Guide: How to File Your Income Tax Return Online
A step-by-step guide to help you sort out your I-T worries
The collapse of the northern power grid last week, just as the deadline to file income tax returns was about to expire, prevented many taxpayers from submitting their returns on time. The government has therefore provided respite by extending the deadline to the 31st of August for individuals and HUFs (Hindu Undivided Family). This news is probably music to the ears of perennial procrastinators, who have for some reason or other avoided filing their returns thus far. While many of you might think that it is better to let a professional handle the task, filing your I-T returns isn't hard at all. Last year, we had published a step-by-step guide to the process, which was well-received by readers. The process has hardly changed since then, but even so, this guide will show you exactly what you need to do to file your I-T returns online and save your CA's (Chartered Accountant) or Tax Return Preparer's fees. Best of all, you can do everything from the comfort of your home! Note: This guide applies only to Form ITR-1 — that is, salaried individuals with no other sources of income, except for interest income and rental income from one property. If you own more than one property, or if you've sold a property between Apr 2011- Mar 2012, as well as professionals (doctors, consultants, etc) are better off hiring a CA to get the job done. The first thing you need to do is obtain your Form 16. Your employer provides this— if you don't have it, you can request your HR department for one. This form is a statement of your taxable salary, allowed deductions, and the tax that has been paid on your behalf. Also, banks and other financial institutions that charge you TDS (Tax Deducted at Source) on the interest due to you are supposed to supply you with a Form 16A. The return needs to be filed before 31st August if you are eligible for tax refunds. If you aren't due for a refund and your salary is under 5 lakhs (with no other income like interest on bank deposits etc), you are exempt from filing returns. It is prudent to do so nonetheless, especially if you intend to apply for home \ car loans in the future, since that requires I-T return details spanning the previous three years. With the Form 16 sorted out, you can now visit the Income Tax India website. Step I: Assuming that you are yet to register, click on the Register link on the right side to create a new account. You will be prompted to enter your PAN (Permanent Account Number), which is assigned as your user ID. Hit the Click Me button to proceed to the next page. Enter your details in the registration form — keep your PAN card handy, because the details have to exactly match those mentioned on the card. Keep the Click here if you want to register your Digital Certificate box unchecked, because you most likely don't have one. Then click the register button to complete the signup, following which you will receive a confirmation e-mail.
Step II: Log into your spanking new account. The very first thing you need to do is view your Form 26AS statement,
and total up the amounts in the Tax payable field of each form.which specifies how much tax has been paid on your behalf to the I-T department. In the subsequent page. In the next page. Now take all your Form 16 \ 16As that you have. the security code. and click Submit. then on the View Form 26AS link at the bottom of the page that opens. select Assessment Year 2012-13 from the drop-down box. This is the tax that has actually been paid on your behalf. click on the Confirm button. To view the statement. click on the View Tax Credit Statement (Form 26AS) under the My Account drop-down menu at the top. enter your Date of Birth.
Step III: Your Form 26AS should now be visible
Note down the total of the TDS deposited column. Observe the
HUF from the e-Filing A. Do not use Apache OpenOffice or any other office suite to open this sheet — it is compatible only with MS Excel. 3(3). the last of which was obtained in Step IV. you should not file your I-T return online. • Case 2: The tax that you actually paid is more than the tax you're supposed to pay. you'll have to download the ITR-1 (SAHAJ) form as highlighted below. so you'll almost never have to worry about it happening to you.
Step V: Now. On opening the spreadsheet. click on the Enable Content button that will show up at the top of the sheet. However. To do so. Head back to the Income Tax E-Filing homepage and click on Know your Jurisdictional AO under the Services drop-down menu at the top.
