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How to File Income Tax Return?


How to File Income Tax Return?

An income tax return is a communication made to the Income Tax Department by the taxpayer, informing the department about the financial details of the taxpayer. The details are provided for every financial year and include figures such as the taxable income and tax liability of the taxpayer. Depending on the category of the assessee, different forms are used to file the income tax returns. The requirement to file Income Tax returns arises when the taxpayer’s taxable income crosses the basic exemption limit. The basic exemption limit is the maximum amount of income which is not chargeable to Income Tax. By filing income tax returns, a taxpayer provides information about the taxable income and the source of the income, applicable deductions and the amount of tax payable to the Government. In this article, we look at the procedure for filing an income tax return and the various modes which are available for filing an Income Tax return.

Calculating Total Income

In the colloquial sense, taxpayers can understand total income as the total amount of income earned in a financial year. However, according to the Income Tax Act, Gross total income should be calculated by adding all of the following types of earnings: 

  1. Income earned through Salaries
  2. Income or deemed income generated through house property
  3. Profit obtained from a business
  4. Capital gains
  5. Additional income generated through other resources.

How to File Income Tax Returns

An income tax return can be filed through physical mode (submission of income tax form) or through online mode (submission of e-form). Most taxpayers will not be eligible to file their income tax return manually. All such taxpayers must mandatorily file their income tax return through online registration only.

Filing Income Tax Return Manually

Individuals meeting certain criteria can file their income tax return in physical mode. In a physical mode, the individual can prepare and submit the return at an Income Tax Office. ITR-1 Return Filing can be filed by taxpayers with salary income and up to one house property. To file income tax return manually, the following criteria must be met by the taxpayer:

  • The age of the taxpayer is 80 years or above in the financial year.
  • Total Gross Income of the taxpayer is below five lakhs and there is no income tax refund claim.

When the income tax return is filed manually, the taxpayer should print out two copies of Form ITR-V. One copy of ITR-V can be retained by the taxpayer. The other copy, duly signed by the taxpayer, has to be sent by post to:

Post Bag No. 1
Electronic City Office,
Bengaluru— 560 100,

Return Filing using Excel

Income tax return filing can be done using an excel tool provided by the Income Tax Department. The offline excel tool for tax return filing can be used to prepare and file IT return with no internet connection. The taxpayer can follow the steps below to prepare and file an income tax return using the excel tool.

  • Excel macros need to be enabled before the user starts to fill in the form.
  • Cells in which data needs to be entered is highlighted in green colour.
  • Mandatory fields represented in red font must be completed.
  • Non-mandatory fields are represented in black font.
  • The excel sheet contains multiple tabs. All tabs must be completed.
  • After filling in all the required sheets, it needs to be validated. Once these sheets are validated, tax to be paid is automatically calculated. The tool then creates an XML file that can be uploaded on the Income Tax Department website to complete the return filing.

Return Filing Java Application

The Java tool for filing an income tax return can be used in OS (Operating System) platforms like Windows 7, 8 or Linux or Mac OS provided if it has the JRE (Java Running Environment) in it. The basic steps involved in filing income tax returns using the Java tool is provided below:

  1. Latest version of java form in zip format needs to be downloaded and it has to be unzipped.
  2. A new ITR java form is created by clicking the “New” command.
  3. Data is imported by selecting its path from an XML file using “Open” command.
  4. With the help of “Prefill” option, the personal details can be automatically filled in.
  5. Then the XML file is saved in the draft form using “Save Draft” command.
  6. Data entered in the fields are recalculated to validate the same using “Recalculate” option.
  7. Finally, AY2017-18 Income Tax Excel Utility AY2017-18 Income Tax Java Utilitythe filled in form is saved and submitted using “ Save” and “ Submit” commands in e-filing portal on the Income Tax website.

Verification of Income Tax Return

  • Verification or substantiation of an income tax return means proving to the Income Tax department that the return filed by or on behalf of the taxpayer was uploaded into the website of the Income Tax department only after obtaining the consent of the taxpayer. The verification allows the department to ascertain that the details in the return are furnished according to the knowledge of the taxpayer.
  • The verification of an income tax return can be done online or by attaching ITR-V form as an addition. Substantiation is done by attesting the signature of the applicant in a digitized format or through physical mode. Filing an income tax return by making use of a digital signature does not require any verification from the applicant’s side; on the other hand, making use of the physical mode requires verification from the applicant’s side. If the ITR-V form is not verified by the applicant, the tax filing process will stay incomplete. Therefore verification must be completed immediately after filing the income tax return.
  • The applicant has various options when it comes to online verification of the income tax return form submitted during the time of uploading the file. Email and phone number can also be used in case the taxpayer has a taxable income which is less than Rs.5 lakhs and the refund amount is less than one hundred rupees. In other cases, it is necessary to generate an OTP by using Aadhar Card. For the Aadhar-based OTP procedure to be possible, the taxpayer should ensure that the mobile number mentioned in the Aadhar card is in an active connection status.

To know about the concept of ITR-2 Return Filing, click here.

Latest Update on the Pay Later Option for Income Tax Filing

The Income Tax e-filing portal has recently rolled out a ‘Pay Later’ option, allowing you to complete your tax filing process before making any tax payments. You can pay taxes after you are done filing. For additional information, please refer to our guide Pay later option for the Income tax return filing.