Income Tax E-Filing Portal - Step by Step Guide to Simplify Your Tax Journey
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The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) had moved income tax e-filing portal from www.incometaxindiaefiling.gov.in to www.incometax.gov.in. The taxpayers are now required to file their income tax returns and do other tax related compliance through this portal. The portal has been redesigned for the convenience of the taxpayers and other stakeholders by making “filing of return of income and other tax related compliances” simpler. It aims at providing a modern, seamless and an intuitive experience to the taxpayers, with a focus on ease of navigation.

Features of the New Income tax e-filing portal (efiling 2.0)

Now, let us understand the key features of the new portal (efiling 2.0).

Features of the New Income tax e-filing portal e-filing 2.0

  • Quick processing of tax returns: The new portal processes the return filed by the taxpayer at a faster pace. The fast processing of the income tax returns thereby enables quick refunds to the taxpayers.
  • ITR preparation Software: The new portal provides free access to ITR preparation software for all the taxpayers. The taxpayers who do not even have much knowledge related to income tax, can file the return easily with the help of the software. The software pre-fills most of the information basis the data available.
  • Call Centre Service: The web portal is integrated with a ‘new call centre’ for immediate response to queries of the taxpayers. It also provides tutorial, videos and chatbot for any issues that arises to taxpayers.
  • Single Dashboard Interaction: The new portal shows all interactions, uploads, and pending actions against PAN in a single dashboard. As a result, it becomes easy for the taxpayer to respond, submit, or view any communication from the department and take necessary action against the same.
  • Multiple payment options: Multiple payment options are available for the taxpayer for making tax payment. This includes RTGS/ NEFT, credit card, UPI and net banking. The taxpayers can choose to make payments using any such payment methods from any account in any bank. This helps in simplifying the current tax payment processes and promote digital transactions.
  • Mobile Application: The income tax department has launched a mobile app called “AIS for taxpayers” wherein the taxpayers can check their Annual Information Statement (“AIS”) and submit their feedback to the tax department. The application aims to provide detailed information about each transaction to the taxpayers.
  • Pre-filled ITRs: The portal allows pre-filling of some details related to certain incomes such as - salary, house property, business/profession, capital gains etc. The pre-filling happens based on the TDS and SFT statements uploaded by the concerned entities.

Services Offered by the new Income tax e-filing portal (efiling 2.0)

The taxpayer and the stakeholders can avail various services from this single platform. For ease of reference, we have listed below the various services provided by the new portal:

Services Offered by the new Income tax e-filing portal e-filing 2.0

However, one must note that, to avail the smooth functioning of aforesaid services, the taxpayer is required to ensure the following:

  • Update the user ID and mobile number under primary contacts in their profile;
  • Link Aadhaar and pre-validate bank account if not done previously; and
  • Reset e-filing Vault Higher Security Options

 

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How to access the e-filing tax portal:

To access the services offered by the new portal, the taxpayer should register himself on the new portal. Step by step guide on registration process is as under:

  • Step 1: Go to the e-Filing portal ‘www.incometax.gov.in’ and click on “Register” appearing on the top-right corner.

    Step 1 Go to the e-Filing portal


  • Step 2: Select “User Type” and enter the PAN details and click “Continue”. In case the PAN is already registered or invalid, an error message is displayed.

    Step 2 -  e-filing - Select User Type and enter the PAN details and click Continue.


  • Step 3: A “Basic Detail Page” is displayed. Enter all the mandatory details including name, date of birth/ date of incorporation, gender (if applicable) and residential status as per the PAN and thereafter click on “Continue”.

    Step 3 - e filing - Enter all the mandatory details

  • Step 4: After the PAN is validated, a “Contact Details page” would appear for individual taxpayers. Enter the contact details including - Primary Mobile Number, email ID and Address. Click “Continue”.

    Step 4 - e filing portal - Contact Details page

  • Step 5: Two separate OTPs are sent to the primary mobile number and email ID mentioned in Step 5. Enter the separate 6- digit OTPs received on the mobile number and email ID and click “Continue”.

    Step 5 - Income tax e filing portal - Enter the separate 6- digit OTPs

  • Step 6: Validate the basic details and contact details as displayed. If edit is required, make necessary changes, and click on “Confirm”.

    Step 6 - e filing - Validate the basic details

  • Step 7: On the Set Password page, enter the desired password in both the “Set Password and Confirm Password textboxes”. Enter the personalized message and click “Register”.

    Step 7 - e filing portal - Set Password

  • Step 8: A message for successful registration would appear on the portal. Once the registration is complete, click “Proceed to Login” to begin the login process.

