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E-Filing of Income Tax Returns

According to Section 139 (1) of the Income Tax Act, 1961 of India, individuals whose total income during the previous year is more than the maximum amount not chargeable to tax, should file their ITR or income tax returns. When such individuals file their income tax returns online, the process is known as e-filing. As a taxpayer, you can seek professional help or file your returns yourself by simply registering on the income tax department website or other relevant websites. While every year the due date for filing tax returns is July 31st, the government may offer a grace period of 15-30 days to file the returns online or physically.

Types of e-filing

Here are the different ways in which you can e-file your income tax returns:

  • You can use a Digital Signature Certificate or DSC to e-file your tax returns. It has been made mandatory to file IT forms using Digital Signature Certificate (DSC) by a chartered accountant.

  • In case you want to e-file your tax returns without DSC, an ITR V form is generated which should then be printed, duly signed and submitted to CPC, Bangalore. This document must be sent by ordinary post or speed post within 120 days from the date of e-filing.

  • As a taxpayer, you can also e-file IT returns through an E-return Intermediary (ERI), with or without DSC.

Parties who file income tax

Filing tax returns online is a simple and process and can be done by most assessees.

  • Assessee with a cumulative income of Rs. 5 Lakhs and above.

  • Individual/HUF resident with assets located outside India.

  • An assessee as to provide returns under section 139 (4B) (ITR 7).

  • Assessee needs to provide a notice under Section 11(2) (a) to the assessing officer

  • An assessee required to furnish a report of audit specified under sections 10(23C) (IV), 10(23C) (v), 10(23C) (VI), 10(23C) (via), 10A, 12A (1) (b), 44AB, 80IA, 80IB, 80IC, 80ID, 80JJAA, 80LA, 92E or 115JB of the Act.

  • A firm that does not fall under the provisions of section 44AB), AOP, BOI, Local Authority (ITR 5), Artificial Juridical Person or Cooperative Society.

  • A person who claims relief under sections 90 or 90A or deductions under section 91.

  • A person who is a resident and has the signing authority in any account, which is located outside India.

  • All companies.

Checklist for e-filing income tax returns

  • When filing income tax returns online, you might get confused while deciding which form to submit. Hence, the various categories of Income Tax Return forms and their relevance for parties have been tabulated below.
ITR 1 (Sahaj)Individuals with income from salary and interest
ITR 2Individuals with Hindu Undivided Families not having income from business or profession
ITR 3Individuals/HUFs being partners in firms and not carrying out business or profession under any proprietorship
ITR 4Individuals and HUFs having income from a proprietary business or profession
ITR 4S (Sugam)Individuals/HUF having income from presumptive business
ITR 5Firms, AOPs, BOIs and LLP
ITR 6Companies other than companies claiming exemption under section 11
ITR 7Individuals including companies required to furnish return under section 139(4A) or section 139(4B) or section 139(4C) or section 139(4D)

Source: www.incometaxindiaefiling.gov.in

  • Check your tax credit - Form 26AS vs. Form 16 : It is imperative that you check Form 26AS before you file your returns. This form provides an insight into the amount of tax deducted from your salary and deposited by your employer to the IT department. It is always wise to make sure that the tax deducted from your income as per your Form 16 matches with the amount mentioned in Form 26AS. If you file your returns without rectifying your errors, you are liable to get a notice from the IT department.

  • Claim 80G, savings certificates and other deductions : You can claim your deductions under section 80G on donations made to charitable institutions, relief funds. It is important to note that all donations are not eligible, donations into prescribed funds only become eligible. Another point to note is that contributions made upto Rs. 10,000 in cash are eligible for claiming deductions. If one wants to make a higher donation, it has to be made through cheque or demand draft.

  • Interest statement - Interest on savings accounts and fixed deposits : On interest earned on savings accounts, a deduction for up to Rs. 10,000 is allowed. Nonetheless, the interest earned on bank deposits becomes a part of your taxable income and is taxable at applicable slab rates.

In addition to the aforementioned statement, you must have the following documents in hand:

  • Last year's tax returns

  • TDS (Tax Deducted at Source) certificates

  • Bank statements

  • Profit and Loss (P&L;) Account Statement, Balance Sheet and Audit Reports, if applicable

Documents required to file income tax

When filing your income tax online or physically, it is always a good idea to be prepared. The below mentioned details serve as a checklist to help you get started with the e-filing of tax returns.

General details that would be required

  • Bank account details

  • PAN Number

Reporting salary income required

  • Rent receipts for claiming HRA

  • Form 16

  • Pay slips

Reporting House Property income required

  • Address of the house property

  • Details of the co-owners along with their share in the mentioned property and PAN details

  • Certificate for home loan interest

  • The date when construction was completed, in case an under-construction property was purchased

  • Name and the rental income of the tenant, if the property is rented

Reporting capital gains required

  • There is a requirement of a stock trading statement with purchase details, in case there are capital gains from selling the shares

  • If a house or property is sold, you must sought sale price, purchase price, details of registration and capital gain details

  • Mutual fund statement details, purchase and sale of equity funds, debt funds, SIPs and ELSS

Reporting other income required

  • The income from interest is reported. In case of interest accumulated in savings account, bank account statements are required

  • Interest income from tax saving bonds and corporate bonds must be reported

  • The income details earned from post office deposit must be reported

How to file e-Returns

Filing income tax returns has never been easier. Simply follow the below mentioned steps and you can seamlessly conduct the process.

