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Step-by-step process of filing an ‘Income Tax Return’

Step-by-step process of filing an ‘Income Tax Return’

Do you know that if an eligible taxpayer fails to file an ITR, it can have serious consequences? Tax laws can impose a minimum penalty of 50% of the tax or three to seven years imprisonment, and the interest from the date of receiving notice until one files the return with the IT Department. Filing income tax returns is no longer the hassle, so why take chances by failing to file ITR on time? This article has covered everything you should know about filing ITR forms both online and offline. Continue reading until the end.

How to file Income Tax Return | Aviva India

ITR is an abbreviation for “Income Tax Return”. An income tax return is a form that allows a taxpayer to declare their expenses, income, investments, tax deductions, and taxes, of all other things.

In other words, it is a form on which taxpayers file information about their earned income and taxes with the income tax department. According to the Income Tax Act of 1961, a taxpayer must file an income tax return in various situations.

An income tax return form is used to declare a taxpayer’s annual income. Even if you have no income, you can file a tax return for various reasons. A taxpayer can file an income tax return to declare their earnings for the fiscal year, carry forward losses, claim an income tax refund, and claim tax deductions.

Always use the correct income tax form to file Income Tax Return.

The taxpayer must determine which ITR form to use when filing their income tax return. So far, the department has issued notifications for seven different forms – ITR 1, ITR 2, ITR 3, ITR 4, ITR 5, ITR 6, and ITR 7.

Different Types of Income Tax Return Forms in India: ITR Forms

The applicability of ITR forms varies depending on the taxpayer’s income sources, the amount of income earned, and the taxpayer’s category, such as individuals, HUFs, corporations, etc.

After determining the income tax form, the taxpayer can start with the procedure of filing the income tax return. Every taxpayer must file their ITR on or before the due date. 

The online mode is only available for the taxpayer’s login for ITR 1 and ITR 4; it is not available for the other categories of forms of some individual taxpayers. The offline mode (generating XML and uploading) is available for all types of income tax forms.

Most recent update

On January 11, 2022, the CBDT issued a circular extending the deadlines for certain direct tax compliances for the Assessment Year 2021-22.

  • Extension of the deadline

The deadline for filing ITRs for taxpayers subject to tax audits has extended to March 15, 2022.

The deadline for filing ITRs in transfer pricing cases extended to March 15, 2022. 

  • Providing a report on the audit.

The deadline required by the Income Tax Act for submitting the audit reports is extended to February 15, 2022.

The deadline for submitting the audit reports in transfer pricing cases is extended to February 15, 2022.

How to File Income Tax Return (ITR)?

The tax return is a form on which taxpayers declare their tax liability and deductions based on the category and demand of the form. When a person completes the appropriate form and submits it to the IT Department, they have filed an income tax return.

Easy 6 Methods to Verify Income Tax Return Online & Offline | SAG Infotech

Online and offline are the two methods to file income tax returns. Before you begin the e-filing process, make sure you have all the necessary documents on hand. Let’s discuss both methods in detail:

Method-I: Online filing of IT returns

Enter the necessary information into the e-filing portal and submit it. While filing ITR online, only ITR 1 and ITR 4 can be used by the taxpayers.

Step-1: Go to to access the Income Tax Department’s portal.

ITR: How to file Income Tax return (ITR) in India, check status, last date  to apply, and more questions answered

Step-2: Register with your Permanent Account Number (PAN), which is your user ID, fill out the Captcha, and click ‘Login Here’.

Step-3: The third step includes selecting the ‘Income Tax Return’ link in the ‘e-File’ menu section.

Click e-file menu

Step-4: PAN will be auto-populated on the Income Tax Return Page. Select ‘Assessment Year,’ ‘ITR Form Number,’ and set the ‘Filing Type’ to ‘Original/Revised Return,’ and ‘Submission Mode’ to ‘Prepare and Submit’ Online.

Income Tax Department

Step-5: Click on ‘Continue’.

Step-6: Fill out all the required fields on the Online ITR Form.

Note: To avoid data loss/rework due to session time out, save the entered ITR details in the form of the draft by clicking the ‘Save Draft’ button. The saved draft will be available for 30 days from the date of saving until the date of filing the return or until there is no change in the notified ITR’s XML schema (Whichever is earlier).

Step-7: Determine the amount of tax due.

Step-8: Now, select the relevant verification option in the ‘Taxes Paid and Verification’ tab.

