ITR-1 Form: All You Need to Know about Sahaj

Last Updated at: Oct 09, 2020

One of the ITR (income tax return) forms are to be filled by every individual filing their income tax returns. The Income Tax department every year releases different types of ITR forms for individual categories of taxpayer. While every ITR form is unique in their content, the most commonly downloaded form is ITR-1 or Sahaj, given its wide applicability.

The ITR forms are uploaded in the e-filing portal and can be downloaded in Java, PDF or Excel formats, after registration. Excel and Java cater to those who submit their taxes through the online portal. PDF works for those who are physically submitting their tax returns. Although, the present rules states that any person with an annual income of above Rs. 5 lakh needs to compulsorily file their tax returns online.

Let us look into ITR-1 and its salient features.

Salient Features of ITR-1

ITR-1 or Sahaj (easy) is a form that caters to the salaried taxpayer. As the name implies, ITR-1 is the simplest of forms to be filled online. However, it is essential to understand the eligibility criteria for filling the ITR-1 form.

Eligibility Criteria:

The form applies to:
1. Those who earn a fixed monthly income (salary);
2. Pension holders;
3. Family pension holders;
4. Those who earn interest from savings (the interest earned is considered a salary and, therefore, ITR-1 applies);
5. Income from one house property, except the losses brought forward from previous years;
6. Income from other sources (but excluding earnings from the lottery and other game winnings).

Every year, a due date for filling in ITR-1 is announced by the income tax department, and it is usually the July 31.

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Exceptions to ITR-1

While salaried individuals are eligible to fill the Sahej form, there are certain exceptions to ITR-1 eligibility.
1. Those with income from more than one house property;
2. Those with winnings from lottery, race horse and other gambling;
3. Those with earnings from capital gains, such as short-term capital gains through selling of shares that are not exempt from tax;
4. Those with agricultural income exceeding Rs. 5,000;
5. Those with earnings from a profession or business;
6. Residents who have property outside India and any income from that property or is a signing authority for accounts in foreign countries;
7. Losses from other resources;
8. Persons claiming double taxation relief under Section 90/90A or 91 and those who claim relief from tax paid in a foreign country.

Procedure for Filing ITR-1

The ITR-1 is quite simple and straightforward. It does not require much in terms of documentation, since salaried individuals need not prepare accounts or have their documents audited.

The ITR-1 form itself is divided into individual columns. It requires you to fill in your personal details, gross income, taxable income with deductions, computation of tax and tax status, and other details regarding TDS-1 and TDS-2.

Any individual taxpayer wanting to file tax can either:
1. Download and taking the printout to submit the physical form (if income is below Rs. 5 lakh per annum)
2. Fill up the Excel sheet after downloading it from the site, and computing the tax manually
3. Using a JAVA utility to fill in the form directly on the site

Documents Required

While filling up the ITR form, you need to keep certain documents handy, since the income tax department demands them for verification and successful filing of returns.

The documents required are:
a. A soft-copy (or a hard copy for physical submission) of a Form-16 supplied by the employer.
b. Form-26AS downloaded from the site after registration (compute the Form- 16 and Form-26AS to check if the deductions match up with each other)
c. Proof of investments under Section 80C and 80D (if any, and if not furnished to the employer at the beginning of the current financial year)
d. Details of income from interest such as bank passbook or any other relevant documents

Once you have all the essential documents and have filled up the ITR- 1, you can submit the IRT-1 (file income Tax returns) in any of the following ways.

1. Physically:
If your income falls under the bracket of Rs. 5 lakh per annum, you can fill the ITR form in PDF format or just download it and fill it up in person, with relevant details, attach the documents demanded and submit it personally in the nearest income tax office.

2. e-filing
One can also fill in the details directly in the Excel sheet, by downloading it and filling in the details or through JAVA utility and submit it electronically, with or without digital signature. Those submitting online needs to, however, take printouts of the submitted ITR-1 with the acknowledgement provided and send it to the Income Tax Department within the specified period of 120 days. The documents/acknowledgement need to be signed personally before submitting.

Frequently Asked Questions about ITR-1 Tax Filing

I have made some errors in tax calculation. I have submitted my ITR-1. Should I wait for the next year to file it again?
In case of wrong calculations or any other mistakes done in e-filing of income tax, the department gives a chance to re-file your tax returns. This procedure is called as ‘Revised returns’ and the last date for filing any revisions is usually the March 31st of the current financial year. For example, if you are planning to submit the revised returns for the year 2015-16, you have a time limit up to March 31st, 2017.

I could not file tax in the last financial year and have received a notice from the income tax department. What should I do?
The Income Tax Department can compute the tax of each individual. If it finds that the tax paid is lesser than the demanded one or the tax is not paid at all, they send a notice to the taxpayers. An individual can immediately pay the outstanding amount, and quote the ‘Notice Number’ of the received intimation while filing it, without fail.

Can I submit ITR-1 if I have income from my ancestral property?
Yes, income from one house property can be shown under ITR-1. However, if your income comes from more than one property or from any other sources other than that specified by the department, you need to file either ITR-2 or ITR-2A. Check the details of ITR- 1 before filing your returns.

How do I pick up the right ITR form?
Usually, the Sahej form is applicable for all the reasons mentioned in the article. If you still feel that you are not eligible under any of the ineligibility criteria mentioned or have your doubts, check the other ITR forms for details or consult an agent/expert to understand your requirements and eligibility under ITR.

A lawyer with 14 years' experience, Vikram has worked with several well-known corporate law firms before joining Vakilsearch.