How to file income tax returns online

Fri Jul 29, 2011 4:14pm IST

Tax payers line up to submit their income tax returns on thelast day of filing in New Delhi, September 30, 2003. REUTERS/Kamal Kishore/Files

Tax payers line up to submit their income tax returns on thelast day of filing in New Delhi, September 30, 2003.

Credit: Reuters/Kamal Kishore/Files

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Filing incoming tax returns is not a laborious ordeal anymore. E-filing or filing tax returns online has made the process a whole lot simpler. E-filing of tax returns acts as one of the options for the direct tax payers in India. There are three different ways of filing returns online:

1. File returns using a digital signature. By this option there is no need for a paper return to be submitted.

2. File without using the digital signature. By this option the ITR-V form has to be filled. This form is a one-page receipt but also serves as a verification form.

3. Take help from an E-filing intermediary who makes the filing returns and filling the ITR-V form a whole lot easier.

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DETAILS REQUIRED BEFORE LOGGING IN TO THE SITE

You will need an account with a bank that has net-banking facility. The bank must be one that has e-payments. If you have never e-filed your returns you will need to register with this website www.incometaxindiaefiling.gov.in and create a user name and password. You will need your PAN card number for the same. Your address details are extracted from the PAN.

You must enter other personal details carefully. The email address is important as all communication regarding this will be through the email address you provide. Once you have registered, an e-mail will be sent to you confirming registration after you activate your account. Once this is done, you are ready to file your income returns online. You must now download the appropriate ITR form.

STEPS TO FILE INCOME TAX RETURN ONLINE

* Log into www.incometaxindiaefiling.gov.in and create a username and password.

* Go through all the heads of income under which you will be taxed and select the relevant Income Tax Return.

* Download the Return Preparation software and fill in the details of your ITR. The Income Tax India website also provides an instruction sheet on how to fill the ITR form.

* If there is any tax to be paid then make an online payment and generate the challan counterfoil along with the CIN. Now complete the Income Tax Return form with the details from the challan and CIN along with the payment details and the details of the bank through which the e-payment has been made.

* After this generate an XML file from the filled return using the software downloaded earlier. An XML is a format that helps the IT Department enter the details into its database.

* Now select the appropriate form on the left side of the page and click ‘Submit return’. Select the XML file and click ‘Upload’. Once the uploading is successful it will be acknowledged on the screen.

* Click on ‘Print’ to get a copy of the ITR-V form.

If the return has a digital signature then the filing process is complete upon the acknowledgement notification and the print out is required only to keep a personal copy. But if it does not have a digital signature then the ITR-V form needs to be printed out by the tax payer. As mentioned earlier, this is an acknowledgment as well as a verification form and all the details need to be filled in and verified.

The tax payer has to fill-up the verification part and verify the same. A duly verified ITR-V form should be mailed to “Income Tax Department – CPC, Post Bag No – 1, Electronic City Post Office, Bangalore – 560100, Karnataka”. Mail the form by ordinary post or speedpost within 120 days of the date of transmitting the data electronically.

BENEFITS OF E-FILING OVER PAPER FILING

One of the foremost benefits of e-filing is the flexibility of filing your returns anywhere / anytime with access to the internet. Online tax returns are processed much faster than paper returns and the tax is worked out automatically as the payee completes the form. With this the payee also gets the acknowledgment slip immediately. Also online filing is a safe and secure mode.

DEADLINES FOR FILING RETURNS

The last date to file your returns is July 31, 2011. For those who need to get their account books audited under the Income Tax Act, the last day is October 1, 2011.

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