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An Income Tax Return (ITR) is a form used by individuals to file details about your salary and tax to the Department of Income Tax. A taxpayer's tax liability is calculated according to his or her earnings. Unless the return indicates that excess tax was charged during a year, then the taxpayer would be entitled to seek an income tax refund from the Department of Income Tax.

According to the income tax laws, the return must be filed by all persons and companies who receive income above a cutoff in a fiscal year. The revenue may be in the form of wages, salary, company earnings, household income or gained by dividends, capital gains, interest or other sources.

What is E-filing of income tax returns?

E-filing of returns or electronic filing of Income Tax returns was introduced in 2004. Initially, it was introduced on an optional basis for Corporate firms. Individuals used to manually file their returns at their nearest Income Tax offices. Last minute filing used to result in a huge rush in the last week of the deadline.

However, since 2012-13, e-filing has been made mandatory for all income tax payers. Taxpayers can conveniently calculate their tax liability, pay tax, claim refunds and file their Income Tax Returns from the comfort of their home. The Government e-filing website for Income Tax is very user friendly and self-explanatory.

Step-by-Step Guide to e-file Income Tax Returns

Step 1: Go to the Income Tax e-Filing portal,
Step 2: If this is your first time, you need to register on the portal using PAN number and other relevant details. Once you have registered, login to e-Filing portal by entering user ID (PAN), Password, Captcha code and click 'Login'.

Step 3: Click on the 'e-File' menu and click on the 'Income Tax Return' link.

Step 4: On the Income Tax Return Page, you will see the following fields:

  • PAN will be auto-populated
  • Select 'Assessment Year'
  • Select 'ITR Form Number'
  • Select 'Filing Type' as 'Original/Revised Return'
  • Select 'Submission Mode'. You can either select 'Prepare and Submit Online' or ‘Prepare XML Offline and submit’.

Step 5: Click on 'Continue'

Step 6: Read the Instructions carefully and fill all the applicable and mandatory fields of the Online ITR Form. The tabs that you need to fill are:

  • Income Sources
  • Deductions
  • Taxes Paid
  • Tax Filing

Note: To prevent data loss/rework due to session time out, periodically click on the 'Save File' button to save the ITR info entered as a draft. The saved draft will be available for 30 days from the saving date, or until the return date, or until no change is made to the notified ITR's XML schema (whichever is earlier).

Step 7: Choose the appropriate ‘Verification’ option in the 'Taxes Paid and Verification' tab.

You can choose any one of the following option to verify the Income Tax Return:

  • I would like to e-Verify
  • I would like to e-Verify later within 120 days from the date of filing.
  • I don't want to e-Verify and would like to send the signed ITR-V through normal or speed post to "Centralized Processing Center, Income Tax Department, Bengaluru - 560 500" within 120 days from date of filing.

Step 8: Click 'Preview and Submit' button, verify all the data entered in the ITR

Step 9: 'Submit' the ITR.

Step 10: On Choosing 'I would like to e-Verify' option, e-Verification can be done through any of the following methods by entering the EVC/OTP when asked for.

  • EVC generated through bank ATM or Generate EVC option under My Account
  • Aadhaar OTP
  • Pre-validated Bank Account
  • Pre-validated Demat Account
  • Digital Signature Certificate

If you choose either of the other two verification options, the ITR will be submitted but the process of filing the ITRs is not complete until it is verified. The submitted ITR should be e-Verified later by using 'My Account ⇒ e-Verify Return' option or the signed ITR-V should be sent to CPC, Bengaluru.

Step 11: The EVC/OTP should be entered within 60 seconds, or else the Income Tax Return (ITR) will be auto-submitted. The submitted ITR should be verified later by using 'My Account ⇒ e-Verify Return' option or by sending the signed ITR-V to the CPC.

Understanding the Various ITR-Forms

The Income Tax Department's official web site lists many forms that allows taxpayers to fill out based on their income. Although some of these forms are simple to fill in, some include additional reporting such as the statements of income and loss. The below list gives the name of the ITR form and their applicability:

  • ITR-1: Sahaj or ITR-1 shall be used by resident Indians / individuals (not ordinarily residents) with total income of up to Rs.50 lakhs, income from wages, one housing property, other sources (Interest etc.), and agricultural income of up to Rs.5 thousand.
  • ITR-2: Individuals and HUFs who do not have income from sales and profits of industry or occupation will file this form.
  • ITR-3: This form refers to individuals and HUFs with income and company or occupational benefits.
  • ITR-4 Sugam: If your company is earning presumptive profits, you need to fill out this form. This form is to be submitted by persons, HUFs and companies (other than LLP) who are residents with total income up to Rs.50 lakhs and with company and occupation income measured under sections 44AD, 44ADA or 44AE.
  • ITR-5: A person being a Company, LLP, AOP, BOI, Artificial Juridical person referred to in section 2(31)(vii), cooperative society and local authority may use this form. A person who is required to file income returns under section 139(4A) or 139(4B) or 139(4C) or 139(4D) shall not use this form (i.e., trusts, political parties, organisations, colleges)
  • ITR-6: It applies to a company other than a company claiming an exemption under section 11 (exemption may be claimed by charitable / religious trust under section 11).
  • ITR-7: This applies to persons including companies that are required to make a return under section 139(4A) or section 139(4B) or section 139(4C) or section 139(4D) (i.e. trusts, political parties, institutions, colleges).
  • ITR-V: It is the acknowledgment of filing income returns.

FAQs on E-Filing of Income Tax Returns

1. Is it necessary to file the return of income when I do not have any positive income?

When you have suffered a loss in the financial year that you are planning to carry forward to the next year for adjustment against positive profits from subsequent years, you should make a claim for loss by filing your return before the due date.

2. Is it necessary to ‘Register’ on the e-filing website to file my income tax returns?

The individual cannot e-File the Income Tax Return without registration. Additional facilities, such as displaying 26AS form, Income Tax Return status, File Rectification, Refund Request for Reissue, etc., cannot be used as well. You only need to register once to use all these facilities.

3. Should Registration be made in the name of the Company or can a Director register in his/her name and file the Income Tax Return of the company from his/her User ID?

No. A company's PAN must be registered for uploading the company's Income Tax Return in e-Filing. The same applies to corporations, AOP, BOI, Local Authority, Trust, Juridical Artificial Individuals and Government.

4. Can a legal heir e-File the Income Tax Return of the deceased assessee?

Yes, a legal heir can file the deceased's income tax return and access the deceased's e-Filed returns / forms.

5. How can a taxpayer find the code of his/her Assessing Officer (AO)?

The option to find your A.O (Assessing Officer) is available in e-Filing home page under Quick Links ⇒ 'Know your A.O.'

End Note

E-filing of income tax returns is a convenient hassle-free process. The e-filing website is very user friendly and if you have all the information ready, your e-filing will be completed in less than 30 minutes.

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How To E File Income Tax Returns - Customer Reviews

0 / 5 (1 Reviews)
16 Feb 2021

Good website - easy to use,

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