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How to File Income Tax Return

ITR Filing Guide: Steps to File Income Tax Return

23 Oct 2019
80 Views

With the ITR filing process going completely online, it is often preferred that we undertake the task ourselves. While delegating or outsourcing the task of computing our income tax to an accountant may seem tempting, even in doing so, we need to make sure we are accounting for all the sources of income.

If you are also handling your ITR filing on your own, it may seem like a complicated and time-consuming process. To make the process easier and hassle-free, the Income-tax department has now taken the process online on their e-portal.

In this article, we will discuss everything you need to know about filing Income Tax Returns online.

How to File ITR Online?

As mentioned earlier, the income tax department has taken the ITR filing process online. The portal has an e-filing software that includes all the ITR forms for the current financial year. However, only ITR 1 and ITR 4 can be filled entirely online without having to download any software.

Follow these steps to file ITR online:

  1. Visit the official Income Tax e-filing website

  2. If you are a new user, first register yourself on the portal

  3. If you are a registered user, login with your user ID (PAN number), password, and captcha

  4. Choose the correct assessment year, ITR form as per your applicability. Then choose the submission mode as ‘Prepare and Submit online’.

  5. In case you have filed ITR before, it will prompt you to select details that you want to prefill. Choose the necessary information and click on continue.

  6. You will be redirected to a page that will allow you to fill the form. But before you start filling out the details, ensure that you have gone through the General Instructions displayed at the start of the page.

  7. Start filling the form with the necessary details under tabs like - General Information, Income Details, Tax Details, Tax paid and verification, and 80G.

  8. Before you submit the form, recheck the details entered to avoid any mistakes. If the details are correct, click on preview and submit. You will get a preview of your form before the final submission.

  9. After clicking on submit, your ITR will be uploaded. You will then be asked to verify the return using the options available.

  10. You can either verify the details electronically through Aadhaar OTP or Electronic Verification Code (EVC) or offline by sending across a signed printout of the ITR V to CPC, Bengaluru within 120 days from the e-filing date.

  11. After successfully uploading the ITR, an acknowledgement or ITR V will be simultaneously sent to the registered email id.

  12. The department will then process the ITR submitted and will notify you regarding the same via email or SMS.

Who is Required to File ITR?

According to Section 139(1) of the Income Tax Act, 1961, any person who total annual income if more than income tax exempted limit (INR 2.5 lakh) will have to file the ITR. Moreover, any private or public company across the country, Hindu Undivided Family (HUFs), Association of Person (AOP), Body of Individual (BOI), have to declare their profits and losses for the current financial year and file the ITR.

So, individuals that have to file the ITR are as follows -

  • An individual who is less than 60 years old and has a total annual earning of higher than INR 2.5 lakhs

  • An individual who is between the age of 60 years and 80 years, and has a total yearly earning of INR 3 lakh or more

  • Individual who is above 80 years old and has a total annual earning of more than INR 10 lakh

  • An individual residing in India owns an asset or any financial interest in an entity outside the country

  • A company or an organisation is liable to file tax, whether they are in profit or loss

  • An individual applying for a loan or visa, proof of ITR will be necessary

  • An individual receiving income from property held under any trust for charity or research, education or medical care centre, trade union, or non-profit university

Note: If any non-Indian resident earns their income from India, then they are liable to pay taxes and file the ITR.

What are Income Tax Slabs for FY 2020-21

The Union Budget 2020 declared a new income tax regime that needs to be followed for the FY 2020-21. However, note that this new regime is optional and you get to choose whether you want to file taxes under the new system or the existing one.

The new income tax slab for individuals under the age of 60 years is as follows -

Income Tax Slab

Tax Rate

Up to INR 2.5 lakh

NIL

INR 2.5 lakh to INR 5 lakh

5%

INR 5 lakh to INR 7.5 lakh

10%

INR 7.5 lakh to INR 10 lakh

15%

INR 10 lakh to INR 12.5 lakh

20%

INR 12.5 lakh to INR 15 lakh

25%

INR 15 lakh and above

30%

 

The existing/old income tax slab for individuals under the age of 60 years is as follows -

Income Tax Slab

Tax Rate

Up to ₹2,50,000*

Nil

₹2,50,001 to ₹5,00,000

5% of total income exceeding ₹2,50,000

₹5,00,001 to ₹10,00,000

₹12,500 + 20% of total income exceeding ₹5,00,000

Above ₹10,00,000

₹1,12,500 + 30% of total income exceeding ₹10,00,000

Types Of ITR Forms

There are multiple ITR forms available on the official website of the Income Tax Department of India. These forms are used to file tax returns based on your income source and taxpayer category you fall under (resident, non-resident, individual, or non-individual)

The types of ITR forms available to you are as follows -

  1. ITR-1: The ITR-1 form, also famously known as SAHAJ, is for individuals who earn their annual income through salaried jobs, pension, one house property, interest, or other sources and has a total revenue of INR 50 lakh. This excludes winning lotteries and income earned from race horses.

