As per section 139(1) of the Income Tax Act, 1961 in the country, individuals whose total income during the previous year exceeds the maximum amount not chargeable to tax, should file their income tax returns (ITR).
The process of electronically filing income tax returns is known as e-filing. You can either seek professional help or file your returns yourself from the comfort of your home by registering on the income tax department website or other websites. The due date for filing tax returns (physical or online), is July 31st.
Who should e-file income tax returns?
Online filing of tax returns is easy and can be done by most assessees.
- Assessee with a total income of Rs. 5 Lakhs and above.
- Individual/HUF resident with assets located outside India.
- 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.
- Assessee required to give a notice under Section 11(2) (a) to the assessing officer.
- A firm (which does not come under the provisions of section 44AB), AOP, BOI, Artificial Juridical Person, Cooperative Society and Local Authority (ITR 5).
- An assessee required to furnish returns U/S 139 (4B) (ITR 7).
- A resident who has signing authority in any account located outside India.
- A person who claims relief under sections 90 or 90A or deductions under section 91.
- All companies.
Types of e-Filing:
- Use Digital Signature Certificate (DSC) to e-file. It is mandatory to file IT forms using Digital Signature Certificate (DSC) by a chartered accountant.
- If you e-file without DSC, ITR V form is generated, which should then be printed, signed and submitted to CPC, Bangalore by ordinary post or speed post within 120 days from the date of e-filing.
- You can file e-file IT returns through an E-return Intermediary (ERI) with or without DSC.
Checklist for e-Filing IT Returns
There are a few prerequisites to filing your tax returns smoothly and effectively. Major points have been highlighted below.
- How to choose the right form to file your taxes electronically
- Check your tax credit - Form 26AS vs. Form 16
- Claim 80G, savings certificates and other deductions
- Interest statement - Interest on savings accounts and fixed deposits
- Last year’s tax returns
- Bank statements
- TDS (Tax Deducted at Source) certificates
- Profit and Loss (P&L) Account Statement, Balance Sheet and Audit Reports, if applicable
- Java Runtime Environment Version 7 Update 6 or above
It can be confusing deciding which form to submit when filing your tax returns online. The different categories of Income Tax Return (ITR) forms and who they are meant for are tabulated below.
|ITR 1 (SAHAJ)||Individuals with income from salary and interest|
|ITR 2||Individuals and Hindu Undivided Families (HUF) not having income from business or profession|
|ITR 3||Individuals/HUFs being partners in firms and not carrying out business or profession under any proprietorship|
|ITR 4||Individuals and HUFs having income from a proprietary business or profession|
|ITR 4S (SUGAM)||Individuals/HUF having income from presumptive business|
|ITR 5||Firms, AOPs,BOIs and LLP|
|ITR 6||Companies other than companies claiming exemption under section 11|
|ITR 7||Persons including companies required to furnish return under section 139(4A) or section 139(4B) or section 139(4C) or section 139(4D)|
cYou should check Form 26AS before filing your returns. It shows the amount of tax deducted from your salary and deposited with the IT department by your employer. You should ensure that the tax deducted from your income as per your Form 16 matches with the figures in Form 26AS. If you file your returns without clarity on errors, you will get a notice from the IT department.
You can claim extra deductions if you forgot to claim them. Similarly, you can also claim deductions under section 80G on donations made to charitable institutions.
A deduction for up to Rs.10,000 is allowed on interest earned on savings accounts. However, interest earned on bank deposits, if any, forms a part of your taxable income and is taxable at applicable slab rates.
In addition to the above, have the following at hand.
Ensure your system is equipped with the below.
How do I file e-Returns?
Steps to follow to file Income Tax Returns:
Filing your income tax returns online doesn’t have to be a complicated process. Simply follow the below steps.
First, log on to IncomeTaxIndiaeFiling.gov.in And register on the website.
- Your Permanent Account Number (PAN) is your user ID.
- View your tax credit statement or Form 26AS. The TDS as per your Form 16 must tally with the figures in Form 26AS.
- Click on the income tax return forms and choose the financial year.
- Download the ITR form applicable to you. If you’re exempt income exceeds Rs.5,000, the appropriate form will be ITR-2 (If the applicable form is ITR-1 or ITR 4S, you can complete the process on the portal itself, by using the 'Quick e-file ITR' link - this has been explained below).
- Open excel utility (the downloaded return preparation software) and fill out the form by entering all details using your Form 16.
- Check the tax payable amount by clicking the 'calculate tax' tab.
- Pay tax (if applicable) and fill in the challan details.
- Confirm all the data provided in the worksheet by clicking the 'validate' tab.
- Generate an XML file and save it on your desktop.
- Go to 'upload return' on the portal's panel and upload the saved XML file.
- A pop-up will be displayed asking you to digitally sign the file. In case you have obtained a digital signature, select ‘Yes’. If you have not got digital signature, choose 'No'.
- The acknowledgment form, ITR Verification (ITR-V) will be generated which can be downloaded by you.
- Take a printout of the form ITR-V and sign it in blue ink
- Send the form by ordinary or speed post to the Income-Tax Department-CPC , Post Bag No. 1 , Electronic City Post Office, Bangalore, 560 100, Karnataka within 120 days of filing your returns online.