Step-9: Verify all the data entered in the ITR by clicking the ‘Preview and Submit’ button.

File ITR-4 (Sugam) Online User Manual | Income Tax Department

Step-10: ‘Submit’ the ITR.

Step-11: Complete the verification process using Aadhaar OTP, electronic verification code (EVC), bank ATM, Demat account, or by sending a filled ITR-5 (either speed post or regular mail) to the IT Department.

Step-12: In the absence of the EVC/OTP, the Income Tax Return (ITR) will be automatically submitted. You can verify the submitted income tax returns by using either the ‘My Account > e-Verify Return’ option or sending a signed ITR-V to CPC.

Method-II: Offline filing of IT returns

If a taxpayer is not comfortable filing ITR online, they can use the old method to file IT returns.

Step-by-step instructions for filing an ITR include downloading the applicable form, filling in the necessary details offline, and saving and uploading the generated XML file. But, the user must first download one of the following ITR utilities –

  • Excel Utility 

  • Java Utility 

To download the Java or Excel utility, then generate and upload the XML, follow the steps below:

Step-1: Go to to access the Income Tax Department’s portal.

Step-2: In the ‘Download ˃ IT Return Preparation Software’ section, download the correct ITR utility.

Step-3: Now, extract the downloaded utility ZIP file.

Note: Refer to the ‘Read me’ document for more information.

Step-4: In this step, open the specific utility file.

Step-5: Fill out the necessary information in the IT returns form.

Note: Pre-filled XML can download after logging in to the e-Filing portal from ‘My Account > Download Pre-Filled XML’ and imported into the utility to fill out the personal and other available details.

Step-6: This step includes the confirmation of all the tabs and the calculation of the due tax.

Step-7: Create the XML file and save it for later use.

Step-8: Enter your User ID (PAN) and Captcha code to Log in to the e-filing portal.

Step-9: Navigate to the ‘e-File’ menu.

Step-10: Now, click on the ‘Income Tax Return’ option.

Step-11: On the Income Tax Return Page, enter information like; Assessment Year and ITR Form Number. Set the filing type to ‘Original/Revised’ and the ‘Submission Mode’ to XML. The PAN will be auto-uploaded on the page.

Step-12: To confirm the ITR, You can select any one of the options available, for example, ‘Aadhaar OTP,’ ‘EVC Through Bank Account Details,’ ‘Demat Account Details,’ or ‘Digital Signature Certificate’.

Step-13: Select ‘Continue’.

Step-14: In this step, the taxpayer has to attach the ITR XML file.

Step-15: Depending on the verification option chosen, you must attach the particular file. To be more specific,

  • If you select DSC (verification method), you must attach the signature file created by the DSC management utility.

  • If you choose Aadhaar one-time-password as a verification method, you must enter the OTP sent to your UIDAI-registered mobile number.

  • If you select ‘EVC Through a Bank Account,’ ‘Bank ATM,’ or ‘Demat Account’, you must provide an EVC number sent to your Demat or Bank account’s linked mobile number.

  • If you select another verification option, the ITR submission process will end, but the procedure will not begin until verification is complete. As a result of this, you can file your income tax return.

  • Individuals can use the My Account ˃e-verify option to e-verify the submitted ITR. Further, the document will send to the IT Department and signed by an individual.

Step-16: In the end, click on ‘Submit’ ITR.

Steps to get a copy of your tax return online

  1. First, sign in to the using a valid Id and password.

  2. Now, select the View Returns/ Forms option.

  3. Before clicking of ‘Submit’ option, remember to select the “Income tax returns and relevant assessment year” option.

  4. A window with a list of already filed tax returns will open.

  5. Select the acknowledgement number in the ITR-V form that you want to download from the drop-down menu.

  6. Open and download the ITR V pdf file.

Many people believe that filing tax returns is voluntary and thus dismiss it as burdensome and unnecessary. An Individual must file their tax returns by the deadline, or they will charge a fine of Rs. 5,000/- for late filing.

Furthermore, if the tax return will file after the deadline, certain types of losses are not allowed to carry forward. Filing tax returns is a yearly activity recognized as a moral and social duty of every responsible citizen of the country.

Filing returns shows that you are an accountable or responsible person. It makes it easier for businesses and individuals to enter into later transactions because the tax department will record their income and any other applicable tax paid.

Also, if you have filed and verified your income tax returns, the status of your tax return is ‘verified’, and when the processing is about to finish, the status changes to ‘ITR Processed’.

Edited by Prakriti Arora



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