efiling Income Tax Return in India Last Updated : 18 Jan 2020

When you file your ITR (Income Tax Returns) online, the process is called e-filing and due to its convenience, it is gaining popularity these days. ITR Filing is mandatory for all Indian citizens with annual earnings of a certain amount and unlike earlier, you need not visit the Income Tax Department to file your returns. Instead, you can do an efiling of your returns from the comfort of your home or office.

    Steps to Follow Filing ITR Online

  • Visit the portal of the income tax department (http://www.incometaxindiaefiling.gov.in) and login using your User ID, password, and enter the captcha displayed.
  • ITR Login Online

  • If you are a new user, you can register using the ‘Register Yourself’ button.
  • Register ITR Online

  • Once you login, you will find the ‘e-file’ section under which you will need to select ‘Income Tax Return.’ Please note that you can fill only ITRs 1 and ITRs 4S online.
  • Select Income Tax Return

  • Choose the assessment year, Income Tax Return Form ITR 4S/ITR 1 and ‘Prepare and Submit ITR Online’.
  • ‘Prepare and Submit ITR Online

  • Check the bank details and Hit the "Continue" button.
  • Select Continue
  • If you have a Digital Signature Certificate (DSC), upload it. Make sure that your DSC is registered with e-filing.
  • Click on the ‘Submit’ tab.
  • If you have not used a DSC, your ITR-V will be displayed to you on successful submission. You can then download the ITR-V from the link displayed, sign it, and submit it to the CPC before 120 days from the e-filing date.
  • If you have uploaded your DSC, then your ITL filing process is complete.

Due Date for Efiling

Income Tax Returns (ITR) are required to be filed before the deadline that is marked by the Income Tax Department (ITD). The due dates for filing of ITR for different categories of taxpayers for the financial year 2018-19 are listed in the table below. The following dates will be applicable for the income earned by a taxpayer between 1 April 2018 and 31 March 2019.

Category of Taxpayer Deadline for filing tax returns
Individual 31st July, 2019
Body of Individuals (BOI) 31st July, 2019
Hindu Undivided Family (HUF) 31st July, 2019
Association of Persons (AOP) 31st July 2019
Businesses (Requiring Audit) 30th September 2019
Businesses (Requiring TP Report) 30th November 2019

New Rules for ITR Filing

The new income tax rules implemented by Nirmala Sitharaman in the 2019 Union Budget require taxpayers to link their Aadhaar to their PAN. In the announcement, the Finance Minister said that income tax returns can be filed using your Aadhaar Card or PAN Card. However, you can only do so until the 30th of September 2019 as it is the deadline to link your Aadhaar to your PAN.

Consequences of Filing ITR with Only Aadhaar

In case you do not have a Permanent Account Number, you can file your income tax return using Aadhaar. Furthermore, your Aadhaar Card is mandatory when applying for a new PAN. Under the new income tax rules, taxpayers who file their returns using their Aadhaar card will be allotted PAN after their demographic data has been obtained from the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI).

What happens if your Aadhaar and PAN are not linked?

The Central Board of Direct Taxes issued a notification on 31 March 2019 according to which taxpayers were urged to link their Aadhaar with their PAN before 30 September 2019. Failure to link your PAN with Aadhaar will prevent you from filing your income tax returns after the specified deadline.

The Government of India has introduced the new rule in order to enhance tax compliance while easing the tax payment process for taxpayers. As of now, it is compulsory for taxpayers to quote their PAN when filing their returns. Going forward, however, it will be compulsory to link your Aadhaar and PAN to file your returns.

Who Should file ITR?

Under the conditions given below, it is mandatory for individuals to file ITR:

  • Any firm or company must file ITR even if they make a profit or undergo a loss.
  • In case individuals wish to apply for a loan or a visa.
  • In case individuals invest in foreign assets or earn from foreign assets.
  • In case individuals wish to claim a refund from the Income Tax Department.
  • In case individuals earn an income from house property, etc.
  • If the gross annual income of the individual exceeds the details mentioned in the table below:
Age of the individuals Gross annual income (Rs.)
Individuals who are below 60 years old 2.5 lakh
Individuals above the age of 60 years but below the age of 80 years 3.0 lakh
Individuals who are above the age of 80 years 5.0 lakh

Documents required for ITR filing

In case individuals wish to file ITR online, the below-mentioned documents will be required:

  • The Permanent Account Number (PAN) of the individual.
  • The Aadhaar number of the individual. The Aadhaar number must be linked with the PAN.
  • The bank account details (bank account number, IFSC code, and bank branch) of the individual.

In case individuals file their ITR based on their salary, the below-mentioned documents are needed:

  • Form 16
  • In case HRA (House Rent Allowance) is being claimed, the rent slips must be given.
  • Salary Slips

In case individuals wish to claim deductions, the below-mentioned documents are required:

  • Proof of income such as capital gains income and house property income.
  • Any details about investments that are liable for deductions.
  • Details of home loans and insurance
  • Deposit account and savings account interest certificates.

