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Step by Step Guide to e-file Income Tax Return for a Salaried Employee?

  3/6/23 7:18 AM

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An income tax return is a form used by taxpayers to report their annual income, expenses, deductions, investments, and taxes. The Income Tax Act, 1961 mandates filing of a return in certain situations. Gone are the days of long lines and stress over tax-filing deadlines. Filing income tax returns is now a hassle-free process. Electronic filing (e-filing) is offered by the Income Tax Department and taxpayers must have necessary documentation for accurate reporting of information in the return. Below are the steps involved in the e filing of income tax return:

Your Guide to File ITR Online

Before you follow the below mentioned steps, it is important to make a track of your Income and Tax Calculation according to the relevant income tax law provisions. This should include income from all sources such as salary, freelance work, and interest from various income sources. As a taxpayer, you can also claim deductions, such as those for tax-saving investments under section 80C, among others.

Additionally, you should consider credits for TDS, TCS, and any advance tax you may have paid.

It is also important to collect your TDS certificates and form 26AS. As a taxpayer, you should summarize your TDS amount from the certificates received for all four quarters of the financial year from various sources like Banks, Insurance Companies, Government deposit schemes etc. Form 26AS provides a summary of the TDS and tax paid during the financial year.

Once you have done the tax calculation, here is what you need to do next.

Step 1: Log onto the Portal
To file returns online, log in to the Income Tax Department portal ( using your Permanent Account Number (PAN) as the user ID.

Step 2: Choose the right Income Tax Form
Before filing returns, taxpayers must determine which ITR form they need to fill out. Returns can be filed either online or offline, but only ITR 1 and ITR 4 are available online. All other tax forms must be uploaded offline through XML generation and uploading.

In India, there are several types of Income Tax Return (ITR) forms that taxpayers can use to file their income tax returns, depending on their source and amount of income. The following are the different types of ITR forms in India:

  • ITR-1: This form is also known as Sahaj and is for individuals with income up to Rs. 50 lakh and have income from salary, pension, one house property, or other sources like interest, etc.
  • ITR-2: This form is for individuals and Hindu Undivided Families (HUFs) having income from more than one source, including salary, house property, capital gains, and other sources, but not for those who have income from business or profession.
  • ITR-3: This form is for individuals and HUFs who have income from a proprietary business or profession.
  • ITR-4: This form is for individuals and HUFs who have opted for the presumptive taxation scheme and have income from a business or profession.
  • ITR-5: This form is for partnership firms, Limited Liability Partnerships (LLPs), Association of Persons (AOPs), and Body of Individuals (BOIs).
  • ITR-6: This form is for companies other than those claiming exemption under section 11 (income from property held for charitable or religious purposes).
  • ITR-7: This form is for persons including companies required to furnish return under section 139(4A) or section 139(4B) or section 139(4C) or section 139(4D) (i.e. trusts, political parties, institutions, etc.)

Step 3: Download ITR Utility from Income Tax Portal
Go to the website and select "Downloads" from the top menu bar. Select the assessment year and download the appropriate offline utility software, such as Microsoft Excel or Java, or JSON utility, based on your preference. Download and extract the zip file containing the utilities to the folder and open the utility. 

Step 4: Fill in Details in the Downloaded File
After downloading the offline utility, fill in your income details, and check for the calculated tax payable or refund receivable. The income tax challan details can also be entered in the downloaded form. Once you are done downloading your form, click on the ‘Validate’ button to ensure all the required information is filled.

Step 5:  Convert to XML Format
After successful validation, click on the "Generate XML" button on the right side of the file to convert it into XML format.

Step 6: Upload the XML Format file to the Income Tax Portal
Log in to the Income Tax e-filing portal and select the "e-File" tab. From there, choose the option for "Income Tax Return." 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.

Step 7: Confirmation of your ITR filing
Upon successful e-filing, you will receive a confirmation message on your screen and an acknowledgement form (ITR-Verification) will be generated and sent to your registered email ID. 

Step 8: Choose Verification Method
Select one of the available verification modes: Aadhaar OTP, Electronic Verification Code (EVC), or sending a signed copy of ITR-V to CPC Bengaluru.

You can then e-verify the return through any of the following six methods:

  • Net banking
  • Bank ATM
  • Aadhaar OTP
  • Bank Account Number
  • Demat Account Number
  • Registered Mobile Number and Email ID.

E-verifying the return eliminates the need to send a physical copy of the ITR-5 acknowledgement to CPC Bengaluru.


Siddhant Dubey - Writer & Photographer

Siddhant works as a freelance content writer who is interested in a wide range of spheres from photography and personal finance to cooking. He is also an aspiring photographer striving to showcase life around him through his vision. 

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