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How to File ITR - Learn How to File Income Tax Returns Online

dateKnowledge Centre Team dateOctober 28, 2020 views111 Views 4 Minute Read

Income Tax Return simply involves a form which you utilize to enter information of your yearly earning and other details and submit to the department. This includes income from salary, profit in business, sale of house or property, dividend or capital gains and interest received among others. Each taxpayer has to pay tax on the basis of the yearly income. If you have paid tax in excess during a year, the money is refunded back to you by the Income tax Department.

Is Filing ITR Compulsory for all Indians?

Income Tax rules dictate that if you earn more than the limit that is exempted from being taxed by the Government, you are compulsorily required to file your tax return according to the tax slabs for each year. Filing your ITR post the due date may attract a penalty and also become a deterrent in getting a loan or visa approved in the future.

Filing Income Tax Return is a compulsory or everyone, with a few exceptions:

1. For individuals below 60 years of age with gross total income of less than Rs 2.5 lakhs (before claiming any deductions), do not require filling an ITR.

2. In case of resident senior citizens (aged between 60 to 80 years), this limit is Rs.3 lakh and Rs.5 lakh for super senior citizens (aged above 80) resident in India.

3. Senior Citizens aged 75 years and above with only pension income and interest income are not required to file return of income.

The due date for filing your income tax returns is 30th December 2021. As we know, the government has introduced a new portal for income tax return filing. For taxpayers, the major concern is income tax return filing on the new Income Tax Portal. Many taxpayers are finding it confusing. However, the new Income Tax Portal is very easy and convenient to use.

Currently, there are different to file your income tax returns on the new Income Tax Portal.

Ways in Which a User Can File Income Tax Returns

There are two different ways to file the Income Tax Returns for the FY 2020-21:

a) Online mode
b) Offline mode

a) Online Mode

Here are the steps involved in online mode:

Step 1. Login to the Income Tax e-Filing portal, using PAN and login details.

Step 2. On Income Tax Return Page, select your ITR Form Number and file your income tax return online.

Step 3. After filing your Income Tax Return, proceed towards e-Verifying your Income Tax Return.

Step 4. The e-Verification process can be done using any of the following modes:

  • EVC generated through bank ATM or Generate EVC option under My Account
  • Aadhaar OTP
  • Pre-validated Bank Account
  • Pre-validated Demat Account

Step 5. After verifying and submitting your Income Tax Return, view your submitted ITR form on the My Account > e-Verify Return option or by sending signed ITR-V to CPC.

Step 6. Finally, you can view your uploaded Income Tax Returns.

b) Offline Mode

If you want to file the Income Tax Return, you need to first download the applicable ITR form, fill the form manually, generate the XML file and then upload it on the Income Tax Portal. To e-File the ITR using the upload XML method, the user must priorly download either the Excel or the Java utility for ITR Filing.

Step-by-step Guide on How to File Income Tax Returns Online

Here is the stepwise process for filing Income Tax Returns Online:

S. No. Function Steps
1. Login to the e-filing portal Step-i. Login to the Income Tax e-Filing portal, using PAN and login details.

Step-ii. Select the 'e-File' menu and go to the “Income Tax Return' link.
2. Navigate Income Tax Return Page PAN will be auto-populated

  • Select 'Assessment Year'
  • Select 'ITR Form Number'
  • Select 'Filing Type' as 'Original/Revised Return'
  • Select 'Submission Mode' as Prepare and Submit Online Click “Continue”.
3. ITR Filing Read all the instructions carefully and accordingly fill in all the applicable and mandatory fields of the Online ITR Form.
4. E-verification of income tax filing Here are the steps to e-verify ITR Filing:

Step-i. Select the right Verification type in the 'Taxes Paid and Verification' tab.

Step-ii. Tick any one of the following options to e-verify the Income Tax Return:

  • I would like to e-Verify.
  • I would like to e-Verify later within 120 days from the date of filing.
  • I don't want to e-Verify and would like to send signed ITR-V through normal or speed post to "Centralized Processing Centre, Income Tax Department, Bengaluru - 560 500" within 120 days from the date of filing.
Step-iii. Click on the 'Preview and Submit' button,

Step-iv. Carefully verify all the details entered in the ITR.

Step-v. Click the “Submit” button.

Step-vi. Now, select the 'I would like to E-Verify' link. You can e-Verify ITR through any of the following modes:

  • EVC generated through bank ATM or Generate EVC option under My Account
  • Aadhaar OTP
  • Pre-validated Bank Account
  • Pre-validated Demat Account
Step-vii. Now quickly enter EVC/OTP within 60 seconds. Otherwise, your Income Tax Returns will be auto-submitted. In that case, you will have to verify your submitted ITR later by using the 'My Account > e-Verify Return' option.
5. View uploaded income tax return Finally, you can view your uploaded Income Tax Returns

Documents Required To File ITR

It is very important to keep all the required documents ready while the income tax filing process.

