If you have filed your income tax returns in India before or if you are a first-time IT payer, it helps to keep certain things in mind to ensure that the process is hassle-free and error-free. Read these 10 tips for salaried individuals to file income tax returns online.
1. Assessment year and financial year
Among the first things to know is the deadline. 31st July of the assessment year is the deadline for filing your income tax return. The assessment year for the income you have earned in a financial year comes after the end of the financial year. So, if your Financial Year (FY) is 1st April 2022 to 31st March 2023, your Assessment Year (AY) will be 1st April 2023 to 31st March 2024.
2. Identify the Right ITR Form to File Your Taxes
Now that you know the difference between FY and AY, the next thing to do is choose the right ITR form. There are seven ITR (income tax returns) forms for different categories including
ITR – 1: Individuals who are residents of the country and have an income of Rs 50 lakh or lower from salary, pension, a house, or other sources.
ITR – 2: Every income from ITR-1 with over Rs 50 lakh, capital gains, more than one house, foreign income, holding directorship in a company, holding unlisted equity shares.
ITR – 3: Every income from ITR-2, business or profession, as a firm’s partner, a presumptive income of more than Rs. 50 lakh.
ITR-4: Every income from ITR-1, a presumptive income of over Rs 50 lakh from salary. Pension, other sources, one-house property
ITR-5: For firms, LLPs limited liability partnership), AOPs (Association of Persons) and BOIs (Body of Individuals)
ITR-6: Companies that don’t claim exemption as per Sec 11.
ITR-7: Persons or companies under Sec 139 (4A), 139 (4B), 139 (4C), 139 (4D).
3. Bookmark the IT e-filing Link Handy
If you are still wondering how to file your income tax return online as a salaried employee, you can head to the e-filing link of the income tax department. The department provides steps and links to file your returns both offline and online. The e-filing link of the IT department is here: https://www.incometaxindiaefiling.gov.in/home
You can download the appropriate ITR form, fill out the mandatory fields, calculate your taxes, generate and save an XML, then log in to the e-filing link and follow the steps given; ie, attaching your XML file, verifying, and then submitting your ITR.
The other method is to enter your details directly on the e-filing link and submitting online. If you are an ITR-1 or ITR-4 assessee you can do this.
Alternatively, you can also get your tax P&L report relevant for your IT returns with the help of Quicko. Filing your returns via the Quicko portal is also a simple process.
4. Link Aadhaar with PAN
The next step for you while filling IT returns online is to link your Aadhaar with the PAN card. You can do so by visiting the IT department’s e-filing link: https://www.incometaxindiaefiling.gov.in/
5. Keep the Required Documents handy
It helps to keep your passbook and bank statements, interest income statements, and TDS certificate that are issued by banks or others. Keep documents at hand so that you can claim certain expenses such as contributions to PF, school tuition fees for your children, premium paid on your life insurance, home loan principal repayment, mutual fund investments, equity-linked savings scheme investment details, interest paid on a home loan or education loan interest payments. Remember that you don’t have to attach any proof or documents for filing returns but keep the documents at hand to crosscheck exemptions and investment details.
6. Have Your Form 16 Ready
When you are learning how to file income tax returns online step by step, you will need to know about Form 16. It is a TDS (tax deducted at source) certificate that an employer issues and contains all the information you need when filing your returns. It has parts A and B. You can download PART A through the TRACES portal of the income tax department; Part B gives a detailed salary breakup and exemptions, apart from 80C deductions and the tax payable or refund dues. Form 16 C is a TDS certificate issued by the deductor, who is a tenant to the landowner of the property, with respect to the TDS deducted on rent.
7. Keep Form 26A Handy
You don’t have to download this form for filing your IT returns; instead, you can import the information directly while filing. This form includes all details of tax deducted on your income by the deductors, details of tax collected, advance taxes paid, self-assessment payment of taxes, regular assessment tax you have paid as a taxpayer, any details of refund you have received, and all details of heavy transactions you may have made in connection with mutual funds or equity shares among others.
8. Verify the Pre-filled Details in Your ITR
Till now, tax payments, salary, and TDS have come pre-filled in your ITR. But following Budget 2021, it has been announced that capital gains, dividends, and interest incomes will also be prefilled in your ITR. This makes the process of filing your returns easier. However, it helps to check the prefilled details before filing. You can cross-check with your documents containing details of deductions and investments.
The IT Department has recently released ITR Form-1 and Form-4 with pre-filled data for salaried taxpayers to make ITR filing simpler. The forms are available from 20th May 2023.
9. Verification of IT returns
Merely uploading your IT returns on the portal doesn’t complete the filing process. It is important to verify the details you have filed to ensure the correctness of the information.
Once you have successfully filed your IT returns on the e-filing link, you should verify your tax returns to ensure all information is correct. E-verification of ITR is available for both registered and unregistered members. You can verify your returns via net banking, Aadhaar OTP, digital signature, or via EVC (electronic verification code) on the income tax department website.
10. Check the Refund Status
You can check whether you have any refundable dues or demands by the Income Tax Department either on the e-filing link or on the Tax Information Network of the IT department website – https://tin.tin.nsdl.com/oltas/servlet/RefundStatusTrack
Now that you know how to file income tax returns online step by step, you can do it easily for the coming financial year. Keep track of income tax slabs and other updates announced by the government so that you are not taken by surprise when it is time to file your returns.