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How to File ITR – Guide on How to File Income Tax Returns

ITR (Income Tax Return) filing is amongst the most important responsibilities of an individual who is earning. It is filed to the income tax department by a salaried or self-employed individual, Hindu Undivided Family (HUF), companies, or firms.A taxpayer can file the ITR online on the e-portal of the income tax department. And, this e-filing process is quick, easy, and can be completed from the comfort of your space.

With online filing, also called e-filing,  it is convenient to file returns from the confines of your home/office and at very short notice. Mentioned below are the broad steps to file your income tax returns online:

Here is a step-by-step guide for online filing of returns:

  • Step 1 : Log on to the portal – Log on to the Income Tax Department portal ( for filing returns online. Register using your Permanent Account Number (PAN), which will serve as the user ID.
  • Step 2 : Go to the e-file option and click on the option ‘Prepare and Submit ITR Online’.
  • Step 3 : Select the form that applies to you and the assessment year.
  • Step 4 : Fill in the details and click on the ‘Submit’ button.
  • Step 5 : Upload a Digital Signature Certificate (DSC), if available and applicable. Now, click on ‘Submit’.
  • Step 6 : On successful submission without DSC, your Income Tax Return Verification Form (ITR-V) would be displayed on the screen. Click on the link and download the ITR-V.

What happens if I don’t file ITR?

According to the income tax rules, if you file your return after the deadline, you will be charged a late filing fee. As per the Finance Act 2017, a taxpayer is liable to pay a penalty of Rs 5000 if he/she files the ITR for a financial year after the return filing deadline, which is usually July 31 of the relevant assessment year unless extended by the government. Moreover, it should be before December 31 of the assessment year (if extended by the government).

Can I file ITR for the last 2 years?

You can file your belated income tax returns anytime on or before one year from the end of the relevant assessment year (AY).

What happens if ITR is not E verified?

An ITR filed but not E-verified is treated invalid by the income tax department. This means that you have not filed the ITR for a particular AY. hence, you will have to file the ITR again as a belated return because the original one is not treated as valid.

Who can use ITR 1?

A resident individual whose total income is not more than Rs 50 lakh and is neither a director of the company nor has invested in unlisted equity shares cab file the ITR-1. Moreover, the individual’s sources of income should be through salary, interest income, family pension, single house property, etc.

How can I file ITR online for free?

Visit the E-filing portal of the income tax department by clicking on the link Follow the steps and file your ITR online for free of cost.

Can I file my ITR myself?

Yes, you yourself can file the ITR. There are two ways to file the ITR:

  • Offline: Download the relevant/applicable ITR form. Fill it offline, save the file and then upload it
  • Online: Open the applicable ITR form. Enter the relevant data on the e-filing portal itself and submit it
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