Guidelines to filing your income tax return (ITR form) for 2011 in India

The income tax return filing season is finally upon us and you must be wondering what possibly could be the easiest way to filing your ITR form.

At the same time, you might be having many questions like do you need to file your returns in the first place; whether you need to file it physically or e-file it; what is the last date for filing the returns, among others.

Here is a small guideline which will help you clear the cobwebs.

Who should file income tax returns?

All individuals, whose total income exceeds the exemption limit before allowing for deduction, have to file their taxex.

The below table shows the income tax slabs which is applicable for the current year. Depending on which tax slab you fall in, you will need to file your returns.

You do not need to file a tax return if your total taxable income does not exceed the basic exemption limit before taking into account deductions. Remember that having a PAN does not mean you need to file returns – this is an often asked query among investors.

Tax Slabs (in Rs) Income tax
Indian Male/NRI/HUF 0 to 1,60,000 NIL
1,60,001 to 5,00,000 10%
5,00,001 to 8,00,000 20%
Above 8,00,000 30%
Women 0 to 1,90,000 NIL
1,90,001 to 5,00,000 10%
5,00,001 to 8,00,000 20%
Above 8,00,000 30%
Senior Citizen (>65 yrs) 0 to 2,40,000 NIL
2,40,001 to 5,00,000 10%
5,00,001 to 8,00,000 20%
Above 8,00,000 30%

What are the various income heads ?

All the income that you receive in the financial year needs to be assessed for filing tax returns. There are 5 heads of income in which all your earnings will fall into.

They are :

Income from salary : This will include all your monthly wages, your bonus, perks, incentives, commissions.

Income from house property : Income from house property is the rental proceeds which you receive in a year after a standard 30% deduction.

Profits and gains of business or profession : This is the profit you earn from running a business.

Capital Gains : Profit from the sale of real estate, stocks, mutual funds, gold etc etc are covered under this.

Income from other sources : All the gifts, dividends and money you get from winning lotteries are to be accounted for in this income head.

Income tax returns filing guidelines

When is the last date for filing ?

It is July 31st 2011.

Remember that the last date for paying all your taxes was March 31st. If you still have some tax that you need to pay to the government, then you will need to pay an interest fee of 1% for each month of delay.

If all your taxes have been paid, you can file your income tax returns by March 31st 2012 without paying any penalty. However, you might not be able to claim any refunds or carry forward losses if you do this. After March 31st 2012, you can be levied a fine of Rs 5000.

Which ITR form should be used ?

ITR 1 (Saral 2) : If you have income from salary, pension and/or interest, then you can use the ITR 1 form.

ITR 2 : You need to use this form if you have income from capital gains or rent from a house.

ITR 3 : This is to be used when you are a partner in a firm.

ITR 4 : If you have income from business or some profession, then use this form.

How to file returns ?

Filing of returns can essentially be done in three ways.

The most popular of them is the physical way of filing returns wherein the form is filled up by a chartered accountant or a tax consultant who charges you anywhere form Rs 200/- to Rs 1000/. Most of the income tax returns are filed in this way.

The most advanced way of filing tax returns is e-filing. You fill up an online form, convert it into an XML file and along with a digital signature, you simply submit it online.  You can use online tax portals for this. This can cost you upto Rs 1000/-.

There is a middle way to filing tax returns where you fill in the form online and take a printout of the same. You can then submit it at your local income tax office. This can cost upto Rs 500/-, not to mention the serpentine queues you might encounter at the tax office.


  1. Good one. Very informative guide. Why don’t you write something on the online tax filing process. I do not know much about it and it will help everyone.
    Most of us follow the offline process.
    Also, do you know where interest income is counted – under which head ?

  2. Thanks for posting this! I’m looking for a medium that can help us to get a good amount of promotion for my websites which in return gave me a business too through websites and I must say this has definitely helped me in this process.

  3. Quoting: “…e-filing. You fill up an online form, convert it into an XML file and along with a digital signature, you simply submit it online. You can use online tax portals for this. This can cost you upto Rs 1000/-.”

    I have filed my income tax three times with this method, always FOR FREE at the official website ! Surprised to read that any portal will ask for a fee.

  4. It is indeed to note that Online Return filing has increased massively during the past few years mainly because of new Taxation Softwares and good knowledge being spread by Blogs like thewealthwisher

    Keep up the Good Work :)

    • Radhey Sharma says:

      @CA Karan Batra, Thanks Karan.

