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Updated: July 20, 2012 08:23 IST

Filing tax returns online made user-friendly

M. Sai Gopal
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Dreading the prospect of visiting packed Income Tax offices to file tax returns? Are you desperate to avoid agents and file returns without any help? That too from the comforts of home? Well all this is possible if one is willing to try ‘e-filing’ tax returns this year.

Filing returns through Internet is not as complicated as it is made out to be. For the salaried, e-filing has never been easier. All it requires is selecting the right form, the ideal website based on the requirement and carefully filling the blanks in the forms based on Form-16, which is provided by the employer.

If one is willing and has enough patience, then the government website (http://incometaxindiaefiling.gov.in) gives the option of filing tax free of cost.

However, persons attempting to e-file for the first time will be better-off using the e-return intermediary (ERI) websites, which are user friendly.

The ERI websites help users in properly calculating the tax and they can correct users in case they enter wrong information.

However, such facilities are not there in the Government website, which is the reason why users have to be careful while entering data.

The first step one has to do after visiting incometaxindiaefiling.gov.in is to register and get a login ID.

The website has seven different Income Tax Return (ITR) forms. Salaried persons should select the excel version of the ITR-1 form. Then they have to download free ‘Return Preparation’ software for the selected return form.

The next step is to fill up the ITR-1 form offline and then generate the XML version of it. After that, visit the website (incometaxindiaefiling.gov.in) again and login. Select the assessment year for which persons are filing the returns.

After that, users need to upload the XML version of the ITR-1.

After uploading and sending the form, users will immediately have access to Income Tax Return Verification form (ITR-V), which is the acknowledgement form. Take the print out of ITR-V, sign it and send it by ordinary post to Centralised Processing Centre (CPC), Bangalore.

For persons who want to use ERI websites, they have to select various packages on offer, which range from Rs. 250 to Rs. 500.

All that the users have to do is feed the data in the ITR-1 form and the websites will do the calculations. Users then have to send the ITR-V form to CPC, Bangalore.

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