Though this is the last month of filing of income tax return for majority of the tax payers but there persists a confusion as to the ITR form which one has to use. Let us now discuss which form is applicable in your case and clear the doubts.
Form No ITR 1 (Sahaj) : This form can only be filed by an Individual whose source of income include salary, who owns only one house (whether self occupied of let out) and has income from other sources like interest from various sources. Even a pensioner can use this form. This form can be used by you even if you have any exempt income without any limit but can not use it in case you have agricultural income exceeding Rs. 5,000/-.
Please note that if you have won any lottery or have any income from house race , you can not use this form. Moreover in case you own more than one house property whether self occupied or let out, you can not use this form. Likewise in case you have any foreign asset or foreign income you can not use this form.
This form would be applicable to majority of the tax payers.
Form No. ITR 2A : This form can be used by Individual as well as an HUF unlike the form ITR 1 which can only be used by an Individual. In case you have any foreign asset or have foreign income you still can not use this form. It may be noted that you can use this form in case you have more than one house property or have agricultural income exceeding Rs. 5,000/- . This form is extended version of form No. ITR1 and can be used only if you do not have business income or capital gains and do not own any foreign asset or have foreign income.
Even the tax payers who have exempt long term capital gains in respect of equity shares and units of equity oriented mutual funds can use form no. 1 and 2A but in case you have any other taxdable capital gain including short term capital gains on equity shares and units of equity oriented scheme you can not use these forms.
Form No ITR 2: This form can be used by Individual as well as an HUF in case you have income taxable under the head Capital Gains in addition to the income taxable under the head “Salaries” “income from house property” and “Income from other Sources”. You can use this form in case you have income from lotteries or horse races or you have agricultural income exceeding Rs. 5,000/- or even own more than one house property. However this form can not be used if you have any business income howsoever small the amount. This form can even be used by the resident tax payers who have any foreign asset or foreign income.
ITR 1 and 2A and 2 can be used by a person who is a partner in a firm and has only share of profit which is exempt but in case you have any interest or salary from the partnership firm as a partner, you can not use these form.
ITR 3: This form can be used by an Individual and HUF who does not have any proprietary business. This form is specially prescribed for the persons who are partner in a firm and are in receipt of interest or salary from a the partnership firm by virtue of being a partner in the firm. This form can be used by the partner of a firm even in case he has income taxable under other heads and has foreign asset or ofriegn income or has agricultural income over Rs. 5,000/-.
Form No. ITR 4S (Sugam) : This form can be filed by any individual or an HUF who has business income which is taxable at certain predefined basis either as certain percentage of your gross receipt/sales or your income is presumed at fixed amount per income yielding asset owned by you like truck etc. So this form can be used only and only if your business income is taxable on some presumptive basis. Broadly speaking this form can be filed by a person who is otherwise entitled to file his return of income in ITR 1 but can not file as he has certain business income taxable at predetermined way. So in case you have capital gains income or agricultural income exceeding Rs. 5,000 or own any foreign asset or have foreign income you can not use this return. You can not use this form even if you have income from lottery or horse race. This form is not for you even if you own more than one house property.
Form No. 4: This form can be used by an Individual or an HUF who has a proprietary business in addition to having income under other sources as well as owning foreign asset or receiving foreign income.
I am sure with this discussion, your doubts about which form to use for filing the income tax return are clear now.
Balwant Jain is a CA, CS and CFP. Presently working as Company Secretary of Bombay Oxygen Corporation Limited. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org