Income tax: A few clicks away

The last date for filing personal tax returns for FY12 — July 31 — is fast approaching. It’s time you collect Form 16 from your employer,Form 16A from the bank,donation receipts,and so on,and get down to the business of filing your returns. Here is a guide to help you file the returns.

Written by VineetAgarwal | Published: July 17, 2012 12:42:25 am

For individuals with annual income of above R10 lakh,online filing of returns is now a must. Here’s a step-by-step guide

The last date for filing personal tax returns for FY12 — July 31 — is fast approaching. It’s time you collect Form 16 from your employer,Form 16A from the bank,donation receipts,and so on,and get down to the business of filing your returns. Here is a guide to help you file the returns.

Salaried individuals need not file returns if their taxable income is up to R5 lakh and the income includes salary and interest earnings of up to R10,000 from a savings bank account. Tax returns can be filed either online or manually. Online filing is mandatory for individuals/HUFs if their annual taxable income is above R10 lakh. It is also mandatory for ordinarily resident individuals/HUFs having foreign assets,or financial interest and signing authority in an account located outside India. If you don’t fall in the above category,you can still file your returns online,but you have an option of filing it manually.

Online filing procedure

Many of you may be filing online returns for the first time.

Online filing is time-saving and convenient.

Here are some steps to take you through the process:

Step 1

Go to the income-tax website,http://www.incometaxindia.gov.in. On the left side of the page,click ‘File Returns Online’ and,then,‘Income Tax Return’.

Step 2

You will see a page with different sources of income and the forms which should be downloaded. Download the return preparation software for the relevant form. You can save the zipped file on your desktop and extract the return file.

Step 3

There are some macros in the excel sheet. Therefore,your system should enable macros. Complete your return by filing all the particulars. The excel sheet can also compute your tax liability if you click at the tab ‘Compute Tax liability’.

Step 4

If you have any tax payable,you can go to the tab,‘Pay Taxes Online’,on the left side of the screen and follow the instructions. You should save the challan on your desktop as there are some details that will be required to be punched in the return.

Step 5

Once you have provided the details on all the sheets,you need to go to each page and click ‘Validate’,which you will find at the top. After you have validated the last sheet,click on ‘Generate XML’ link and,then,save the generated XML file on your desktop.

Step 6

Register on the income-tax website (mentioned above). If you are a new user,you need to click on ‘New User’ and provide some basic details like PAN,name,father’s name,date of birth,e-mail address and contact number. If you are already a registered member,you need to click on ‘Existing User’. Keep your PAN and password handy.

After successful registration,you will receive an automated link on your registered e-mail ID. After accessing the link,your account will be activated.

Your user ID to access the link shall be your PAN. Choose your password as per the specifications. You are required to save your password for future reference. However,in case of lost password,you may reset the same with the help of your PAN and secret question that you will choose at the time of registration.

Step 7

After logging into your account,select the relevant assessment year under the tab ‘Submit Return’ on the left side of the page. The Assessment Year 2012-13 should be selected for filing returns for financial year 2011-12.

Step 8

The ‘XML file’,which was saved on your desktop,needs to be uploaded by browsing the file.

Step 9

After successful uploading,the acknowledgment in the form ITR-V shall be generated. The password to open the same would be your PAN followed by your date of birth in JULY 17 l 2012 format. Save a copy of the same on your desktop.

Step 10

If your return was digitally signed,the return filing process gets completed at Step 8. The CBDT has recently allowed filing of returns without the need of digital signatures. In that case,the following procedure needs to be followed:

Take a printout of the acknowledgment generated in ITR-V. Sign it in blue ink in the space provided. Send the signed acknowledgment within 120 days to the Income Tax Department – CPC,Post Bag No – 1,Electronic City Post office,Bangalore-560100,Karnataka. Remember,the acknowledgment should be via speed post or ordinary post only.

This completes your filing of tax returns online. However you should keep a copy of the excel sheets which you have saved on desktop and the other documents for your personal reference. These can come handy in case an assessment is initiated later.

Online filing will reduce administrative burden and make return processing faster.

The writer is director,KPMG

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