    • sir plz mujhe tax deposit karna aur return file karne ka matlab bata do. return matlab kya hai,


      • Rakesh says:


        Can you please elaborate your question, what exactly you need to know?
        Are you a salaried employee, if yes every month your organization must be deducting Income Tax and at the end of year you will receive Form 16. This along with ITR 1 form when submitted to income tax office is know as returns.

      • Vivek K says:

        Tax deposit ka matlab sarkar ko apni income ka ek hissa dena. Ye 10%, 20% ya phir 30% tak ho sakta.

        Return file karne ka matlab jo bhi income aapki hui hai aur jo bhi tax aapne deposit kiya hai, uski details sarkar ko dena.

  5. sandeep aggarwal says:

    Even if the return is filed after 31st July, assessee can claim refunds as per income tax act. Please rectify.

  6. Which website do you recommend to file ITR returns online?

  7. Please check this LINK for more details on ITR

  8. Very helpful guide

  9. This article is factually wrong. It appears its written witout actually talking to people who have done the exercise as per different options. Such wrong articles should be taken down from this website or reduces its value:

    E-filing can be done absolutely free, by downloading the relevant excel files provided on the website. It has autochecking and XML generation option right in inside it. The only cost required is that of obtaining a digital signature before hand and prior to efiling. People with salary and interest income only should consider doing on their own.Opening a efiling ID etc is free.
    Without digital signature also you can e-file. Only after filing take a print of the ITR V (link comes after successful efiling) and is also there in the link in your account’s space. It is also emailed to you (but usually there is a few days delay). Take print of this, physically sign it and POST vide speed or ordinary (no speed post) it to the CPC Bangalore address provided in the ITR V. Its been at least two years that ITR V (one page summary of return) with signature is NOT accepted by your local tax office. Read the income tax dept website it provides the full information.

    • Comment be read with following corrections:

      This article is factually wrong in critical parts. It appears its written witout actually talking to people who have done the exercise as per different options indicated therein or deliberately fudges. Such wrong articles should be taken down from this website or amended forthwith as otherwise reduces value of the site to the lay reader or is geared to lead people to use paid sites.
      E-filing can be done absolutely FREE, by downloading the relevant (depending on nature of income) excel files provided on the website. A version downloaded in earlier year, will not work in subsequent year. SO download afresh each year. There is usually a lag in putting up excel version of the files on site (initially pdf versions only are put up), so check back again say two months before due date.
      It has autochecking and XML generation option right in inside it. The XML file has to be uploaded after logging into the efiling site You should create your profile for e-filing first and then log in to upload. The only cost required, in this option, is that of obtaining a digital signature before hand and prior to efiling. People with salary and interest income only should certianly consider doing all this on their own. Others who are required to make balancesheet, P&L but not comfortable with them may require professional help to prepare them and insert in correct slots in excel file. Opening a efiling ID etc is free.
      WITHOUT DIGITAL SIGNATURE ALSO you CAN EFILE IT Return. Only after filing take a print of the ITR V (link comes after successful efiling) and is also there in the link in your account’s space. It is also emailed to you (but usually there is a few days delay). Take print of this, physically sign it and POST vide speed or ordinary (no registered post) within permitted time frame (if memory serves right within 60 days time) to the CPC Bangalore address provided in the ITR V thus generated. Its been at least two years that ITR V (which is the acknowledgement and is actually one page summary of return just filed) with signature is NOT / should not be accepted by your local tax office. Read the income tax dept website it provides the full information. After the ITRV is taken on record by CPC you will get an emailed acknowledgement and when processed there can be demand for further tax. Incidentally even the tax itself can be paid vide internet banking etc. Only if you use any of the commercial e-filing websites that various amounts for e-filing have to be paid to use their software and upload through them. Only close to due dates for filing return, there is problem logging in so complete the exercise before due date and register for e-filing etc even earlier. Even if you dont efile after creating profile you can at least monitor the TDS deductions from the links in your account.

      • Radhey Sharma says:

        Appreciate your detailed response. I don’t think I have written anywhere that you need to necessarily pay this amount always. I have used the terminology upto. Which means that you might or might not have to pay depending on the mechanism used.
        Happy to amend the article to make it more clearer. In fact, your detailed response could possibly be the subject of my next article and I will link that here so that readers are kept informed.
        Not sure why you have taken to such a strong protest…

  10. Thanks for the article Radhey.

    Quick question, if i did not for whatever reason submit my investment returns to my employer ( who handles our tax filing )in February, can i submit it before the july deadline and get a rebate ? how do i go about this /


    • Radhey Sharma says:

      @Manoj, If your employer cannot do it anymore, get hold of a tax consultant if you cannot do this yourself and provide him the investment proofs. The tax consultant will file the returns and eventually get the rebate for you.
      If you file online, refunds will be faster.
      If you take the tax consultant route, it could be delayed but your tax consultant could do it quicker as well.

