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Business Income Tax Return (ITR) Filing

Business Income tax return filing

Business Income Tax Return (ITR) Filing

Every year, businesses in India must declare their income to the Income Tax Department through Business Income Tax Return (ITR) filingThis involves electronically submitting the appropriate ITR form on the income tax e-filing portal. The required form and documents depend on your business structure and tax situation. Filing accurately and on time (typically by September 30th) ensures compliance and avoids penalties. This article gives detailed information regarding business income tax (ITR) filing, appropriate forms, documents, procedures and due dates. 

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What is Business Income tax return filing?

Business Income Tax Return (ITR) filing in India is the annual process where businesses declare their income earned during a financial year to the Income Tax Department. This typically involves electronically filing the appropriate ITR form (like ITR-3 for companies or ITR-4 for presumptive scheme businesses) on the government portal. The required form and documents depend on your business structure and tax situation. Filing accurately and adhering to deadlines (usually September 30th) ensures compliance and avoids penalties.

Who needs to file a business income tax return?

In India, most businesses must engage in business tax filing annually. Here’s a breakdown of who needs to file based on business structure, criteria, and appropriate business ITR forms.

  • Sole Proprietorship: All sole proprietors must file an ITR if their total income exceeds Rs. 2.5 lakhs. The income threshold varies depending on the age:
    • Below 60 years old: Rs. 2.5 lakhs
    • Between 60 and 80 years old: Rs. 3 lakhs
    • Above 80 years old: Rs. 5 lakhs (ITR filing will be exempted if below Rs. 5 lakhs)
  • Partnership Firm: All partnership firms must file an ITR, regardless of profit or loss.
  • Limited Liability Partnership (LLP): All LLPs must file an ITR, even if they report a loss.
  • Companies: All Private Limited and one-person companies (OPCs) must file an ITR.

Proprietorships and businesses requiring audited accounts should use ITR-3, while those opting for the presumptive taxation scheme under a certain turnover limit can file ITR-4 (Sugam).

Learn more: Which ITR should a company file?

Applicable ITR form for different types of Business

You need to use the ITR form based on your business structure. Here’s the table captures the applicable ITR form for different types of businesses,

Applicable ITR Form Business Type Description
ITR-3 Individuals/HUFs (Business/Profession Income) For individuals and Hindu Undivided Families (HUFs) with income from business or profession (requires maintaining books of accounts or audit).
ITR-4 (Sugam) Individuals/HUFs/Firms (Business under Sec 44AD/44ADA/44AE) For residents with income up to ₹50 lakhs from business or profession computed under sections 44AD, 44ADA, or 44AE (presumptive taxation scheme).**
ITR-5 LLPs/Partnerships For Limited Liability Partnerships (LLPs) and Partnerships (except those filing ITR-7).
ITR-6 Companies (Except Sec 11 Exemption) For companies other than those claiming exemption under section 11 (e.g., public charitable trusts).
ITR-7 Companies under sections 139(4A) or 139(4B) or 139(4C) or 139(4D) only For person and companies required to file returns under sections 139(4A) or 139(4B) or 139(4C) or 139(4D) only

Documents required for filing ITR for business

These are the documents generally the business is required to have when filing an ITR,

  • PAN Card: This is essential for identification purposes.
  • Aadhaar Card: Aadhaar is mandatory for filing ITRs for most businesses.
  • Profit and Loss (P&L) Statement: This document summarises your business’s income and expenses over the financial year.
  • Balance Sheet: This shows your business’s financial position at the end of the financial year, including assets, liabilities, and capital.
  • Bank Statements: You will need these to reconcile your income and expenses and ensure all transactions are accounted for.
  • GST Registration Number (if applicable): If your business is registered under GST, you’ll need your GST number.
  • Tax Deducted at Source (TDS) Certificates: If you have deducted TDS from payments made to others, you’ll need the TDS certificates.
  • Loan Documents (for claiming interest rebates): If you’ve taken out business loans, you may need documents to claim interest rebates.
  • Challans of Income Tax Payments: Keep copies of any challans showing advance tax or self-assessment tax payments made.
  • Records of Fixed Assets: If you’ve added or sold fixed assets during the year, you’ll need records of these transactions.

How to File ITR for Businesses?