Steps to file ITR 1 Online:
Prepare and Submit ITR1/ITR 4S Online
You have the option to submit ITR 1/ITR 4S forms by uploading XML or by online submission
- Login to e- Filing application
- Go to 'e File' 'Prepare and Submit ITR Online'
- Select the Income Tax Return Form ITR 1/ITR 4S and the assessment year.
- Fill in the details and then click the submit button
- After submission, acknowledgement detail is displayed.
- Click on the link to view or generate a printout of acknowledgement/ITR V form
You could also make use of several websites to file your income tax returns online. The portals typically charge fees (Rs. 250 to 300) depending on the kinds of service they offer.
Things to watch out for while e-filing:
- If the same mobile number or email address is used for more than four taxpayers, 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— yours, wife, mother, mother-in-law and the Hindu undivided family (HUF) of which you are the karta, the executor of a will.
- If your name mentioned in your bank documents or official statements is even slightly different from the one given in the PAN card, the portal will consider you a different individual. In certain instances, some individuals give their father's name as their 'middle' name in their PAN card, but do not use it for their bank accounts.
- If a non-resident Indian has to file income tax returns, he will need both an India number and a foreign number.
Frequently Asked Questions: e-filing Income Tax Returns
- Can I file ITR online without an account on the Income Tax e-filing portal?
A) No. You have to create an account on the portal to file your ITR online. It is an easy process – you have to register yourself by providing details such as user type (individual, HUF, companies, chartered accountants, agencies or tax deductors), your PAN, first and middle names and surname, date of birth, and fill in the registration form. If you already have an account but have forgotten password, you can generate it through the ‘Forgot Password’ option.
- How many days do I have to verify the Income Tax Return I filed online?
A) You have to either send the ITR-V to CPC, Bengaluru, or verify it online through electronic verification code or Aadhaar-linked one-time password, within 120 days of e-filing the return.
- Can I e-verify my ITR instead of sending a hardcopy to CPC, Bengaluru?
A) Yes. The Income Tax Department now allows you to e-verify ITR through an electronic verification code (EVC) or through a one-time password by linking your PAN and Aadhaar.
- Can I e-file my return before all my tax payments are done?
A) You can only file your Income Tax Return – online or through an agency – 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 – that is, you get 4 months to file ITR. This helps you put your accounts in order and make sure all tax-related payments are sorted.
- Is it mandatory for me to do the e-filing or can I depute it to someone?
A) You can seek the help of chartered accountants and agencies dedicated to ITR filing. It is wiser not to allow anyone to have your PAN and password in order to prevent any kind of fraud.
News About E-Filing Tax Return
Now, Verify Your ITR Through ATM
Once Income Tax Returns are filed, you need to verify it. The government recently introduced e-verification either through an electronic verification code (EVC), netbanking or Aadhaar in order to allow everyone to verify their ITR easily and conveniently instead of having to send the ITR copy to Centralised Processing Centre, Bengaluru.
Now, you can also verify your ITR through ATMs. ATMs of State Bank of India and Axis Bank already allow you to verify your ITR by inputting your debit card in the machine. The options after entering the PIN will include ‘PIN for Income Tax Filing’. If you select this option, an EVC will be generated and sent to your email and registered mobile number.
3rd August 2016
I-T Department Urges Taxpayers To E-File ITRs By July 31
The deadline for filing of Income Tax Returns (ITR) for the previous financial year – 2015-16 – is just 13 days away. The Income Tax Department has urged individuals to use its e-filing portal for quick and easy ITR filing process.
To file an ITR online, one needs to log in to incometaxindiaefiling.gov.in with your PAN details. The site also has a free ITR preparation software that will help you through the process without any hassles.
ITR can now be verified online itself, without having to send a copy of the ITR-V by post to Centralised Processing Centre (CPC), Bengaluru. You can verify it using Aadhaar, netbanking or an EVC.
19th July 2016
Filing e-ITR via ATM-based Validation System
An ATM-based validation facility has been introduced by the Income Tax Department in an attempt to add to the paperless mode of filing income tax returns. According to a senior IT official, taxpayers will be able to generate an EVC or Electronic Verification Code by pre-validating the bank’s ATM machine where they have an account. Only State Bank of India has activated this facility for now, rest of the banks are expected to follow suit soon.
The new facility has been made available on the income tax department’s e-filing website. Taxpayers can use the system by generating a one-time password, using Aadhaar number. Validation of e-ITR has been initiated so that taxpayers do not have to send the ITR-V by post for processing at the CPC (Central Processing Centre) in Bangalore.
Taxpayers those who can file ITR-1 are the ones with income generating from salaries, house property and other sources inclusive of interest.
Taxpayers those who can file ITR-2 are individuals and HUFs not having any income from any profession, business or any foreign assets.
