People still take the tedious route of filing returns on paper, despite of the numerous advantages of filing tax returns online. This is mainly due to ignorance of the simple method involved in e-filing of tax returns.
Most people are yet not comfortable filling their tax return online and they try to avoid it year after year. However, one has to accept the fact that filing tax return online is a hassles free practice that can be done anywhere and anytime.
Step by Step Guide to File returns online
For online filling one just needs access to an internet connection and all relevant data ready at hand.
1st Step: One will have to get access to the website for online tax filing which is http://www.incometaxindia.gov.in/home.asp and then click to "file returns online" tab followed by "income tax returns" to kick-start the process.
2nd Step: There are different kinds of forms for various types of returns. Tax filer needs to download the form which is relevant and save the zipped file on their desktop. The required return file can then be extracted from the zipped file.
3rd Step: The details and particulars required will have to be filled in the form and finally validated by clicking the "validate" button on the last page. After that taxpayer has to get access to the ‘Generate XML' link and then subsequently save the XML file.
4th Step: The details should then be entered in the income tax website mentioned above. For this an existing user can log in the website with the PAN number and password. For new users an account has to be created. In order to register first time on the Income Tax website the following steps need to be taken:
The person concerned will have to fill in the details like PAN card number, name, father's name, date of birth, e-mail address and contact number.
Immediately the automated activation link will be forwarded to the mail ID provided by the user, which has to be clicked from that ID and get the account activated.
The PAN number is the user ID particularly for this link. Tax filer will have to follow the steps as directed in the website to choose a secret password which has to meet the laid down specifications made on the website.
If the password is lost or forgotten, the user can also reset the password using the PAN number and the secret question that has been previously entered.
5th Step: Now the user will have to log into the website and search for the ‘submit return' tab on the website. Here the relevant year i.e. 2012-2013 has to be selected. The XML file that was generated in 3rd step will have to be uploaded here.
6th Step: The acknowledgement of the return having filed will be generated as soon as one upload the XML file under the heading ITR-V. The file can be opened with a password along with the PAN number followed by the date of birth in DDMMYYYY format. This file will have to be saved for future reference.
7th Step: In case of an electronic signature on the tax return is accepted then the procedure is over at this step. Otherwise the taxpayer will have to get a print out of the ITR-V, physically sign it and then send it to the nearest IT office within 120 days. Tax payers have to keep a track for the acknowledgement of the receipt of ITR-V on the website itself.
8th Step: When the ITR-V acknowledgement is received, the user will have to log in to their account and acknowledge the completion of the process.
Advantages of Filing Tax Returns Online
The biggest advantage of filing returns online is that one doesn't have to run from pillar to post in income tax offices unnecessarily which consumes enormous time and effort. The whole process of filing returns online takes only about 15 minutes provided the tax filer knows all the details of filling the forms. Moreover the copy of the return is available instantly and the refunds (if any) are more readily disbursed by the income tax department in cases of e- filing of tax as compared to traditional method of filling returns. Several problems arise because of the wrong addresses provided by the tax payers and this problem is eliminated in case of online tax returns.
People who have used the e-filing of the tax return facility have been quite satisfied with its result. The system has proven to be stable after a few initial amendments and is a very dependable way to file returns without making any extra effort or spending any extra time in the process of tax fill.