Basics of E-filing Income Tax Online

Not sure if you need to file or when? See below for helpful information!

Relevant Dates to E-File Income Tax

July 31: Due date for filing the tax return for salaried individuals.

Note that you can return even after the due date. Such returns are called belated returns. However, there are some disadvantages of filing a belated income tax return:

  • You cannot carry forward the losses incurred under the head ‘Capital Gains’ or ‘Profits and Gains of Business or Profession’.
  • You cannot revise such return later.
  • You may have to pay interest under section 234A @ 1% per month (or part thereof) of delay in filing the return. Such penal interest is computed on the amount of Income Tax due as on the first day of the Assessment Year. Therefore, if you did not have any outstanding tax liability as on that date then the amount of penal interest under section 234A will be nil.
  • If you are and you are eligible to receive interest on your refund then you are not eligible to receive interest on the period of delay.
  • If you file the return a year after the end of the Financial Year, the Income Tax officer can levy a penalty up to Rs. 5,000 for the delay.
  • In any case, a belated return cannot be filed after 2 years from the end of the relevant Financial Year.

September 15: Due date for the first installment for payment of Advance Tax

December 15: Due date for the second installment for payment of Advance Tax

March 15: Due date for the third installment for payment of Advance Tax

March 31: Last date for filing the return for the Financial Year ended 2 years ago

An individual is required to file his income tax return for a Financial Year if his taxable income for that year was in excess of the amount of basic exemption applicable to him.

For FY 2014-15, the amount of basic exemption applicable to individuals (other than resident senior citizens and resident super senior citizens) is Rs. 2,50,000, and therefore all such individuals are required under the law to file their tax return.
Yes, in the following cases.
  • Where you have incurred a loss and you wish to carry forward the same to future years.
For example, you may have housing loan in India. In most cases, you will have a loss under the head Income from House Property occurring due to interest on such housing loan. You can showing such loss. This loss can be utilized to offset positive income from properties in future years.
  • Similarly, you may consider filing tax return if you have incurred any capital losses on sale of shares, etc.
Where taxes on certain incomes are deducted at source and you wish to claim a refund of the taxes so deducted. For example, the banks may have deducted tax on interest on NRO accounts or tenant has deducted tax on rental payments, etc.
Where you think you would be required to submit copies of your tax returns for visa purposes or for loan purposes.
Form 16 is a Certificate of Tax Deducted at Source issued by your employer organization after the end of each Financial Year.

It includes the details of the employer organization; the amount of tax deducted (from salary) and deposited, the details of the salary and other income and deductions considered by the employer organization to compute the amount of TDS.

Most organizations issue this Form in the month of May. More and more organizations are now issuing the Form 16 in an electronic format (a digitally signed pdf document).

Form 16 forms the basis for preparation of the tax return for the salaried individuals.
Salaried individuals can file their returns in Form ITR 1, 2 and 2A. These forms have been amended via a recent notification by the ITD to file taxes from the year 2014-15. Form ITR 1 and 2 have become a lot shorter and a new form ITR 2A has been introduced.

The applicability of these forms is as follows.

Form ITR 1 can be used by persons who have income only from
  • Income from salary or pension
  • Income from one house property (excluding where loss is brought forward from previous years)
  • Income from other sources (excluding winnings from lottery and income from race horses)
  • Agricultural income less than Rs. 5,000

ITR 2A the new form can be used by persons having:
  • Income from salary/pension
  • Income from more than one house property
  • Income from other sources including winnings from lottery and race horses

ITR 2, a more widely used form is to be used by persons who have:
  • Income from salary/pension
  • Income from more than one house property
  • Income from capital gains
  • Income from other sources including income from winnings, races and lottery
Form ITR-V is the document which is generated by the tax department’s server soon after a return is e-filed (without a digital signature). The ‘V’ stands for verification. It contains the summary of the e-filed return. The taxpayer is required to verify the summary in the form, print and sign the same and send it to the Centralized Processing Centre of the Income Tax Department by ordinary post or by speed post within 120 days from the date of filing the return. Non-submission of the signed ITR-V form within the prescribed time would make the e-return void and the taxpayer would be required to e-file the return afresh.
Watch by H&R Block.
The ITD has introduced electronic verification of ITR and now you can also simply verify your returns using a 10 digit alpha numeric code called Electronic Verification Code. H&R Block provides you with a detailed guidance on the steps to be followed on how to do this. You can easily avoid the hassles of sending a physical copy of the ITR to CPC Bengaluru and e-verify your return online. You can e-verify your return within 120 days of filing your return of income.
Yes, under the law you are required to e-file your return if your income for the year is Rs. 5,00,000 or more.
Even if you are not required to e-file your return, it is advisable to do so for the following benefits:
  • E-filing is environment friendly.
  • E-filing ensures certain validations before the return is filed. Therefore, e-returns are more accurate than the paper returns.
  • E-returns are processed faster than the paper returns.
  • E-filing can be done from the comfort of home/office and you do not have to stand in queue to e-file.
  • E-returns can be accessed anytime from the tax department’s e-filing portal.
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