How to file income tax returns (ITR): With this 10 point step by step tax guide, you just can't go wrong
How to file income tax returns (ITR) continues to be one of the most asked questions and news about tax acquires prominence in daily conversation. While the process itself has been made easier over the years, still it is quite convoluted and there are many pitfalls taxpayers need to be aware of. Of course, there is the ever-present fear of taking a wrong step that prohibits people from quickly finishing the task. This causes delays and increases the dislike for the process. However, for those who are action-oriented and diligent enough, all thoughts of delays can be banished if they go through the steps provided below. Income tax returns (ITR) filing will thereafter be a process that will not be alien anymore. Since income tax returns filing has to happen for each individual, there is no point in avoiding the requirement. So, grab this opportunity to gain this knowledge and thereafter, go forth as an empowered taxpayer.
Income tax returns (ITR) filing step by step guide:
1. Log on to the Income Tax Department’s portal (www.incometaxindiaefiling.gov.in) meant for efilingof the income tax returns.
2. Under the ‘Download’ menu, go to e-filing tab, select AY and then select the appropriate Income Tax Return (ITR) form.
3. Open the downloaded Return Preparation Software (excel utility), follow the instructions and enter all the details using your Form 16/ 16A.
4. Compute tax payable by clicking the ‘Calculate Tax’ tab. Pay tax and enter the challan details in the tax return form (not applicable if your tax liability is nil).
5. Confirm the details entered by clicking the ‘Validate’ tab. Proceed to generate an XML file, which will be automatically saved on your computer.
6. Go to ‘Submit Return’ on the portal’s left panel and upload the XML file after selecting ‘AY’ and the relevant form.
7. You will be asked whether you wish to digitally sign the file. If you have obtained a DS (digital signature) select ‘Yes’, otherwise choose ‘No’.
8. Once the message regarding successful e-filing is flashed on your screen, the process is complete. The acknowledgment form - ITR–Verification (ITR-V)-will be generated and you can download the same. It will also be sent to your registered email ID.
9. Taxpayers should ensure that the tax returns they file are verified, either manually or electronically, within 120 days of filing to avoid annulment of the tax return. In case the taxpayer wishes to manually verify the ITR-V form by sending a signed hard copy to CPC Bangalore, they should ensure that ITR-V is printed on A4 size paper and signed with blue ink only before sending to CPC Bangalore.
10. ITR-V can be e-verified by generating electronic verification code using Aadhaar, net banking, bank account number, demat account or registered e-mail address and mobile number etc. of the taxpayer.
Among the other basic points to remember while filing income tax returns is that the name filled in the tax form should be exactly the same as in the Permanent Account Number (PAN) card. The e-mail address, phone number, and postal address of the taxpayer should be correctly stated in the tax return since the same is used by I-T Department for correspondence purposes. And yes, Aadhaar card should be liberally quoted where required. Yes, it is a very critical step that every taxpayer must take.
By Taranpreet Singh & Rohit Grover
(The authors are senior tax professionals with TASS Advisors LLP. The views expressed are personal)