ITR-3 vs ITR-4: Difference And Who Can File?

Updated on: May 24th, 2024

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17 min read

Filing an income tax return creates a sense of anxiety amongst the taxpayers since there is a lot of hustle and bustle in choosing the right ITR form, disclosing the income under the correct head, claiming exemptions to save tax, etc. There are currently 7 ITR forms available for various taxpayer categories. This article provides a comprehensive understanding of the eligibility for ITR-3 and ITR-4 (Sugam).

ITR-3

Eligibility Criteria For Filing ITR-3

Individuals and Hindu Undivided Family(HUFs) are eligible to file ITR-3 if they have income from business or profession. Applicability for ITR-3 filing: 

  • Income from business or profession (both tax audit and non-tax audit cases)
  • Salary income
  • Rental income from house property 
  • Short or long-term capital gains
  • Interest, dividends, winning from the lottery and any income from other sources.
  • Income (interest and remuneration) as a partner in a firm 

Who Is Not Eligible To File ITR-3 Form?

  • Individuals and HUFs without income from a business, profession, or partnership firm are not eligible to file the ITR-3 Form. 
  • Companies, charitable and religious trusts, limited liability partnerships (LLP), firms, local authorities, bodies of individuals and associations of persons.
  • The person for whom tax audit is applicable
    • Turnover greater than 2 cr. in the case of traders and manufacturers as per section 44AD
    • Gross receipt of more than Rs. 75 lakhs in case of a specified person as per section 44ADA

Due Date For Filing ITR-3  (For Assessment Year 2024-25)

Category of taxpayer

Due date of ITR

If tax audit is not applicable

31 July, 2024

  • If tax audit is applicable
  • Partner of a firm where firm is required to get its books of accounts audited

31 October 2024

ITR-4 or Sugam

Who Can File ITR-4?

Resident Individuals, HUFs and partnership firms are eligible to use ITR-4 if they satisfy a few conditions. Below are the conditions for applicability for ITR-4 filing:

  • Total income is up to Rs. 50 lakhs
  • Business or professional income is computed on a presumptive basis under Section 44AD, 44ADA or 44AE.
  • Income from Salary/pension
  • Rental Income from one house property, 
  • Agricultural income (up to Rs. 5,000)
  • Income from other sources such as interest, dividends, family pension, etc.

Who Cannot File ITR-4?

  • Non-residents or Resident but not ordinarily resident (RNOR)
  • Should not have income from lottery or owning and maintaining race horses
  • A person is a director in any company
  • Individuals have held unlisted equity shares at any time during the year
  • Income exceeding Rs. 50 lakhs 
  • Who has an agricultural income of more than ₹5,000
  • has income from more than one House Property;
  • Income taxable under Section 115BBDA (Dividend from the domestic company in excess of Rs. 10 lakhs) or Section 115BBE (tax on undisclosed income and investments)
  • Taxpayers whose income tax is deferred on ESOPs
  • Foreign Income and Assets
  • Claiming relief u/s 90 or DTAAs

Freelancers such as bloggers, content writers, digital marketers, etc., can also file ITR-4. The due date for filing ITR-4 for Assessment Year 2024-25 is 31 July 2024.

Presumptive Taxation

1. Section 44AD

Small business owners whose turnover does not exceed Rs. 2 crore can opt to pay tax under a presumptive scheme. Under Section 44AD, taxpayers can declare 8% or 6% (in case of online transactions) of the turnover as income and are not required to maintain books of accounts. This is applicable only to Traders and manufacturers, not applicable to service professionals.

2. Section 44ADA

Professionals whose receipts in a year are up to Rs. 50 lakhs (Rs 75 lakhs from FY 2023-24 onwards, where receipt is via digital mode) can declare 50% of such receipts as income. Tax will be calculated on such declared income. Professions who can avail presumptive scheme under section 44ADA are:

  • Architecture
  • Accounting
  • Engineering
  • Legal
  • Architect
  • Medical
  • Interior decoration
  • Technical consultancy
  • Film artists include actors, directors, producers, cameramen, singers, lyricists, costume designers, story writers, dialogue writers, editors, etc.
  • Authorised Representative- This does not include a person who is carrying on an accountancy or legal profession or is an employee of the person represented. 
  • Company Secretary
  • Information Technology

3. Section 44AE

A taxpayer engaged in the business of plying, hiring or leasing goods carriages can opt for 44AE if he does not own more than 10 goods carriages at any time during the year. 

ITR-3 and ITR-4 Difference

Particulars

ITR-3

ITR-4

Eligibility

Individuals and HUFs whose total income includes income from business or profession

Resident individuals, HUFs or partnership firms who have opted for presumptive taxation scheme under Section 44AD, 44ADA or 44AE and income is up to Rs. 50 lakhs

Number of house properties

Income can be from any number of house properties

Income should be from one house property only

Due date of filing

The due date for filing ITR-3 for non-audit taxpayers is 31 July. The due date for audit cases is 31 October.

The due date for filing ITR-4 is 31st July. Since the audit is not applicable to presumptive taxation scheme

Examples

Case 1: Atul runs a cloth retail shop and has opted for the presumptive income scheme.