  11. Rajeev lochan says:

    You can now submit the photocopies of your receipts directly to the income tax department alongwith your ITR and can claim for refund.


  12. Informative Article Radhey

    Wld like to add another point that from this year new Income Tax Forms have been introduced – Sahaj and Sugam.

    These have to be submitted in Color Print only. Even if the forms are photocopied, it should be colored copy

  13. mikeanar says:

    what is the benefit of filling online ITR, IF its printout has to be submitted in the income office.

  14. Vidya Sagar says:

    Can I file my IT returns in Hyderabad if I work and live in Bangalore?

  15. Priya Chavan says:

    Hi Radhey Sharma,

    A very informative article. The detailing has everything that one needs to know about tax-returns. You have a doubt and its all there! Thanks for helping us with the guidelines.
    Just a few days left, so I thought I should file my returns online.
    Have come across a lot of online tax-returns filing portal but I am keen of filing my returns through
    The main reason I would like to go for taxsum is because they have a detailed demo of what exactly has to be done online while filing your returns.
    Was wondering if you could help me and your readers by reviewing this portal for us.
    It will really be helpful.Thanks in advance.

  16. Samir Mankame says:

    Hi Mr R.Sharma

    I am really confused in respect of which ITR form to be used for filing IT return for the AssYr 2011-12. I am a salaried person and i have availed housing loan from Bank. The flat on which i have availed housing loan is used for self ( not let out). You have mentioned in ur earlier comment that ” If you have income from salary, income from house property (only one house), income from pension, interest and capital gains which are tax free, then you can use the ITR 1 form.” . But i have asked 2-3 persons and they have told me that “If u have housing loan then u have to use ITR2 form”

    So which form i should use for filing IT returns.

    Please guide.

  17. My PAN number jurisdiction is under Hyderabad Income Tax Office. I am currently living and working in Bangalore. Can i submit Paper returns in Bangalore? If yes, what should the Income Tax Ward/Circle that i should mention in the form? Should it be Hyderabad Circle (corresponding to my PAN jurisdiction) or Bangalore Circle(where i am currently living). Please clarify.

    • Radhey Sharma says:

      @Ramesh, I am sure you can file your returns in B’lore – I do not think you need to mention the ward circle under which your PAN jurisdiction falls in. You might want to check with your employer.

  18. Ashok sikdar says:

    My gross salary is Rs.586377/-,HRA Exemption is Rs.69795/- and deduction under section 80C is Rs.17040/-.After deducting HRA & 80C, My total income comes to Rs.499540/-. I want to know if I am exempted to file ITR under new rules which say that under 5 Lakhs income is exempted in filling ITR.

  19. Prasanna says:

    I have filed my return online,generated the xml file and got theITR V file also. The problem is I have some tax to be paid by me mentioned in the form. (I changed jobs during the financial year so)

    1.How can I pay this tax online
    2. Do I need to modify the ITR1 form again and upload xml file and generate and ITR V again and post it?

    Please help me with detailed procedure for revising the ITR1 frm itself if it is needed.


  20. When i Fill ITR1 form, there is one rupee difference. Tax return in form16 is zero, but when i fill ITR1 form , it is showing as 1. Is there any problem

  21. UDAY BHASKAR says:


  22. Naeem Kittur says:


    I have electronically filed my returns for the year 11-12 and all the tax has been deducted at source. But I have to pay some more taxes (switched jobs in the financial year). I would like to know what is the last date for paying such taxes online.


  23. Ramakrishnan says:

    I filed my IT return for AY 2011-12, electronically. Later on I found that I used wrong forat IT4 instead of ITR2. How this can be rectified ? Should I file a revised return? Pl clarify.

  24. Mohan Gupta says:

    I had already paid my taxes for the year 2010 – 2011. But now i have to file my IT returns. I think last date is July 2011. How to proceed to file my returns now? Is there any penality..

  25. Kindly confirm the implementation of new rules which says under 5lakhs income is exempted from filing ITR . I am 42 year woman

  26. umesh shukla says:

    Can I Filing The Income Tax Return For A.Y.2010-11.

  27. If my salary for month of Feb and March 2011 have been deposited in my account in the month of April and has deducted and submitted the tax also in the month of April 11, then will the ITR for the Salary of month of feb & march-11 will be filed in AY 11-12 or AY 2012-13. Please advise.

