How to File Income Tax Return Online for Salaried Employees

Income Tax Return: An Overview

The Income Tax Act, 1961, mandates Indian taxpayers to furnish details of their income earned and applicable taxes on the same through a form. This form is known as an income tax return or ITR. An assessee, therefore, submits this form to the Income Tax Department of India.

Additionally, the information of income provided in this form pertains to a given financial year, i.e., a year commencing from April 1st and ending on March 31st of the subsequent year.

Furthermore, before we dig into how to file income tax returns for salaried employees, let’s understand who should file them. Individuals who fall into the following categories are liable to file ITR:

  • An assessee whose gross income is more than the basic exemption limit before deductions under Sections 80C, 80CCD, 80D, 80TTB, and 80TTB. The table below summarises the basic exemption limit:

Age of the Individual

Amount of Income

Up to 60 years of age

₹2,50,000

Between 60 years to 80 years of age

₹3,00,000

Above the age of 80 years

₹5,00,000

  • An individual earning income from more than one source of income, such as a residential property, capital gains, investments, etc.
  • Individuals with investments or earnings from foreign assets
  • An assessee with over ₹1 crore of deposits in one or more banks
  • An individual who has made a payment of over ₹2,00,000 on foreign travel of a person. (this person may or may not be a family member)
  • An assessee who has paid more than ₹1,00,000 as electricity charges in a year

How to File an Income Tax Return online for Salaried Employees?

ITR forms applicable for salaried employees

When should a salaried employee file ITR?

Why should salaried employees file income tax returns?

The due date for filing ITR for individual taxpayers

Generally, the last date to file an income tax return for individual taxpayers is July 31st in the subsequent financial year. For example, the due date to file an ITR for FY 2019-2020 was July 31st, 2020. 

However, this date is subject to extension as and when deemed suitable by the Central Board of Taxes (CBDT). For instance, although the last date to file ITR was July 31st, 2020, for FY 2019-2020, it was extended to December 31st, 2020.

Have you missed out on the due date to file your income tax return? Do not fret. Allow us to explain how to file ITR for salaried employees after the due date:

1) File a belated return

You can still file your income tax return after the due date, which is known as a belated return. Filing a belated return is essentially the same as filing an ITR before the due date. The primary difference while filing a belated return is that while filing the applicable ITR form, you must select ‘Return Filed under Section 139(4)’. 

2) Pay a late filing fee or penalty

The downside to filing an income tax return after the due date is that it attracts a penalty. Therefore, you are liable to pay a late filing fee under Section 234F of the Income Tax Act, the amount of which is variable. 

The table below highlights the amount of penalty generally payable by different categories of taxpayers:

Due Date to File an Income Tax Return

Penalty Applicable to Taxpayers with Less Than ₹5,00,000 of Total Income

Penalty Applicable to Taxpayers with Over ₹5,00,000 of Total Income

On or before August 31st

A late fee is not applicable in this case.

A late fee is not applicable in this case.

From September 1 to December 31

₹1,000

₹5,000

From January 1 to March 31

₹1,000

₹10,000

The key takeaway from the above table is that individuals with a total income below ₹5,00,000 should pay ₹1,000 as a late filing fee. As a result, these taxpayers enjoy relaxation on the payment of penalties. Additionally, the maximum penalty applicable when filing belated returns is ₹10,000.

However, when filing a return after the deadline, you shall lose certain deductions and set-offs on carrying forward losses (except for house property losses) as prescribed under Section 139(1).

So, be wise and file your ITRs on time. We hope that this guide answered all questions on how to file IT returns for salaried employees.

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