The Economic Times
English EditionEnglish Editionहिन्दी
| E-Paper
Search
+

    Income tax return filing: Here's your step by step guide

    Synopsis

    Filing your income tax return before the deadline i.e. November 30, 2020, for FY 2019-20 offers certain tax benefits. These benefits include carry forward of losses and avoid paying late filing fees which can amount up to Rs 10,000.

    ITR filing guide: Red flags to avoid while filing tax return
    ET Calculator Banner
    The deadline to file income tax return (ITR) for the financial year 2019-20 has been extended to November 30, 2020. Although you have less than three months, filing your return before the deadline comes with certain benefits such as carry forward of losses, you will also avoid paying late filing fees. If you file your ITR after the deadline you will have to pay late filing fees of up to Rs 10,000.

    To file ITR electronically, one must be registered on the e-filing website of the income tax department.

    Also Read: How to register on e-filing website of income tax department

    Once you have registered yourself on the e-filing website, here is a step-by-step guide on how to e-file your ITR.

    Step-by-step guide to file your income tax return (ITR):
    1. Collect required documents such as TDS certificates (Form16/16A), capital gains statement
    The first step is to collect all the documents you will need to file your ITR such as Form 16, salary slips, and interest certificates. The documents will help you compute your gross taxable income and will provide you the details of tax deducted at source (TDS) from your income in FY 2019-20.

    Also Read: Documents you need to file ITR

    Form 16 is a TDS certificate given by your employer, if tax is deducted from your salary income. Similarly, your bank is required to issue Form-16A for TDS deducted on interest payment to you on fixed deposits. Ensure that all the TDS certificates received by you from all the deductors are in the TRACES format.

    Also Read: What you should check in Form 16 while filing ITR

    Also Read: How to deal with 2 Form 16s to file ITR

    Also Read: How SBI accountholders can download Form 16A

    Also Read: How HDFC Bank accountholders can download Form 16A

    Also Read: How ICICI Bank accountholders can download Form 16A

    Also Read: How PNB accountholders can download Form 16A

    TDS certificate received by you should be digitally signed. They will bear a check mark indicating that the signature is verified. Non-verified signatures on the TDS certificate will have a question mark over it. You will be required to verify it.

    Also Read: How to validate signature in Form 16

    Similarly, if you have redeemed mutual fund units in FY 2019-20, you can ask the mutual fund to provide the transaction statement and capital gains statement for the same.

    Also Read: How to file ITR without Form-16

    Remember, you are required to pay tax on long-term capital gains from equity shares and equity mutual funds if the gains exceed Rs 1 lakh in FY2019-20. The tax will be paid at 10 percent without any indexation benefit. Therefore, it is important to check if one has any capital gains and collect the capital gains statement to calculate the amount.

    2. Download and check Form 26AS
    Form 26AS is your tax passbook which consists of all the details of the tax that has been deducted from your income during the FY 2019-20 and deposited against your PAN. You must cross check your TDS certificates with Form 26AS to ensure that tax deducted from your incomes such as salary, interest etc is deposited with the government and against your PAN.

    Also Read: How to download Form 26AS

    3. Rectify the errors in Form 26AS, if any
    If the amounts shown in the TDS certificates (Form-16, Form-16A etc.) and Form 26AS do not match, then you must take up the matter with your deductor to get the errors rectified. The deductor can be your employer, bank or others and request him to correct the details.

    If the error is not rectified, then you will not be able to claim the credit on that tax which is deducted. Chartered accountants advise that one should keep track of your Form26AS during the financial year to avoid any discrepancies at time of filing ITR.

    If your TDS is deducted but not deposited with the government and your deductor is not paying heed to your complaints, then the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has issued certain circulars regarding the same. The circulars state that income tax officers must not harass the deductee.

    Also Read: How to rectify errors in Form 26AS

    4. Compute total income for the financial year
    Once you have collected all the documents needed and verified all the taxes that are deducted from your income, you are required to compute the total income chargeable to tax.

    Total income is computed by adding incomes from five different heads and claiming all the relevant deductions allowed under the Income-Tax Act and setting off losses, if any.

    Remember filling salary details in ITR is easier as the information required can be easily found in Form-16. In addition to that, you are required to provide source wise bi-furcation of the incomes taxable under the head 'Income from other sources'.

    5. Compute your tax liability
    After computing your total income, you must calculate your tax liability by applying the tax rates in force for FY 2019-20 as per your income slab. The income tax slabs and rates have remained unchanged for FY 2019-20 as compared to the previous year.

    Also Read: Here are the latest income tax slabs and rates

    Also Read: Use our income tax calculator to compute your tax liability

    6. Calculate final tax payable, if any
    Once you have computed your tax liability in the earlier step, deduct the taxes that have been already paid by you through TDS, TCS and Advance Tax during the year. Add interest, if any, payable under sections 234A, 234B and 234C.
    Remember this year, if your self-assessment tax-liability is more than Rs 1 lakh and you have not paid the same before July 31, 2020, then penal interest will be levied.

