A taxpayer who earns income from salary and owns a single house can easily file tax returns online without taking any help from professionals
Every year, the month of July makes every salaried taxpayer rush to file income tax (I-T) returns. However, for FY2014-15 (AY2015-16), the last date for filing tax returns is extended till 31 August 2015. The deadline is just a few days away. If you haven’t filed your return, do so after reading this piece.
Tax filing has been an intimidating process for many people and taxpayers often face issues dealing with changes to tax forms or get stuck when they have a question. But with online facilities and services, I-T filing has become an easy thing. The taxpayer can file returns online with or without taking any help from accountants or chartered accountants (CAs).
You can either use paid services for filing tax returns online or file it for free on the Income Tax department's e-filing website (https://incometaxindiaefiling.gov.in/
). There are two ways to file tax returns. You can file an offline form and upload an XML file, which is generated when you fill up the form using the ITR utility, applicable to your status. The second method involves preparing and submitting your ITR online. For offline filing, you can download and use Excel or Java-based utility.
For filing I-T returns online (for salaried people), you need to have your Form 16 (for FY2014-15 or AY2015-16) ready with you. You will also need your bank statements showing interest or any other income earned, if any, during April 2014 to March 2015. Also, keep handy the copy of your previous year’s return, TDS, savings certificates (if applicable).
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/TaxCalc_2015.xlsx
and calculate your approximate tax liabilities.
This simple utility comes with an excellent help or guidelines, for 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.)
2. Visit the I-T department site for filing returns online— https://incometaxindiaefiling.gov.in/.
Under the Services menu, click on Submit Returns/Forms’. If you are already registered, then simply log in. If not, you can register as a new user and then log in. You can visit the site and download forms without login as well, but for submitting tax returns online, one needs to be a registered user and then log in.
3. After login, select appropriate Income-Tax return (ITR) form. There are five types of ITR forms, ITR-1 or Sahaj, ITR-2, ITR-2A, ITR-3, ITR-4 and ITR-4S (Sugam) for individuals or HUFs having income from presumptive business. If you do not have any other income except from salary, you can select ITR-1.
4. Download the small file or return preparation software as the I-T department calls it. This comes in .zip format that can be unzipped to open an Excel file. There is also a help file that is 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 Rs1.50 lakh is exempted under chapter VI (Section 80C), while interest paid on housing loan up to Rs2 lakh is exempted under Section 24 of the I-T Act) 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 19/20 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 21 IT 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 total number of savings and current bank account number held by you and IFS code/s of the bank/s (it is mentioned on your chequebook) and type of account. Make sure that the main bank account number, you are providing, is your regular and personal account rather than salary account for receiving refund, if any.
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
using your username and password. Click on the Submit Returns/ Forms' under the Services tab. Select the relevant form (here ITR-1) and assessment year (here AY2015-16). If you have digital signature then you can use it. Otherwise, you can select 'No' option and proceed.
10. For attaching the ITR XML file, browse to the location where you had saved the XML file and click on ‘Submit’ button.
11. If the uploading is successful, you will get an on-screen acknowledgement. Take a printout (in black colour, inkjet of laser jet only) of the acknowledgement or ITR-V form. You would also receive the acknowledgement on your registered email ID. This is a password protected file. You can read the directions in the email 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. Although Moneylife does not recommend (the UID), but in case you have an Aadhaar number, then you can e-verify the ITR-V, so that you do not have to send a signed physical copy of the form. E-verification can also be done using e-filing one time password (OTP) received either through registered email or mobile number or through netbanking login. You can then skip below steps.
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 (without acknowledgment) 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 your I-T returns for FY2014-15 or for AY2015-16 complete.