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Home > Income Tax > Help Center > New Data Format Last Updated: Apr 22nd 2023

JSON: The New Income Tax Returns Data Format

Income Tax Department (ITD) made technological changes in data sharing formats by switching from XML to JSON, which is possibly affecting almost all the taxpayers in India from FY 2020-21 (AY 2021-22)

New JSON format from Income Tax Department

This document covers

  1. Background
  2. What is XML File?
  3. What is JSON?
  4. How it is going to effect the Taxpayer?

1. Background

Income Tax Department Releases Income Tax Return Utilities every year to enable the taxpayers to file their tax returns. Once the Taxpayer prepares the return, the data will get saved in a form called “XML”. The Taxpayer will upload the same “XML” in Income Tax e filing website.

The Taxpayer can use with Income Tax Department utilities or ERI such as EZTax to file their Tax returns. Income Tax Utilities or EZTax will use a specific format to transmit the data entered by taxpayer to Income Tax Department. Till now, XML is used as specific format for transmission of data.

2. What is XML File?

XML means ‘Extensible Markup Language’. XML is a markup language that defines a set of rules for encoding documents in a format that is both human-readable and machine- readable form. The Income Tax Department is using the XML format for so many years till AY 2020-21.

Due to certain disadvantages with XML file, Income Tax Department introduced the new data excel format called "JSON".

3. What is JSON?

JSON means ‘JavaScript Object Notation’. JSON is an open standard file format, and a data interchange format, that uses human-readable text to store and transmit data objects consisting of attribute–value pairs and array data types (or any other serializable value).

In Simple Words, JSON formats uses data wrapped in curly brackets i.e., "{" along with the name of the data.

This new JSON format is going to be effective from AY 2021-22 which is starting from April 2021. Both Income Tax Department and are using the JSON object starting from April 2021 (AY 2021-22).

4. How it is going to effect the Taxpayer?

The taxpayers who are using need not concern about the XML or JSON file as the taxpayers can directly eFile the returns without downloading JSON or XML.

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