Here are the key documents that you will need while online return filing:

i. Bank and post office savings account passbook,

ii. PPF account passbook

iii. Salary slips

iv. Aadhar Card

v. PAN card

vi. Interest certificates from the banks and post office

vii. Form-16: TDS certificate which your employer issues to you to provide details of your salary paid to you and TDS deducted on the same:
a. Form-16A: This is needed if TDS is deducted on payments other than salaries e.g. interest received from FD, RD, etc.
b. Form-16B: This is needed in case you have sold a house property, showing the TDS deducted on the amount paid to you by the buyer.
c. Form-16C: This is required from your tenant, for providing the details of TDS deducted on the house rent he has paid to you.

viii. Form 26AS: This is the consolidated income tax statement. It mentions details about all the taxes deposited against your PAN:

  • TDS deducted by your employer
  • TDS deducted by banks
  • TDS deducted by any other organizations from payments made to you
  • Advance taxes deposited by you
  • Self-assessment taxes paid by you

ix. Tax saving investment proofs

x. Proofs for claiming tax deductions u/s 80D to 80U (i.e. on health insurance premium for self and family and interest on education loan)

xi. Home loan statement from your bank.

Benefits of ITR Filing Online

Although you can file your income tax returns in offline mode as well, there are some benefits of ITR filing online. Here are the benefits of ITR filing online:

1. Claiming a Tax Refund

If you have paid excess income tax, you can claim a tax refund only if you have filed your income tax return online.

2. Proof of Income

If you are a businessperson or self-employed, online income tax return filing will serve as your Proof of Income, since Form-16 is available only for salaried taxpayers.

3. Processing of Loans

If you apply for a home loan or vehicle loan or any other loan, the banks demand copies of the latest income tax returns filed to judge your sources of income.

4. Claiming Losses

Online income tax return filing is mandatory if you wish to claim certain losses for an individual taxpayer, such as losses from capital gains, business, or profession. Besides, it also helps you track losses that you can claim in the future.

5. VISA Application

If you are planning to migrate for a job or conduct business tours, immigration authorities demand copies of the latest income tax returns filed. The online income tax return filing ensures the smooth processing of VISA applications.

How to Download Income Tax Return?

It is important to know how to file ITR timely. The best way to avoid a last-minute rush or a penalty is to download your income tax return filed. As soon as you file your ITR, the income tax verification form ITR-V is generated by the IT department. You must download ITR-V so that you can verify the validity of income tax filing. Here are the steps involved:

Step 1. Login to the Income Tax India Portal.

Step 2. Select 'View Returns/ Forms' option to view e-filed tax returns.

Step 3. Select the appropriate option in your Income Tax return filed:

  • Details of all the years for which returns are filed will be displayed
  • Click on the acknowledgement number to download the ITR-V.

Step 4. Start the download by selecting 'ITR-V Acknowledgment'

This is a password-protected file. You have to enter your password to open the downloaded document. The password will be your PAN number in small letters along with your date of birth.

E.g. if PAN is ASIJP2345P and the date of birth is 31/12/1980, the Password will be asijp2345p31121980.

How to Check ITR Status Online?

After income tax return filing and e-verification of income tax filing, the status of your tax return shows as 'Verified'.

After the processing is done, the status becomes 'ITR Processed'.

There are 2 ways to know the status of your ITR is Verified or Processed:

Without Login

1. Just click on the ITR status tab on the far left of the e-filing portal.

2. It will redirect you to a new page where you have to enter your PAN number, ITR acknowledgement number, and captcha code.

3. The status of your filing will then be displayed on the screen.

With Login

1. Login to the e-filing portal.

2. Select “View Returns/Forms”

3. From the dropdown menu, select “income tax returns and assessment year”

4. The status of your filing will be displayed on the screen.

How to File Income Tax Returns Offline?

You can also file income tax returns offline. Sometimes, you might face fluctuations in your internet connection, or the income tax return filing portal might hang due to huge traffic. Hence you must know how to file income tax return offline in mode.

Here are the steps involved in the offline ITR filing process:

A. Downloading ITR Form

Step 1. Go to the Income Tax e-Filing portal.

Step 2. Download the Appropriate ITR utility under 'Downloads > IT Return Preparation Software'.

Step 3. Extract the downloaded utility ZIP file and Open the Utility from the extracted folder.

You can now e-file the downloaded ITR, by filling in all the applicable and mandatory fields.

B. After ITR Filing

Step 1. Don't forget to validate all the tabs of the ITR form and calculate the Tax amount.

Step 2. Now generate and save the XML file.

Step 3. Login to the Income Tax e-Filing portal.

Step 4. Click on the 'e-File' menu and click the 'Income Tax Return' link, to e-file the ITR.

Step 5. Now e-verify your ITR using any of the following modes:

Step 6. DSC

Step 7. Aadhaar OTP

Step 8. EVC using Pre-validated Bank Account Details

Step 9. EVC using Pre-validated Demat Account Details.

You can now submit the ITR and view the uploaded Income Tax Returns.

Note: You can also download pre-filled XML after login into the e-Filing portal. You can access this from 'My Account > Download Pre-Filled XML'. Now, you shall import the XML file to the utility for prefilling the personal and other details.

All those residing within India have to pay tax on their income to the Government of India as per the Income tax rules and regulations. Whether you are an individual, association or a firm, LLP, local authority or a Hindu undivided family, your income for each financial year is taxed in accordance with Income Tax laws. Hence, filing your Income Tax return (ITR) on an annual basis is important.

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