Income tax e-filing refers the process of submitting income tax return (ITR) online to Government tax authorities in the prescribed format. Under existing income tax rules in India, e-filing is currently mandatory for most tax assessees and replaces the earlier paper-based system of filing ITR.
Top Income Tax e-Filing Options in India
Currently, there are 3 ways to complete income tax e-filing in India:
- On the official Income Tax e-Filing Website
- Through a registered online tax filing intermediary
- Through a TRP (Tax Return Preparer), CA (Chartered Accountant) or tax lawyer.
How to e-File ITR on Income Tax Department Website?
In order to file income tax return for the current year, these steps are to be followed:
1) Visit the Income Tax Department website. click here
2) Register in case you are a new user or login if you already have an account.
3) In the “e-File” drop down menu, select “Income Tax Return” option.
4) Select the assessment year, ITR form type and submission mode
5) Select the authentication type from Aadhaar OTP, EVC or send ITR V through post and click on continue.
6) Read the instructions carefully before starting the e-filing process
7) Fill Part A: General Information part of the form
8) Now fill details and compute the income tax
9) You will be able to see Tax Details. Fill the details not entered previously
10) In “Taxes Paid and Verification” section, your tax details are mentioned.
11) In “80G” section of the form, mention all deductions under this section.
12) Select the “Preview and Submit” option to preview your ITR e-filing and to run automated check of any error that might have occurred.
13) Now “Submit” your form and verify using one of the offline or e-verification methods. Also Read: How to e-Verify ITR
14) After e-verification is complete, an acknowledgement will be sent to your registered email address by the Income Tax Department. The following is a sample of the IT Department Acknowledgement after e-verification:
What are the ITR Forms for e-filing Income Tax in AY 2019-20 (FY 2018-19)
|ITR Form Number||Applicability|
|ITR 1 (SAHAJ)||Resident individuals (except not ordinary residents) with income from salary, single house property and other sources (such as interest, capital gains, etc.) not exceeding Rs. 50 lakh annually. Also to be used by those with agricultural income up to Rs. 5,000 annually.|
|ITR 2||Individuals/Hindu Undivided Family (HUFs) who do not have income from profits/gains of profession/business.|
|ITR 3||Individuals/HUFs who have income from profits/gains of profession/business.|
|ITR 4 (SUGAM)||Resident Individuals/HUFs/Firms (excluding LLP) with annual income up to Rs. 50 lakh from business/profession computed u/s 44AD, 44ADA, 44AE.|
|ITR 5||Tax Assesses except Individual, Company, HUF and those filing ITR 7.|
|ITR 6||Companies apart from those claiming exemption under Section 11.|
|ITR 7||Companies/Persons furnishing ITR under Section 139(4A), Section 139 (4B), Section 139 (4C) and Section 139 (4D).|
Eligibility Criteria for Income Tax E-Filing
It is now mandatory under Income Tax rules to complete income tax e-filing. The exceptions to mandatory e-filing by tax assessee are as follows:
- The income tax assessee is a HUF/individual with annual income from all sources (exempt and not exempt) of up to Rs. 5 lakh
- The income tax assessee is 80 years of age or older (super senior citizen) for the FY
In both the above cases, income tax returns can be either e-filed or filed using the applicable paper ITR form.
Documents Required for E-Filing of Income Tax
You do not need to attach any documents with your ITR Form unless required to do so by order of the Income Tax Department. However, the taxpayer must keep some important documents ready with him/her for a smooth e-filing experience. Some key tax documents for easy income tax e-filing are as follows:
- Form 16 (for salaried/pensioners)
- Form 26AS
- Profit and Loss Statement (for businesses/self-employed)
- All investment documents (u/s 80C, 80D, 80E, 80G, etc.)
- Home loan interest certificate, etc.
Last Date to file your E-File Income Tax Returns
For the assessment year (AY) 2019-20 i.e. financial year 2018-19, the last date to file your income tax returns is 31st July. However the e-filing deadline is typically subject to extensions by order of the Government of India. In AY 2018-19, the last date of e-filing tax return was extended to 31st August 2018 from the initial 31st July 2018 deadline.
How to register for e-filing on the Income Tax Website?
The following steps will help you register on the Income Tax Department website:
1) Visit the Income Tax E-filing Portal
2) Select the appropriate ‘User type’ – Individual, HUF, Other than HUF/individual, etc.
3) Enter your basic details such as PAN, Name, Residential Status and Date of Birth.
Note: After registration, the PAN of the taxpayer becomes User ID for logging into the Income Tax E-filing Login Portal.
- Fill in the registration form with details such as password, contact numbers, addresses, etc.
After you have duly filled out the registration form, submit it. Once the registration form is submitted, you will receive a 6-digit One Time Password (OTP) on your mobile number and email ID.
- For registration verification, enter the OTP sent to your email ID and mobile number.
Note: In case of non-residents, the OTP is sent only to their registered email address.
Also, the OTP expires after 24 hours from the time you had received it. Hence, if you fail to complete the registration process within 24 hours, the entire registration process must be followed again.
How to access your account at Income Tax E-filing Login Portal?
After registering yourself on the Income Tax E-filing Portal, you will be able to log in to your account. For Income Tax E-filing Login, follow these steps:
- Visit the Income Tax E-filing Login Webpage.
- Enter the required details such as User Id, Password and Captcha Code.
Once you submit the details, they will be checked with the data available. If the information provided is correct, you will successfully log in the account.
Also Read: Income Tax Login
Advantages of E-filing of Income Tax
E-Filing of income tax returns has been made compulsory by the Government of India. The process is much easier compared to the earlier paper filing process. The advantages of e-filing of income tax are as follows:
- The last date for filing income tax returns is July 31st every year. If the user files them one or two month prior to this date, they can complete the task more swiftly with less congestion as servers tend to get overloaded when final date approaches.
- Online filing of tax returns helps the taxpayer to keep a record of all the financial transactions with the Income Tax Department in a more effective manner.
- This record can act handy if the taxpayer wishes to carry out a business relation with any other organisation supporting such records in the future.
- If the taxpayer is unable to file income tax returns for the previous year, he is liable to pay penal interest for every extra day till the date when payment is paid. So, advance filing of income tax return saves you from the additional fine.
Also Read: Belated Income Tax Returns
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Q – Is PAN mandatory to e-file ITR?
Ans- Yes. Under existing tax rules, it is mandatory to have a valid PAN in case you want to e-file your income tax. In fact, those eligible for paper-based tax filing also cannot file their taxes unless they have a valid PAN.
Q- Can I file old ITR such as those for FY 2015-16 in the current assessment year (AY 2019-20)?
Ans – No. In the current assessment year, all income tax filings except those for FY 2018-19 are closed and new or revised returns for earlier years can no longer be filed. However, you will be able to file old returns in case you receive a notice from the Income Tax Department demanding you to do so.
Q – I already pay TDS. Do I also need to file ITR?
Ans – Yes. If you have TDS deductions made on your salary, it indicates that your annual income from various sources exceeds the minimum tax exemption limit. Therefore you will have to file your income taxes under existing IT Act Rules.
Q- I am a salaried tax assesse. Which ITR form should I fill out?
Ans – In most cases, ITR Form 1 (SAHAJ) is the most relevant one for e-filing income tax returns. However, in case you have capital gains from share trading you may be required to e-file using a different ITR form such as ITR 2.
Q- Are there any benefits of e-filing Income Tax Returns?
Ans – Some of the key benefits of e-filing ITR include:
- Round the clock availability
- Quicker turnaround time between submission and verification
- Faster processing and credit of refunds
- Greater accuracy of ITR filing due to automated forms.