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For all Indian citizens, including NRIs, with a gross total income of over Rs 2.5 lakh, it is mandatory to file returns.

For senior citizens (above 60 years), the threshold is Rs 3 lakh while that for super senior citizens (over 80 years) is Rs 5 lakh.

Then Income Tax Returns (ITR) has to be filed electronically, while the concession to fill in paper form has been given only to super senior citizens and assessees with an annual income of under Rs 5 lakh, who are not seeking a refund.

The last date to file ITR is July 31.

STEP 1

Know the ITR relevant for you.

ITR-1: Also known as Sahaj, this form is for individuals having total income up to Rs 50 lakh. This covers salary or pension income, income from one house property (not a brought forward loss) as well as from other sources except lottery/horse racing prizes, as well as income-related to patents and dividends.

ITR-2: This form is for individuals having income over Rs 50 lakh annually. Besides, for those who own more than one house property as well as those who hold directorship in a company, this ITR is applicable. This form extends to an individual and Hindu Undivided Family (HUF) not having any income from profit and gains from a business or profession.

ITR-3: This is for individuals and HUFs having income from a proprietary business or profession. Moreover, partners of partnership firms will have to use this form, not ITR-2, if they only receive exempt income from their firms, which is a share of profits, not remuneration and interest.

ITR-4: Also called Sugam, this form is for individuals, HUFs and partnership firms that have opted for the presumptive income scheme as per Section 44AD, Section 44ADA and Section 44AE and whose income is not more than Rs 50 lakh.

ITR-5: This applies to Association of Persons [AOPs], Body of individuals [BOIs], firms, LLPs, artificial juridical persons, cooperative societies and local authorities.

ITR forms other than mentioned above apply to companies, trusts, institutions, political parties, colleges, investment funds and the like and the dedicated tax filing portal of the Income Tax Department (incometaxindiaefiling.gov.in) does not cover them.

STEP 2

Once you know which form to pick, you will need your Form 16 and investment details handy and then follow the following steps on the portal:

Now, log into the website incometaxindiaefiling.gov.in. If you don’t have a password, you will have to click on the green “Register yourself” tab on the left side of the homepage. What you need to do is quote your PAN details as well as the required contact details and choose a password.

Go to the e-file option and click on “Prepare and Submit ITR Online”. (Only ITRs 1 and 4S can be filled online.)

Select the form that applies to you and the Assessment Year.

If you have multiple bank accounts, select the previously validated bank account where you wish to receive your income tax refund, and then click the ‘Continue’ button.

Notably, starting this year, the Income Tax Department will provide pre-filled ITR-1 forms that will state your salary, FD and bank interest income, TDS details, capital gains from securities, dividends, tax deductions claimed under Sections 80C to 80U and your contact information.

This data will be collected from various sources such as banks, your Form 26AS, the TDS return filed by your employer, your previous year’s ITR, stock exchanges, mutual funds, EPFO, State Registration Departments, etc.

However, apart from ITR-1, the other ITR forms have not been covered by this facility yet.

Besides, the taxpayers also have the option of downloading the ITR preparation software from the Income-tax website, filling in the information required, generating the ITR data in XML format and lastly uploading it on the e-filing portal.

STEP 3

The final step is to upload a Digital Signature Certificate (DSC), if applicable, so long as it’s registered with e-Filing. The DSC is a must for filing ITRs that need to be audited.

Click on ‘Submit’.

On successful submission without DSC, your Income Tax Return-Verification (ITR-V) form would be displayed on the screen. Click on the link and download the ITR-V. You can then choose to either instantly e-verify your tax return via Aadhaar on the same portal or paper verify it by sending a signed copy of the ITR-V to the Department’s Centralized Processing Centre (CPC) by post within 120 days from the date of e-filing.

You might also choose to file your ITR on Cleartax or Taxspanner, where you get the handy option to upload your Form 16. This makes things much simpler for the taxpayer. Fill in all the details required over the next several pages and proceed to e-filing. Here, too, you need to e-verify your ITR.

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