How to file ITR Online – Step by Step Guide to Efile Income Tax Return, FY 2022-23 (AY 2023-24)

Updated on: Mar 13th, 2023 - 12:17:58 PM

13 min read

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An income tax return 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.

An income tax return is a form filed to report the annual income of a taxpayer. 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.

The Income Tax Department provides the facility for electronic filing (e-filing) of an income tax return. Before discussing the steps involved in the e filing of income tax return, it is essential for a taxpayer to keep the documents for calculation and reporting data in ITR.


Step 1: Calculation of Income and Tax

The taxpayer will be required to calculate their income as per the income tax law provisions applicable.

The calculation should take into account income from all sources such as salary, freelancing, interest from income, etc. The taxpayer can claim the deductions such as tax-saving investments under section 80C and so on. 

Also, a taxpayer should take into account credit for TDS, TCS or any advance tax paid by them.

Step 2: Tax Deducted at Source (TDS) Certificates and Form 26AS

The taxpayer should summarise his TDS amount from the TDS certificates received by him for all the 4 quarters of the financial year. Form 26AS helps the taxpayer with the summary of the TDS and tax paid during the financial year.

Step 3: Choose the right Income Tax Form

The taxpayer must first ascertain what ITR form they must fill out before proceeding to file returns. You can either file your returns online or offline. Only two forms, ITR 1 and ITR 4 are available for tax payers online. All other income tax forms must be uploaded offline (generating XML and uploading) .

Step 4: Download ITR utility from Income Tax Portal

Visit the site and click on ‘Downloads’ from the top menu bar.

Income tax portal home page

Choose the assessment year and download the offline utility software, i.e. Microsoft Excel or Java, or JSON utility based on your preference. The excel and java utility are discontinued by the income tax department from AY 2020-21

Step 5: Fill in your details in the Downloaded File

Upon downloading the offline utility, fill in the relevant details of your income, and check the tax payable or the refund receivable as per the calculations of the utility. The details of income tax challan can be filled in the downloaded form.

Step 6: Validate the Information Entered

You can see a few buttons on the right-hand side of the downloaded form. Click on the ‘Validate’ button to ensure all the required information is filled. 

Step 7: Convert the file to XML Format

Upon successfully validating, click on the ‘Generate XML’ button on the right-hand side of the file to convert the file into XML file format.

Step 8: Upload the XML file on the Income Tax Portal

Now, log in to the income tax e-filing portal and click on the ‘e-File’ tab to select the ‘Income Tax Return’ option.

Provide the necessary details such as PAN, assessment year, ITR form number, and the submission mode. Remember to choose the option ‘Upload XML’ from the drop down corresponding to the field name ‘Submission Mode’ as given in the image below.

Now, attach the XML file from your computer and click on the ‘Submit’ button. 

Choose one of the available verification modes—Aadhaar OTP, electronic verification code (EVC), or sending a manually signed copy of ITR-V to CPC, Bengaluru.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is income tax return filing  important?

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.

  • Filing of ITR creates a valid proof of income,
  • ITR is required for applying for any loan in the future
  • ITR is required by banks even for applying credit cards
  • ITR is required for VISA applications etc.
  • Hence it is advisable to file ITR even if your income is below the basic exemption limit.
What is income tax?

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.

How to pay income tax online?

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.

How to save income tax?

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:

  • Deduction upto Rs 1.5 lakh under 80C – Investment in tax saving options like 80 C- investing in ELSS , LIC, mutual funds, deduction for tuition fees for children, deduction for principal amount of home loan, etc
  • Additional deduction of Rs 50,000 above Rs 1.5 lakh in 80 CCC (1b) for contribution towards National pension schemes of the central government.
  • 80D allows deduction of medical insurance premium paid for self, spouse , children (Rs 25000 / 50,000 ) and dependent parents ( rs 25000 / 50,000)
  • 80G allows deduction for donation made to recognized institutions and trusts as per specified limits.
  • House rent allowance exemption allowed partially or fully under 10 (13A)
  • Deduction for higher education loan under 80E
  • Deduction for home loan paid under section 24 upto 2 lakhs for self occupied and full amount if rented property
How to get income tax return copy online ?
  • Log on to with credentials
  • Click on View Returns/ Forms
  • Selection an option as “Income tax returns” and relevant assessment year and click on submit
  • A window displaying a list of ITR filed will open.
  • Click on ITR-V acknowledgement number you want to download
  • ITR V PDF file will open which can be downloaded.
How to file an income tax return online?

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.

  • In offline mode, you can log on to and download the excel or java utilities of applicable ITR form from the tab download > ITR return preparation software. A ZIP file will get downloaded. Please extract the ZIP file and fill all the relevant fields in the utility. Remember to validate all the sheets and click on calculate tax. Then, generate and save the XML utility. The excel/Java utility is ready to be uploaded on the portal for efiling. Complete the verification of return amongst six options available and then submit the form.
  • To file ITR through offline mode, log on to the e-filing portal using PAN, password and entering the captcha. Go to the “e-file” tab and open the “income tax return” link from the drop-down. Fill the relevant details and select “prepare and submit online” as the submission mode. Fill the details in the ITR form opened online. Click on “save as draft” to save the filled return online. Verify the return using Aadhaar OTP/EVC/or sending a physical copy at CPC. Finally submit the return.

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