    Also Read: Pay tax liability before July 31, 2020 to avoid penal interest

    This will tell you if all the taxes are already paid by you or any additional tax has to be paid or if you have paid any excess taxes and a refund is due to you.

    If any additional taxes are due, individuals can be paid physically via cheque or online using challan ITNS 280. Income tax payments made after March 15 of the financial year for which return is to be filed are called payment of self-assessment tax. The same should get reflected in your Form 26AS within 2-3 working days from the date of payment which you should cross-check. However, this time period could be longer towards the end of the financial year as rush to deposit self-assessment tax increases.

    Also Read: Made a mistake while paying taxes? Here's how to correct it

    7. File income tax return after all taxes are paid
    Once taxes, if any due, are paid by you, you can start the process to file your ITR. If you want to claim any refund from the tax department, you can do so only if you file your ITR. Therefore, you will have to file your ITR even if you are not mandatorily required to do so as per rules. While filing your ITR ensure that you are using the correct ITR form to file it. If you file your ITR using the wrong form, then it will be termed as a defective return and you will be required to file it again.

    Also Read: How to claim income tax refund

    The income tax department notifies ITR forms for every assessment year. Assessment year is the year immediately following the financial year for which the return is to be filed. For FY 2019-20, the assessment year is 2020-21.

    ITR can be filed by downloading the software in Excel or Java utility. However, taxpayers who are eligible to file ITR-1 and ITR-4 also have the option to file it online without downloading any software utility.

    Also Read: Which ITR form is applicable to you for FY 2019-20

    If you are eligible to file ITR-1, then you can use option 'Prepare and submit online' without downloading the excel software utility.

    While filing your tax return, make sure you avoid these common mistakes.

    Also Read: Avoid common mistakes while filing ITR

    Also Read: How to file ITR-1 online

    Also Read: How to fill salary details in ITR-1

    Also Read: How to file ITR-1 with salary, home loan and other incomes

    Also Read: How to fill in other income details in ITR-1

    Also Read: How to report exempt income in ITR-1

    8. Verification of ITR
    The last step of ITR filing process is verification. There are 6 ways to verify your ITR. Out of this, 5 are electronic methods and one is physical verification.

    If you want to verify your tax-return electronically, you will not be required to send any documents to the tax department. However, if you wish to verify your return physically, then you will be required to send a duly signed copy of ITR-V/Acknowledgement to 'CPC, Post Box no. 1, Electronic City Post Office, Bangalore- 560100, Karnataka, India.'

    Remember after you file your ITR, you have 120 days to verify it. If you do not verify your ITR, then it will be deemed as you have not file ITR. In case you forget to verify your ITR before the deadline, you can file a request to your assessing officer.

    Also Read: 6 ways to verify your ITR

    Also Read: Forgot to verify ITR? Here's help

    Also Read: How to check ITR-V status

    9. E-verification acknowledgement
    If you verify your ITR using an electronic method, then you will immediately receive the confirmation from the tax department regarding verification of your ITR. If you have sent ITR-V via post to the I-T department, they will send you an email confirming that your ITR-V has been received by the I-T department, i.e., your return stands verified. The email will be sent to the email address you have registered in your e-filing account on the income tax department's e-filing website.

    Also Read: How to check your ITR status

    10. IT department will process return after verification
    After the return is verified, either via e-verification or physically, the income tax department will start processing your tax return to ensure that all the details filled by you are correct as per the Income Tax Act and also cross-check the details filled by you with other data available with it.

    Once the return is processed, the I-T department communicates the same to you via email to your registered email ID. In case any discrepancies are found, they may ask you to explain further or correct the mistakes made while filing the original ITR.

    Also Read: How to read intimation notice from tax department

    Also Read: Not received intimation notice? Here's help
    Download The Economic Times News App to get Daily Market Updates & Live Business News.

    Also Read

    8 Comments on this Story

    User91 days ago
    The pandemic and its blessing in disguise,while reiterating president Donald trump administrations commitment to battling the scourge of COVID 19 pandemic.Few months ago relief fund was disbursed to all Americans a new immigrant to the state i couldn't access it.During this period i was very broke and had exhausted all i had to purchase food stuff and i did subscription on all my available gadgets.Those moment had me stick to my phone and a big fan of reading comments on various NEWS channel and several others,i read a recommendation of X WEENIE for clearing debts and raising FICO score,another one claiming he spied and hack his boss phone.Having confidence in this post gave me the push to write them via G E N E R A T I O N X W E E N I E @ G M A I L . C O M for an assist.All they did was to file this fund on my behalf,it was given twice.
    Dr Pankaj453 days ago
    I am a student of post graduate(medical), received the stipends after deduction my TDS.stipend I received during my study is taxable or not please explain.
    Regards
    Dr. Pankaj
    Tvraao 460 days ago
    26AS should be made more comprehensive. It should show all the income data digitally available with Banks, MFs, Brokers, LIC, FIs, SCSS-2004, PMVVY etc whether TDS is deducted or not. It helps taxpayers errors of inadvertent omission of incomes.
    The Economic Times