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21 Jul

Guide To E-filing Or Online Filing Your Income Tax Returns

  • By Editorial Team
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Introduction

Income tax is a direct tax that has to be paid by every individual who is earning her/ his income in India. The amount of tax to be paid by each individual as income tax, depends upon her/his income during a given financial year and the applicable tax slabs as defined by the government.

Income tax is payable on incomes recived from the following sources:

  1. Income from salary

  2. Income from real estate (house/ property)

  3. Profits from businesses

  4. Income from other sources such as bank deposits, pensions, gifts, lottery and others)

  5. Income from long term or capital investments, such as sale of land, property, shares, etc.

The applicable income tax rate varies from category to category, these slabs are usually revised on an annual basis, and the changes are announced during the annual budget announcement.

Filing Your Income Tax Returns

The process of filing income tax returns can be a bit of both confusing and exasperating. There are a few basics like understanding your income calculation, difference between assessment year and financial year, medical expenses, deductions, TDS, etc.

In addition to the terms, its crucial to keep an eye on timelines, abiding by them is critical as otherwise you would be required to payfines in the form of penalities. You can file your income tax returns using the traditional offline method or the online/ e-filing method, which ofcourse is a far easier and better approach.

Taxes are paid for the income earned during the 12 month period beginning from 1st April to the 31st March of the following year, and the deadline for paying taxes is 31st July for individuals and 30th September for businesses.

Category-wise Income Tax Slabs (Applicable for FY-17):

  1. For male and female individuals below the age of 60.

  INCOME TAX SLABS
 INCOME TAX RATES
   Rs.2,50,000 and below     Exempted
   Between Rs.2,50,000 & Rs.5,00,000     10%
   Between Rs.5,00,000 & Rs.10,00,000     20%
   Above Rs.10,00,000     30%
  1. For senior citizens above 60 years of age, but below 80 years

 INCOME TAX SLABS
 INCOME TAX RATES
   Rs.3,00,000 and below     Exempted
   Between Rs.3,00,000 & Rs.5,00,000     10%
   Between Rs.5,00,000 & Rs.10,00,000     20%
   Above Rs.10,00,000     30%
  1. For super senior citizens above 80 years of age

  INCOME TAX SLABS
 INCOME TAX RATES
 Below Rs.5,00,000     Exempted
 Between Rs.5,00,000 & Rs.10,00,000     20%
 Above Rs.10,00,000     30%
  1. If the total taxable income crosses Rs 1 Crore, then a 12% surcharge is also imposed.

Steps for Traditional or Offline Filing of Income Tax:

  1. Step 1: One needs to collect the necessary forms from the income tax office.

  2. Step 2: The form needs to be filled correctly, and submitted to the accessing officer or the "Aaykar Sampark Kendra" helpdesk.

  3. Step 3: Also, an acknowledgement form has to be filled which will have the summary of your ITR.

  4. Step 4: A stamped copy of the submitted acknowledgement form is returned to the individual in question.

  5. Note: Citizens who have an annual income of Rs. 2,50,000 and above are required to pay income tax. One can file Income Tax Returns (ITR) by way of both offline or online methods. However, it is mandatory for individuals earning above Rs 5,00,000 and those individuals who own assets outside India with an income level requiring an audit to pay tax via e-Filing. E-Filing is far more convenient and less time consuming, as it doesn't need hard copies to be produced.

Advantages of e-Filing or Online Filing of Income Tax Returns

  1. E-filing is very convenient due to lack of time or locational limitations. One can save a hige amount of time and is not required to stand in long queues.

  2. The website can be accessed from anywhere on the globe.

  3. Whether you are a resident Indian or an NRI, anyone who is liable to pay income tax in India, can file her/his ITR via the e-Filing methods

  4. It minimizes interactions with tax officials and is a completely automated process, therefore it has minimal communication gaps or errors.

Steps for e-Filing or Online Filing of Income Tax Returns

  1. Log on to IncomeTaxIndiaeFiling.gov.in and register on website - It is the official website and can be logged in from anywhere.

  2. Enter PAN Number as your User ID - Pan card is essential for filing income tax returns and should be linked with the Aadhar card to file tax returns, as passed by the Supreme Court.

  3. Choose the financial year - The financial year or the tax year is from 1st April to the 31st March of the next year. For example FY16-17, FY17-18.

  4. Download the ITR form - The ITR form will be available on the website. The Central Board of Direct taxes has allocated different forms for tax for individuals and for companies and firms. For individual tax payers ITR-1, ITR-2, and ITR-3 forms are used based on the criterion.

  5. Fill out the form by entering details using your Form 16 - This form can be filled by using MS Excel. Form 16 contains all necessary details needed to fill the income tax returns and is used by companies operating in India to give salary information.

  6. Calculate your tax using the calculation tab - The total tax needed to pay can be calculated by clicking "Calculate Tax".

  7. ay tax and fill in the tax details - Pay the tax amount if necessary and fill the challan details accurately after which all the data provided must be confirmed by the individual by clicking the "validate" tab.

  8. Upload and digitally sign the file - Generate the XML file and then upload it on the portals panel.

  9. The acknowledgment form will be generated, print and sign it in blue ink - ITR-Verification form needs to be signed with blue ink only, after downloading and printing.

  10. Send the signed copy of the form by Speed or Ordinary Post to the address given below within 120 days of filing your returns online. (Address: Income Tax Department - CPC, Post Bag No. 1, Electronic City Post Office, Bangalore, 560110, Karnataka - INDIA.)

Follow the steps above and file your income tax returns on time, best of luck!!

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