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I-T returns made simpler through e-filing
July, 22nd 2008

As July 31 the last date for filing income-tax returns for individuals, Hindu Undivided Families and other non-corporate assessees draws closer, taxpayers have started preparing themselves for the yearly ritual of poring over their documents and making hurried calls to their chartered accountants. Though e-filing of returns is not compulsory for individual taxpayers, it has picked up in a big way because of the convenience it offers.

All you need to do is to log on to the official website or, and register with your PAN, which will act as your user ID. Next, you need to identify the return form (in excel format) applicable to you and download the same. A salaried assessee with no other income (except interest from bank deposits) has to fill the form ITR 1. If he/she has also earned income by way of rent, selling a house property or stocks and so on, ITR 2 will be applicable.

The Form-16 issued by your employer will serve as a helpful guide to filling the return forms. You need to go to Tools > Macro > Security and set the security level to medium and enable the macros. Once you are done with filling the form, you need to validate all the information by clicking on the Validate key and proceed to generate an XML file, which will have to be uploaded on to the site by hitting the Submit Return key. If you have obtained a digital signature (DS) certificate, you need to upload it along with the XML file.

Once the website displays the acknowledgement details, your task can be considered complete. You can preserve a print-out of the acknowledgement slip for your records. However, in case you have submitted the return without a DS, the ITR-V form will be generated, which will have to be filled and submitted to your local income-tax office within 15 days of e-filing your return. In case you are unable to so, your return is rendered invalid. ITR-V has to be signed and submitted in duplicate.

The I-T department will retain a copy and hand over the other duly stamped copy to you. This copy will serve as a proof that you have submitted ITR-V within stipulated time. While you are not required to attach any documents like the Form-16 or TDS certificates along with ITR-V, it is advisable to attach photocopies of the same to enable the taxman assess your return easily.

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