Over the past few years, the Income Tax department has tried to make the E-filing process easy and user friendly. This year, with several more assesses expected to file returns online, the process is expected to become easier. So why should you depend on others to E-file your returns when you can complete the entire E-filing process in less than an hour?
Here’s a look at the simple steps you will need to follow to file your Income Tax returns online:
Returns are filed on the Income Tax department’s E-Filing website. Please click here to start the process.
- You will first need to register yourself on the website. To register, you will first need to select the User Type (Individual/HUF/Company etc). On selecting “Individual”, you will need to fill in your personal details, including your Permanent Account Number (PAN). Your PAN will act as your user ID. On completing the registration form, your registration will be successful.
- After you register, you can login to your account using the PAN as the user id, the password you have set and your date of birth.
- You can e-file your returns in two ways. The first option is to download the applicable ITR form, fill it offline, generate the XML file and then upload this on the website. Alternately, you can choose to prepare and submit the ITR online directly after you login to your account.
- Let us consider the first option.
- You will need to download the Return Preparation Software of ITR applicable to you. You can check the applicability of the form on the e-filing website.
- The Return Preparation Software is in the form of an excel file and you will need to enable ‘macros’ on the file for all the commands to work.
- Enter all the details in the Return Preparation Software which includes your personal details, income details, the tax deducted at source and taxes you have paid. You can fill this using the Form 16 issued by your employer, TDS certificates, interest statement and any other statement which has details of all the income you earned in the previous year.
- After you fill in all the details, you will need to validate the details in each sheet of the file by clicking on the ‘Validate’ button on each sheet. Next click on ‘Generate XML’ in the first sheet of the file.
- An XML file will be generated and saved on your computer. You should then upload this XML file on the E-filing website and select the appropriate ITR form and the Assessment Year for which you are filing the returns. You will be asked if you want to digitally sign the return. If you have a Digital Signature, then you can select ‘Yes’. Else choose ‘No’ and proceed to submit the form.
- On successful completion of the process, you will get a message on your screen, as well as an email with your ITR verification form. If you have not signed the form digitally, you will need to take a printout, sign it and send the form within 120 days by normal post or speed post to the address mentioned on the form. However, if you have digitally signed the form, the process stands completed on submitting the XML form.
- In the second option, where you prepare and submit online, you should furnish all your details online and submit the return. You will then need to take a print of the ITR form you have filed, sign it and send it to the IT Department.
- The E-Filing process is said to complete when the IT Department receives your form and sends you an acknowledgement for the same. If you do not receive an acknowledgement of receipt of the form by the IT Department, you will need to send them the form again.
The IT Department is working towards simplifying the process further, by planning to do away with the mandatory submission in paper form after one files returns online. With more and more assesses coming under the E-Filing umbrella, it is hoped that the IT Department will ensure the stabilization of the website, in addition to making the process easier and more simplified.