A Guide to File Your Income Tax Returns Online
People who come under the taxable bracket should file their income tax return on the date specified during a financial year. But you can also submit your income tax return online. The process is called e-filing and is a quick and efficient way to file your returns. Besides giving you the comfort of filing your income tax returns right from your home, one of the other vital aspects of filing your returns through the portal is that it helps you save on taxes.
But before we delve into how it helps you do that, let us look at how to file your income tax returns online through the dedicated income tax portal.
How to File Your Income Tax Returns Online?
During the financial year 2017-18, the Income Tax Department created e-filing software for filling the income tax return forms. However, only the ITR-1 and ITR-4 forms can be filled online without downloading it into any software such as Excel. Here is the process of filing income tax returns through the online mode.
- Before you visit the website and start filing your returns is kept, all the required documents ready
- To file your returns, go to the Income Tax e-filing portal and login if you are an existing user or create your profile by registering yourself if you are a new user
- Log in to the portal using your credentials, which consist of your User ID and the password. You may also need to enter a Captcha to enter the site
- Once you login to the site, you may choose either the ITR-1 or ITR-4 form, whichever applies to you. Also, be sure to select the right submission mode that applies to you. In general, the submission mode is usually ‘Prepare and Submit Online’
- If you had previously filed your income tax returns online, you could proceed by selecting the ‘automatically prefill’ option by selecting those details you want the system to prefill
- Once you proceed by pressing the ‘Continue’ button, you will redirect to another page, which shows you the 'General Instructions.' Proceed from here only after you have thoroughly read and understood all the instructions
- Once you have read the instructions, you can start filling the details asked for, which may include ‘Form 80G’, 'General Information,' 'Tax Details,' 'Income Details,' ‘Taxes Paid and Verification’
- After you fill the form, make sure that you go through it again so that you don't miss anything
- After reviewing the form carefully, you can click on the ‘Preview and Submit’ button and finally proceed to click on the 'Submit' button
- Once you have clicked on the ‘Submit’ button, your Income Tax Return form will be uploaded onto the site. You may need to verify your details by providing either your Aadhaar Card or an Electronic Verification Code or sending an ITR V to the concerned authorities within 120 days
- Once your ITR details are verified, the Income Tax Department will process the same and intimate you through email or send a text message
Who Should File Income Tax Returns?
You can find the guidelines for filing income tax returns in Section 139(1) of the Income Tax Act, 1961. According to this Section, any individual who gets an annual income that is greater than the income tax exemption limit during a financial year should file income tax returns. Besides individual persons, others who are required to submit their income tax returns include public or private sector companies, Hindu Undivided Families, and associations, organizations, or other such bodies of persons.
Types of ITR Forms
There are different types of ITR forms on the official website of the Income Tax Department. These forms can be used to file income tax returns and depend on the sources of income and the types of taxpayers. As per the existing guidelines, there are seven types of ITR forms available on the official portal of the Income Tax Department:
The ITR-1 form, also known as SAHAJ, is meant for individuals who get their incomes from their salaries, pensions, property rentals, interests, and other such sources. However, the total income of the individual in any given year should not exceed INR 50 Lakh.
ITR-2 is for Hindu Undivided Families whose income sources do not include the profits from a business or any other income they may get from their profession.
The ITR-3 form is for those Hindu Undivided Families who get their incomes from their professions or from doing business.
The ITR-4 income tax return form is for those people whose income comes from doing business or professions.
ITR-5 is for those organizations or bodies who are not individuals, Hindu Undivided Families, or companies.
Companies who don’t claim tax exemptions under Section 11 of the Income Tax Act can file their returns using ITR-6.
The ITR-7 form is for all those people, companies, and other organizations or bodies who must file their returns in Sections 139(4A), (4B), (4C), (4D), (4E), and (4F) of Indian Income Tax Act.
Documents Required to File Income Tax Returns Online?
Different individuals file different types of income tax returns and may require a different set of documents. In general, however, the following documents should be enough.
- Your PAN card details
- Previous bank statements
- Interest Certificates from the bank
- Proof that you have made tax-saving investments
- Form 16 if you draw a salary
- TDS certificate
- Forms 16A, 16B, and 16C, as well as Form 26AS
How Do You Check Your ITR Status?
If you have recently filed your income tax returns through the portal, you can check your ITR by visiting the same portal. There are two ways to do this:
Use the Acknowledgement Number
You can check your ITR status by logging in to the portal and feeding the acknowledgement number that you got after you filed your returns. To do this:
- Visit the website of the Income Tax Department
- Find the ‘Services’ tab on the left side of the homepage and select the ‘ITR Status’ option
- Once you select the ‘ITR Status’ option, you will be sent to a new page where you must provide your PAN card details along with the acknowledgement number and enter a ‘Captcha’ code
- Submit all the required details to get your ITR status
So, use this method to get your ITR status. In case this method fails, or if you don’t have enough details, you can also go for this alternative method of logging into the website.
Use Your Login Credentials
You can also check your ITR status by logging into the official portal of the income tax department. To do this:
- Visit the official income tax portal and log in using your ID and Password
- Once you log in, you will arrive at your ‘Dashboard’ where you should click on the ‘View Returns/Forms’ option
- Under ‘View Returns/Forms,' click on the Income Tax Returns option and the relevant year of assessment and submit it
- You will then get the status of the income tax returns that you filed
There are plenty of benefits of filing income tax returns through the online mode. For instance, it helps the Income Tax Department keep track of all the financial transactions you make during a year. But how does it help you? When you go looking for a loan, the bank or other financial institution may ask for proof of your income source. They mostly do this to be sure that you can repay the loan. The bank or financial institution can seek records for the same from the Income Tax Department website if you have been filing your returns.
So, make sure you file your income tax returns so that you can reap the benefits.
Ans: You don’t need to submit any documents to file your Income Tax Returns. But, do you remember that documents like Form 16, your salary slip or balance sheet, bank account details, and any investments you have made may help you out if the income tax department insists that you submit some proof of income.
Ans: If you make a mistake while filing your Income Tax Return, you can correct it by submitting a revised return. Even though there is no fine for refilling your returns, you should still be aware that you should do it before the assessing officer completes reviewing the forms or before the end of the assessment year, whichever comes first.
Ans: No. As per the current situation, you cannot file your Income Tax Returns if you don’t have a valid PAN card.