Filing of income tax returns online is very easy and free, especially for salaried people and there is no need to visit paid sites for e-filing your I-T returns
Every year July not only brings heavy downpour but also makes every salaried taxpayer rush to file income tax (I-T) returns. Filing returns before 31st July has now become quite easy, especially with the electronic filing; one can file it online without taking any help from accountants or a chartered accountants (CAs).
There are a number of websites like Taxspanner.com (charges Rs249 onwards), HRblock.in (Rs99 onwards), Taxsmile.com (Rs250 onwards), taxshax.com (Rs181 onwards), myITreturn.com (free for those with income of less than Rs5 lakh, for others Rs299 onwards) that offer e-filing of tax returns for a small fee.
However, anyone can file his/her I-T return directly from the Income Tax department’s website https://incometaxindiaefiling.gov.in/
, without paying any money. I had used both—the paid service as well as free service for filing my I-T returns. Although, both services come out as good, I found the I-T department’s service little bit faster and satisfactory compared to other sites.
For filing I-T returns online (for salaried people), you need to have your Form 16 (for FY2012-13 or AY2013-14) ready with you. You will also need your bank statements showing interest or any other income earned, if any, during April 2012 to March 2013. Here are some tips or guidelines for filing their I-T returns online based on my personal experience...
1. While we often remain dependent on accounting professionals for tax computation, one can always verify or calculate his/her own tax liabilities. I have been using a very good and free software (actually an Excel file) from a Bengaluru-based software professional Nithyanand. One can download the Excel file from http://www.ynithya.com/taxcalc/taxcalc.htm
and calculate the approximate tax liabilities. For FY2012-13, you will need to download the specific Excel file either .XLSX
This simple utility comes with an excellent help or guidelines, using which all you need to do is enter your data. Once done, it gives a fair idea about your approximate income tax liability, and whether you had paid the tax in full or not. (In case it is not paid in full, you can always pay it through the NSDL website or online banking after selecting the appropriate challan. After making the payment, you would receive a challan identification number that is required for filing the actual return form)
3. After login, select appropriate Income-Tax return (ITR) form. There are five types of ITR forms, ITR-1 or Sahaj, ITR-2, ITR-3, ITR-4 and ITR-4S (Sugam) for individuals or HUFs. If you do not have any other income except from salary, you can select ITR-1. To know more about the ITR forms you can visit https://incometaxindiaefiling.gov.in/portal/selectforms.do
4. Download a small file or return preparation software as the I-T department calls it. This comes in .zip format that can be unzipped to open the Excel file. There is also a help file that gets downloaded along with this software, which you can refer to for enabling macros, if needed.
5. Open the Excel file. Fill in the data on the first page using your Form 16 and Nithya’s calculator. You need to fill in all fields marked in green colour. If you have a home loan for a self-occupied house, then you can mention the interest paid using '-' sign in the income from one house property column. (Principal on home loan up to Rs1 lakh is exempted under chapter VI (Section 80C)) Check and verify the data you filled in the form. Double check and verify it with your source files or with Form 16 and Nithya’s calculator. Then click on the ‘Validate’ tab at the top corner on the right side. This will show if there is any data missing. If every field is filled in, it will give you an OK. You can then click on ‘Next’ tab.
6. This will open the second page (TDS). Here you need to fill in details like tax deduction number (TAN) of your employer/s (It is mentioned in the Form 16), and the tax deducted or TDS (Section 22 on the form). You need to provide same details of other employer/s if there is a change in the job during the year. In case, you have paid the tax on your own, then provide the details like BSR code, challan number and amount in Section 24 near the bottom of the page. Repeat the validation process and if everything is OK, then go to next page.
7. On the next page, you need to provide your bank account number, IFS code of the bank (it is mentioned on your chequebook) and type of account. Make sure that the bank account number is your regular and personal account rather than salary account. This helps in case there is any refund payable to you. Often, people quote their salary account in this form and find it difficult to get tax refunds in case of change in job or closure of this account.
8. Fill in other details like your name, place, PAN number and date. Double-check and verify all data you had entered on this page. If everything is right and there are no errors, click on the ‘validate’ tab. After a validation check, click on the ‘Generate’ tab on first page. This will create an xml file. Store it on your PC/desktop or laptop.
9. Login to the https://incometaxindiaefiling.gov.in/portal/login.do
site using your username and password. Click on the 'Quick e-file ITR' link on the left hand side. Select the relevant form (here ITR-1) and assessment year (here AY2013-14). Select prefill address from suitable options. If you have digital signature then you can use it. Otherwise, you can select 'No' option and proceed. Click on ‘submit returns’.
10. Browse to select the xml file, you had created earlier, and click on ‘Upload’ button.
11. If the uploading is successful, you will get an on-screen acknowledgement. Take a print-out of the acknowledgement or ITR-V form. You would also receive the acknowledgement in your email inbox. This is a password protected file. You can read the directions on the website to open this file.
12. If you are using digital signature, then after receiving the acknowledgement, the process for e-filing is over for you.
13. In case you are not a using digital signature for filing returns, you need to sign on the acknowledgement or ITR-V form. Make a Xerox copy of this signed form. Send the signed form to...
Income Tax Department – CPC,
Post Bag No - 1,
Electronic City Post Office,
Bengaluru - 560100, Karnataka
Use ordinary post or Speed Post for sending the form, within 120 days after submitting your returns online. The I-T Department does not accept forms sent through registered post or courier.
14. Remember, you just need to send the signed acknowledgement or ITR-V form. There is no need to send either Form 16 or any other document to the CPC. However, keep all relevant documents safely in your possession.
15. After few days, you will receive an email from the CPC that would acknowledge the receipt of your ITR-V form. This makes the e-filing of I-T returns complete.