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How to File Income Tax Returns Online in India: Step-by-Step Guide

Fri Apr 07 2023

Every year taxpayers must fill out income tax returns declaring their income, expenditures, savings, investments, tax deductions, taxes, etc. It is a mandatory requirement under the Indian Income Tax Act 1961 for every taxpayer to fill out the ITR. 

Let's understand an income tax return and how to fill it out online.

What is an Income Tax Return?

An income tax return is a form through which taxpayers declare their income, expenses, investments, and tax deductions. A person who is not earning can not fill their ITRs. People who have zero income should also file for income tax returns:

  1. Carry forward losses
  2. Claim an income tax refund.
  3. Claim tax deductions

You can get your income tax returns filed through a qualified chartered accountant or can also file it online. In addition, the income tax department has given an option of e-filing of ITR. In this article, let's understand the different steps in filing income tax returns online.

Steps for e-filing of Income Tax Returns

The first few steps of filing an income tax return online will be to carefully do all calculations before planning to start the process. Let's see the steps involved:

Step 1: Calculating Income and Tax

According to the income tax law provision, you must calculate your income. When estimating payment, you should include all sources, such as job, business, interest income, freelancing, income from rent, etc. Considering TCS, TDS, or any advance tax credit in this step would be best. You can claim deductions per the tax-saving options.

Step 2: TDS Certificate and Form 26AS

As a taxpayer, you would have received the TDS (Tax deducted at source) certificate for the four quarters of the financial year to verify your TDS amount. Form 26AS will assist you with the summary of the TDS and taxes paid during the entire year.

Step 3: Income Tax Form

Before proceeding further, you must figure out how to fill your ITR. In the case of online, only two ITR forms are available - ITR1 and ITR4. If you want to fill out any other state, you must do it offline.  

Step 4: Download the ITR Utility Form

To download the ITR utility form, you must visit www.incometax.gov.in and click on downloads from the top blue menu bar. You will get the option of choosing the assessment year and downloading the offline utility software. These could be Microsoft Excel, JSON, or Java, as you prefer. 

Step 5: Filling Details

Once the form is downloaded, you must fill in your income details and check whether you need to pay more tax or are eligible for a tax return.  

Step 6: Validation of Information

Go to the right side of the right-hand side of the downloaded form to get the validate button. Upon clicking the validate button, the state will check whether all the necessary information has been entered.

Step 7: Conversion of File

Once your ITR form is wholly validated, you will need to convert the form into XML format. You must click the generate XML button on the right side to convert your file.

Step 8: Uploading the File

Once your file is converted into XML format, login to the income tax e-filing portal and click on the e-file tab, you will see an option for income tax returns; click on the same. Once the page opens, enter information such as PAN, ITR form number, assessment year, and submission mode. 

Remember you must click the upload XML option in the drop-down next to the submission mode. Now, you will get the option of attaching your XML file. Once done, click on submit.

Lastly, you must choose one of the verification modes - Aadhar OTP, EVC (electronic verification mode), or send a signed copy manually to CPC, Bangalore.

To Sum It Up

In today's digital world, filling your income tax returns from the comfort of your home is no longer difficult. What used to be a hassle a few years back is now a more straightforward and easy-to-understand process. By following the above steps, you will easily file your ITR online.

You can also use Taxnodes for expert-guided tax filing. 

byKiruthika AS

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