Step VI: Extract the Excel spreadsheet from the ZIP file downloaded in the previous step and open it. In this case. as most of the details will have to be copied over from in a fairly straightforward way. Since this guide only covers salaried individuals. 201213 menu under the DOWNLOAD section in the left panel. Step IV: Next. Proceed as usual.Macros & ActiveX security warning pops up. and INCOME TAX WARD \ CIRCLE (jurisdiction code). PAN number. assuming all has checked out well and you belong to either of the first two cases listed in the previous step. Enter the details such as your name. Whoops. select OTH from the drop-down menu in the Employer Category (if in employment) field. The most likely reason for this is that your employer or bank made an error while depositing the tax or making an entry in the system.details carefully to make sure there is no addition mistake. This is the tax amount that you're supposed to pay. You will have to contact a CA for his help in finding out what caused the discrepancy. select Individual. we need to download the I-T return form. Note down your jurisdiction code as shown below — in this case. you're eligible for a tax refund. Make sure you enable macros and ActiveX content by choosing the Enable this content radio button when the Security Alert . you will find yourself in the Income Details page of a multi-sheet document. but if it happens. there are three possibilities: • Case 1: The tax that you actually paid (Form 26AS) is exactly equal to the tax that you're supposed to pay (Form 16 \ 16A). this is a very unusual occurrence. Unless you're employed by the Indian government or in a Public Sector Undertaking (PSU). Keep the default value for the Return filed under section field. This means there is no mismatch and you can proceed with the rest of the steps. Get your Form 16 \ 16A ready. address.
. there's been a screw-up somewhere! The third case is rather rare. Now. • Case 3: The tax that you actually paid is less than the tax you're supposed to pay. since pretty much everything's computerized nowadays. If you have Microsoft Office 2010.Y. you'll need to know which I-T jurisdiction you fall under (this is needed when filling the tax form). birth date.
Field 2 is meant for rental income from a single house. In case you've made tax-saving investments.
Step VIII: Once in the TDS sheet. which I will come to in Step X. from the Form 16A supplied by your bank. and (5) from your Form 26AS statement. The information under column (4) needs to be taken from the Form 16.
. click on the Validate button near the top.Step VII: Scroll down and fill up Field 1 based on the amount mentioned in the Income chargeable under the head 'salaries' field in your Form 16. If you've collected rent from more than one house or sold your property in the previous financial year (Apr 11-Mar 12). Field 3 is the sum of the interest earned from your bank accounts. fixed deposits (FD). (3). When it gives you an OK message. this guide ends here. Note that donations made under Section 80(G) will have to be filled out separately. fill in columns (2). because you need to fill up ITR-2 instead. mention them in the relevant sections of Field 5. etc. You will get this information from your bank account statement. In this example. or in case tax has been deducted. Finally. You don't need to fill in individual payments from the statement — simply total all the amounts for each unique Tax Deduction Account Number (TAN) into one single row. even though the Form 26AS in Step III shows 10 payments made by the employer with TAN BLRT08111F. and proceed to the TDS sheet by clicking the Next button or selecting the TDS tab at the bottom of the Excel screen.
and (6) as before by referring to Form 26AS. you will be provided a receipt containing the challan number and other details. In this case. Note that column (5) will almost always be given a value of 2011 (since the TDS amount for the interest was deducted in 2011-12). An easier way though is to pay the amount online as follows: visit this e-payment site. then come back and complete the rest of the steps. savings accounts. select Yes in Field 21. if any. You can make the payment through any nationalised bank and receive a challan number. When you click Proceed. If you had drawn a salary from more than one employer during the year. click Next or go to the Taxes paid and Verification sheet. Next.
Step IX: Phew! Now that we've successfully completed Step VIII. Note: The remaining part of this step will not be applicable to most of you (all those who didn't get taxed on the interest from bank accounts and FDs). Enter your bank account number in Field 20. where you can complete the transaction by entering the tax amount. you will have received a Form 16A from your bank. If so. As in the earlier steps./ITNS 280 link. click on the Next button or proceed to the Taxes paid and Verification sheet. However. Then enter the 9-digit MICR Code (printed in your cheque book) and type of account (usually Savings) in Field 22. you will be taken to that bank's payment gateway. your total income actually puts you in the 20% tax bracket. As before. Once you know the amount you owe. Finally. the spreadsheet will indicate that you now owe some tax to the I-T department. You can add even more rows by pressing the + button below the section. select the (0021) INCOME-TAX (OTHER THAN COMPANIES) radio button and the (300)SELF ASSESSMENT TAX option in the Type Of Payment section. and place separate TANs in different rows. and once you get the OK message. However. then click the CHALLAN NO. Field 25 deals with Advance Tax and Self Assessment Tax. etc. total all the deductions made by a unique TAN into a single row.
