Updated on: Aug 25th, 2023
14 min read
An Income Tax Return (ITR) is a form that enables a taxpayer to declare his income, expenses, tax deductions, investments, taxes, etc. The Income Tax Act, 1961 makes it mandatory under various scenarios for a taxpayer to file an income tax return. However, there may be various other reasons to file an income tax return even in the absence of income, like carrying forward losses, claiming an income tax refund, claiming tax deductions, etc.
E-filing refers to the process of filing Income Tax Return (ITR) online, using the internet. By utilizing the New income tax portal, individuals can take advantage of a range of features aimed at simplifying the tax filing process.
The Income Tax Department provides the facility for e-filing of an income tax return. Before discussing the steps involved in the e-filing of ITR, it is essential for a taxpayer to keep the following documents for e-filing their ITR.
- From 26AS, AIS
- Bank Statements
- Form 16
However, you can e-file your ITR on Cleartax by just adding your PAN. We will auto-fill most of your details like salary income, TDS, deduction details, etc from the Income Tax Department. Here's a detail guide on how to e-file your ITR on Cleartax.
The Income Tax e-filing portal has recently rolled out a 'Pay Later' option, which allows you to complete your tax filing process before making tax payment. You can pay taxes after you are done with your filing. For additional information, please refer to this page.
Select ‘Assessment Year’ as ‘AY 2023-24’ and mode of filing as ‘Online’
Select your preferred filing status: Individual, HUF, or Others. Opt for 'Individual' and 'Continue'.
Now, select ITR type. The taxpayer must first ascertain which ITR form they must fill out before proceeding to file returns. There are a total of 7 ITR forms available. For example, individuals and HUFs without income from business or profession but with capital gains can use ITR 2. Find out which ITR you should be filing.
In the following step, you will be prompted to specify the reason for filing your returns. Select the appropriate option that is applicable to your situation:
Provide your bank account information. If you have already provided these details, ensure they are pre-validated.
You will then be taken to a new page which will have most of your details pre-filled. Review the information carefully to ensure it is correct. Confirm the summary of your returns and validate the details.
The last and crucial step is to verify your return. Failing to verify your return is equivalent to not filing it at all. You have the option to e-verify your return using different methods such as Aadhaar OTP, electronic verification code (EVC), Net Banking, or by sending a physical copy of ITR-V to CPC, Bengaluru
Income tax department has mandated to file the return to individuals only if their income is above basic exemption limit or if they meet certain criteria like expenditure on foreign travel being more than Rs.2 lakh, electricity consumption of Rs.1 lakh or more, deposited an amount/aggregate of an amount above Rs.1 crore in one or more current accounts in FY 2019-20 or onwards.
In the case of a resident whose asset is located outside India or has signing authority for an account-based outside India. It is always a good idea to file your ITR even if you are not eligible due to the benefits.
Income tax is a direct tax on your income. It means a portion of your income is paid to the government. The government charges this amount for expenditure related to health, education, providing subsidy to agriculture, infrastructure etc. It is paid by an individual/HUF/any taxpayer depending on income levels or gains in a financial year. A company has to pay income tax irrespective of the level of income. The government passes laws prescribing the rate of taxation on your income from time to time.
You have to pay your taxes before filing your tax return. If you are a salaried individual, then most of your tax liability is deducted from your salary by your employer in the form of TDS and paid to the government on your behalf. In case you are liable to pay advance tax, then you have to pay 90% of it before the 31st of March every financial year. You can file your ITR once the financial year ends.
The window to file ITR is generally open till the 31st of July of the relevant assessment year. However, the due date to file ITR may get extended, and the IT department will notify the same through notifications. It is always advisable to file your ITR within the due date. It’s worthwhile noting that you attract a late filing fee of Rs.5,000 on failing to file ITR within the due date of the assessment year.
There are many ways to save income tax by proper tax planning. Income tax Act provides certain deductions and exemptions that can be claimed which will reduce your total taxable income and reduce tax outflow. Below are some of the most common deductions and exemptions:
You can file your ITR return online either through the income tax e-filing portal or through ClearTax. If you wish to file the return through the government portal, then you have to file it using the “offline” mode or the “online” mode.
You can file ITR of previous years using ITR U form. Nevertheless, there are certain restrictions on eligibility and the number of years for which ITR-U can be used. For comprehensive information, refer to this article.
Step 1: Log in to the e-Filing portal with your user ID and password.
If your PAN is not linked with Aadhaar, a pop-up message will indicate its inoperability. Link PAN with Aadhaar by clicking "Link Now" or continue without linking.
Step 2: Go to e-File > Income Tax Returns > View Filed Returns.
Step 3: View all your filed returns on the page. Use "Filter" to sort returns based on criteria like Assessment Year or Filing Type. Click "View Details" and you will be able to see the status of your ITR in the form of return's life cycle along with action items (e.g., pending e-Verification).
Note: If PAN is inoperative, refund issuance will be on hold until linked.