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How to file Income tax online: Your complete guide to e filing income tax

This guide will help you understand the process of e filing income tax returns, in a step-wise manner

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Getting ready for ITR e filing

While filing your Income Tax online, you are expected to:

  • Honestly disclose full information and fulfil your compliance obligations
  • Be aware of your compliance obligations under the Income tax law and seek the help of the Department, if needed.
  • Keep accurate records.
  • Know what the representative does on your behalf.
  • Make submissions in a timely manner online or offline.
  • Pay the due amount in a timely manner, prefer online.

It is recommended that you calculate your income tax liability while filing and refer to your Form 26AS to get a summary of your TDS payments, before you start the ITR e filing process.

Documents required for e filing of income tax

  • Income tax login ID and password
  • PAN card
  • Aadhar card
  • Bank statement/bank passbook
  • Form 16
  • Form 26AS
  • Salary slips
  • Statement related to home loan
  • Tax-saving proofs
  • Capital gains proof

Income tax e filing: Step-wise process

When you start e filing your income tax, remember to keep clicking the ‘Save Draft’ button from time to time, to ensure that the entered ITR details are saved. The draft that is saved will be available for 30 days from the date on which it was saved or till the date of filing the IT return or until there is no further change in the XML schema of the notified ITR (whichever is earlier).

Step 1: Go to https://www.incometax.gov.in/iec/foportal/ which is the income tax e-filing portal.

Step 2: New users can register themselves by clicking on the ‘Register’ button. Once registered, login to the e-Filing portal by entering your user ID (PAN), password, and Captcha code and click on the ‘Login’ option.

Step 3: Click on the menu ‘e-File’ and then on ‘Income Tax Return’.

Step 4: Your PAN will be auto-populated on the income tax return page. Select the assessment year, ITR form number, filing type and submission mode and click on ‘Continue’.

Step 5: Read all the instructions carefully and fill all the applicable and mandatory fields of the online ITR form.

Step 6: Choose the appropriate verification option in the ‘Taxes Paid and Verification’ tab.

Step 7: Choose any one of the following options to verify the income tax return:

  1.   I would like to e-verify.
  2.   I would like to e-verify later within 120 days from the date of filing.
  3.   I do not want to e-verify and would like to send the signed ITR-V through normal or speed post to Centralized Processing Centre, Income Tax Department, Bengaluru – 560500 within 120 days from the date of filing.

On choosing option 1, e-verification can be done through any of the following methods by entering the EVC/OTP:

  1. EVC generated through bank ATM
  2. Generate the EVC option under My Account
  3. Aadhaar OTP
  4. Pre-validated bank account
  5. Pre-validated Demat account

Note that the EVC/OTP should be entered within 60 seconds, or else the income tax return will be automatically submitted. The submitted ITR should be verified later by using the ‘My Account > e-Verify Return’ option or by sending a signed ITR-V to CPC.

On choosing options 2 or 3, the ITR will be submitted but the process of filing the ITRs will not be complete till it is verified. The submitted ITR must be e-verified later by using the ‘My Account > e-Verify Return’ option or by sending the signed ITR-V to CPC, Bengaluru.

Step 8: Click on ‘Preview and Submit’.

And then verify the data entered in the ITR form.

Step 9: Press the ‘Submit’ button.

Step 10: To view the uploaded ITR, go to the e filing portal.​​

Income Tax Online E filing helpdesk number

In case of any queries or issues with e filing of income tax, you can call 1800 180 1961.

Who is required to file ITR?

The following individual taxpayers in India do not have to file ITR:

Taxpayer age bracketAnnual income
Individuals below 60 yearsRs 2.50 lakhs
Individuals above 60 but below 80 yearsRs 3 lakhs
Individuals above 80 yearsRs 5 lakhs

Those earning more than this amount annually have to file ITR.

Income tax e filing: Is it mandatory?

E filing of taxes is not mandatory but optional in certain cases. In other cases, one has the option to file income tax returns only electronically. Your return of income has to be furnished in the manner specified by the I-T Department.

Taxpayer typeConditionsManner of income tax filing
Individual or Hindu undivided family1. Accounts are required to be audited under section 44AB of the I-T Act.1. Electronically under digital signature
2. A super senior citizen (whose age is 80 years or more) at any time during the previous year, who furnishes either ITR-1 or ITR-4.2. Electronically with digital signature or by transmitting the data electronically in the ITR under electronic verification code or by submitting the data in the return electronically and submitting the verification of the return in Form ITR-V or paper form.
3. In any other case3. Electronically with digital signature or by transmitting the data electronically in the return under electronic verification code or by transmitting the data in the ITR electronically and submitting the verification of the return in Form ITR-V.
CompanyIn all casesElectronically
Firm or limited liability partnership (LLP) or any person (other than a person mentioned above) who is required to file a return in Form ITR-51. Accounts are required to be audited under Section 44AB​.1. Electronically
2. In any other case2. Electronically with digital signature or by transmitting the data in the return electronically under electronic verification code or by transmitting the data in the ITR electronically and thereafter submitting the verification of the tax return in Form ITR-V.

Precautions while filing the return of income

1. File the income tax on or before the due date. Listed below are the consequences of delay in filing the return:

  • Losses cannot be carried forward.
  • Levy of interest under Section 234A.
  • Late filing fees under Section 234F. (A late filing fee of Rs 5,000 will be payable if the return is furnished after the due date. Late filing fees will be Rs 1,000 if the total income does not exceed Rs 5 lakhs.)
  • Exemptions under Section 10A and Section 10B are not available.
  • Deductions under 80-IA, 80-IAB, 80-IB, 80-IC, 80-ID and 80-IE will not be available.
  • Deductions under 80IAC, 80IBA, 80JJA, 80JJAA, 80LA, 80P, 80PA, 80QQB and 80RRB will not be available.

2. Check Form 26AS to confirm actual TDS. Get any discrepancies corrected.

3. Read all your documents carefully, like bank statement/passbook, interest certificate, investment proofs, etc., before filing the return of income.

4. Ensure that other details like PAN, address, e-mail address, bank account details, etc., are correct.

5. No documents need to be attached with the return of income.

6. Identify the correct return form applicable in your case.

7. In case the IT return is filed electronically without a digital signature and without an electronic verification code, ensure that you post the acknowledgement of filing the return of income to the CPC Bangalore, within 120 days of filing the return of income.


What is the difference between e-filing and e-payment?

E-filing is the process of electronically furnishing the return of income, while E-payment is the process of electronic payment of tax.

How to file the return of income electronically?

You have to visit the official e-filing website – www.incometaxindiaefiling.gov.in – for e-filing the return of income.

What are the benefits of e-filing the return of income?

E-filing is simple, easy and quick and can be done from any place at any time. Returns that are e-filed are generally processed faster, compared to returns that are filed manually.

How to link Aadhaar number with PAN using the e-Filing portal?

The taxpayer is required to log in to the e-Filing portal using the registered username and password. After logging-in, you can go to the ‘link Aadhaar’ option under ‘Profile Settings’. The Aadhaar number and PAN will be linked, if the name and the date of birth of the taxpayer are identical on both.

Will I be penalised for late filing of ITR even if I am not liable to file it?

No, the ITR late filing fee under Section 234F is not applicable in case you are not required to file ITR under Section 139.

Is there any e-filing helpdesk?

For clarifications on e-filing of return, the taxpayer can contact 1800 180 1961.

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