  2. ITR-2: The ITR-2 form is for individuals or Hindu Undivided Families (HUFs) who earn their annual income, not from the profits of business or other professions.

  3. ITR-3: The ITR-3 form is for people or HUFs who indeed earn their annual income from profits of business or other professions.

  4. ITR-4: The ITR-4 form is for people who have a presumptive income from a business or profession.

  5. ITR-5: The ITR-5 form is for everyone other than individuals, HUFs, company, and people filing Form ITR-7.

  6. ITR-6: The ITR-6 form is for companies that do not claim income tax exemptions under Section 11 of the Income Tax Act.

  7. ITR-7: The ITR-7 form is for people, including enterprises, who have to file the tax returns under Section 139(4A), Section 139(4B), Section 139(4C), Section 139(4D), Section 139(4E), or Section 139(4F).

How to Download Income Tax Return Form

The ITR forms are made available online on the official website of the Income Tax Department of India. Follow these steps to download the forms -

  1. Visit the official website of the Income Tax Department

  2. Click the ‘Form/Download’ option on the homepage

  3. Choose ‘Income Tax Returns’ from the dropdown menu

After this step, you will be redirected to the Income Tax Return webpage where you can down the forms that apply to you.

Is It Mandatory to File ITR Online?

For people falling under any one of the following categories are liable to file the ITR -

  • Individuals or HUFs that earn a total annual income of more than INR 5 lakh or have a tax refund claim are liable to file the ITR online. However, super senior citizens (people of 80 years old and above) can file the ITR either online or manually

  • All companies are liable to file ITR online under digital signature

  • Individuals, firms, or HUFs who have books of account to be audited under Section 44AB have to file the ITR online

  • For those filing form ITR-5 or are claiming tax relief under Section 90, 90A, or 91 of the Income Tax Act have to file the ITR online

  • For Indian residents having assets outside of the country has to submit the ITR online

Documents Required for The ITR Filing

Following are the documents that are necessary when filing the ITR online -

  • PAN details

  • Bank Statements

  • Interest certificate from banks or post offices

  • Tax-saving investment proofs

  • Form 16 (for salaried employees)

  • Salary slips

  • TDS certificate

  • Form 16A/16B/16C

  • Form 26AS

How to Check ITR Status Online?

After filing your ITR returns, you can check the status online. There are two ways in which you can go about the process -

  1. Using Acknowledgement Number - In case you do not have login credentials

    1. Visit the official website of the Income Tax Department of India

    2. Under the ‘Service’ tab, choose the ‘ITR Status’ option

    3. You will be redirected to a new page where you have to enter your PAN details, ITR acknowledgement number, and captcha code

    4. Upon submitting the details, the status will be displayed on the screen

  2. In case you have the login credentials

    1. Visit the official website of the Income Tax Department of India

    2. Login with your credentials

    3. Choose ‘View Returns/Forms’ from the dashboard

    4. Choose the ITR option and relevant assessment year and click on submit

    5. After this, the return status will be displayed on the screen

Important Dates to Remember for The ITR Filing

The following table will help you with the due dates for the current financial year -

Category of Taxpayer

Due Date for Tax Filing

Individual

31st July (may be extended)

Body of Individuals (BOI)

31st July (may be extended)

Hindu Undivided Family (HUF)

31st July (may be extended)

Association of Persons (AOP)

31st July (may be extended)

Businesses (Requiring Audit)

30th September

Businesses (Requiring TP Report)

30th November

Advantages of Filing The ITR Online

Since previously the ITR filing process was manual, it was complicated and tiresome. But now with the Income Tax Departing taking the ITR filing online, the burden has undoubtedly lessened. The benefits of filing the ITR online are as follows -

  • It allows you to maintain the records of all the financial transactions with the IT department efficiently. So, in case you are applying for a loan or visa in the future, providing tax returns becomes an easy task.

  • You can fill the ITR a month or two prior to the deadline. That way, you do not have to hassle at the last moment.

  • Since filing the ITR late can lead to penalties, filing the same online is quite convenient. You can submit your tax returns anytime, anywhere before the deadline.

FAQs

1. Can I make corrections in my ITR if I made a mistake when filing it?

Yes. You can correct your mistakes by filing a revised return. There are no penalties charged for the revised return, but ensure that you are submitting it before the completion of the assessment or the assessment year.

What if I miss the deadline of filing the ITR?

If you happen to miss the deadline, you have the opportunity to file a belated return by the end of the applicable assessment year. Moreover, depending on your annual income, you will have to face penalties on how late you are filing your returns. So, for instance, if your annual income is INR 5 lakh, then your penalty will be INR 1000 irrespective of when you file the tax returns. But if your annual income exceeds INR 5 lakh, then the late penalty is INR 5000 (if the returns are not filed before December 31) or INR 10,0000 (if the returns are filed between January 01 and March 21 of the succeeding year).