How to File Income Tax Returns Online: Step-by-Step Guide for Taxpayers

How to File Income Tax Returns Online: Step-by-Step Guide for Taxpayers

Filing Income Tax Returns (ITR) is a crucial process for every taxpayer as per tax laws and regulations. ITR is a document that taxpayers are required to file with income tax authorities every year. It contains essential information about the taxpayer’s income, source of income, claiming deduction, and tax liabilities for the complete year.




Importance of Filing Income Tax Returns (ITR):-

Filing ITR is important for all several reasons-

  • Legal Requirement: It is legally required for all individuals and companies. It shows earning income above the specified time to file their income tax returns. If an individual does not file an ITR on time, it results in penalties and legal consequences.
  • Compliance: Filling ITR is under the tax law of the country. It is a process of showing their income report and paying taxes as per the law to the government.
  • Documentation: ITR is a documentation of a taxpayer; ‘s income and tax liabilities for a particular year. It contains the record of the taxpayer’s financial transactions and maintains financial transparency with the government.
  • Loan And Visa Applicants: It is a required document for loan and visa application. It is proof of income which you can show on a loan, credit card as well as visa applications.
  • Avail Tax Benefits: Regularly filing ITR allow taxpayers to avail the tax benefits under the Income Tax Act. It enables individuals to reduce their taxable income by claiming deductions for investments, expenses, etc made during the financial year.




Document Required For ITR Filing

If you want to start filing your ITR from this season, then collect this required document. Well, the required document varies as per the sources of income, claim deduction and other financial transactions. Some of the general list of documents are as follows-

  • PAN Card: Permanent Account Number is one of the mandatory documents for filing an ITR.
  • Form 16: It is issued by the employer and contains the details of salary incomes, TDS ad etc.
  • Form 16A/16B/16C:  It is the form for TDS on income.
  • Bank Statement: Collect the bank statement of all bank accounts from the savings account to the current account.
  • Investment Proof: Collect documents if you are investing in Provident Fund (PF), Public Provident Fund (PPF), Equity Linked Savings Scheme (ELSS), Life Insurance Premium, Health Insurance Premium, Fixed Depots etc.
  • Property Document
  • Capital Gain Statement: Provide a capital gain statement, if any from the stocks, mutual funds, etc
  • Proof of tax payments: Challan or receipt of tax payment
  • Form 26AS: Form 26AS is a consolidated tax statement
  • Interest certificate, TDS Certificate, from 990, form 1040, etc.




How To File ITR Online?

Filing Income tax Returns online is a very convenient and hassle-free process. Just follow the below step-by-step guide-

  • Visit the official website of the Income Tax Return Department by clicking on the  www.incometaxindiaefiling.gov.in. If you are an existing user, log into it with your credentials. Otherwise, register yourself with a mobile number or email address.
  • Now, you have to choose the ITR form as per your source of income, residential status, etc. The most common forms are ITR-1 (Sahaj) for salaried individuals, ITR-2 for individuals HUFs not having income from business or profession, and so on.
  • Now, download the selected ITR form and pre-fill the required information like name, address, PAN number, Aadhar number, etc.
  • Next, gather all your required documents like Form q6, bank statements, investment proof, etc.
  • Enter your details of all sources of income like salary, interest income, rental income, capital gains and other income. Carefully report all the income details and even cross-check them carefully.
  • Next, you have to claim deductions and Exemptions:  Declare deductions under various sections such as 80C, 80D, 80E, etc., for investments made in specified instruments like PPF, life insurance premiums, health insurance premiums, and so on. Claim Exemption, if it is applicable.
  • Now, calculate your total taxable income and tax liability as per income tax slab rates for the particular year. You can use tax calculation on the  Income Tax Department’s website for accurate data or any other website available online at free of cost.
  • Verify your form  26AS to ensure that the TDS deducted by your employer, banks, or other deductors matches with the TDS certificates you have received. Income, verify if any taxes are paid by you.
  • If there is any tax paid by you, then the details for the particular financial year. Tax paid like advance tax, self-assessment tax, or TDS. Cross-check these details twice for accuracy.
  • Carefully review all the information provided by you in the ITR form. Done all the necessary corrections if required. It must be error-free.
  • After validation, now generate an XML file of your filled ITR form. This will be used later to upload the  ITR form on the Income Tax Department’s e-filing portal.
  • Time to log in to the e-filing portal and upload your XML file at the portal. Go to the e-file section, and select the appropriate year and applicable ITR form to upload this XML file.
  • After successfully uploading the XML file, verify your ITR using the available options such as Aadhaar OTP, Net Banking, Electronic Verification Code (EVC), or by sending a signed copy of ITR-V to the Centralized Processing Center (CPC) in Bangalore within 120 days of filing the return.
  • After successful e-verification, you will be acknowledged by the Income Tax Department. Save this acknowledgement for your records. Your work is done here.
  • If you’re eligible for a refund, you can check the status of your refund online using the acknowledgement number.

