Difference between Form 16 and Form 16A
May 17, 2019

Read this step-by-step guide by H&R Block on how to file your ITR. This guide will help you in e-Filing your income tax return in a few easy steps.

How to File Income Tax Return?

Last Update Date : July 16, 2019
Estimated Read Time: 6 min

Step by Step Guide to File Your Tax Return Online

As per section 139(1) of the Income Tax Act, 1961, if your total annual income exceeds the basic exemption limit, it is mandatory for you to file your income tax return. If you do not file your return you may face legal implications and may have to pay a penalty.

Read this guide by H&R Block to know how to file income tax return.

Latest Update: From AY 2019-20, it is mandatory to file ITR online. You are permitted to file your return offline only if you are 80 years of age and above.

How to File Income Tax Return?

e-Filing your ITR on the Income Tax Department website can be a tedious task with a high possibility of errors. With the assistance of tax experts at H&R Block, you can file your tax returns easily and accurately, all while getting maximum tax benefits! But before you begin, get ready with all the documents required to file your tax return.

Follow the below steps to file your IT Return in a quick and simple manner:

  • Step 1: Register yourself on the H&R Block website with your email-ID.
  • Step 2: Select the correct option for each question. The intuitive software will customise the remaining procedure for you, based on these answers. Remember to click on “Save and Continue” after you finish completing each section.
  • Step 3: Complete your profile:
    a. Enter your personal details including your name, email ID, mobile number, date of birth, PAN number, gender and the nature of your organisation.

    b. Enter your contact details including your address details and Aadhaar number/ Enrolment ID. The ITD will send any future communication to this address.

  • Step 4: Complete your income details:
    a. Upload your Form 16 along with entering the password to open it, to provide your salary details. In case you are not a salaried individual, simply provide a brief description of your employment in the given box to your tax advisor.

    b. Upload your Form 26AS. In case you haven’t already downloaded it, follow the image sliders “Steps to download Form 26AS”. This step is mandatory.

  • Step 5: Complete other relevant details:
    a. Under “Additional Tax Benefits”, upload your documents regarding any tax saving instruments, containing the details which are NOT already reflected in your Form 16.

    b. Under “House Property”, select the type of the house property; select “Yes”/ “No” depending on whether a housing loan is applicable for it and whether the house property is co-owned.

    c. Under “Bank Details”, enter the details of all your active bank accounts, including the bank name, account number, IFSC code and type of account. Also, you must specify which is your primary account.

  • Step 6: Choose a membership plan according to your preferred features and click on “BUY NOW”.
  • Step 7: Make the payment via your preferred mode, after which a dedicated tax advisor will be assigned to you.
  • Step 8: Get in touch your tax advisor regarding any queries. In case any additional information is required from your side, your advisor may contact you. You shall receive your tax summary within a specified time, depending on your membership plan.
  • Step 9: Review the tax summary and click on “Submit for e-Filing” to approve your return. After your approval of the return, the tax advisor will then file your return on your behalf.
  • Step 10: Check for any pending tax notices against your PAN by following the given procedure on the screen under “My Pending Actions”. Click “Yes” if you notice any outstanding tax demands as reflected on the ITD portal.
  • Step 11: Upload a screenshot of the tax notice, in case you selected “Yes” for step 10. You must complete this step at the earliest to minimise any penalisation by the ITD. Your tax advisor will contact you regarding it.
  • Step 12: Celebrate for filing your income tax return! You must now complete your ITR verification to finish your return filing process. Refer to the verification procedure on your screen by clicking on the drop-down menu for your preferred verification option.

SIDENOTE: All the documents that you upload on your H&R Block account will always be safe and accessible to you via the secure and encrypted cloud application.

How can H&R Block help you?

Filing your return by yourself can be complicated, confusing and worse, time-consuming!

When you e-file with H&R Block, you ensure that your return is free of errors and that you are availing maximum tax benefits from the comfort of your home! You will also receive year-round support from our team of tax experts.

Other Methods of Filing ITR

When you file your income tax return on your own, you first need to determine which ITR form to choose, how to declare your income from different sources, how to claim tax benefits, etc.

There are two other methods to file ITR online:

  • Prepare and Submit Online: You can fill the form online and submit it directly.
  • Upload XML: You must download the form, fill it offline and then submit it.

e-File Tax Return using Income Tax India Portal

This is the second way to file your ITR, but it’s a bit complicated as you do not get any assistance during the entire process. You can follow the steps given below to file your return on the ITD’s portal:

  • Step 1: Visit the official e-Filing portal (1).
  • Step 2: Login by entering your user ID, password, and captcha code.
  • Step 3: Click on “Income Tax Return” under “e-File”.
  • Step 4: Select the assessment year for which you wish to file your return.
  • Step 5: Select the ITR Form applicable to you.
  • Step 6: Select “Original/ Revised Return” for “Filing Type”.
  • Step 7: Select “Prepare and Submit Online” for “Submission Mode” and click on “Continue”.
  • Step 8: Fill in the details mentioned in the form. You must remember to click on the “Save Draft” option frequently to keep saving your form.
  • Step 9: Review the information you have entered and click on “Preview and Submit”.

After you successfully file your ITR, you will receive an acknowledgement email from the ITD on your registered email id.

File Income Tax Return Online by Uploading XML File:

  • Step 1: Visit the official e-Filing portal (2).
  • Step 2: Login by entering your user ID, password, and captcha code.
  • Step 3: Click on “Downloads”
  • Step 4: Download the excel file/ java utility for the ITR form applicable to you and close the window.
  • Step 5: Open the form in your computer and fill the details by referring to your Form 16, investment proofs and other relevant documents.
  • Step 6: Visit the official e-Filing portal again (3).
  • Step 7: Click on “Income Tax Return” under “e-File”.
  • Step 8: Select the assessment year for which you wish to file your return.
  • Step 9: Select the ITR Form applicable to you.
  • Step 10: Select “Original/ Revised Return” for “Filing Type”.
  • Step 11: Select “Upload XML” for “Submission Mode”.
  • Step 12: Select the mode through which you would like to verify your return and click on “Continue”.
  • Step 13: Click on “Choose File” and attach the pre-filled ITR form in step 5.
  • Step 14: Click on “Submit”.

After you successfully file your ITR, you will receive an acknowledgement email from the ITD on your registered email id.

People Also Ask

Q. Can I file ITR online on the Income Tax e-filing portal without an account?

A. No. You must register yourself on the e-filing portal and create an account before filing your ITR.

Q. Can I e-file my return before my tax payments are done?

A. No. You must pay all your tax dues for the financial year before filing your tax return.

Income Tax Verification is the next step once you e-file your income tax return. Without completing the verification of your ITR, the Income Tax Department will not process your return and issue a refund (if applicable).


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Chetan Chandak (B.Com, LLB)
Chetan is the Head of Tax Research at H&R Block (India) with an experience of more than a decade in tax advising. He is also a regular contributor for some of the leading news publications in India such as Economic Times, Financial Express and Money Control. Professionally, Chetan is fascinated by international taxation and expat-related tax research.

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