Benefits of efiling Income Tax Returns

The main benefits of efiling Income Tax Returns are mentioned below:

  • Tracking the status: Individuals who efile the ITR can easily check the status online. Earlier, it was time-consuming to check the status and the status would only be sent by post. However, efiling ITR enables the individual to check the progress of the application with ease.
  • Processing of refund: In case individuals efile their ITR, the process to receive the refund is easy and is much quicker. Earlier, the refund process was not very convenient and was very time-consuming. However, individuals can update the bank details online and receive the refund much quicker.
  • Reduction of errors: Due to the number of calculations that must be made when computing ITR, it is common that errors are made. However, when efiling ITR, there is a mechanism where the computation of ITR is done by the system, therefore reducing the number of errors.
  • E-Verification: The verification of ITR can be done online if individuals efile their ITR. Earlier, the ITR would have to be sent to the CPC in Bengaluru.
  • Convenient: The process of efiling ITR is very convenient, easy, and the process takes very less time. Earlier, the process to file ITR was very tedious as individuals had to visit the Income Tax Department. However, the process to efile ITR can be done from the comforts of an individual’s home.
  • Access to documents: In case individuals efile the ITR, they will have to upload the necessary documents online. Therefore, individuals will be able to view the documents at any given time. The manual process of efiling ITR does not provide such benefits.
  • Compilation of records: Earlier, individuals were required to fill many forms in case they wanted to file the ITR. The process to fill the forms was very complex as well. However, efiling ITR removes the complexity of the process as all the data is auto-populated during the initial process and the ensuing steps become very simple.
  • Cost-efficient: In case individuals wish to file their returns manually, they might have to hire a professional to compute their returns. This could cost money in case they wish to hire a professional. However, individuals could do away with these expenses in case they efile their ITR as the computation can be done online.
  • Receipt of proof: Individuals who efile their ITR will receive a receipt at the time of filing returns and once returns have been filed as well. The receipt will be sent via email.
  • Electronic banking: The process to make payments and refunds is simple. It can be done via direct debit for the payment of tax and direct deposit for the receiving of refund. There are options available where investors can file their returns now and make the payment at a later date as well. Taxpayers can choose the day when they would like the payment to be made.

News About eFiling Income Tax

  • Verify your IT returns to receive your refunds

    There could be a delay in receiving tax refunds if income tax returns have not been e-verified. Processing of income tax returns could also be delayed if income tax returns have not been e-verified. When income tax returns are filed on the e-filing portal of the income tax department, it is received by the tax officials but the processing by the Central Processing Centre (CPC) is initiated only after e-verification is done. Without e-verification, the entire process is considered incomplete and the ITR even becomes invalid, even if it is accurate in every other way. In order to complete the e-filing process, the e-verification has to be done using net banking or the Aadhaar OTP. The internet banking can be either a demat account or a bank account. To do this, visit the e-filing portal of the income tax department and click on the section called ‘'e-Verify Return’' on the left-side panel. Once this is done, enter the assessment year for which the verification has to be done, the acknowledgement number, and the PAN. This can also be done by logging into your account on the site using your PAN and password and clicking on the ‘'e-Verify Return’ section. Choose one among the three options given which is applicable to you. Follow the next set of instructions. When e-verification is successful, an acknowledgement is sent.

    19 November 2019

  • Finance Ministry enhances income tax exemption for gratuity to Rs.20 lakh

    Employees not covered under the Payment of Gratuity Act, 1972 will now be benefitted by a move of the Finance Ministry wherein the income tax exemption limit has been increased to Rs.20 lakh from the existing Rs.10 lakh. The revision in the income tax exemption limit has been done under Section 10 (10) (iii) of the Income Tax Act, 1961 and took effect from 29 March 2018. The raise in the gratuity amount ceiling has been done keeping in mind the overall economic condition and the capacity of employers to pay the salaries of employees.

    6 November 2019

  • Link your Aadhaar to PAN for ITR filing benefits

    Listing Aadhaar number when filing income tax returns is now mandatory. Income taxpayers who are below 80 years of age have to compulsorily file their ITR only through the website of the Income Tax Department. However, even if the ITR is accurate, there are chances of it getting rejected if the PAN is not linked to the Aadhaar, which is mandatory now. Linking PAN to Aadhaar has various other benefits such as making your sources of income more transparent to the IT department, which reduces any hassles later on. It also serves to reduce bank frauds as there is less chance of your PAN getting duplicated. Linking of Aadhaar to PAN also eliminates the need to show the ITR receipts to tax officials. It helps to prevent any accidental cancellation of PAN card. For future reference, a summarised report of an individual’s tax history is attached to the unique identification number, which helps to streamline the tax paying process.

    31 October 2019

  • Failure to file ITR will result in penalty or imprisonment

    Although the due date for filing income tax has been extended to 31 August 2019, it is advisable to file it as early as possible. If you miss the deadline, the I-T department allows you to file your returns at a later date, but it comes at a cost of Rs.5,000 to Rs.10,000 in penalty fees.

