How to file ITR - Steps to efiling Income Tax Return online Last Updated : 01 Jun 2020

The process to electronically file Income Tax Returns (ITR) by using the internet is called e-filing. The process to e-file ITR is quick, easy, and can be completed from the comfort of an individual’s home or office. E-filing ITR can also help in saving money as you would not have to hire an individual to file ITR.

A step by step guide on how to file ITR Online

Step 1: Visit the e-filing website

Income tax India portal

On the e-filing homepage you fill find several options to choose from. You must choose the relevant option.

Step 2: Register or Login to e-file your returns

e-file your returns

In case you have registered yourself on the portal, select ‘Login Here’.

In case you have not registered yourself on the portal, select ‘Register Yourself’.

Step 3: Select the User Type

User Type

In order to register yourself with the Income Tax Department, you will have to first choose your ‘User Type’. The options available to you include Individual, Hindu Undivided Family (HUF), Other than Individual/HUF, External Agency, Chartered Accountants, Tax Dedcutor and Collector, and Third Party Software Utility Developer.

Next, you will have to enter your current address and your permanent address before entering the Captcha code and hitting ‘Submit’.

Step 4: Basic details must be filled up

Basic details

You will then have to fill in your personal information such as your name, your PAN and your date of birth. You can then use PAN as your user ID whenever you log in to the e-filing portal. You will also have to enter your contact details such as your mobile number and email ID.

Step 5: Verification of PAN

Your PAN will then be verified by the system and your transaction ID as well as contact details will be displayed on the screen.

Step 6: Activation of Account

Lastly, you will have to activate your Income Tax Department account through the link sent to your email ID

Didn't File Your Income Tax Returns? Here’s What You Can Do

In case you do not file your income tax returns, you will have to submit a response on the e-filing portal. Here are the steps to do it:

  1. Log in to the e-filing website (
  2. Click on the ‘Compliance’ tab and you will get two options, viz. ‘View and submit my compliance’ and ‘View my submission’. The first option will display the information for the assessment years when the return was not filed as per the records of the Income Tax Department or if the department needs third party details.
  3. You can then select one of the options on-screen, viz. ‘the return has been filed’, or ‘the return has not been filed’.
  4. If you select ‘the return has not been filed’, you will get the following options, viz. ‘return under preparation’, ‘no taxable income’, ‘business has been closed’, and ‘others’. Choose the relevant option and click on ‘Submit’.

A step by step guide on how to file ITR offline

Super senior citizens (individuals who are 80 years old and above) are given the option to file ITR offline during the financial year. Another instance where the ITR can be filed offline is if an individual or HUF has an income of less than Rs.5 lakh and are not entitled to receive a refund.

The step-by-step procedure to file returns offline is mentioned below:
  • Individuals must request for a Form 16.
  • Next, you will need to submit the ITR returns in the paper form at the Income Tax Department.
  • Once the form has been submitted, you will receive an acknowledgement slip from the Income Tax Department.

How to file ITR FAQs

  1. What are the different forms that are available as per the Income Tax Law
  2. The different forms that are available as per the Income Tax Law are mentioned below:

    • ITR-1
    • ITR-2
    • ITR-3
    • ITR-4
    • ITR-5
    • ITR-6
    • ITR-7
    • ITR-V
  3. Should I attach any documents when I file the Income Tax Returns?
  4. No, you need not submit any documents when you file the Income Tax Returns. However, the relevant documents must be retained and must be provided to tax authorities if requested.

  5. Does the Income Tax Department provide the e-filing utility?
  6. Yes, the e-filing utility has been provided by the Income Tax Department. The e-filed returns can be generated, and then be furnished electronically.

  7. What is the difference between e-payment and e-filing?
  8. The process of electronically furnishing the returns is e-filing. E-payment is the payment of tax by using State Bank of India’s debit/credit card or by net banking.

  9. Will I face any criminal prosecution in case the tax returns for my taxable income is not filed?
  10. Yes, in case the tax is not paid, you may have to pay additional interest, penalties, or may face prosecution. Depending on the amount of tax that must be paid, the prosecution will vary.

News About E-Filing Tax Return

  • Filing of ITR hits an all-time high

    According to the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), filing of Income Tax Returns (ITR) hit an all-time high, with 31 August 2019 reaching peak filing rates of 196 returns in a second. According to a statement of CBDT, for the assessment year 2019-2020, 50.5 million returns have been filed till date.

