ITR 2019-20: A simple step-by-step guide to filing your income-tax return

Filing Income Tax Returns (ITR) can be a tedious task. Before filing ITR, you will need to create an e-filing account on the Income Tax website, and register yourself. Registration will be completed after you click the activation link sent via e-mail and enter the provided one-time password (OTP) received on your mobile. Click on 'Registered User' if you have already registered yourself on the website.

Important note: The income-tax department has extended last date of filing ITR, which is now August 31.

Here's a step-by-step guide to filing Income Tax Returns (ITR):

A. Keep essential documents with you

Collect documents such as Form 16, salary slips, and interest certificates and Form 26AS. Keeping them handy will help you compute your gross taxable income and will provide you with the details of tax deducted at source (TDS) from your income in 2018-19.

B. Get Form 26AS: You can download Form 26AS from the TRACES website. To download it, login to your account on the e-filing website, click on 'My Account' tab and select 'View Form 26AS'.

C. Calculate total income for the financial year

Once you have verified all the taxes deducted from your income, you have to calculate the total income chargeable to tax. Total income is computed by adding income from five different heads and claiming all the relevant deductions allowed under the Income-tax Act and setting off losses, if any. In addition to that, you are required to provide source-wise bifurcation of the incomes taxable under the head 'Income from other sources'.

D. Calculate tax liability: Compute tax liability by applying tax rates according to your income tax slab.

E. Compute final tax payable: Now that you have calculated your tax liability, minus taxes that have already been paid for (through TCS, TDS, Advance Tax). Add interest, if any, payable under sections 234A, 234B and 234C.

F: File income tax: Once you are through with the above steps, you can start the process of filing ITR. ITR can be filed by downloading the software in Excel or Java utility. However, taxpayers who are eligible to file ITR-1 and ITR-4 also have the option to file it online without downloading any software utility.

Please note: You can only claim any refund from the income tax department after you have filed ITR. Use the right ITR form. 

G. ITR verification: This is the last step. You can verify your ITR electronically and via physical verification. In the case of e-verification, you will not have to physically send your tax return to the Income Tax department.

H. Processing of ITR: After the return is verified, either via e-verification or physically, the income tax department will start processing your tax return. Once it is processed, the tax department will inform you of the same via e-mail. If discrepancies are found, you may be asked to explain or correct the mistakes made while filing ITR.

In case you are still confused, you can visit ClearTax website and seek assistance from CAs. Here are the steps you need to follow in case you want to fill ITR through ClearTax—

Step 1: Login to your ClearTax account.

Click on ‘Upload Form 16 PDF’ if you have your Form 16 in PDF format. If you do not have Form 16 in PDF format click on ‘Continue Here’

Step 2: Enter your Name, PAN, DOB and Bank account details.

Step 3: Fill in your salary, employee details (Name and TAN) and TDS.

Step 4: Enter investment details under Section 80C(eg. LIC, PPF etc., and claim other tax benefits here.

Step 5: If you have non-salary income,eg. interest income or freelance income, then add tax payments that are already made. You can also add these details by uploading Form 26AS.

Step 6: If you see “Refund” or “No Tax Due” here, Click on proceed to E-Filing.You will get an acknowledgement number on the next screen.

Step 7: Once your return is filed e-verify your income tax return

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