Income Tax Return or ITR is a form taxpayers can use to declare their income, tax deductions, taxes, expenses, and investments during a fiscal year. According to the Income Tax Act 1961, taxpayers must file an ITR under various conditions. Even if you have no income, filing income tax returns allows you to carry forward losses, claim income tax refunds, receive tax deductions, etc.
Rather than visiting the income tax department, you can now file ITR online using the internet. The new income tax online portal simplifies the tax filing process, allowing taxpayers to leverage various features and benefits. However, before filing, keep your PAN, bank statements, form 26AS, AIS, and form 16 handy. Here is a detailed guide on how to file your income tax returns online.
1 Visit the income tax online website for e-filing
Use the following link to visit the Income Tax e-filing portal:
2 Log in or register to the website.
Enter your user ID, password, PAN, and captcha code to log in to the website. Access the e-file menu and click ‘ITR’ to file your income tax return. The related page will load in a few seconds.
3 Enter the necessary details.
If you are already registered, your PAN number will automatically fill up in the form after logging in. Here are a few pieces of information you must provide:
ITR form number from ITR 1 or ITR 4
Assessment year, the year in which you earned the income
Filing type from ‘Original or Revised Return.
Finally, select ‘Prepare and Submit Online.
4 Choose the mode of filing.
Select the filing mode, click on continue, and select ‘online’ to proceed.
5 Select status
Select your status from individual, firm, LLP, or HUF (Hindu Undivided Family). An individual is a natural person covered under the category of person under Section 2(31) of the Income Tax Act, 1961. HUF is a separate entity for tax assessment with its own PAN. Under Hindu Law, HUF is a family of lineally descended people from common ancestors. A firm or LLP is a partnership with more than one partner doing business under the same firm name. Registration under GST is mandatory if their annual income is more than a specific amount.
6 Select the relevant ITR form.
When filing income tax online, you can choose from two options: ITR 1 and 4. The ITR 1 has five sections: personal information, gross total income, total deductions, tax payments, and total tax liabilities. The ITR 4 has six sections: personal information, total deductions, disclosures, total tax liabilities, tax payments, and gross total income.
7 Summary of the tax computation
Once you enter the required details, the portal will display a summary of your tax calculations for the year. Here, you can see whether you are eligible for a tax refund or owe any taxes. Preview and submit your ITR by entering your place of residence.
8 Proceed to validation
Click ‘Proceed to Validation’. Check and correct any errors if present. After double-checking the details, continue to verification. Choose any of the following options to verify your ITR:
- e-Verify within 120 days from the date of ITR filing
- e-Verify via ITR-V through speed or normal post to the Income Tax Department address within 120 days of filing the ITR
You can complete the e-verification process by generating an EVC (Electronic Verification Code) or OTP (One-Time Password) through the bank’s ATM, Aadhaar Card, pre-validated bank account, or pre-validated Demat account. If you want to avoid verifying yourself online, you can send a copy of your ITR form to the Income Tax Department’s official address. Your return is only complete if you verify it online or offline. After choosing the mode of verification, select ‘Preview and Submit’.
9 Submit the Form
Click on ‘submit’ to submit the income tax return. After successfully uploading the ITR, check your email address to receive your income tax acknowledgement.
Every Indian citizen must pay income tax to the government if their income exceeds a certain threshold. Your annual income is taxable according to the current Income Tax laws, whether you are a firm, individual, LLP, HUF, or a local authority. Hence, filing your ITR and paying your income tax online is essential.