In accordance to section 139 (1) of the Income Tax Act, of the year 1961, any individual whose previous year’s total income exceeds the highest amount of income which is not chargeable to tax should make sure to file the income tax returns (ITR). There are essentially two ways in which you can file your income tax returns. One is the traditional way of visiting the Income Tax Department office and filing it manually, and the other is the newer way, by utilizing the internet. With the advancement in technology, you can now file for your income tax returns over the internet. Check E-filing Income Tax returns guide below.
The income tax returns can be filed electronically as well, and this process is known as e-filing. E-filing has gained a lot of popularity in the last couple of years given its ease of use and the undoubted convenience it provides to the users. It eliminates the tedious paperwork you have to go through when filing in an office, and also provides the comfort of filing income tax returns from your home. The due date for filing tax returns every year is on the 31st of August, for both online and offline filing.
What are the Types of E-filing?
The most common method of E-filing is by using a Digital Signature Certificate (DSC). However, it is necessary for a chartered accountant to file these IT forms applying Digital Signature Certificate.
If you E-file without using DSC, an ITR V form is created, which is very vital in the process. You have to print this form and then sign and submit it to CPC, in Bangalore by speed post or ordinary post. You should ensure that this form is submitted within 120 working days of the time of E-filing.
You can also apply for an E-file IT returns via an E-return intermediary (ERI). However, in this method, a DSC is not necessary.
What are the Steps you Need to Follow to E-File Income Tax Returns?
Filing for your tax income returns online is comparatively a lot easier than actually visiting an office and going about the whole process manually. However, not knowing the right steps to e-file might make the process cumbersome and harder to follow. The steps further mentioned below make E-filing a lot less complicated and easier for the common man.
- To start with this process, first, you have to log onto gov.in and register with an account on the website.
- Your user ID will be the Permanent Account Number (PAN). Once applied, you should check the Form 26AS or tax credit statement. There the figures on the form 26AS should tally with the TDS as per the Form 16.
- In the website, click on income tax returns and choose the financial year. There you will find the ITR form applicable to you. If your income exceeds Rs. 5000, ITR-2 will be the form for you.
- Download the form and excel utility and fill out form-16 using all the necessary details.
- You can also check the amount of tax payable by clicking on the ‘calculate tax’ tab. If you have pending tax to be paid, you can easily pay it from here. However, once you are done, filling in the challan details and confirm all the details by clicking ‘validate.’
- With that step, half the process is completed. All you need to do now is upload the XML file you saved, and a pop up will come asking you if you have digitally signed the file. Choose the apt option from ‘yes’ or ‘no’ and an acknowledgment form will be issued.
- You then have to download this ITR Verification (ITR-V) and take a print out of it to sign it with blue ink.
What are Some Precautions you Must Take while E-filing?
- You will not be able to use the same email address or the number for more than four taxpayers to file returns on this website, until and unless the necessary changes are done.
- You should ensure that the name mentioned in your PAN card is exactly the same as the name mentioned on official statements and bank documents. Even if it is slightly different, the portal will consider you to be a completely different individual.
- For a non-residential Indian, both a foreign number and an Indian number are required if they want to file income tax returns.
What is the Checklist you Need to Follow for E-Filing IT Returns?
Further mentioned below are some of the prerequisites that can ensure that filing for your tax returns runs smoothly and is effective. Some of the major sub-topics are highlighted below:
- Choose the right form for E-filing your taxes
It can be quite daunting to decide which form you have to submit to E-file for your tax returns. However, once you have figured that out, submit the form by speed or ordinary post to the Income Tax Department within 120 days.
- Make sure to check your tax credit and compare Form 26As and Form 16
Before filing for your tax returns, it is of prime importance to thoroughly check Form 26AS. This form provides information on the amount of tax that has been deducted from your salary and put in the IT department by an employer. You have to make sure that the figures on Form 26AS match the figures on Form 16. If you end up filing for returns without providing clarity on errors, the IT department will send you a notice.
In addition to the above-mentioned prerequisites, the following things should be at hand whenever you are filing for your income tax returns:
- Bank statements
- The tax returns of the previous financial year
- All of the Tax Deducted at Source (TDS) certificates
- Audit Reports and Balance Sheet, and Profit and Loss (P&L) Account Statement, if asked for
- Ensure that your system is equipped with the following software
Java Runtime Environment Version 7 Update 6 or above
Filing for Income Tax Returns was always a very cumbersome process, along with being time-consuming. However, this article will further make the process of E-filing for your Income Tax Returns a lot more convenient and easier to complete.