Atul can choose to file ITR-3 or ITR-4 (provided is gross turnover is less than Rs 2 crore).

Case 2: Neha is an interior decorator and wants to know which ITR form should she file?

As a professional, as long as her gross receipts from her profession do not exceed Rs.75 lakh, she can opt for presumptive scheme of tax and file her return with the ITR-4 Form.

Case 3: Deepika had opted for presumptive income for FY 2022-23. She runs a wholesale business, and her turnover for FY 2023-24 was Rs 2.20 crores.

Since Deepika’s turnover exceeds Rs 2 crore for the financial year 2023-24. Hence she has to file ITR-3 as ITR-4 is not applicable in cases where turnover exceeds Rs 2 crore.

Case 4: Rahul is an insurance agent whose income was Rs 18 lakhs in the financial year 2023-24. He wants to file an ITR-4.

Those running insurance commission businesses cannot file ITR-4. Therefore Rahul has to file ITR -3 for the financial year 2023-24.

Case 5: Shashank is a practising heart specialist. His turnover for the financial year 2023-24 is Rs 85 lakhs. Shashank wants to file an ITR-4.

Shashank has his own practice and continues in the profession. Hence, he can file ITR-4 only if his annual receipts are less than Rs.75 lakhs. If his income is more than Rs.75 lakhs, he has to file ITR-3.  

Case 6: Prashant has two businesses. He has a manufacturing business with a turnover of Rs 2.4 crores and another business of truck hiring and leasing, which is eligible for presumptive income as per section 44 AD and AE. Prashant wants to know which ITR to file.

Even though Prashant runs a business which is eligible under section 44AE, he shall have to file ITR-3 since his business income from manufacturing exceeds Rs 2 Cr. for which a tax audit will be application. Return of income must include income from all sources and given Prashant’s first business, ITR-3 shall be applicable for filing his consolidated income details.

Case 7: Ashish is in the business of plying, hiring, or leasing goods carriage. In the financial year 2023-24, he owned 13 lorries.

The presumptive method of taxation under section 44AE applies only in cases where not more than 10 trucks are owned. Therefore, Since Ashish owns more than 10 trucks, he has to file ITR-3.

Case 8: Vijay is in the business of plying, hiring, and leasing goods carriages and owns 5 goods carriage during the year but Vijay chooses not to opt for the 44AE scheme and want to declare income lower than the income estimated under section 44AE.

Vijay can declare income lower than what is calculated under section 44AE however, he shall have to maintain books of accounts as prescribed and will have to file ITR-3 for his income.

all names are fictitious and used only for the purpose of illustration.
Related Articles
1. Which ITR Should I File
2. How to file ITR Online
3. What is ITR 2 Form & How to File ITR-2
4. How to File ITR-2 for Income from Capital Gains FY 2022-23
5. ITR 1 vs ITR 4
6. What is ITR 3 Form & How to File ITR-3
7. How to File and Download ITR-7 Form
8. What is ITR-5 Form, Structure & How to File ITR 5
9. ITR 6
10. Due date for ITR Filing 

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I file ITR-4 instead of ITR-3?

Taxpayers who have opted for presumptive taxation under Section 44AD, 44ADA or 44AE are required to file ITR-4. ITR-3 can be filed even by the individual who are eligible to file under ITR-4.

Is ITR-3 for salaried employees?

Salaried employees can file ITR-3 if they have income from business or profession in addition to the salary income. However, in case an employee only earns salary he can file ITR-1 (Sahaj).

Who cannot use ITR-3?

ITR-3 cannot be used by 

  • Companies, charitable and religious trusts, limited liability partnerships (LLP), firms, local authorities, bodies of individuals and associations of persons 
  • The person for whom tax audit is applicable
    • Turnover greater than 2 cr. in the case of traders and manufacturers as per section 44AD
    • Gross receipt of more than Rs. 75 lakhs in case of a specified person as per section 44ADA
Can I file ITR-3 myself?

Yes, ITR-3 can be filed by the taxpayer himself as it does not require any authentication from the Chartered Accountant or any official. It just needs to be verified and authenticated by the taxpayer while filing.

Does ITR-4 have capital gain?

No, ITR-4 does not have the option for capital gains. If any person has capital gains, ITR-2 or ITR-3 can be filed in case of individuals and HUF.
 

Is ITR 3 or ITR 4 for freelancers?

Under presumptive taxation scheme, freelancers can file ITR-4 form.

Can ITR 3 be filed without balance sheet?

If you have a business income, you have to file your income with balance sheet, trading account, profit and loss account, depreciation, deduction under chapter VI -A.

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Quick Summary

Filing income tax return induces anxiety among taxpayers due to form selection, income disclosure, and exemptions. The article explains ITR-3 and ITR-4. ITR-3 for business or profession income; eligibility criteria and due dates outlined. ITR-4 for small-scale businesses and professionals; eligibility conditions and due date noted. Presumptive taxation schemes under sections 44AD, 44ADA, and 44AE discussed.

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