Income Tax

How to File ITR:Your Step-by-Step Guide

Dec 01, 2021
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E-filing of income tax introduced by the income tax department is a blessing for not just the assessees but also for the income tax department itself. The benefits that e-filing offers is that these returns can be filed from anywhere, the processing of returns and refunds happens at a faster pace and the entire process is simpler and hassle-free.

Step by step guide for registration or creating an account

As per Income Tax Act, 1961, all corporate and government deductors or collectors have to file their TDS/TCS returns. However, deductors or collectors other than the corporates or the government can file either in physical or in electronic form.

The registration or creation of the account must be done on the following link:  https://www.incometaxindiaefiling.gov.in/home

  • Login and registration 

One must first open the incometaxindiaefiling.gov.in portal and click on the ‘register yourself’ tab on the homepage. Choose the user type and proceed. The screen will show four different steps – 

  1. Entering basic details page – where the PAN number, name, date of birth and residential status must be mentioned
  2. Registration form page
  3. Registration verification page
  4. Registration successful page

Fill in all details with utmost care and cross verify as you fill in. 

Please note that all those fields that have an asterisk mark are mandatory and must be filled.

  • Submit the correct documents

The documents that are required are a PAN card, Aadhar card, bank account details, form 16, investment details. 

  • Wait for PAN verification

On filling in the requisite details your PAN will be verified and the transaction ID and contact details will be displayed on the screen. 

  • Activate the account

Activate the Income Tax Department account through the link sent to you via your email ID.

Step by step guide for filing the ITR 

Once you have registered yourself on the official income tax portal, the following procedure must be followed to file your ITR – 

  1. Open the incometaxindiaefiling.gov.in portal. Click on the ‘login here’ tab on the right-hand side of the webpage. Enter the user ID, password and captcha to login to your account.
  1. Click on the ‘filing of income tax return’ tab that appears on the screen. 
  1. Enter the PAN card details, assessment year and all other details asked. The assessment year is the following year of the financial year for which income tax is being paid for. For example, if A is paying his income tax for the financial year 2020-21, then the assessment year will be 2021-22.
  2. On filling all these details, the bank details of the assessee must be filled, if it is not shown on the screen already. If there is prefilled data (as you have provided the same while filing tax once before), then give your pre-filled data consent before moving onto the next step.
  3. A host of tabs will open up on your screen. There is no need to panic, as these are rather simple to fill in and most fields will not be applicable to you. Peruse and fill in each page one after the other and reverify before proceeding especially if there is prefilled data.
  4. All fields that have an asterisk mark must be mandatorily filled.
  5. One must keep in mind that if the ITR is being filed on or before 30th November, then one must choose ‘139(1) – on or before due date’ option when the ‘filed u/s’ field comes up. If it is being filed after 30th November then choose ‘139(4) – belated’. 
  6. Take the help of Form 16B that has been provided by your employer to fill in the details of your gross income and related fields like exempt allowances. The details must be matched against Form 26.
  7. Please note that if you have not made certain claims of deduction or exemption with your employer, then the same will not be reflected in Form 16. Therefore, it is important that you enter these separately while filing your ITR. Do so, only if you have all the requisite proof with proper documentation to back your claim.
  8. In case you have a self-occupied house property on which you have taken a loan, then the same can be claimed as a deduction. Please note, the upper limit for this deduction is INR 2,00,000.
  9. Please ensure that you have a complete knowledge of all the different kinds of exemptions and deductions that are available under the Income Tax Act to be able to use these to your benefit. More than often, you might not be aware of all the exemptions and deductions that will be applicable to you (and the upper limits of the same) and you might miss out on claiming the same. Research on these beforehand to avail the refund. There are enough and more websites and videos that are available online to educate you about the same.
  10. The filing of ITR also involves a short e-verification process. The assessee will be given the option to e-verify through different means.
  11. Click on the ‘preview and submit’ button to see the entire ITR form at once and cross check every single field. Click on ‘edit’ if there are any changes. If not, then click on ‘submit’.
  12. The process has been successfully completed.

In terms of calculation of one’s income, it can be done with the help of an income tax calculator available on the income tax department’s e-filing portal (incometaxindiaefiling.gov.in). One can use the same to arrive at tentative figures that must be paid as tax under the new and the old regime.

For instance, Sabrina wishes to calculate the income tax that has to be paid by her on an annual income of INR 10 lakh and in her case the total amount of deductions and exemptions is INR 50,000. The tax payable as per the old regime is INR 1,06,600. But the tax payable under the new tax regime would amount to INR 78,000. She has a net tax benefit under the new scheme. 

However, let us assume that Sabrina received INR 10 lakh as her income but the exemptions and deductions total to INR 2,50,000. Then the tax payable as per the old regime would be INR 65,000 and the tax payable as per the new regime would be INR 78,000. The taxpayer stands to gain more from the old regime.

How to file your ITR offline? 

ITR 1, 2, 4 has to be mandatorily submitted online. However, E-filings of ITR-1 (Sahaj) and ITR-4 (Sugam) are not mandatory for Very Senior Citizens i.e. individuals above the age of 80 years and can be done offline. These must be furnished in the forms issued by the department along with the requisite documents in the physical paper form directly.  

Conclusion 

If the individual wilfully defaults on the payment of income tax by the end of the relevant assessment year, stringent punitive actions can be initiated against the assessee. Therefore, it is best to file these returns well within time and in the proper format. Take the help of a chartered accountant or a professional in case of doubt, but do not miss out on filing the returns in a timely manner.

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