For individuals whose total income from all the possible sources does not fall under any taxable bracket of the Income Tax Act 1961, during the preceding year, need to file the taxes in order to claim the returns on them. Earlier this used to be a time-taking process to fill the forms and submit them in the finance department of your respective organization. Any mistake in the form would mean re-filling the form all over again. Now, the Income Tax department has made it easier for the tax-payers to e-file their returns online.
If you are filing your taxes for the first time, there might be a possibility of getting stuck at some clauses but it is no rocket science. You can take the help of tax experts or financial advisers or chartered accountants to do so but once you get the hang of it, it is quite easy.

All that needs to be done is getting registered on the official website of the Income Tax Department. Typically, 31st July is the last date for filing ITR every year.

WHAT IS INCOME TAX e-FILING?
Income tax filing is a task of responsibility which is made compulsory by the government of India. This is a mandate for the people who have annual income above a set limit. If a citizen does not file the income tax, he/she is liable for a penalty.

IMPORTANCE OF e-FILING THE ITR
Since the inception of the online process, filing the income tax returns has become quite easy attracting a large number of people towards the online process as compared to offline.

In order to be able to do the online e-filing, you should satisfy the following conditions:
1. Total taxable income should be more than or equal to 5 lakhs
2. An audit report must be provided under the following sections of the income tax act:
10(23C)(IV), 10(23C)(V), 10(23C)(VIA), 10A, 12A(1)(b), 44AB, 80IA, 80IB, 80IC, 80ID, 80JJAA, 80LA, 92E or 115JB
3. Provision of notice as per section 11(2)(a) to the assessing officer
4. Being an artificial juridical person, organization, AOP, BOI, Local Authority or cooperative society is not allowed.
5. For property or assets outside the country, you must be an individual or HUF resident to e-file ITR.
6. Returns must be provided under section 139(4B)(ITR7)
7. An inhabitant who holds the authority to sign into any account located abroad
8. You should be an assessee claiming relief under the sections 90 or 90A and deductions under section 91.

HOW TO FILE INCOME TAX ONLINE OR HOW TO DO e-FILING?
The e-filing can be done in two ways:
Through DSC which is a Digital Signature Certificate. For this, you will need the help of a chartered accountant.
Through ITR V form which needs to be generated online and printed. Upon signing the form, it needs to be sent to the Central processing center CPC, Bangalore through speed or ordinary post within a span of 120 days from the date of online ITR filing.
Through ERI which is e-return intermediary which can be done with or without DSC.

PROCESS TO FILE INCOME TAX RETURN
Step 1: Registration
Registration is mandatory for e-filing the ITR. Go to the income tax department’s official website www.incometaxindiaefiling.gov.in and fill in the details. Once registered, take a note of your credentials to login in again if required. Also, you will be required to provide with your PAN number and date of birth.
Step 2: Choosing the way to file ITR

This can be done in two ways:
1. Filling the form online by logging into your account
2. Downloading the form into your system, filling the form and then uploading it back to the website

Step 3: Form selection
Select the applicable form as per your category depending upon the source of income,
And other factors
Step 4: Document uploading
There is a list of documents which you would need to keep handy while e-filing your ITR. They are:
1. Pan card
2. Form 16
3. TDS certificate
4. Investment details
5. Insurance and home loan documents as applicable
6. Form 26AS
Note: In case you have earnings of more than 50 lakhs per annum, you need to fill a separate form called AL which is Assets and Liabilities. You will be needed to declare your assets, liabilities, and cost of your assets.
Step 5: Fill and upload the Return Form
The form can be filled offline as well as online. For the offline mode, you need to generate the form, fill it and upload the form back to the official portal through the ‘Upload XML Button’.
Step 6: ITR-V verification
In case you do the filing without DSC, an acknowledgment number is generated. It is the ITR V which would also be mailed to your registered email address. This verification can be done online or a signed ITR V can be scanned and mailed back to the Income Tax Department CPC, Bangalore.

WHY IS FILING INCOME TAX RETURN IMPORTANT?
Income tax filing is the social responsibility of every Indian citizen. It adds to the economy and overall growth of the nation. It is a platform to justify your income sources. Apart from these, the following are the reasons why you should file ITR;

1. It is mandatory
Filing income tax is not a voluntary thing. It is mandatory and socially legitimate to do so. Also, the proof of income tax return is helpful in getting loans and registration of property or immovable item etc.

2. Proof of Responsibility
Filing your taxes shows that you are a responsible citizen who is concerned about the over all economy of the country. It also serves as a platform to justify the income.

3. Proof of income if asked by Banks or other institutions
This also serves as a proof of income while you apply for a loan or registration which the bank or any financial institution may ask for.

FAQs REGARDING INCOME TAX E-FILING
Q1. What of the taxes are not filed or registration is not done?
In case you miss out on registering for the income tax filing, you might receive a notice from the income tax department. Another drawback of not registering is you will not be eligible for TDS refund. Also, even after receiving the notice, the person fails to file income tax, there will a penalty charged at the rate of 1% per month due on total tax.

Q2. How can I file ITR?
An income tax return can be filed through 4 different modes:
1. In paper form
2. Through DSC
3. Through electronic verification code
4. Through ITR-V form

Q3. Do I need to attach any documents while filing my taxes?
There is no requirement for attaching documents in the income tax return form but you should keep them handy in case of an inquiry conducted by the income tax department.

Q4. What if an excess tax is paid?
In case you happen to pay extra tax, a refund will be made to you but only if you file your taxes.

Q5. On whose behalf can the chartered accountant file the ITR?
The chartered accountant can file ITR only on the behalf of an individual tax payer. In the case of an organization, only the authorized person can do so.

Q6. What if I missed the due date in filing ITR?
You can file the ITR after the due date as well under section 139(4) but that should be done before the assessment year gets over.

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