How to File Income Tax Return?
More than 6 crore (60 million) Indians filed their Income Tax Return (ITR) in 2017. Out of this, approximately 1 crore (10 million) were new taxpayers who filed their income tax return (ITR) for the first time. The Government of India and the Income Tax Department (ITD) has been sending notices, emails and sms to all working professionals and businesses to file their tax return. In fact, from FY 2017-18, a penalty of Rs.5000/- will be levied for delay in filing ITR. Though it is advisable to utilize the services of a Chartered Accountant to file your ITR as it reduces the risk of incorrect return. If a taxpayer files incorrect or defective return, then he or she is bound to receive a notice from the income tax department. Any tax refund due to the taxpayer is also delayed due to defective return. In light of these circumstances, it is advisable to engage the services of an expert Chartered Accountant to file your ITR and your business ITR.
STEP BY STEP GUIDE TO E-FILE ITR ONLINE
There are 4 ways to file your Income Tax Return (ITR) in India.
(Well, the fifth method is to use a local CA who will also follow one of the 4 methods outlined here)
E-FILE ITR ONLINE
E-filing ITR online is the most easiest method. Anybody with decent level of computer knowledge and tax filing can file their own return by uploading their Form 16 and Form 26AS. This method is most preferred by salaried working professionals who want to file their return for cheap price of Rs. 499/-
Filing ITR using JAVA Utility is one of the most accurate methods but also difficult for a new taxpayer individual. Downloading and completing the Java ITR utility can be challenging for individuals since the settings required can be complicated. This method is most preferred by Chartered Accountants.
The Income Tax Excel utility is very simple to use as most people are familiar with excel. No special settings are required to use the excel utility except to enable macro content. You can fill in the details simply and proceed to tax calculation. Verify the details and then generate the xml file for upload.
INCOME TAX PORTAL
This is the least popular method as it is not advisable to directly fill the details in the income tax efiling portal. The incometaxindia efiling website generally times out after few minutes. And if wrong data is entered, it becomes difficult to change the information. Consult your CA for more information.
Documents required for filing Income Tax Return (ITR)
We share below the list of documents that you should have before you start your income tax return filing. Also remember to keep these documents in soft copy (and preferably hard copy also) for safe-keeping so that you don’t lose them. If you misplace your old Form 16 and salary slips, then you may face problems in future.
Keep your Form 16 ready for upload or for verifying the details of salary and deductions. You should ask your employer to share the Form 16 if not received already. They are bound to share the Form 16 with you. Also you should have Form 16A from vendors for TDS deducted. Keep all these Forms in pdf copy and hard copy for future use.
Form 26 AS
Form 26AS can be downloaded from TRACES website. The Form 26AS is a statement of all income on which TDS has been deducted by either employer or banks. To download Form 26AS, you need to login to income tax portal with your PAN number and password. Click View Form 26AS and proceed to TRACES site to download the Form 26AS.
In addition to the above documents for filing ITR, keep some other essential documents ready for accurately filing your return. These documents are certificates, receipts or challans for medical insurance premium certificate from insurer, 80G deduction receipts, other Section 80 receipts, challans, travel bills and other important bills that you wish to claim.
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