If you have filed your income tax returns in India before or if you are a first-time IT payer, it helps to keep certain things in mind to ensure that the process is hassle-free and error-free. Read on for ten suggestions on how to file income tax return online for salaried employee.

  1. Assessment year and financial year

Among the first things to know is the deadline. July 31 of the assessment year is the deadline for filing your income tax return. The assessment year for the income you have earned in a financial year comes after the end of the financial year. So, if your financial year (FY) is between April 1, 2019, and March 31 2020, your assessment year (AY) is 2020-21. However because FY 2020-21 has been an extraordinary year because of the pandemic, the last date was extended to January 2021.

  1. Which ITR form numbershould you choose?

Now that you know the difference between FY and AY, the next thing to do is learn how to file income tax return online step by step. You would need to choose the right ITR form number. There are seven ITR (income tax returns) forms for different categories including

ITR – 1: Individuals who are residents of the country and have an income of Rs 50 lakh or lower from salary, pension, a house or other sources

ITR – 2: Every income from ITR-1 with over Rs 50 lakh, capital gains, more than one house, foreign income, holding directorship in a company, holding unlisted equity shares.

ITR – 3: Every income from ITR-2, business or profession, as a firm’s partner, a presumptive income of more than Rs 50 lakh.

ITR-4: Every income from ITR-1, a presumptive income of over Rs 50 lakh from salary. Pension, other sources, one-house property

ITR-5: For firms, LLPs limited liability partnership), AOPs (Association of Persons) and BOIs (Body of Individuals)

ITR-6: Companies that don’t claim exemption as per Sec 11.

ITR-7: Persons or companies under Sec 139 (4A), 139 (4B), 139 (4C), 139 (4D).

  1. Where to find the IT e filing link?

If you are still wondering how to file your income tax return online for salaried employee, you can head to the e filing link of the income tax department. The department provides steps and links to file your returns both offline and online. The e filing link of the IT department is here: https://www.incometaxindiaefiling.gov.in/home

You can download the appropriate ITR form, fill the mandatory fields, calculate your taxes, generate and save an XML, then log in to the e filing link and follow the steps given; ie, attaching your XML file, verifying and then submitting your ITR.

The other method is to enter your details directly on the e filing link and submitting online. If you are an ITR-1 or ITR-4 assessee you can do this.

Alternatively, you can also file your IT returns on the ClearTax portal. Filing your returns via the ClearTax portal is also a simple process.

  1. Link Aadhaar with PAN

The next step for you while filling IT returns online is to link your Aadhaar with the PAN card.  You can do so by visiting the IT department’s e filing link: https://www.incometaxindiaefiling.gov.in/

  1. What documents to keep handy?

It helps to keep your passbook and bank statements, interest income statements and TDS certificate that issued by banks or others. Keep documents at hand so that you can claim certain expenses such as contribution to PF, school tuition fees of your children, premium payment of your life insurance, home loan principal repayment, mutual fund investments, equity-linked savings scheme investment details, interest paid on a home loan or education loan interest payments. Remember that you don’t have to attach any proof or documents for filing returns but keep the documents at hand to crosscheck exemptions and investment details.

  1. Form 16: What is it and why do you need it?

When you are learning about how to file income tax return online step by step, you will need to know about Form 16. It is a TDS (tax deducted at source) certificate that an employer issues and contains all the information you need when filing your returns. It has Part A and B. You can download PART A through the TRACES portal of the income tax department; Part B gives a detailed salary breakup and exemptions, apart from 80C deductions and the tax payable or refund dues. Form 16 C is a TDS certificate issued by the deductor, who is a tenant to the landowner of the property, with respect to the TDS deducted on rent.

  1. Form 26A and how does it help

You don’t have to download this form for filing your IT returns; instead, you can import the information directly while filing. This form includes all details of tax deducted on your income by the deductors, details of tax collected, advance taxes paid, self-assessment payment of taxes, regular assessment tax you have paid as a taxpayer, any details of refund you have received, and all details of heavy transactions you may have made in connection with mutual funds or equity shares among others.

  1. Pre-filled in ITR: What does this mean?

Till now, tax payments, salary and TDS have come pre-filled in your ITR. But following the Budget 2021, it has been announced that capital gains, dividend and interest incomes will also be prefilled in your ITR. This makes the process of filing your returns easier. However, it helps to check the prefilled details before filing. You can cross-check with your documents containing details of deductions and investments.

  1. Verification of IT returns

Once you have successfully filed your IT returns on the e filing link provided by the income tax department or ClearTax, you would need to verify your tax returns. You can verify your returns via net banking, Aadhaar OTP or via EVC (electronic verification code) on the income tax department website. Merely uploading your IT returns does not mean completion of the process. It is mandatory to verify the returns in order to complete the process.

  1. Check refund

You can check whether you have any refundable dues or demand by the income tax department either on the e filing link or on the Tax Information Network of the IT department website (https://tin.tin.nsdl.com/oltas/servlet/RefundStatusTrack)

Conclusion

Now that you know how to file income tax return online step by step, you can do it easily for the coming financial year effortlessly. It helps to keep track of income tax slabs announced by the government and other updates so that you are not taken by surprise when it is time to file your returns.