What is Income Tax Return? – Importance, Benefits & Types

  • Setindiabiz Team
  • May 17, 2024
What is Income Tax Return? – Importance, Benefits & Types

Filing income tax return India is a mandatory annual requirement for Firms, Companies, Hindu Undivided Families (HUFs), and also salaried/self-employed individuals. However, individuals with annual salaries lower than the taxable limit are exempted from filing tax income tax returns. If such individuals file their personal income tax return with nil tax amount can reap many potential benefits. Explore this blog to develop a better understanding of income tax returns including ITR meaning, importance, benefits, also types.


What is Income Tax Return?

Income tax is a tax levied on the annual income earned in a financial year by an individual or business. An Income Tax Return (ITR) is a necessary document that one needs to file to the Income Tax Department or revenue authorities to inform them about your income, investments, and tax payable for a specific fiscal year. Simply put, a tax return is a form that is filed with the IT Department or revenue authorities to report income expenses, deductions, and so on.

What is Income Tax Return? – Importance, Benefits & Types

Filing ITR Return is essential for Firms/Corporations, Hindu Undivided Families (HUFs), and salaried as well as self-employed individuals within the deadline or due date. Salaried/Self-employed individuals whose salary meet or exceeds taxable limit must file their income tax return as well. However, individuals below the tax-exemption limit should also file ITR as they can also reap several benefits from it.

Filing Income tax returns offers numerous benefits such as requesting a refund of Tax deducted at Source (TDS), serving as proof of revenue, forming a revenue graph for loan applications, attracting foreign VISA easily, and so on.

Importance & Reasons for ITR Filing

ITR Filing is a mandatory process for individuals as well as businesses every year. Considering the importance of filing ITR and the steps involved in it, the government has transitioned the whole process; from cumbersome offline to smooth online. It allows taxpayers to simply file their tax return without any time/location boundation as whether you are at your office or home, you can file ITR with the help of an active internet connection. Filing income tax returns India offers numerous benefits to taxpayers.

The major ITR Registration benefits that you can reap go as;

  • Claim Tax Refunds: If your income is less than the taxable limit, you can get back the tax deducted from your income only by claiming through tax returns filing before the deadline.
  • Carry Forward of Losses: In case you meet losses in your business or capital gains, filing ITR can help you carry forward your losses to the next financial year thus reducing your burden of future tax liability within the due date.
  • Easy Access to Loans and Visa: As most of us are aware of several applications require ITR of previous years to verify your income i.e. Loan providers and foreign embassies. If you file your income tax return regularly, then the lenders/foreign embassies can easily verify your income and thus determine eligibility for loans and grant of visas.
  • Keep Legal Consequences Away: Since ITR is a mandatory compliance, one needs to file it every fiscal year before the deadline. If you don’t file tax returns, you may get a notice from the income tax department. Moreover, you may need to face huge penalties and taxes if you fail to file ITR even after notice of reminder.
  • Verified Proof of Income: Self-employed individuals and freelancers don’t get any sort of official or verifiable income statements like those of salaried ones. For such people, filing a personal income tax return can also serve as a valid statement of income.

Types of ITR Forms

In India, there are a total of 7 ITR Forms available to file your Income Tax Return; from Form ITR 1 to Form ITR 7. Depending upon the type or sources of income, filing an ITR Form may vary from one taxpayer to another.


The ITR 1 form is a form in which taxpayers report their income earned during a financial year and tax applicable on the same, to the income tax department.

Form ITR 1 or SAHAJ is a commonly used ITR Form. This form can be used by a resident individual whose total income comes from sources like

  • Income from Salary or Person 
  • Income from one house property 
  • Income from agriculture 
  • Income from other sources (winning from lottery, race horses, etc.)

ITR-1 form is for resident individuals whose total income falls under the category of taxable income. This form is mainly used by the salaried individuals.


Form ITR-2 is designed to be used by an individual or Hindu Undivided Family (HUF) whose total income includes;

  • Income from Salary/Pension 
  • Income from House Property 
  • Income from Other Sources (including Winnings from Lottery and Income from Race Horses).
  • Income from Capital Gains 
  • Having any foreign income 
  • Agriculture income more than Rs 5,000


An individual or a Hindu Undivided Family (HUF) having income from a proprietary business or profession should file ITR-3 Form. People having income from the following sources are eligible to file ITR-3;

  • Carrying on a business or profession that is required to maintain the books of accounts and/or required to get them audited. 
  • If you are an individual director in a company 
  • Income from a partnership firm as a partner 
  • Income/loss from investments in unlisted equity shares during the financial year


Individuals, Hindu Undivided Families (HUFs), and Firms (excluding LLPs) having total income not more than Rs 50 lakh and also having income from business and profession are eligible to file Form ITR-4. These taxpayers have income from business and profession, that is computed on a presumptive basis and also have income from salary/pension, one house property, and other sources (interest, dividend, etc.) and so on.


ITR-5 Form is designed to be used by firms, LLPs, Associations of Persons (AOPs), BOIs, Artificial Judicial Persons, Local Authorities, and Cooperative Societies, etc. Remember that people who are needed to file returns under Sections 139(4A), 139 (4B), 139 (4C), or 139 (4D) need not to use this form.


ITR-6 is to be used for companies that do not claim an exemption under Section 11, and have income from the property held for charitable or religious purposes. A taxpayer can file ITR 6 form electronically only.


Firms, Companies, Local Authorities, Associations of Persons (AOP), and Artificial Judiciary Persons can file Form ITR-7 if they are claiming exemptions under Section 139 (4A) especially if they earn from a charitable/religious trust.

Choosing the right ITR Form is important to file your returns properly and also seek income tax and benefit return. Make sure to file your annual income tax return in India before the deadline or due date of the financial year to keep compliant and keep penalties at bay!

Filing an annual income tax return in India is a necessary financial as well as legal obligation that individuals/businesses must follow every year before the due date for the year! It allows taxpayers to unlock a number of income tax and benefit returns.

Understanding the importance of Income Tax return filing can push you to file your ITR timely every year. Along with that, choosing the right ITR form type is necessary to get your return filed properly and reaping most of the ITR registration benefits. It is often advisable to seek expert consultation to file your income tax return using the right ITR Form type and also to minimize time consumption and cost involvement.



Q1: How do I claim Income Tax return tax refund?

In order to claim your income tax refund, file ITR. The refundable amount of income tax is computed and shown in the tax return.

Q2: When is it mandatory to file income tax returns in India?

Income tax returns filing in India is mandatory when the income of an individual/business exceeds the basic limit set for exemption of tax determined by the Government.

Q3: What percentage of my income can be taxed?

The percentage of income taxed varies from one to the other slab rates applicable.

Q4: In which mode does the taxpayer receive the ITR refund?

The taxpayer who is eligible for refund can get the Income tax refund through direct credit to his account or through a Cheque of Refund.

Q5: What are the potential ITR Registration benefits?

There are numerous benefits of filing tax income tax return timely. It not only helps you fulfill your financial and legal responsibilities but also your social responsibilities. Filing personal income tax return benefits are claiming tax refunds, accessing loans, attracting VISA, serving as valid proof of income, etc. Income tax return filing within the due date also protects you from penalties and legal consequences associated with non-filing or late ITR filings.

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