    Compared to the same time last year, there has been a 41% increase in filing returns on the last date for the assessment year 2019-2020. The main reason for the increase in filing returns has been the pre-filled forms that have been offered by the department as well as the guidance that has been provided to taxpayers via social media. 14.7 million e-filings have been completed in the last five days, seeing an increase of 42% when compared to the same time last year. However, filing of ITR has increased by only 4% when compared to last year. Last year a total of 54 million ITR were filed. ITR can be filed even after the due date, however, a fine will be levied.

    9 September 2019

  • Reporting the income from investment as part of ITR filing

    The Form 16 is not the only document you will be needing at the time of filing your income tax claims. The income you have generated from selling house property, capital assets, and interests accumulated from deposits will have to be disclosed in the ITR form. One must make sure to not conceal any of these sources of income as it might result in a tax notice. It is to be noted that many sources of income that come from investments are tax free. All these investments must also be declared as part of the ITR. Tax free income will have to be reported under ‘income from other sources’ irrespective of the amount.

    15 July 2019

  • Is Aadhaar to be linked with tax returns?

    The Supreme Court, in September 2018, confirmed that Aadhaar is mandatory when filing income tax returns. The validity of the Income Tax Act Section 139AA has been maintained. The argument in favour of linking of Aadhaar with tax returns was aided by the fact that linking just the PAN numbers is subject to duplicity. Prevention of misreporting of the financial transactions can be done by confirming the identity of the taxpayer through the Aadhaar card. Although the section was made effective from 2017 and added via the Finance Act, the deadline was extended several times in order to give taxpayers sufficient time to get their Aadhaar cards. The newly introduced Section 139AA rules that Aadhaar number must be listed in all income tax returns. This is applicable to all Residents, which according to the Aadhaar Act is any individual who has resided for more than 182 days in the one year before the date of application of Aadhaar enrolment. Anyone who has an Aadhaar must link it to their income tax returns. The only individuals who are exempt from this rule are those from the following categories who do not already have Aadhaar and are not required to get one for tax filing purposes: people 80 years and above, non-resident Indians as per the ITA, residents of Meghalaya, Assam, and Jammu & Kashmir, and people who are not Indian citizens. Once linked to income tax returns, Aadhaar cannot be delinked even if the residential address changes.

    18 March 2019

  • New companies are mandated to e-file their details on Active by MCA

    Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) has notified a new Rule 25A under the Companies (Incorporation) Rules, 2014. Under this rule, it has introduced a new e-form called as Form INC-22A INC-22A (Active Company Tagging Identities and Verification or ACTIVE). As per the notification of MCA, every company which is incorporated on or before the 31st December, 2017 is mandated to e-file their details in an e-form ACTIVE. They need to file the particulars of their company and the registered offices in e-form ACTIVE on or before December 31, 2019. The main objective of this decision is to crackdown the inactive companies by mandating them to file their details online. However, companies who have not filed their due financial statement or annual return or both will not be allowed to file this form. The companies are required to file Form INC-22A on or before April 25, 2019. Companies that fail to file this e-form on time will be marked as ‘’ACTIVE-non-compliant.

    26 February 2019

  • No Benefits for Employees of the Central Government on Independence Day

    Employees of the Central Government were looking forward to good news regarding an increase in pay, which was supposed to be announced on Independence Day. However, Narendra Modi, the Prime Minister of India, gave his speech at the Red Fort in New Delhi, and this resulted in disappointment for around 50 lakh employees of the central government and approximately the same number of pensioners who had been expecting a pay hike to be announced on August 15 this year. Since the economic factors appeared positive in recently times, adding to the upcoming elections, a large section of the central government employees were convinced that Independence Day would coincide with the good news they were expecting. While the Prime Minister revealed the future growth of the Indian economy, adding that it will soon be a powerhouse in the decades to come, he did not mention anything about the pay hike, thereby leaving a large number of central government employees disappointed.

    11 September 2018

  • Maharashtra plans to write off Rs.118 crore tax arrears for big winemakers

    The Maharashtra state government led by BJP is set to write off tax arrears totalling to Rs.118.30 crore owed by some of the biggest winemakers in India. The tax which is proposed to be foregone are arrears accumulated pertaining to the excise duty since 2006. As per the statement of senior sources of the state’s finance department, this is the first time in the history of the state that a proposal to write off the principal tax dues is being considered.

