt Income limit is as follows: 
  • In case of every individual, whether male or female the limit is Rs. 2, 50,000. 
  • In case of an individual who is 60 years or more at any time during the Financial Year i.e. a Senior Citizen than the minimum Exempt Limit is Rs. 3,00,000.
  • In case of an individual, who is 80 years or more at any time during the Financial Year i.e. a Super Senior Citizen than the minimum Exempt Limit is Rs. 5,00,000.
Though it may not be mandatory for you to file your ITR, but remember to keep evidences of all your income - like your Form 16A, Form 26AS etc.
IT department can ask for these evidences any time in the next 5 years and the onus to prove your income is on you.

For continuity sake, however, it is highly advisable to continue to file your IT returns. You might need it at other places like taking loans etc.

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The book "From the Rat Race to Financial Freedom" has many such investment concepts explained in a very simple and uncomplicated manner.

Cheers

Manoj Arora
Elevate Your Life

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