. the latter is best illustrated with this example: suppose you have a large sum in your bank account earning you a tidy interest that's already taxed at the default rate of 10%. (3). Finally. While Advance Tax is not applicable to most of us. Field 24 is meant to fill in TDS details on your income from investments such as fixed deposits. If so. The amounts in column (7) will be equal to those in column (6).they've all been clubbed into a single row after totalling all the entries. You've entered this interest amount in Field 3 of the Income Details sheet. click the Validate button. if you're not eligible for a refund (Case 1. Fill columns (2). you will have to pay the tax first. and choose the bank where you have a net banking account. If you're due for a refund (remember Case 2 in Step III?) and would like it to be sent straight into your account (the most convenient way). select No in Field 21instead and skip Field 22. Once the payment has been made. Use the + button to add more rows if required. Finally. In the page that opens. validate this sheet and then move on to the final one: 80G. Fill up the rest of the form. once you've filled out all the other fields and pressed the Calculate button to compute the payable tax. columns (4) and (5) can be filled by using the Form 16A you received from the bank. which you can enter into the corresponding columns. fill all the details in Field 26. so you can safely skip it if you don't want to get confused by the details. Step III) or would like a cheque. it's all downhill from here. click on the Validate button near the top and after getting the OK message. enter them in the additional rows provided.
click the Calculate Tax button near the top of the screen.
. Of course. which will create a new sheet in the document. The columns are self-explanatory. In most cases. The qualifying amounts will then be automatically filled into Field 5i of the Income Details sheet. in which case. In case you owe some tax. click on the Save XML button to create an XML report file that will be saved in the same location as the ITR-1 spreadsheet. so you can double-check them for errors. then come back to the main Income Details sheet. the donations you made will be liable to a 50% exemption. Once you've confirmed everything's OK. This sheet contains a summary of your tax statement and other important details. leave the fields empty. if you haven't made any donations. and the information will be available in the 80(G) receipt provided by the charity. you have to fill in Section B.
Step XI: Once all the sheets have been validated and you've returned to the first Income Details sheet. Validate the data. Now. called Pre-XML Check.Step X: The 80G sheet is used to provide information about any donations you might have made under the 80(G) section eligible for tax deductions. This will fill out Fields 16-19 in the Taxes paid and Verification sheet. click on the Generate button. thus providing the final figure of the taxes you owe or the refund due to you. you will have to pay it first before going ahead with the next few steps. Refer to the end part of Step VIII for details on how to do this.
To do so. In the subsequent form. After the upload is complete.560 100 Please note that you can mail this document either through regular or Speed Post. That's it. the password will be: afhwr4348j30081979. thus concluding the entire process. The letter must reach within 120 days (four months) of submitting the XML file. choose not to digitally sign the file. by Jayesh Limaye (The TechTree)
. head back to the Income Tax E-Filing website (make sure you're still logged in) and select AY 12-13 from the Select Assessment Year menu under the SUBMIT RETURN section in the left panel. but not via registered post or courier. you have successfully achieved the goal of filing your Income Tax returns online! You may now celebrate. it acts as a physical verification that the information you have provided to the I-T authorities is not fraudulent. assume that your PAN is AFHWR4348J and your birth date is 30-Aug-1979. all in lowercase and with no spaces or special characters.Step XII: We now need to submit the XML file to the I-T department. In the absence of a digital signature. you will be asked to download a ZIP file containing Form ITR-V. Roughly about 15 days after mailing the ITR-V.CPC. Click on the Upload button. Post Bag #1. and mail it to the following address: Income Tax Department . Electronic City Post Office. Take a printout of this file. your return has been filed!
Step XIII: One final task remains. You will also receive this file in your e-mail inbox. This is an important document that needs to be signed by you. which is your PAN number followed by your date of birth. Extract this PDF file and open it using the password. then hit Next. Bangalore . Congratulations. As an example. In the screen that follows. In that case. browse to the location where the XML file was created in the previous step and select it. Since you most likely don't have a digital signature. sign it. you will receive an acknowledgement email from the I-T department. select ITR-1 from the Select Form Name list.