    In case the move is approved, Sula Vineyards Pvt. Ltd., the biggest winery in India will be the biggest beneficiary. Sula Vineyards Pvt. Ltd. is responsible for making up to over 65% share in the domestic wine industry. The records from the state excise department portray that the arrears owed by Sula Vineyards alone total to Rs.115.89 crore. There are 5 other medium-sized wineries that will enjoy the benefit in case the move is approved. They are - Good Drop Wine Sellers Private Limited (Rs.1.32 crore), Seven Peaks Wineries Pvt. Ltd. (Rs.78.25 lakh), Vinland Wines Company Pvt. Ltd. (Rs. 17.87 lakh), AD Wines (Rs.9.65 lakh), and Noble Wines (Rs. 2.67 lakh). All these wineries are in Nashik.

    10 September 2018

  • Filing of Income Tax Returns: Tax Deducted at Source Different When Purchasing NRI Property

    Under the TDS regulations, if a seller of a property is a non-resident Indian, the buyer will be required to deduct tax at source at 20% of the value of the sale. The amount will then have to be deposited with the government within a week from the completion of the month in which TDS happened. The remaining amount will be paid to the seller who is a non-resident Indian. The seller can claim the amount as a refund. To do so, he/she will have to file his/her income tax returns. However, an exception exists for this rule. In case the buyer receives a Lower Tax Deduction or the Certificate of NIL from the Income Tax officer, then the tax rate applicable to the individual either reduces or he/she will not be taxed at all.

    3 September 2018

  • Frequent changes in the Income Tax Returns (ITR) e-versions annoying taxpayers

    Salaried taxpayers who have recently tried to file their income tax returns found that another fresh set of changes has been introduced to the electronic version of the e-filing system. The system released by the Income Tax department is also technically known as schema or utility. The taxpayers have been annoyed because of the frequent changes in the system. The changes are requiring the taxpayers or users to re-enter data and even gather more details at the end moment.

    In certain cases, the confused taxpayers are required to consult their chartered accountants to seek for a fresh clarification. The last date for filing the Income Tax Returns (ITR) for salaried taxpayers was 31 July 2018 for the financial year 2017-18. However, due to some technical glitches, this date was further extended to 31 August 2018. However, the electronic versions of ITR-1 and ITR-2 (which are used by salaried taxpayers to file their returns) were recently revised again. The revisions were made on 1 August 2018 and 9 August 2018 respectively. As per the latest changes, both the forms now demand additional information in terms of income which is taxable under the head ‘income from ‘other sources’. This particular head now requires the taxpayer to feed the details pertaining to interest from bank savings accounts, term deposits, interest on refund of income tax, and other interest.

    31 August 2018

  • Applications for E-Payments and E-Filing to be Launched by Supreme Court

    The Supreme Court’s e-committee is expected to soon launch a number of mobile apps to make life easier for lawyers and litigants. The apps will offer such services as e-filing, e-payment, Supreme Court Legal Services Committee, National Service and Tracking of Electronic Processes, as well as awareness guides for the services offered under the program of the e-courts.

    31 August 2018

  • Tax audit reporting of non-salaried gets tough

    As per the new tax audit requirements, non-salaried professionals who have gross receipts of more than Rs.50 lakh and business entities which have a turnover of more than Rs.1 crore (Rs.2 crore in case presumptive taxation has been opted for) will be required to furnish additional details. The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has added the scope of the reporting by a tax auditor through the inclusion of GAAR to GST and TDS to cash transactions of more than Rs.2 lakh.

    The Income Tax officials are of the opinion that the main idea behind the implementation of this rule asking for additional details on part of the assessee is to facilitate the data mining and analytics which will lead to them being able to curb tax evasion. However, some challenges that could be faced in this regards have been pointed out by the chartered accountants. A revised Form 3CD has been issued by the CBDT which is included in the Income Tax audit report. For example, the details of transactions that would be covered by GAAR like cash transactions that are more than Rs.2 lakh, details of Goods and Services Tax (GST), details of transactions that are subject to Tax Deducted at Source (TDS), etc. are now required to be reported. The new form, which was released recently will be brought into effect from 20 August 2018.

    20 August 2018

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