By following these easy steps, you can file your ITR every year at home. If it is difficult for you, then you can ask your friend or contact a professional CA for accurate work.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Filing Income Tax Returns (ITR):-

1. What is Income Tax Return (ITR)?
– Income Tax Return (ITR) is a document that taxpayers are required to file with income tax authorities every year, containing essential information about their income, deductions, and tax liabilities.

2. Why is filing ITR important?
– Filing ITR is crucial to comply with legal requirements, maintain financial transparency, avail tax benefits, and fulfill documentation needs for various purposes like loans and visas.

3. What documents are required for ITR filing?
– Documents such as PAN Card, Form 16, bank statements, investment proofs, property documents, capital gain statements, and tax payment proofs are needed for ITR filing.

4. How can I file my ITR online?
– You can file your ITR online by visiting the official website of the Income Tax Return Department, selecting the appropriate ITR form, filling in required details, uploading necessary documents, and verifying the form electronically.

5. Which ITR form should I choose?
– Choose the ITR form based on your source of income, residential status, and other factors. Common forms include ITR-1 for salaried individuals and ITR-2 for individuals and HUFs without business income.

6. What are deductions and exemptions in ITR?
– Deductions and exemptions allow taxpayers to reduce their taxable income by claiming expenses and investments made during the financial year under various sections like 80C, 80D, and 80E.

7. How can I calculate my tax liability?
– You can calculate your tax liability using the income tax slab rates for the particular year or using tax calculation tools available on the Income Tax Department’s website or other online platforms.

8. What is Form 26AS?
– Form 26AS is a consolidated tax statement that reflects TDS deducted by employers, banks, or other deductors, helping taxpayers verify their income and tax payments.

9. How do I verify my ITR?
– You can verify your ITR using options such as Aadhaar OTP, Net Banking, Electronic Verification Code (EVC), or by sending a signed copy of ITR-V to the Centralized Processing Center (CPC).

10. What should I do if I make a mistake in my ITR?
– If you make a mistake in your ITR, you can rectify it by filing a revised return within the stipulated time frame.

11. How long does it take to process ITR?
– The processing time for ITR varies, but taxpayers can check the status of their return online using the acknowledgment number provided after filing.

12. What if I miss the deadline for filing ITR?
– Missing the deadline for filing ITR may result in penalties and legal consequences, so it’s essential to file before the due date.

13. Can I file ITR without Form 16?
– Yes, you can file ITR without Form 16 by using other income proofs like bank statements, salary slips, and TDS certificates.

14. Is e-filing of ITR mandatory?
– E-filing of ITR is mandatory for individuals with an income above a specified threshold, while it is optional for others.

15. Where can I get help for filing my ITR?
– You can seek assistance from tax professionals, chartered accountants, or use online tax filing platforms for accurate and hassle-free ITR filing.

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