  28. Hello! Sir,

    I want to know u that What is better CA or CS. And Why Plz give me reason to me . I wait your response………..
    Thanks ! …………..

    Sunil Kumar
    Cont NO. 09259936180

    • @Sunil Kumar,
      For audit and for taxation matters CA will be more reliable.
      For company and for other general legislation like labour laws,etc. CS will be more knowledgeable.

      I am suggesting these in general terms.Reason is the relevant exposure to the specific areas while undergoing studies and the practical experience being gained while on the job.

  29. Hey Radhey any article on such topic for this year?

  30. @Sudip,

    What do you mean by “Company doesn’t pay income tax for the employees”. Is it that the company does not deduct taxes or it deducts taxes and does not pay it to the income tax authorities.
    I think that’s illegal to deduct tax and not pay to the authorities.


    • @Rakesh, Hey Rakesh just saw your message.

      Actually the company used to deduct the income tax from our salaries but didn’t submit them. So now they will refund the accumulated tax amount to us & we have decided to submit it ourselves. So want to know how to go about it.

      • @Sudip,

        I don’t think its right on your employer’s part to deduct taxes and not pay it to the IT authorities. Not only that the employer also earned additional interest on all the amount deducted throughout the year.
        A tax consultant would be in a better position to advise you.


        • Radhey Sharma says:

          @Rakesh, I would agree – go to a tax consultant.
          If you try to do it yourself, you might end up with an erroneous result and pay less/more to the govt.

      • @Sudip D,

        This will not be viable legally.Employer, in such cases will be in serious breach of law and you as the employees would end up paying heavy interest and penalty because of delayed payments.

        Generally if employer has deducted the tax and not paid it to the govt.
        it is his fault.You will be safe if you have managed to get the TDS certificate from him showing therein the tax amount he has deducted from your salary.If you do not have this certificate you will not manage to prove that the tax was deducted from your salary.

  31. Amit Surpuriya says:


    Mutual Fund | Infrastructure Bond | 54EC Capital Bond | E-Filing of Income Tax Returns | Tax Free Bonds | Company Fixed Deposits | Mediclaim

  32. Hello,
    I’m an Army Officer and due to exigencies of service could not file my ITR-1 for AY 2011-2012. However as i have already paid the taxes thru TDS and have no refunds. Now I have moved to Secunderabad and i have filled the ITR-1 form but just wanted to clarify where should i submit the ITR-1. My IT ward is @GHQ Pune. can i send it by post if yes where?

  33. KAK SHERWANI says:

    I have paid the Income Tax for the A.Y 2011-12 through SBI, Kurnool. The Bank has wrongly typed my PAN number but my name has been correctly typed. Hence the tax amount has not been credited in the Form 26AS of my account. The CPC has asked me to get it corrected and submit the same electronically as I have submitted the IT Returns Online. — But the Bank Manager of the SBI KURNOOL has replied in writing that the amount credited on wrongly typed PAN A/C can not be corrected now. It should have to be corrected with in 3 days to the payment of tax.
    I am unable to understand what to do and to whom shall i approach. I have paid the tax but is facing trouble due to the careless handling of the BANK.
    Can not the income Tax Department correct the mistake and recredit the amount in my account as I have already sent the “original” copy of the documents endorsed by the Bank Manager to the CPC Income Tax.

    Please Help me out.


      According to me tax consultant would be in a better position to advise you.

    • @KAK SHERWANI, You may try below options: –

      1) Give a written application to the IT department asking if they can correct this mistake. Try negotiating with public relations officer (PRO) of your area to have this rectified. But make sure you get their response in writing, will be helpful for you to fight your case.

      2) Escalate the matter in the bank. If branch manager is not willing to cooperate then write an application to the regional head. If you don’t get any response within 15 working days, approach bank ombudsman. They will surely help you. When you approach bank ombudsman make sure you have all the evidence in writing viz. application to branch manager, regional head, application to IT department etc.

      It is not going to be fast and easy but if you are patient enough it will get resolved. Rest you can always approach a tax lawyer to help you out. Good luck !

    • Radhey Sharma says:

      @KAK SHERWANI, I found go the banking ombudsman and first have the bank pay for their mistake of typing the PAN incorrectly.
      It is easier to deal with banks than with the IT department !

      • @Radhey Sharma, You are right Radhey, IT department is a big fish and difficult to deal with.
        I suggested this to be done in parallel and give it a shot, sometimes PROs are cooperative. Also, it can help in building the case with banking ombudsman.

