With the income-tax department allowing e-filing of ITR, the process has been made a lot easier. Besides the I-T department there are many private players which also offer e-filings.
Before using any one of them do a proper evaluation of the websites.
1. Check whether the portal provides the form that you want. All websites offer ITR 1 and ITR 2, but few have others.
2. Then check if the portal has all the sections. For instance, few tax-filing site that did not include the section on carrying forward losses from the previous years. This is important as you must book your short-term losses and then use-it off-set your short-term gains in future.
3. Choose a portal where the user interface is smooth. Also a good portal will prompt you to fill up a slot you have missed or ask you to rectify a mistake. This reduces the chances of making errors.
Other sites offering e-filing includes Taxyogi.com, Taxspanner.com, Taxsmile.com and taxshax.com. There are some banks also that offer this facility.
How to e-file ITR
Step 1: Gather relevant documents — Form 16 (issued by your employer), permanent account number (PAN), statements of income from other sources, including savings bank account statements, investment proof, Public Provident Fund passbook and insurance policy details.
Step 2: Register with the site you prefer. Fill in your details in the applicable ITR form online. You could choose among the various packages available as per your requirements.
While the I-T department lets you file your returns online for free, most other portals charge you a fee. Some portals offer free as well as paid service based on the package you choose (see graph).
Step 3: Make the payment after you have reviewed your form. In case you need to pay some tax, visit www.tin-nsdl.com , select the required challan and make a payment through Internet banking.
Once you receive the challan identification number, acknowledging your payment, your taxes are paid. Ensure that you save a copy of the challans. Keep a hard copy, too.
Step 4: The portal will email your ITR form in a digital format (XML file). Upload this form at the I-T department"s website (www.incometaxindia.gov.in) after registering with it. Download the acknowledgment receipt (ITR V) and take a printout.
Step 5: Sign the printout and send it to the I-T department, Bangalore, within 30 days of e-filing. Once you receive a confirmation from the department, your e-filing is complete.
The address is: Income Tax Department- CPC, Post Box No. 1, Electronic City Post Office, Bangalore - 560100, Karnataka.
(Also read: Which ITR Form to Fill: ITR1, ITR2, ITR4?)