Filing of Income Tax Returns (ITR) is mandatory for every individual whose total income for the previous year has exceeded the maximum exemption limit. The last date of filing income tax returns for individuals is 31st July each year.
Filing of ITR can be done in 2 ways –
1. Offline/Traditional paper filing – Traditional filing involves hiring a CA or a tax consultant to file tax returns, or personal submission of forms by visiting the nearest Income Tax Office (ITO).
2. Online filing – Online or E-filing was enabled by the Income Tax Department a couple of years back. It is an improved and hassle-free method of tax filing.
E-filing of IT Returns can be done with or without a digital signature. Here, we will find out how to e-file tax returns without a digital signature.
What is Online/E-Tax Filing?
E-Filing simply means filing your returns electronically on the website. ITR documents are prepared in a pre-defined format and then uploaded on the web portal.
The filing is done through the comfort of one’s home or office via internet websites to help you file taxes. It is mandatory for companies to file tax returns electronically; for individuals it is presently optional. However, it may well become compulsory for individuals in times to come. So, it may not be a bad idea to familiarise yourself with this process. Using the e-filing process is simple and easy for all those who have access to internet. In fact, e-filing has been accepted by the IT department as a trusted means of filing IT returns.
The process of e-Tax filing requires the following simple steps -
STEP-1 - Register and complete filling up your income particulars in TaxYogi’s easy-to-use ITR software tool and generate ITR form in electronic format (XML file) of the same - this format is a largely standardized one and helps in sharing of structured data across different information systems.
Tax websites differ in the way they allow you to input figures and information. TaxYogi has a step-by-step guide and takes one piece of information on one page. A copy of your XML file is sent to your email address. Save the XML file to your desktop
STEP-2 - Visit the official website of the Income Tax Department of the Government of India. Register/create an account using your PAN card; login to your account and click on the option of E-Filing.
STEP-3 - Upload the already generated ITR XML file on the website.
STEP-4 - An acknowledgement receipt called ITR Form-V would be generated; Download and print ITR-V; sign it at specified places; and mandatorily mail it to “Income Tax Department – CPC, Post Box No.1, Electronic City Post Office, Bangalore – 560100, Karnataka” within 120 days of e-filing.
STEP-5 - Receive confirmation from the IT Department, acknowledging the receipt of ITR-V. This is your final acknowledgement that concludes your e-tax filing.
i) Before you start e-fling your returns, ensure site is a secured site. Also, check the trust worthiness of the site you choose to prepare your income tax return.
ii) If you miss submitting your ITR-V within 120 days, your e-filing will be considered as null and void; it means that it will be considered that you have not yet filed your return. In such a case you will have to file revised return, get a new ITR-V and submit the same within 120 days.
iii) Digital Signature – It is an ‘electronic signature’ that is used to authenticate the identity of the sender of the e-tax document (to the IT Department). However, tax returns can be filed online without digital signature. In such a case, since the e-return one files is not signed, a unique form called ITR-V is to be additionally submitted to the IT department along with your e-filed returns.
iv) ITR-V – It stands for ‘Income Tax Return – Verification’ form. This form is received when you e-tax file without using a digital signature; Income Tax Department needs to verify the legitimacy of the ITR when filed online without using a digital signature. On receipt of ITR-V you have to sign the copy (at specified places) and mandatorily submit to the IT Department to complete the e-filing process (as explained above).
v) E-Refund – It is refund process carried out electronically. The details of refund (if any) are filled up online in a prescribed form. After approval of refund request by the concern authority, the refund amount will credited to your bank account. Refunds are only allowed if you file your return on time.
Dos and Dont's for printing and submitting of ITR-Vs to ITD-CPC Bangalore
- Please use Ink Jet /Laser printer to print the ITR-V Form.
- Avoid printing on Dot Matrix printer.
- The ITR-V Form should be printed only in black ink.
- Do not use any other ink option to print ITR V.
- Ensure that print out is clear and not light print/faded copy.
- Please do not print any water marks on ITR-V. The only permissible watermark is that of "Income tax Department" which is printed automatically on each ITR-V.
- The document that is mailed to CPC should be signed in original in BLUE INK.
- Photocopy of ITR-V will not be accepted; Photocopy of signatures will not be accepted.
- The signatures or any handwritten text should not be written on Bar code.
- Bar code and numbers below barcode should be clearly visible.
- Only A4 size white paper should be used.
- Avoid typing anything at the back of the paper.
- Perforated paper or any other size paper should be avoided.
- Do not use stapler on ITR V acknowledgement.
- In case you are submitting original and revised returns, do not print them back to back. Use two separate papers for printing ITR-Vs separately.
- More than one ITR-V can be sent in the same envelope.
- Please do not submit any annexures, covering letter, pre stamped envelopes etc. along with ITR-V.
- The ITR-V form is required to be sent to Post Bag No.1, Electronic City Post Office, Bengaluru, Karnataka-560100, by ordinary post or speed-post within 120 days of e-filing on the Income Tax Department website
ITR-Vs that do not conform to the above specifications may get rejected or acknowledgement of receipt may get delayed.