Are you filing income tax returns for the first time? Do you need any help in filing your ITR? Are you looking for some guidance to perfectly file your returns? Don’t worry. Because here, you will find the 4-point checklist for filing income tax returns. These points will be extremely helpful to you to know the different stages of filing ITR and what arrangements you need to make at each stage.
Checklist for Filing Income Tax Returns (ITR)
Ever since the Income Tax Department of India introduced Income Tax E Filing, more than 9.8 crore users have registered in the official portal. All taxpayers found the online mode to be more convenient than the manual process of filing returns through CAs or Challans. The E filing is a paperless process that shows all your income from every source. Also, you can file your own returns without much help from a second person making the filing process easy.
Point 1 : Complete Prerequisites for Filing Income Tax Returns
Prerequisites are all the processes you need to complete before you can actually start filing income tax returns. Make sure that you complete these to ensure a successful ITR filing.
- An account in the official Income Tax E Filing website (https://www.incometax.gov.in/iec/foportal) is mandatory to file your ITR. You can only file ITR through this official website and no other website. Create a new account in the income tax portal if you don’t already have an account.
- Ensure you have a working mobile number and E-Mail ID. It would be best to use your official contact details, which you use with your bank accounts and personal IDs. Mobile number and E-mail ID linked with Aadhaar card and PAN card will be apt for income tac e filing.
- Income Tax returns have different categories of filing. They are ITR-1, ITR-2, and so on until ITR-7. So, choose an ITR number that best suits your requirements.
Point 2 : Gather All Necessary Documents for Income Tax E Filing
The next stage in filing income tax returns is gathering a few important documents you might need to upload or mention in the ITR. Some of these documents are obtainable only after prolonged durations. So, make sure to obtain these much ahead of the date you are going to file your ITR.
- PAN Card is the most important document in ITR. You cannot create an account on the website or even begin the process of filing without an active PAN card and number. So, make sure you have your PAN card ready.
- Another equally important document is Aadhaar Card. It also became a crucial requirement as the government of India gave the mandate to link the PAN card with the Aadhaar card.
- You will need the last financial year’s ITR filing to file the current year’s ITR. If you are filing income tax returns for the first time, this does not apply to you.
- You will need the current filing Assessment Year’s bank statement of all bank accounts in your name. You can omit any bank account that is not operational for more than two years.
- You must also have a detailed list of all your incomes from interests from balances in your savings bank accounts.
- You will also need a form 16 from your employer.
- If any salary or other payment had TDS, you must also obtain their respective TDS certificate.
Point 3 : Filing Income Tax Returns
The next stage is to begin the process of filing income tax returns. This is the most important stage as you will have to input personal data by referring to the documents gathered carefully. Cross verify the details a few times and ensure there are no errors while inputting.
- Login to the income tax E filing portal using your credentials.
- Go to the ITR filing page and select the appropriate ITR form from the seven options.
- Read the instructions on the first page and start inputting the details in the given fields of the remaining pages of the ITR form.
- Click on Save Draft Button every time you complete a page to ensure that your inputted data is not lost.
- If you don’t want to fill the form online and want to fill it offline, you can also download an offline Java utility form. After filling this form in offline mode, you can upload this file back into the portal, and the portal will take all the details from this form and show it in the online form. Click on save draft after successful upload of the utility form.
- You can even download Form 26AS to get detailed information of your TDS deductions to merge it with your ITR. Form 26AS is an annual statement that shows all the TDS deductions on your payments received from various income sources.
- Ensure that you deduct taxes from your ITR as per Form 16 given by your employer. If you don’t have any other source of income other than your salary, your ITR will be similar to your Form 16.
- You can claim deductions up to Rs. 10,000 per year if you have income from interests as per Section 80TTA of the Income Tax Act of 1961
- You are also eligible for extra deductions from life insurance policies and other national schemes as per the Income Tax Act of 1961.
- Ensure that you fill every mandatory field in the ITR form.
Point 4 : E-Verification of Income Tax Returns
E-verification is the final and important stage in income tax e filing as you can only successfully submit an ITR after E-verification. Without an E-verification, your entire ITR is invalid. There are two modes of E-verification, online and offline.
- In online E-verification, you can verify your ITR through several methods like Digital signature, Aadhaar based verification, OTP verification, etc.
- In offline E-verification, you must take a printout of the acknowledgment form of the ITR. And afterward, you need to put your signature in it and mail it to the Centralized Processing Centre in Bangalore. The mail must reach there within 120 days of the ITR filing.
Filing income tax returns is a task you must complete very attentively. Any mistake in the details will delay your ITR filing and can draw penalties for late filing. It is a good habit to pay early taxes, if possible. Early ITRs help you avoid the last-minute hurry and provide hefty rebates on tax payments. Whichever method you choose, always make sure that you follow this 4-point checklist to file your ITR perfectly.
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