Technology has played an important role in streamlining the Income-Tax return filing process, which is now almost paperless. A taxpayer is not required to submit any supporting documents, return forms are downloaded from the income-tax web portal with an easy-to-understand procedure for filing returns electronically.
For the tax year 2013-14, electronic filing of returns is mandatory for following category of individuals: All persons with total income of R5 lakh and above; individual/ Hindu Undivided Family (HUF), being resident, having assets located outside India; person claiming relief under double-taxation avoidance agreement that India has with other countries or claiming foreign tax credit under the Income Tax Act, 1961. The due date of filing tax return for individual taxpayers (who are not required to get their accounts audited) is July 31 following the end of India tax year (tax year in India runs from April 1 to March 31).
Create an account on the portal: To initiate the e-filing process, the taxpayer is required to register with the income-tax web portal. It can be done by logging on to www.incometaxindiafiling.gov.in to create an account. The taxpayer needs to enter the PAN and basic details. On creation of the account, a one-time password (OTP) is sent to the mobile number and email address mentioned by the taxpayer while creating the account. An activation link will be sent on the email address through which the account has to be activated.
Form selection: Salaried individuals (with no business/professional income including partnership income) can use either ITR-1 or ITR-2 for filing their tax return, depending on the nature of their income. ITR-1 is the tax return form for taxpayers having income from salary, one house property (excluding loss brought forward from previous years) and interest income. ITR-1 cannot be used for exempt income above R5,000 or by the taxpayer who is claiming relief under the relevant tax treaty or claiming foreign tax credit. ITR-2 is the form for individual taxpayers in all other cases, except where there is income from business or profession.
Tax return utilities: The taxpayer who has to file return electronically is required to create an XML file based on the utility downloaded from the portal. Currently, the utilities are available in excel and java versions. The java version has some additional features like pre-filling and quick e-filing options by allowing automatic retrieval of personal data from previous tax