        • @Vivek,

          They are all corrupt people. I still remember few years ago when i was late in filing returns and approached them, the officer there took a bribe of Rs.500 and stamped my papers with an old date.

          • @Rakesh, Well if something wrong is done, premium price has to be paid.

          • @Vivek,

            Agree but he should have told to pay the fine, instead he decided to warm his pockets. I liked the way he did. He asked me to meet him across the road and hand it an envelope and come back after 2 days to collect the receipt.

          • @Rakesh, hahaha .. very good technique. How smart these chaps are!

  34. SP JEELANI says:

    My I have paid the Income Tax for the A.Y 2011-12 through SBI, Kurnool. But the tax amount has been wrongly been credited in the (previous year’s) A.Y i.e 2010-11 by the SBI clerk. An endorsed letter has been given by the MANAGER, SBI , KURNOOL stating the same and has requested the IT authorities for correction. but the CPC is asking me to get the same corrected at the Bank and submit the corrected Returns electronically as I had submitted my IT returns electronically earlier.

    The Tax Amount Paid is reflected in Form 26AS in my PAN A/C of the previous AY 2010-11


    • @SP JEELANI,

      Please approach a tax consultant.

    • @SP JEELANI, Sir, you may try the above steps as suggested to Mr. Sherwani. May be the two of you can get together and make a strong case against the bank, you will have a better chance to fix your problem.
      Too many careless mistakes are not acceptable.

  35. SBI Kurnool seems to be having many issues here?

  36. @lsrikant says:

    Please confirm me that ITR 1, 2 etc will must be filled through a CA, ITP or a practitioner of income tax?

    • @lsrikant,

      You can file it through your CA or a tax consultant. I used to file it through my CA all these years, last year for the first time i filed it online.

  37. How many years Nil Return i can files..? suppose i today date 30.03.2012 i can i file return of a/c year 2008-09 ass.year 2009-10.

  38. I was filing my return on line. The tax payable as per form 16 is 216636. However in ITR 1, the tax payable is 216637. There is a 1 rupee difference. In one of your earlier responses, you have mentioned that we can ignore the difference. But in the ITR, if I select the Tax Status as “Nil Tax Balance”, the spreadsheet does not generate the XML. Should I select Tax Status as “Tax Payable” and pay the 1 rupee difference? Please advice. Thanks in advance.

  39. if we file itreturns for this yr 2011-2012 thro’ online. Can we able to file it thro’ any CA instead of online filing.As this time i have used website to file my itreturns.Can you please help me as i’m very new to this … PLease

    • TheWealthWisher says:

      Your CA will do it online for you. What is your exact question ? What help do you need please ?

  40. Mallikarjun says:

    Hello Sir,
    Please sugest me about IT return filing. My queries are:-
    * whether the person can show the nill return throw e-filing..? Is it acceptable in e-filing system..?
    *If he want to show the nill return, which form is applicable..?

  41. @Mallikarjun,

    By nill returns did you mean no tax deducted or no refund? If yes then you can file it. There are various forms for various sources of income. For eg. if its income from salary then you need to fill ITR 1. Please go through the below link for more information –

  42. Girish kk says:

    Iam a salaried person and My total income for the year 2011-12 is 4.5Lacs. Whether it is necessary to file a income tax return this year? i have heard that incomes less than 5 Lacs need not file return for this year. is it true?

  43. Ramanathan says:

    I am trying to file my e return and keep running into a problem. After downloading the form with the appropriate software for ITR 2,(from the IT dept website)

    when I fill up, I find that all automatic filling is done properly EXCEPT SALARY. When I fill it up with my salary in the form at Schedule S col 1,

    it is not carried forward to either Part B -T1 1. or to CYLA /BFLA. Hence the form is incomplete. What do I do? time is running out. I have done whatever is needed regarding security settings

    by adjusting it low. Validation indicates that the sheet is ok. Please advise quickly. I used MSOffice 2003.
    can someone help?

    • TheWealthWisher says:

      Sorry but I am not sure what the technical glitch could be. Did you get this through successfully ? What was the actual problem ?

  44. Could be some problem with macros, try using cleartrip, taxspanner to file returns.
    They are more easy and simple to file returns.

  45. I wish to file for AY 2011-12,AY 2012-2013. I need to file as NIL RETURN for both year, because of i got 120000 in AY2011-2012,and 180000 in AY2012-2013 as salary. May i file NIL RETURN using e-filing system without others(CA) help?

  46. Moumita says:

    Dear Sir,
    I want to work as a tax consultant. I want to know : can I e-file IT Return on behalf of my clients; if yes how to login & what r the documents required? plz explain the process in detail.

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