Beginners’ guide to online tax filing

It is time again for the annual filing of income taxes for the previous financial year 2011-2012 (Assessment year 2012-2013) with 31stJuly 2012 being the last date to do so. But gone the days when filing returns meant lot of paper work, looking for tax filing agents and waiting in queues outside the income tax office; thanks to the e-filing facility by the Income Tax Dept.

Here is a step by step guide for a new user

  1. Go to the income tax website – and register as a new user by giving a few basic details the most important being your PAN No. The PAN No. serves as your login id for the website. Once these details are submitted, a detailed form with your address, contact details need to be filled in.
  2. Once done, you are directed to a new page. Choose the Assessment Year ( A.Y) as 2012-2013 from the “select assessment year” option provided on the left side. View your 26 AS statement containing the details of the Tax deducted at source during the financial year for verifying the TDS details before e-filing.
  3. Select the suitable IT return form from the following:

ITR 1      –              Individuals having income from salary/pension/other sources/house property

ITR 2      –              Individuals/HUFs having income other than business income

ITR 3      –              Individuals/HUFs having a partnership

ITR 4      –              Individuals/HUFs with income from proprietorship/profession/business

You can also download the excel utility for the relevant form from “downloads” for keying in the required details

4.    Once the form is filled, save it on your computer.

5.    Click on “submit return” to upload this saved file on the income tax website.

6.    Once done, an acknowledgement form is shown on screen for having filed the returns successfully. This form needs to be printed out, the required details filled and sent to the local income tax office within 120 days of e-filing. If you fail to do so, the entire e-filing process has to be repeated. Another option, if you want to avoid the hassle of manually sending this verification form is to obtain a digital signature and authorize the e-filing using it. The digital signature can be obtained from vendors like SAFESCRYPT or TCS and costs about Rs 2000/- for a year’s validity.

Apart from being hassle free and convenient one of the other advantages of e-filing is that it does not have to be necessarily done in the typical office hours from 10 A.M – 6 P.M. Hence you do not have to take time off from work and can file returns online from your home anytime even after work in the night. It can’t get easier than this, can it?


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