How to e-File income tax returns in India
Procedure is simple but may turn time consuming iif one is going through the process first time. Purpose of this article is to help people who has not done it themselves and fail to get help from experts. First step is simple in nature - to get registered at IT department's official site. One can reach the income tax department site easily searching site using google or clicking e-file your income tax returns.
After reaching official income tax site, one need to click "File Returns Online" tab in the left side bar that will provide three options to click.Employees willing to file tax returns online should click on the option "Income Tax Return". It will take tax filers to another site (Directorate of Income Tax) of IT department where the actual process will begin. Here, tax filers will notice a 'Login' button in the right side bar but they can use it only after they are issued a password after registration. All the income tax payers are advised to get registered here so that they may file there returns online even if it is not mandatory for them at this moment. It is easy and simple process and help one to maintain IT records online.There is also a provision to pay taxes online if some amount is outstanding against tax payers name. To pay taxes online click the link in the left side bar of the income tax site. Clicking link will take the taxpayer to nsdl site.
Online filing of income tax (e-File) returns may be accomplished in two ways - i) Fill return offline and upload XML , or ii) Prepare and submit ITR-1 online
Fill return offline and upload XML
Process involves selection and download of an appropriate form from given choices (ITR-1, ITR-2, ITR-3 etc.). ITR-1 is applicable for majority of employees with one housing property and ITR-2 is relevant to employees having income from shares or stocks as 'long term/short term gains'. ITR 1 may also be filled by people who have income from one house property only and do not wish to brought forward losses from previous years. Other forms are for other categories having different sources of income. All these forms are part of a MS Excel Workbook that generates a XML file which has to be uploaded and successful upload will result in display of acknowledgement and generation of ITR-V form if return is not digitally signed. Java utility is also available for download to prepare income tax returns offline. A printout of the ITR-V has be mailed to Bangalore within next 120 days of e-filing of returns by ordinary or speed post. From this year, EVC (Electronic Verification Code) has been introduced to do away the process of sending ITR-V by post for e-filed returns. Code is generated for the purpose of electronic verification of the person furnishing the return of income.
Prepare and submit ITR-1 online
If you have Form 16 (issued by the Office/DDO) with you, it is the simplest way to file online returns for an employee who have income from salary/pension and just one house property. After login, select online return filing option. Webpage will show 4-5 tabs and first one is general instructions. Click on the tab "Personal Information". One may fetch personal information from the PAN or previous years return. Mandatory blank cells may be filled. There are other tabs to fill information related to income and tax deducted at source. Save draft first and submit after getting assured that tax matches tax shown in your Form 16. Some useful tips are shown below.
1. Date of birth must be filled in correct format as per the instructions. If you are a senior citizen, it becomes important to provide date of birth in correct format and click submit button. Otherwise, tax may be calculated wrongly.
2. Income chargeable must be provided carefully. Care has to be taken that exemptions for transport allowance and CEA etc are not included in the chargeable income.
3. Interest on housing loan should be provided with negative sign in the income from house property if one is eligible for benefit of tax on interest.
4. Employees covered under new NPS should provide details of employees and employers' contribution in appropriate cell.
Although process appears simple and straight at a glance but one may get struck either during the process of entering of details using MS Excel or opening of ITR-V form.Few tips are given below to help users in completion of the process of filing returns online.
1. Try to register at earliest to avoid last minute rush
2. Since downloaded MS Excel file (ITR form) is read only, it has to be saved using different file name on your local hard drive or on a memory stick.
3. Enable 'Macro' as suggested in the help file for different MS Excel versions and remember to save file otherwise buttons used for navigation may remain inactive.
4. Remember some cells on click may display a warning that sheet is protected and while attempting to unprotect the sheet message will show that you have entered the wrong password. In fact, some of the cells fetch data from other cells and may not be entered manually. Such cells have white background and preceding cells have references of the cells or fields that need to be filled to provide data to these cells. Hence, always remember to enter data in the cells having green color. Users may get confused and click on white cell which will flash warning or ask to enter the password.
5. Some buttons such as "Add Salaries" or add rows are not to be used by each and every tax payer. These are to be used in the instance if one is employed at more than one place or having more than one source of income.
6. Click 'validate' button before moving to next worksheet. It will remind you of mandatory fields left unfilled. Do it for each worksheet. Don't get upset, if you get some warning after clicking on "validate" button. Warning will flash only if some mandatory cells are left blank or format of entering data is not correct. For instance, backslash must be used to enter date if comment in the cell asks to do so. In such a case, use of a dash may not be acceptable and validation would not show "Sheet is OK".
7. Also ensure that you have clicked on the button "Calculate Tax" before clicking the "generate XML" button.
7. Click generate 'XML' file after completion of task. Make sure that tax calculated is same as given in the form 16. After clicking on "generate XML", click on "save XML" button.
8. Upload the 'XML' file and don't forget to print acknowledgement after successful upload.
9. In case of ITR-V, remember to use password comprising of combination of your PAN and date of birth in small letters. After opening ITR-V, take a printout and sign at the appropriate place.
10. Don't send ITR-V by courier or any other mean. Just use ordinary mail/speed post.
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