People want to file the return but believe that the procedure is too complicated. Nowadays, ITR filing can be done online as well as offline. But from the assessment year 2013-14 onwards, the income tax department has made it mandatory for all taxpayers having a total income of above Rs.5 lakh in the previous financial year, to e-file their tax returns.

Who should e-file income tax returns?

Online ITR filing is done by assessments as it makes tax returns convenient and easy.

Assessee with a total income of Rs. 5 Lakhs and above.

Individual/HUF resident with assets located outside India.

Audit report shall be furnished by assessee which are specified under sections 10(23C) (IV), 10(23C) (v), 10(23C) (VI), 10(23C) (via), 10A, 12A (1) (b), 44AB, 80IA, 80IB, 80IC, 80ID, 80JJAA, 92E, 80LA or 115JB of the Act. Assessee need to give a notice under Section 11(2) (a) to the assessing officer.

A firm that does not come under the provisions of section 44AB, AOP, BOI, Artificial Juridical Person, Cooperative Society, and Local Authority (ITR 5).

An assessee shall enter all the details of returns under Section 139(4)(B) (ITR 7)

A resident who may have the signing authority in any account located outside of the country.

A person who has claimed relief under sections 90 or 90A, or any deductions under section 91.

All companies.

E-filing of Income Tax Returns

For ITR filing different forms are available. There are a few things that are essential for ITR filing through the internet. They are –

  • Bank statements
  • Form 16
  • Copy of the previous year’s return
  • TDS Certificates.
  • Deductions or Savings Certificates.
  • Interest Statement that shows the fact that you had received interest during the financial year.
  • Balance Sheet, Profit, and Loss Account Statement, and other Audit Reports (if applicable).

Steps for ITR filing through the Internet

You should have the documents ready, and then the following steps need to be observed to allow smooth and hassle-free ITR filing through the internet:

  1. Register – Permanent Account Number (PAN) is used as the user ID
  2. Tax Credit Statement (Form 26AS) – This is required to be checked for the preceding financial year. This lists all the taxes that are deducted are actually deposited with the Income Tax Department.
  3. The Tax Deducted at Source (TDS) of Form 16 should tally with the ones in Form 26AS
  4. Tax Return for the current year – Within the Download menu, by clicking on Income Tax Return Forms and by choosing the current financial year, the appropriate ITR form should be downloaded. There is an alternative way to complete the process on the portal itself, within the ‘Quick E-file ITR’ link.
  5. Find the payable tax by clicking on the ‘Calculate Tax’ tab. If applicable, tax is to be paid. Fill in the details of the challan in the tax return.
  6. Confirm all the information through the ‘Validate’ tab
  7. Generate an ‘XML file’, save it on your local disk on the device itself.
  8. Upload Return – After choosing the current financial year in the ‘Upload Return’ link on the portal’s left-hand navigation area, choose the XML file that had been saved earlier. There may or may not be an option to digitally sign the file. In case you happen to have a digital signature, select ‘Yes’ else select ‘No’
  9. ITR V – If the process of filing has been completed without any errors, the website will respond with an appropriate message and you should be able to download the acknowledgment form, the ITR-V.
  10. A printed copy of the ITR V is required to be signed and is delivered to the Income Tax Department office nearest to you through normal or Speed Post within almost 120 days of filing the return.

There are a lot of private portals substituting the official site operated by the Government of India that allows the filing of returns and charges a specific fee depending upon the service level they offer.

Benefits of Filing Income Tax Return Online

It might be a tough process to keep a track of every detail required in order to file the proper details for the Income Tax Return. But actually, it is very helpful when completed in the earnest and ahead of time, preferably, online.

  1. The last date of Online ITR filing is July 31 of every financial year, and filing of ITR a few days earlier or a month earlier actually ensures that the process will be much smoother as there will be less traffic on the website.
  2. If someone has missed filing tax returns for the previous year, every additional day until July 31 increases the penal interest. Thus, it is advisable to file a tax return in advance.
  3. Creating a favorable financial history – Online filing of the income tax returns generates a history of your financial records with the tax department in a much efficient and hassle-free way. This history is favored by a lot of organizations, be it financial or otherwise, with whom you might have a business relationship with in the future.
  4. ITR-V form acts as proof and it is always handy, ITR V can be furnished easily as a proof at any time for any kind of financial liability.

Filing ITR offline

The process to e-File ITR offline for 2016-2017

  • Open the website of the Income Tax Department of India and choose the option for e-filing.
  • On choosing this option, you will be redirected to another website where you can choose the ITR form that is applicable to you.
  • For 2016-2017, the IT Department has two utilities and you may download any of them. These utilities are Excel Utility and Java Utility.

If you choose Excel Utility, then:

  • After the excel utility is successfully downloaded, fill the form by opening the file.
  • Verify the information, calculate the tax, and click on Generate XML.
  • Save the form, then upload it on the e-filing website of the IT Department.
  • Once you have uploaded the form, click on submit.

If you download the JAVA utility, then:

  • After downloading the utility, open it and proceed with clicking on ‘Prefill’.
  • Enter User ID, Password, DOB/DOI, and select Prefill Address.
  • Enter details, calculate the tax, and upload the XML file back on the website.
  • Click on Submit.

For any help and assistance on ITR Filing feel free to consult the tax experts at LegalRaasta. You can file ITR yourself via our ITR software or get CA’s help on filing income tax returns. You can also use the option of Business Return, Bulk Return, or Revised Return Filing with LegalRaahi.