Filing of Income Tax Returns could be quite a task for many, owing to plethora of paperwork and lengthy procedures. In this era of technology, no longer is this going to be a daunting task. You could now file your Income Tax Returns online without having to spend hours at the Income Tax office, or pay exorbitant fees to a chartered accountant. Read on to know about the hassle free process of “E-filing" of returns.
What is E-filing?
E-filing is a process of filing your returns the electronic way using the help of the internet. Various web portals have been designed and designated to help you file returns. So, without being bogged down by lengthy procedures, you could now use the internet to file your returns in the comfort of your home or office, at any time of the day.
Where do you E-File your Returns?
The Income Tax of India website lets tax payers of all kinds, to file their returns online, free of cost. The steps involved are explained in the main home page of the website. This free version however is not very user friendly for novice users. For someone not familiar with ITR-1, ITR 2 etc, understanding and using the excel based utility could be quite difficult. Also, the site has no provision for online help and could get slow at times.
Sites such as www.taxyogi.com and some of the other portals which, at a nominal fee, not only guide you through the e-filing process, but also offer value added services.
Tax Yogi offers users two tax packages, Basic and Advance. One need not have to worry about any form numbers such as ITR-1 or ITR-2. Tax Yogi's ITR tool takes care of it all. It takes just 10 minutes to fill in the details and complete the process. The advance package of Tax Yogi additionally offers expert advice on tax saving options and, tax planning services for the future.
How do you E-file Returns?
Before you begin, keep all relevant information such as your Form 16, your investment details, your income from other sources etc., ready at hand.
Step 1: You would need to register with the portal through which you desire to file your returns. Most tax return filing sites are user friendly and help you through the process in a step by step manner. You can achieve the same task by downloading Excel utility from the It department website. However it may be difficult to use.
Step 2: Details such as name, address, PAN, total salary, deductions etc are collected in a digital format.
Step 3: An ITR XML file is generated which is your electronic income tax return. Do not try to make sense of it as it's a bit technical.
*Step 4: You would need to upload this ITR XML file on the Income Tax website. For doing this, an account needs to be created in the Income Tax website using your Permanent Account Number. Once uploaded, an acknowledgement receipt called ITR Form-V would be generated. This needs to be signed and sent to “Income Tax Department - CPC, Post Box No.1, Electronic City Post Office, Bangalore - 560100, Karnataka" within 120 days of e-filing.
*The TaxYogi Advantage: Tax Yogi has an e-intermediary status and hence you would not require to login to the income tax site to upload the electronic return. The electronic return is generated and automatically uploaded by them. In this case, users get the ITR-V by email instantly from the IT department which needs to be printed, signed and sent to the CPC Bangalore.
Step 5: You would receive a confirmation from the IT Department, acknowledging the receipt of ITR-V. This is your final acknowledgement that concludes your e-tax filing.
Points to Keep in Mind
- As you would be entering your financial information, ensure the site you log in to is trust worthy and has a security certificate.
- If you do not wish to post the ITR-V form to the IT office, you could alternatively use an “electronic signature" to authenticate your identity. Sending by post is mandatory only when returns are filed without the use of a signature.
- If the ITR-V is not submitted within 120 days of e-filing, what has been submitted will be considered as null and void. In such a case you will have to file your returns again, get a new ITR-V and submit the same within 120 days.
- If one requires an “E-Refund", i.e. when the refund process is carried out electronically, the details of refund (if any) are filled up online in a prescribed form. After approval of refund request by the concern authority, the refund amount will credited to your bank account.