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How to File ITR Online – Step-by-Step Guide to e-file Income Tax Return

Filing your Income Tax Return (ITR) can be a daunting task, but it's essential for your financial well-being and contributing to the nation's growth. In this guide, we'll walk you through the process of filing your ITR online and help you find the answer for the question: ‘How to apply ITR online?.’ Whether you're a beginner or just need a refresher, we'll make it easy for you. So, let's dive in and explore the easiest way to file ITR and generate the ITR 5 form.

Online Process to File ITR

Step 1: Calculation of Income and Tax

Before you start your ITR filing journey, it's crucial to calculate your income accurately. There are five categories of income you should consider:

  1. Income from Salary
  2. Income from Business and Profession
  3. Income from House Property
  4. Income from Capital Gains
  5. Income from Other Sources

Suppose, for example, you earn a gross yearly salary of Rs. 10 lakhs and earn an additional Rs. 10,000 monthly from renting out property. Your total income would be Rs. 10 lakhs plus (Rs. 10,000 * 12) = Rs. 12,00,000. Deduct applicable exemptions and deductions based on your eligibility and chosen tax regime (such as the New income tax regime). This step is essential to determine your tax liability accurately.

Step 2: Tax Deducted at Source (TDS) Certificates and Form 26AS

Next, gather your TDS certificates (Form 16 or Form 16A) from your employer or clients who deducted TDS during the financial year. Verify the TDS deposits by visiting the TRACES website and accessing Form 26AS, your TAX credit statement. This form contains information related to your taxes and is associated with your Permanent Account Number (PAN). Download this form for reference during ITR filing.

Step 3: Choose the Right Income Tax Form

Select the appropriate ITR form based on your income source and taxpayer category:

  1. ITR 1: For individuals with a total income of up to Rs. 50 lakhs from salaries, one house property, and other sources (including agricultural income of a maximum of Rs. 5000).
  2. ITR 2: For individuals or HUFs with various income sources except profit and gains from business or profession.
  3. ITR 3: For individuals and HUFs with profits and gains from business and profession.
  4. ITR 4 or SUGAM: For individuals, HUFs, and firms with an income of up to Rs. 50 lakhs in a year from businesses and professions specified under sections 44AD, 44ADA, and 44AE.
  5. ITR 5: For entities other than individuals, companies, and those filing ITR 7 and HUFs.
  6. ITR 6: For companies not claiming exemption under section 11 of the IT Act.
  7. ITR 7: For companies and individuals required to furnish specific income details under sections 139(4A), 139(4B), 139(4C), or 139(4D).

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Step 4: Login to the Income-tax Department E-filing Portal

Visit the Income-tax Department's e-filing portal at https://www.incometax.gov.in/iec/foportal/. Log in using your PAN as the user ID and password, along with the Captcha code.

Step 5: Initiate E-filing

Select the 'e-file' option, followed by the 'Income Tax Return' tab. Choose the assessment year, the appropriate ITR form, filing type (original or revised return), and submission mode. For online ITR filing, select 'Prepare and Submit Online,' and then click Continue.

Step 6: Enter Your Income Details

Enter your income details as calculated earlier in the selected ITR form. Always save your progress as a draft to revisit and make changes if necessary within 30 days.

Step 7: Choose Verification Option

Select one of three verification options:

  1. E-verify immediately
  2. E-verify within 120 days
  3. Send ITR-V via post to 'Centralised Processing Centre, Income Tax Department, Bengaluru – 560500' within 120 days of filing.

Step 8: E-verify Your Return

If you choose the first option, you'll be asked for an EVC or OTP. You can generate the OTP using your Aadhaar or visit a bank ATM for EVC generation. Pre-validate your bank and Demat account as required.

Step 9: Verification and Submission

Review the ITR form and submit it by clicking 'Submit.' Follow the prompts for your chosen verification method.

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Offline Process to File Income Tax Return

The first 3 steps of income tax filing via offline process are the same as an online process as tax calculation, TDS certificate and the ITR form selection will be the same whether you do it online or offline. So, here you can refer to the above steps (1 to 3) for the same.

  • Step 1: Calculation of Income and Tax – Same as above
  • Step 2: Tax Deducted at Source (TDS) Certificates and Form 26AS – Same as Above
  • Step 3: Choose the right Income Tax Form – Same as Above
  • Step 4: Download the ITR utility from the Income Tax Portal
    Now the offline process varies from this step where you need to download the ITR utility by visiting https://www.incometax.gov.in/iec/foportal/. Here you need to download the appropriate ITR utility from the ‘Downloads’ section – under the IT Return preparation software tab. This is software that will help you prepare the ITR offline. For this you need to have a laptop or computer with Macro-enabled MS Excel and the OS must be over and above Microsoft Windows 7 and you need to have .Net Framework version 3.5 or above. You can check the updated system requirement details here.
  • Step 5: Fill in your details in the Downloaded File
    You can use the pre-filled XML after downloading it and importing it to the Utility software. Then you can change the details or enter new details of your income and other deductions and the amount which are required.
  • Step 6: Validate the Information Entered
    The next step is to validate all the information that you have entered and then calculate the tax that is required to be paid.
  • Step 7: Convert the file to XML Format
    Then you need to convert the document to XML format if it is not in XML format and save the same.
  • Step 8: Upload the XML file on the Income Tax Portal
    Now you need to log in to the Income tax portal -
    https://www.incometax.gov.in/iec/foportal/ and then go to the e-filing section and then to the Income Tax return page. Then you need to choose the assessment year, ITR form number, and original or revised return, and then for submission mode you need to select ‘Upload XML’.
  • Step 9 :
    Now once you have uploaded the XML, you will have to verify the same. For this, you can choose any of the following options –
    • You can use a Digital Signature Certificate (DSC)
    • EVC using either a pre-validated bank or Demat account details
    • Then again like in online filing of ITR, you will receive three options – whether to e-verify now, or later or by sending the ITR-V to CPC.
    • If you want to do it offline the entire process, then you can attach the XML file and upload the DSC or use the OTP received on the mobile number registered with AADHAAR.
    • You can then send the ITR-V to CPC Bengaluru for verification.
  • Step 10 :
    Now after choosing the verification option, you can submit the ITR.

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Filing your ITR is not only a legal obligation but also a way to maintain a financial record and contribute to the nation's growth. By following the steps outlined above, you can easily file your ITR online. Remember, accurate and timely filing ensures you enjoy various benefits while avoiding penalties. Whether you choose online or offline filing, the process is now more accessible than ever.

Now you have a comprehensive guide to file your ITR online with ease. Don't hesitate – start filing your ITR today, and secure your financial future.

In summary, filing your Income Tax Return online has never been easier. By following these steps, you can ensure that your tax obligations are met accurately and efficiently. Whether you're a seasoned taxpayer or a newcomer, e-filing your ITR is a convenient way to fulfill your responsibilities while enjoying the benefits of a well-documented financial history. So, take charge of your taxes and file your ITR online today!

Disclaimer :

*Tax benefits are as per the Income Tax Act, 1961, and are subject to any amendments made thereto from time to time’

The article is meant to be general and informative in nature and should not be construed as solicitation material. Please read the related product brochures for exclusions, terms and conditions, warranties, etc. carefully before concluding a sale.
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is ITR?

An income Tax Return is ITR which needs to be filed every year for paying income taxes if the person is liable to pay tax.

What is CPC?

CPC stands for Centralised Processing Centre which is at Bengaluru, which is the main authority for income tax-related work in the country.

What is e-filing?

E-filing is the process of filing your income tax return online or in the electronic format from which the e-filing term has evolved. It is the short form of electronic filing of the income tax return.