6th June 2016
April Witnesses 68% rise in e-Filing of IT Returns
The first month of the current fiscal year saw a massive rise of 68.5 per cent in the e-filing of income tax returns. The month of April saw over 8.32 lakh taxpayers file their tax returns via electronic means, as compared to 4.94 lakh during the same month for the financial year 2015-2016. However, a total of 4.33 crore income tax returns were filed electronically over the last fiscal year, but unlike that year the CBDT has operationalised all nine types of income tax returns that are to be filed by various types of assesses for the current year. The e-filing process has become increasingly simpler and easier over time with the CBDT recording over 5.25 crore registered users as on April 30th 2016. Deloitte Haskins and Sells LLP partner Divya Baweja stated that the income tax department has made a serious effort in simplifying e-filing procedures in order to help the common man file returns more easily.
19th May 2016
Income Tax Department looking to third party sources to Home On Non-Filers
The Income Tax Department will now take into consideration any information gathered from third party sources such as banks, law enforcement bodies as well as tax authorities from abroad to help them pull up non-filers of income tax. A committee was set up by the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) to solidify certain standard definitions with regards to terms used in accordance with direct taxes. The committee defined a ‘non-filer’ as ‘’any person who is liable to pay any tax or file an I-T Return ... as per information available on record, but no such ITR for the relevant assessment year has been entered on the system". This was done to do away with any subjectivity and discretion that may be prevalent at the tax officer level, when it comes to interpretation of the term, and to aid in data categorisation.
4th May 2016
New ITRs for high net Individuals Notified
New Delhi: There is a new reporting column in the ITR-2 and 2A known as 'Asset and Liability at the end of the year' introduced by the income tax department recently for taxpayers with annual income above Rs.50 lakhs.
On March 30, the Finance Ministry issued a gazette order on the same. Taxpayers should file their new ITRs before July 31.
According to reports, the total cost of assets should be mentioned in the new ITRs. In other words, immovable assets such as land should be declared in addition to movable assets such as aircraft, jewellery, yachts, bullion and vehicles among others.
According to sources, an exclusive column in the ITR forms has been introduced to rein in tax evasion by many high income taxpayers and entities.
There is also a separate column for income earned from startup businesses. ITR-2A has a new column known as Pass Through Income which seeks information from business trust according to section 115UB and 115UA of the Income Tax Act.
Nine ITRs have so far been notified, namely, ITR-1, ITR-2, ITR-2A, ITR-3, ITR-4S, ITR-4, ITR-5, ITR-6, ITR-7 and ITR-V.
The Sahaj form ITR-1 also has a new column - Tax Collected at Source (TCS). As a result, ITR-1 currently has a total of 7 pages.
The income tax department has not made changes in columns which seek details of foreign assets.
21st April 2016
As E-filing looms I-T Department introduces Tax Calculator
The Income Tax Department has launched the online tax calculator in an effort to help individuals file their taxes online for the assessment year 2016-17. E-filing of taxes will take place earlier this time around and taxpayers can now use the tax calculator program on the tax department’s website to check and obtain their tax details. Tax filers are required to enter the necessary details and information as specified by the government, in order to assess their tax liability for the current assessment year. Individuals under the ITR-1 and ITR-4 categories can e-file their taxes this week, while filers under other ITR categories can follow suit very shortly.
7th April 2016
TaxPayers Urged to e-File IT Returns Early this Year
In a bid to reduce the rush at end of August to file IT Returns, the Finance Ministry has asked taxpayers to e-File their returns early even as the tax department released the full version of its e-filing portal.
Forms ITR 1-Sahaj, ITR 2, 2A and 4S-Sugam can be submitted online for AY 2015-16. The statement from the ministry urged taxpayers to file their returns free of cost online in the ‘Downloads’ section on the website’s home page.
The online portal will also help in reducing errors in filing, which leads to rectification requests in the future. On entering PAN details, taxpayers will now be able to get all tax paid information, personal information and TDS data which autofilled in the online form.
The new ITRs are replacing the previous 14-page form which met with resistance from MPs, industrialists and individuals as it was asking for bank account and foreign trip details.
18th March 2016
Online Income Tax Returns Filings have risen by 27% to 309 Crore for the last 9 months of 2015
Lead by the Income Tax Department’s measures and initiatives in technology, e-filing of income tax returns experienced a surge of over 27% in the last 9 months up to December for the current fiscal year.
It has amounted to approximately 3.09 crore return filings during this period as against 2.43 crore during the same period in the prior year based on the the latest figures available from the Income-Tax Department.
In FY- 2014-15, approximately 3.41 crore returns were filed online or electronically. The new e-filing system, which was operationalised last year, has allowed online verification of a person's ITR (Income Tax Return), thereby allowing the tedious process of sending hard copies to the Centralised Processing Centre (CPC) of the IT department which is located in Bengaluru.
18th February 2016
New Mobile App to ease Tax Filing
In order to simplify the process of tax payment, the Income Tax Department of India is developing a new mobile application by using which income tax payers can pay their income tax. The revelation was made by Anita Kapoor, the chairperson of Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) while inaugurating the 'Taxpayers' Lounge' at the India International Trade Fair. Currently, some security issues are going on which she the department would resolve soon.
After the successful execution of online tax filling, the Income Tax Department comes up with the decision of decision of developing a mobile application so as to make the process of tax paying further easier.
11th December 2015