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Step by Step Guide on e-filing Income Tax Return AY 2021-22

Income tax filing is one of the most common financial activities that all businesses & individuals practice every year. Traditionally, businesses consult a Chartered Accountant(CA), but over the years the existing process has changed. The rise of technology in governance has made such procedural tasks easier and more cost-effective. This article aims to provide you with the knowledge of a step-by-step guide to filing an Income Tax Return.

Prerequisite

Before starting the process, you would need the following documents:

1.         PAN

2.         Aadhaar

3.         Bank account details

4.         Investments & Receipt details


The process to File Income Tax Return

Income tax returns can be filed easily through the income tax e-filing portal If you want to file the return using the government portal, you must do so in either the “offline” or “online” mode, as indicated on the official Income tax Departments website.

Those are just technical terms, in a practical sense both the methods are online. The only difference is that in the offline method you create your own XML sheet offline and upload it on the income tax e-filing portal.

Here, is a step-by-step procedure to file the income tax return through the “offline” method:

Step 1: Download & Install the Income Tax Return Preparation Utility software from the website: https://www.incometax.gov.in/iec/foportal/

Step 2: Open the Utility software and fill all the mandatory fields on the ITR form.

Step 3: Validate all your forms and calculate the Tax.

Step 4: Generate & Save the XML document.

Step 5: Log in to the Income Tax E-filing portal. (https://eportal.incometax.gov.in/iec/foservices/#/login)

Step 6: Click the e-file menu & select income tax return.

Step 7: Fill in the required fields and options according to your need. 

Step 8: Verify income tax returns through any of the options available on the portal.

Step 9: Submit your income Tax Return.

The procedure for the “online” method shall also be the same, except there would be no need to download the income tax utility and all the mandatory fields shall be filled online and submitted. The procedure shall be the same, excluding steps 1 to 4. 

For an even more detailed, hand-holding guide Click here.

How to obtain a copy of an Income Tax Return online?

Do as follows:

  • Log on to incometaxindiaefiling.com as done before.
  • Click on View Returns/ Forms.
  • Click on “Income tax returns” and the applicable assessment year.
  • A window displaying a list of ITR files will open. 
  • Click on the ITR-V acknowledgement number you want to download.
    Congrats. You can check your copy by opening the downloaded PDF.
Precautions

While e-filing a few things shall be kept in mind: 

  1. All information should be bona fide i.e. it should be correct and true.
  2. The return should be filed under the prescribed date by the income tax department.
  3. It is advisable to hire a CA or get your documents reviewed or in case of any doubt.

What happens if you fail to file the income tax return under the due date?

An article published in India Today explains the consequences of not being able to pay your income tax under the due date:

“In case the taxable income is more than Rs 5,00,000, people who fail to file their taxes by the due period would be obliged to pay a fee of Rs 5,000 at the time of filing ITR. If the taxable income is below Rs 5,00,000, the late fee will be Rs 1,000”

Conclusion

As it is popularly said, “Taxes are paid in the sweat of every man who Labours” and your labour shall not be wasted. Hence, it is recommended for individuals and small businessmen to self file their income tax returns and for reasonably sized businesses shall hire a professional Chartered Accountant(CA) for the job. However, if any individual is technologically challenged or is unable to do, there is no harm in consulting a CA. 

By Ravi Raj