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Income Tax dept launches offline utility for ITR 1, 4

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The Income Tax Department has launched the offline utility for taxpayers filing ITR – 1 and 4 for 2020-21 fiscal year.

As per the online e-filing portal, “the user can now download and fill the offline utility for ITR 1 & 4 (AY 2021-22)” It also stated that the utility for other ITRs will be enabled shortly.

The offline utility is available on the e-filing portal and is based on new technology “JSON” (JavaScript Object Notation), which is a light weight format for storing data.

The offline utility can be downloaded on computers with operating system Windows 7 or later versions.

“This Offline Utility is enabled only for ITR-1 and ITR-4. Other ITRs will be added in the utility in subsequent releases,” the department said, while releasing the step-by-step guide for its filing.

ITR Form 1 (Sahaj) and ITR Form 4 (Sugam) are simpler forms that cater to a large number of small and medium taxpayers. Sahaj can be filed by an individual having income up to 50 lakh and who receives income from salary, one house property / other sources (interest etc).

ITR-4 can be filed by individuals, Hindu Undivided Families (HUFs) and firms with total income up to 50 lakh and having income from business and profession.

I-T return filers can import and pre-fill the data from e-filing portal and can also fill the remaining data. Since the facility to upload ITR at the e-filing portal is not yet enabled, filers can fill and save the offline utility.

“Once filing is enabled, you can upload the same at e-filing portal,” the I-T department added.

Through the offline utility, taxpayers shall have to download the pre-filled data from the income tax e-filing portal and import the same on the new utility, which enables users to edit and save returns, pre-filled data and profile data.

Nangia Andersen India Director Neha Malhotra told news agency PTI , the new utility is a user-friendly functionality for filing of returns and will afford greater ease to the taxpayers.

“The utility itself provides help in the form of FAQs, guidance notes, circulars and provisions of the law so as to enable hassle-free return filing. The government’s efforts, to build a favourable tax regime for taxpayers cannot be disregarded. Augmenting simplicity and removing impediments will go a long way in increasing compliance and facilitating good governance,” Malhotra added.

Last week, the I-T department had notified forms for filing tax returns for 2020-21.

Earlier, the income tax department notified tax forms ITR 1 to ITR 7 for assessment year 2021-22. Due to the pandemic, it did not introduce any significant changes in the forms. However, there are a few changes that you should be aware of in ITR 1 and 4. Officials have added two more conditions under which taxpayers can’t file these forms.

As per the newly notified forms, a person whose tax has been deferred in respect of ESOPs allotted by an eligible startup can’t file ITR 1 or 4. Now, the employee need not pay tax on exercising the option, i.e. when he/she converts the ESOPs into shares.

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