The deadline to file your Income Tax returns for the financial years 2016-17 and 2017-18 is 31 March 2018. If your income is during these years has been more than the income tax slab, you need to file your income tax returns.
Usually one goes to a professional to file the returns, but if you do not have many investments, you can file your Income Tax Returns in easy steps online in the comfort of your home, for free. This online filing is also known as e-filing.
Who is required to file income tax returns?
- If your income for the financial year 2016-17 has been more Rs 2.5 lakhs in India excluding the deductions from Section 80C and 80U, you have to file income tax returns (ITR). Even if you are an NRI, your income in India needs to be filed for ITR.
- If you are over 60 years old but less than 80 years, you are you required to file ITR if your income for 2016-17 is over Rs 3 lakhs before deductions. If you are over 80 years of age, then you have to file ITR if your income is over Rs 5 lakhs before deductions.
- If you want an income tax refund or want to carry forward your losses under any head of income (like loss from sale of equity shares).
- If you have had any long term capital gains during the financial year, you need to file tax even if your income is tax-free.
- If you are planning to apply for a loan or visa, you may be asked for proof of income tax filing.
Register or Login
If have just started earning and this is your first time filing ITR, then click on "Register Yourself." If you have filed your returns before, click on "Login Here."
You User ID will be your PAN. Enter your date of birth as per your PAN using the input icon next to the box provided.
You can ask your professional who helped you the previous year for your password or use "forgot password" option to change the password.
Which form should you choose to file ITR and how to file it?
It department has various forms depending on the taxpayers requirements. Since this article is focused on salaried individuals only, your form will be ITR 1.
Now, there are two ways to file this foem, buy downloadng it or filing it online. The best way to file your returns online would be to download the pre-filled excel sheet rather than filing it online because one cannot predict electricity power cuts and internet connection disruptions.
How to download the XML file?
On the page, go to the "My Account" and click on "Download Pre-filled XML." The next page will ask you for your PAN (usually pre-entered), the assessment year and ITR form. Note that your assessment year will be the year next to your financial year. So if you are filing for 2016-17, your assessment year will be 2017-18.
Fill the XML file and pay your taxes
File this XML form with the details from your Form 16.
Once your form is complete. Click on the "calculate tax" in the file. You can pay the tax applicable online and the fill the challan details after you upload the file using Netbanking.
Complete the tax filing
Complete the filing by clicking "Validate." Now generate and save the excel file on your desktop.
Next, log into the IT department website again and choose upload XML file as your submission mode.
Verification of income tax returns filing
If your Aadhar is linked already, you can digitally verify the returns using Aadhar OTP. It is the easiest method. You will receive the OTP on your Aadhar linked mobile number and you need to enter this in the space provided.
You will get an acknowledgment form of verification (ITR-V) which you can download for your reference.
If you choose to verify offline, you can download the form and send it to:
Centralized Processing Center,
Income Tax Department,
Post Bag No. 1, Electronic City Post Office, Bangalore, 560 100, Karnataka.
The letter needs to reach the IT department within 120 days of filing the return online.
Important Points to remember before you file your income tax returns
- Your tax deducted at source in form 26AS should match the amount in Form 16. Form 16 will be provided to you by your employer. Also Read: Learn how to check your form 26AS.
- It is important that the two match, because you will receive an income tax notice if they do not match. So you need to rectify if there are any errors.
- Claim your deductions under section 80. Keep your premium receipts at your side to fill the form.
- Keep your bank interest statement handy as you are allowed a deduction of up to Rs 10,000 on interest earned on your savings account.
- If your last year's return for reference, your Form 16, your payslips and rent receipts to help you file your tax returns faster.