Need to file I-T Returns? Know the steps, benefits of doing it online

It is that time of the year when your HR department will send you constant reminders to file your tax returns. But this year the income tax department, under the Finance Act 2017, has made it mandatory for taxpayers to quote Aadhaar or enrolment ID of Aadhaar application form for filing of returns.

If all your documents are in place, you can now e-file the tax returns. Also note that the number of ITR forms has been reduced to seven for this assessment year, compared to nine forms in the previous one. ALSO READ: CBDT notifies new Income Tax Return Forms for AY 2017-18

Here is all you need to know to help you e-file your tax return on your own and also a step by step guide on how to do it. 

Steps in filing your Income Tax Return 

1. Collect your TDS certificates, which have to be mandatorily in TRACES format, from all deductors. In case of digitally signed TDS certificates ensure that there is a check mark on the digital signature indicating it has been verified. Non-verified certificates will have a question mark over the digital signature. Cross check the TDS figure on the certificate with that shown as deducted from your income e.g. TDS figure on salary slip with the figure on the TDS certificate. Check whether deductor has deducted and deposited the tax with the government. TDS certificates are in Form 16 for salaried employees and Form 16A for other deductors.

2. Download your tax credit statement (Form 26AS) from TRACES and cross-check the amount of tax deducted with that mentioned in TDS certificates. You should be getting certificates for all TDS reflecting in your Form26AS and all the TDS from your income should reflect in Form26AS. You need to log into your e-filing account on the income tax e-filing website to download your Form26AS. You can also download it via net-banking wherever the bank provides for this. 

Checklist of documents and pre-requisites

A copy of last year's tax return

Bank Statement

TDS certificates

Savings certificates/Deductions

Interest statement showing interest paid to you throughout the year.

Balance Sheet, P&L Account Statement and other Audit Reports wherever applicable.

Manner of filing this Return Form

This Return Form can be filed with the Income Tax Department in any of the following ways, -

(i) by furnishing the return electronically under digital signature;

(ii) by transmitting the data in the return electronically under electronic verification code;

(iii) by transmitting the data in the return electronically and thereafter submitting the verification of the return in Return
Form ITR-V.

Link Aadhaar with PAN

From hereon, it is mandatory to link a person's  Aadhaar with the Permanent Account Number (PAN) for filing I-T returns. The Income Tax department has launched a new e-facility in this regard. The department's e-filing website — — has created a new link on its homepage making it "easy" to link the two unique identities of an individual.

Steps to link Aadhaar to PAN

—Punch your PAN number, Aadhaar number and the 'exact name as given in the Aadhaar card'

— After verification from the UIDAI (Unique Identification Authority of India), the linking will be confirmed. 

— In case of any minor mismatch in Aadhaar name provided, Aadhaar OTP (one time password) will be required,

— The OTP will be sent to the registered mobile number and email of the individual.

— Ensure that the date of birth and gender in PAN and Aadhaar are exactly the same, to ensure linking without failure.

Benefits of filing ITR:

Claim a refund: Suppose your tax is deducted and you want to claim a tax refund. You can claim refund only after filing an ITR. So, if you want a refund for TDS on rent payments or TDS deduction by banks on your fixed deposits, then you have to file an ITR.

Carry forward losses: It is important to file an ITR, if you want to carry forward a loss under heads of income from your business, capital gains and income from any other sources. But you cannot carry forward your loss from house property.

Unpaid tax liability: In case of unpaid tax liability, there would be penal interest at the rate of 1% per month from the due date of filing the return till the actual date of filing.

Revise the return: If you file your income tax return after the due date you cannot file a revised return later. The mistakes made in the original return cannot be revised later. Only people who filed their original return before the due date can file for revision.

Apply for a loan: Banks generally ask for your ITR copy before giving you a loan. So, filing an ITR increases the chances of getting loan easily.

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