Here’s the general procedure common to all types of business tax filing,

  1. Gather Documents: Collect the documents mentioned previously, including financial statements, bank statements, tax challans, and any relevant business registration details.
  2. Choose the ITR Form: The specific Income Tax Return (ITR) form you need depends on your business structure (proprietorship, partnership, company, etc.). Choosing the right ITR form depends on your business type and income. ITR-4 is for businesses (except LLPs) with income under Rs. 50 lakhs calculated under specific sections. ITR-5 is for LLPs and partnerships, while ITR-6 is for companies except those exempt under Section 11. Finally, ITR-7 is specific to companies mandated to file under sections 139(4A) to 139(4D).
  3. Prepare the ITR Form: Carefully fill out the chosen ITR form, accurately reflecting your business income, expenses, deductions, and tax liabilities. Utilize your financial statements and supporting documents for accurate reporting.
  4. E-filing is PreferredThe Income Tax Department encourages electronic filing (e-filing) of ITRs. You can e-file your ITR through the official department website or authorized e-filing portals.
  5. Verification and Submission: Once you’ve completed the ITR form, digitally verify it using your Aadhaar or other authorized methods. Finally, submit the verified ITR electronically through the chosen platform.
  6. Payment of Tax Dues: Before submitting your ITR, ensure you’ve paid any outstanding advance tax or self-assessment tax. Keep copies of challans as proof of payment.

Also read: 10 Benefits of Filing Income tax return (ITR)

Due Dates for Business Income tax return (ITR) filing

Due dates for business tax filings in India vary depending on the ITR form used. For most businesses, ITR-1 (SAHAJ) and ITR-4 (SUGAM) offer a July 31, 2024 deadline (AY 2024-25). However, businesses audited or with income requiring ITR-3 have an extended deadline of October 31, 2024. Currently, ITR-1, ITR-2, ITR-4, and ITR-6 are activated, which can be accessed on the income tax e-filing website.

Know about the Pay later option for income tax return filing

Penalty for late filing business tax return

Corporate tax filing muson time is crucial to avoid penalties and ensure you can take advantage of all tax benefits. Here’s what you need to be aware of if you miss the deadline:

  • Interest: As per Section 234A, a penalty interest of 1% per month (or part month) will be charged on any outstanding tax amount from the due date until the payment is madeThis can quickly add up, so timely filing is important.
  • Late Filing Fee: Section 234F imposes a late filing fee of Rs. 5,000 if you miss the deadline. However, there’s some relief for smaller businesses. If your total income is below Rs. 5 lakh, the late fee is reduced to Rs. 1,000.
  • Loss Carry Forward: Missed deadlines can impact your ability to offset future tax liabilities. Businesses often incur losses, especially in initial years. These losses can be “carried forward” and used to reduce taxable income in subsequent years. However, this benefit is forfeited if you fail to file your return on time.
  • Belated Returns: If you miss the deadline, you can still file a “belated return” by December 31st of the assessment year (subject to any government extensions). However, you will still be subject to late filing fees and interest charges. Additionally, you cannot carry forward any business losses for future tax adjustments.

Tips for Filing Taxes for Businesses

Filing business taxes can feel overwhelming, but it can be a smooth process with the right strategies. Here are five key tips to ensure efficient and accurate corporate tax filing:

  • Maintain meticulous records: Organize your business income and expenses meticulously throughout the year. Keep receipts, invoices, and bank statements readily available. This ensures you have all the necessary documentation to support your tax deductions and calculations.
  • Understand your business structure: How your business is structured (sole proprietorship, LLC, S corporation, etc.) determines how you file your taxes. Knowing your structure helps you identify the appropriate tax forms and filing deadlines.
  • Separate business from personal finances: Mixing personal and business expenses can lead to complications during tax filing. Dedicate separate bank accounts and credit cards for business transactions. This simplifies record-keeping and avoids confusion.
  • Embrace tax-deductible expenses: Many business-related costs can be deducted from your taxable income. Familiarize yourself with allowable deductions, such as office supplies, travel expenses, and marketing costs. Maximize these deductions to reduce your overall tax burden.
  • Consider professional help: If navigating tax complexities seems complex, consider consulting an IndiaFilings tax professional. They can guide your business and ensure you take advantage of all applicable tax benefits.


In conclusion, understanding Business Income Tax Return (ITR) filing in India is essential for businesses to ensure compliance and avoid penalties. This article has covered everything you need to know, from who must file and the different ITR forms to the documents required and the filing process. Remember, business ITR filing on time is crucial.

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