    If you file your returns after the due date but before December 31 of AY2019-20, then you will have to pay a penalty of Rs.5,000. If you file your ITR between January 1 to March 31 of AY2019-20, then you will have to pay Rs.10,000 as penalty fee. These penalty fees are levied on taxpayers with income above Rs.5 lakh. If your income is less than Rs.5 lakh, then the penalty fee will be Rs.1,000.

    If you fail to file your ITR even after receiving a notice from the I-T department then you can face imprisonment ranging from 3 months to 2 years. Depending on the due tax amount, the jail term can go up to 7 years. You can also lose out on interest on tax refund if you don’t file your returns within the given deadline.

    29 July 2019

  • CBDT: Updating utility forms used for partial online filing will not hamper ITR filing

    Changes were made to the online ITR forms and updated on 1 April 2019. Likewise, there have been changes made to the utility forms meant for partial online filing of ITR in the month of May. After the notification made in April about the changes to the online ITR forms, the CBDT has clarified that no changes have been made to ITR-2 and ITR-3 forms or any other ITR forms since then. It also added that updating of utility is an on-going process and it will not hamper the ITR filing process as taxpayers can use the utility available at any time.

    26 July 2019

  • Agenda for the 159th Income Tax Day event

    The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has plans to launch a taxpayer e-assistance campaign on July 24 which is the 159th Income Tax Day. This campaign is an effort to assist and support taxpayers, chartered accountants, and stakeholders in filing income tax returns online and discharge other I-T related duties/services under the income tax laws. The Income Tax Day will be attended by Nirmala Sitharaman, the Finance Minister. The I-T Department will honour assessees who have filed their taxes diligently, at the event in Delhi. The Union Minister will give away the best-performing Indian Revenue Service award and other such awards to the tax department officials.

    24 July 2019

  • Union Budget 2019 highlights regarding ITR filing

    Previously, a taxpayer was required to file income tax returns only if his or her income exceeded the exemption limit. In Union Budget 2019, in order to widen the taxpayer base, it has been proposed that Income Tax Return (ITR) filing has been made compulsory for the following cases even if the taxpayer’s income limit is below the taxable limit.

    If capital gains tax exemption has been claimed on investment in a house and so on. If an individual makes electricity bill payments of Rs.1 lakh or more in a year. If expenses incurred on travel to foreign countries is more than Rs.2 lakh in a year. If deposits made in a current account with a bank or co-operative bank is more than Rs.1 crore in a year.

    12 July 2019

  • Even if the original ITR was filed offline, revised ITR can be done electronically

    The income tax department has added another facility in an aim to make the entire income tax filing process fully online. Individuals who have manually filed their Income Tax Returns (ITR) or have done it offline, will be able to file their revised ITR electronically. The last date for filing ITR for the FY 2017-2018 is 31 March 2019.

    Under Section 139 (5) of the Income Tax Act, 1961, any mistakes made by individuals when filing their original returns can be rectified by filing revised returns. Filing of wrong ITR form, non-disclosure of foreign assets and income, and wrong reporting of deductions and income are some of the mistakes that can be rectified when filing revised returns.

    The form required when filing revised returns is the same as the original form. The method for filing returns also remains the same. Individuals will need to enter the right details when filing revised returns. Individuals will also need to check the box where it mentions revised returns as well. There are no restrictions on the number of times individuals can revise their returns. However, once returns are revised, the original returns will be withdrawn.

    28 March 2019

  • E-filing Vault Introduced by Government to Make Income Tax Accounts Safer

    In a bid to make the income tax accounts safer than before, the Government of India has introduced a new security measure known as ‘e-filing vault’. This feature will help deal with any unauthorised loggings present in the income tax e-filing portal using a dual-factor authentication process to log into an account. With this new feature, a taxpayer can log into his or her account using details such as User ID, which is the PAN number, and password in addition to another security level check. Users can enable this feature by going to the Profile Settings and then clicking on the e-Filing Vault-Higher Security option. After that, the taxpayer can select the required options to secure the account.

    The requirements for activating the high-level security check are:

    1. The taxpayer must be registered on the e-filing portal.

    2. The person should have a valid Digital Signature Certificate (DSC) which is already registered with the e-filing application.

    3. The Aadhaar Card of the individual should be linked with his/her PAN card in the e-filing portal.

    4. The candidate must link a valid demat account number or bank account number with his/her PAN card in the e-filing portal.

    11 March 2019

  • Forgot Password? Here’s How You Can Reset It On The Income Tax E-Filing Website

    In case you forget your password on the income tax e-filing website when logging into the website of the Income Tax Department to download Form 26AS or file your income tax returns, there are four ways through which you can reset it: answering the secret question, using a one-time password, uploading Digital Signature Certificate, and using your Aadhaar one-time password. You can click on the tab that says Forgot Password on the e-filing website of the Income Tax Department after which you will be redirected to a new webpage. On this page, you will have to enter your user ID which is basically your PAN. You will also have to enter the captcha, and then hit Continue. You will then receive the four options mentioned above, and you can choose any one of them to change your password.

    3 September 2018

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