  • Fill your income tax returns offline and upload XML on the official website which is IncomeTaxIndiaeFiling.gov.in

  • Make necessary preparation and submit ITR 1 online.

Steps to follow to file IT returns online

Now, filing your income tax has become an extremely easy process. Simply follow the below steps:

  • To begin with, log on to IncomeTaxIndiaeFiling.gov.in and register yourself on the website. Your Permanent Account Number (PAN) becomes your user ID.

  • Now, you can view your tax credit statement or Form 26AS. The TDS in your Form 16 must tally with the figures in Form 26AS. If not, you must correct the discrepancy.

  • Click on the income tax return forms and choose the financial year you want to file your returns for.

  • Then, you need to download the ITR form which is applies to you. If your exempt income exceeds Rs. 5,000, then the appropriate form will be ITR-2. However, you can complete the process on the portal itself, by using the 'Quick e-file ITR' link, if the applicable form is ITR-1 or ITR 4S.

  • Next step is to open excel utility, which is the downloaded return preparation software and enter all the details in the form using your Form 16.

  • Calculate and get an estimate of the tax payable amount by clicking the 'calculate tax' tab.

  • Now, if applicable, pay tax and fill in the challan details.

  • Confirm all the information provided in the worksheet by clicking on the 'validate' tab.

  • Download this in an XML file and save it on your desktop.

  • Then, go to 'upload return' on the portal's panel and upload the saved XML file.

  • A pop-up will be appear, requesting to digitally sign the file. In case you have your digital signature, then, select ‘Yes'. In case you have not got digital signature, select 'No'.

  • ITR Verification (ITR-V), which is the acknowledgment form will be generated in a downloadable format.

  • Generate a printout of the form ITR-V and sign it only in blue ink.

  • Send this form to the Income-Tax Department-CPC , Post Bag No. 1 , Electronic City Post Office, Bangalore, 560 100, Karnataka, by ordinary or speed post, within 120 days of filing your returns online.

Steps to file ITR1 and ITR4S online

You can submit your ITR 1 or ITR 4S forms by uploading XML on the official website or by online submission. The below mentioned steps should be able to guide you:

  • Login to e- Filing application

  • Go to 'e-File' and click on 'Prepare and Submit ITR Online'

  • Choose the Income Tax Return Form ITR 1 or ITR 4S and enter the assessment year.

  • Complete the details and then click on ‘Submit’ and select DSC (Digital Signature Certificate)’, in case it’s available. Now, click on the ‘Submit’ button.

  • Once the submission is done, your acknowledgement detail is displayed.

  • Click on the link to view or take a printout of the acknowledgement or ITR V form.

  • In case you wish to use DSC, you will have to register it in the e-filing application. Simply log into the e-filing website of the IT Department and update the ‘Profile Settings’ section. Under this section, you need to select ‘Register Digital Signature’ Certificate and download the ITD e-Filing DSC Management Utility.

Apart from this you can also utilise many other websites to file your income tax returns online. Generally, such portals charge a nominal fees of Rs. 250 to 300. This is dependent on the kinds of service they offer.

Things to keep in mind while e-filing

A couple of facts need to be considered when filing your income tax returns online. Here’s a comprehensive list of all of them:

  • In case your name which is mentioned in your bank documents or official statements is different from the one given in the PAN card even a bit, the portal will consider you a completely separate individual. In some cases, some taxpayers give their father's name as their 'middle' name in their PAN card, but do not use the same for their bank accounts.

  • If the same mobile number or email address is entered by more than four taxpayers online, you cannot file returns on the website, unless the required change is done. For instance, in some cases, more than five returns may be filed which may include you, your wife, your mother, your father in law and the Hindu undivided family (HUF) of which you are the Karta or the executor of a will.

  • If you are a non-resident Indian and wish to file income tax returns, you will require both, an India number and a foreign number.

FAQs

Is it possible that I can e-verify my ITR instead of sending a hardcopy to CPC, Bengaluru?

Yes, it is possible. The Income Tax Department is now flexible enough to let you e-verify ITR through an EVC or electronic verification code or via a one-time password by linking your PAN and Aadhaar.

Is it possible to file ITR online without an account on the Income Tax e-filing portal?

No, it is not possible. You will have to create an account on the portal to file your ITR online. It is a hassle free process; all you have to do is register yourself by providing relevant details such as user type, your PAN, first and middle names and surname, date of birth, and fill in the registration form.

Is there an option to e-file my return before all my tax payments are done?

No, you can only file your Income Tax Return online or via an agency, only after all your tax payments for the year are done. The deadline for filing ITR is July 31 of the year after the end of a given assessment year. The government may, however, provide a grace period of 15 to 30 days after the deadline lapses.

In how many days do I have to verify the Income Tax Return that I have filed online?

You can either send the ITR-V to CPC, Bangalore, or verify it online through electronic verification code, within 120 days of e-filing the return.

Do I have to do my own e-filing or can I depute it to someone to do so?

To the max, you can seek the help of chartered accountants and agencies dedicated to ITR filing. However, it is advised to not allow anyone to have your PAN and password, so as to prevent any kind of fraud.

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