How to File ITR-1: A Step-by-Step Guide

How to file ITR-1 can often seem like a daunting task, especially if you are doing it for the first time. However, with the right guidance, the process can be straightforward and hassle-free. In this blog post, we will walk you through the steps to file ITR-1, also known as Sahaj, which is the form used by salaried individuals, pensioners, and others who earn up to ₹50 lakhs per year. By following our step-by-step guide, you can ensure that your tax return is filed correctly and on time, avoiding any potential issues with the tax authorities. Let's get started on making your tax filing experience smooth and stress-free.

How to File ITR-1 A Step-by-Step Guide
How to File ITR-1 A Step-by-Step Guide

What is ITR-1?

ITR-1, also known as Sahaj, is an income tax return form in India used by individual taxpayers who have income from salaries, one house property, other sources (such as interest), and agricultural income up to Rs. 5,000. It is the simplest form for individuals who do not have business income, capital gains, or foreign assets.

History of Income Tax in India

The income tax system in India has evolved since its inception in the colonial era. The modern Income Tax Act came into effect in 1961, replacing the earlier Income Tax Act of 1922. Over the years, numerous amendments have been made to simplify the process and ensure tax compliance.

Importance of Filing Tax Returns

Filing tax returns is essential for every eligible taxpayer to comply with legal obligations, claim tax refunds, and maintain a record for financial transactions. It also helps in availing of loans and visas, as a filed return serves as proof of income.

Who can file ITR-1?

Eligibility criteria for filing ITR-1

  • Individuals who are residents of India and have income from the following sources can file ITR-1:
  • Salary or pension
  • One house property (excluding cases where loss is brought forward from previous years)
  • Other sources (excluding winning from lottery and racehorses)
  • Agricultural income up to Rs. 5,000

Who is exempt?

Individuals with income from more complex sources such as business or professional income, capital gains, or foreign income/assets must file other relevant ITR forms. Non-residents and those with agricultural income exceeding Rs. 5,000 also cannot use ITR-1.

Necessary Documents

Personal identification documents

  • PAN Card
  • Aadhaar Card
  • Bank account details (including IFSC code)

Financial documents

  • Form 16 (provided by the employer)
  • Salary slips
  • Interest certificates from banks and post office
  • Form 26AS (tax credit statement)

 Other relevant documents

  • Proof of deductions (such as investments under Section 80C, 80D, etc.)
  • Home loan interest certificate
  • Rental agreement (if applicable)
  • Medical expenditure receipts (if applicable)

Steps to File ITR-1

Preparation of documents

Collect all necessary documents, including your PAN, Aadhaar, bank details, Form 16, interest certificates, and proof of deductions. Ensure all information is accurate and complete.

Accessing the e-Filing portal

Log in to the Income Tax Department’s e-Filing portal using your user ID (PAN), password, and Captcha code. If you are a new user, you will need to register first.

Filling out the form

Navigate to the ‘File Income Tax Return’ section, select the assessment year, and choose ITR-1. Enter the required details such as personal information, income details, and deductions accurately.

Verifying the information

Review all the information entered to ensure it matches your documents. Correct any discrepancies before proceeding.

Submitting the return

After verifying the details, submit the ITR-1 form electronically. You will receive an acknowledgment receipt (ITR-V), which you should download and keep for your records.

Electronic Filing of ITR-1

Advantages of electronic filing

E-filing is faster, more convenient, and reduces the chances of errors. It allows for quicker processing and refunds, and you can file from the comfort of your home.

Step-by-step guide

1. Log in to the e-Filing portal.

2. Select ‘File Income Tax Return’.

3. Choose the assessment year and ITR-1.

4. Fill in the required details.

5. Verify the information.

6. Submit the return and download the acknowledgment receipt (ITR-V).

Common questions about electronic filing

How long does the process take?

Filing electronically can be completed within a few hours if all documents are ready.

Is it secure?  

Yes, the e-Filing portal is secure and uses encryption to protect your data.

Common Mistakes when Filing ITR-1

Incorrect data entry

Entering incorrect data, such as wrong income figures or personal details, can lead to discrepancies and delays in processing.

Missing documents

Failing to provide necessary documents can result in an incomplete return, leading to further inquiries from the tax department.

Late filing

Filing after the deadline can attract penalties and interest charges.

Penalties for Non-compliance

Penalties for late filing

Filing late can result in a penalty of up to Rs. 10,000, depending on the delay. Additionally, interest on the tax due can accumulate.

Penalties for incorrect information

Providing incorrect information can attract penalties ranging from 50% to 200% of the tax amount evaded.

 How to avoid penalties?

Ensure timely filing, double-check all data, and provide accurate and complete information to avoid penalties.

Tips for Successful Filing of ITR-1

 Timely filing

File your return well before the deadline to avoid last-minute stress and potential penalties.

 Accurate form completion

Carefully fill out the form and cross-check all entries against your financial documents.

 Consulting a tax advisor

If you are unsure about any part of the process, consulting a tax advisor can help you file correctly and maximize your eligible deductions.


Q1. What are the deadlines for filing ITR-1?

Ans: The deadline for filing ITR-1 is usually July 31st of the assessment year, but this date can be extended by the government. Check the latest notifications for any extensions.

Q2. Can I revise my return after submission?

Ans: Yes, you can revise your return if you discover any mistakes after submission. The revised return must be filed within the assessment year or before the completion of the assessment, whichever is earlier.

Q3. What if I miss the filing deadline?

Ans: If you miss the deadline, file the return as soon as possible. Late returns can be filed until the end of the assessment year, but you may incur penalties and interest. 

Q4. What income is exempt from tax?

Ans: Certain incomes are exempt from tax, such as agricultural income (up to Rs. 5,000 for ITR-1), certain allowances, and specified government pensions. Refer to the Income Tax Act for detailed exemptions.

Q5. How can I claim a tax refund?

Ans: To claim a tax refund, ensure you file your ITR-1 accurately, including all TDS details. If the tax paid exceeds the tax liability, the excess amount will be refunded to your bank account.

Q6.What should I do if I receive a tax notice?

Ans: If you receive a tax notice, do not panic. Review the notice carefully, understand the reason, and respond within the specified time. You may seek professional help if needed.

Q7. Is filing ITR-1 mandatory for pensioners?

Ans: Yes, if the pension amount exceeds the basic exemption limit, pensioners must file ITR-1. Pension is considered as salary income for tax purposes.

Q8. Can I file ITR-1 if I have rental income?

Ans: You can file ITR-1 if you have rental income from one house property. However, if there is a loss carried forward from the previous year, you need to file ITR-2.

Q9. How do I e-verify my ITR-1?

Ans: After submitting your ITR-1, you need to e-verify it. You can do this using Aadhaar OTP, net banking, bank account number, Demat account number, or by sending a signed physical copy of ITR-V to the CPC, Bengaluru.

Q10. Can I file ITR-1 offline?

Ans: ITR-1 can also be filed offline by submitting a paper return. However, this option is generally available to super senior citizens (aged 80 years and

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