    Step 8 - income tax e filing portal - Proceed to Login

Note: Log in to the e-Filing portal and update your profile to access all the available services.

Getting Started with E-Filing:

Upon successful registration, the taxpayer can now proceed with filing of the income tax return. For ease of reference purpose, we have produced the below step-by-step guide on how to e-file your income tax return online on the new portal:

  • Step 1: Visit the official Income Tax e-filing website and click on “Login”.
  • Step 2: Enter your username and password, and thereafter click on 'Continue'

    Step 2 - e filing portal login

  • Step 3: Post login, click on the tab “e-file” and thereafter click on “File Income Tax Return”.

    Step 3 - Post login click on the e-file at e filing portal

  • Step 4: Select the “Assessment year” and “Mode of Filing” for which the return of income needs to be filed. Click on “Continue”.Please note, currently we have selected “online method” of filing. One may choose offline method as well to file the return. Where offline method is selected, the taxpayer needs to use the “Income Tax Utility” for preparing the return of income. Once the return is duly filled, a utility generated “JSON file” needs to be uploaded on the tax portal to complete the return filing process.

    Step 4 - e filing portal - Select the Assessment year and Mode of Filing

  • Step 5: Choose the category of taxpayer – i.e. whether return of income is being filed by an Individual, Hindu Undivided Family, or others. Click on “Continue

  • Step 6: Now, choose a valid return form basis the category of taxpayer and its income details. For example, ITR 2 can be filed by individuals and HUFs who don't have income from business or profession. Similarly, in case of an individual, they can choose the option ITR1 or ITR4.

    Step 6 - income tax e filing portal - choose a valid return

  • Step 7: The next step will ask you the reason for filing your income tax return. Make sure to choose the right option. Click on “Continue”.

    Step 7 - e filing portal- reason for filing your income tax return

  • Step 8: The tax department pre-fills the information basis the data (i.e TDS/SFT etc.) available. Validate each piece of information. If fine, then click on “Proceed”. In case any edit is required, one can modify the same.

    Step 8 - efiling portal - validate your pre-filled return

  • Step 9: You will then be directed to a new page to file your income tax returns. The page will contain a lot of information filled already. Check them to make sure all the details mentioned are correct. Confirm the summary of the return and thereafter click on “Pay Now”.

    Step 9 - e filing - Confirm the summary of the return and thereafter click on Pay Now

  • Step 10: It will direct you to e-pay tax. Re-confirm the amount of tax to be paid and thereafter select the applicable bank and mode of payment. Make the requisite payment and complete the payment process.

    Kotak offers you a simple and seamless way to make such tax payments in a hassle-free manner. You can use Kotak Net Banking (if you are a Kotak customer) or the Kotak Payment Gateway (if you are not) to make your tax payment on time.

  • Step 11: The final step is to verify the tax return. The verification process is mandatory.

Common Mistakes to avoid while filing your Income Tax Return

One needs to be vigilant while filing the tax return. A single error in the return can create complexities. Hence, out of caution, we have listed below some of the common mistakes which a taxpayer might make while filing the return form.

  • Choosing Wrong ITR Form: One of the most common mistakes when filing an ITR is using the wrong ITR form. Using an incorrect form leads to a defective filing that will be rejected by the tax department.

    Selection of ITR Form varies depending on the source of income and the category of the taxpayer. For instance, ITR-1 is prescribed for the resident individuals who have income up to Rs.50 lakh and for those who are salaried individuals, have one house property, and other income sources. On the other hand, individuals having income exceeding Rs.50 lakh in a financial year are required to file ITR 2. In fact, individuals who earn income from both salary income as well as capital gains also cannot file ITR 1.

  • Failure to reconcile TDS with Form 26AS: It is important to check the Form 26AS before filing the return form. Form 26AS comprises of summary of income details on which taxes have been withheld, TDS, details of advance tax/ self-assessment tax paid etc. In case where TDS is not reflected in the Form 26AS, the taxpayer is likely to not get the credit for tax deducted of such amount. It is the taxpayer’s obligation to make sure that the information in Form 26AS is up-to-date and correct. Mismatches between Form 26AS and Form 16 or TDS certificates may lead to less refund or more taxes payable.
  • Non-declaration of all bank accounts: Taxpayer needs to declare all their bank accounts in India except dormant accounts. The taxpayer must choose the right and validated bank account to get the refund on time.
  • Non reporting Capital Gains on Sale of Assets: The ITR needs complete details of sale of capital assets, expenses and purchase in calculating the capital gain. When a taxpayer invests in order to claim a capital gains exemption, the investment and exemption facts must be disclosed.
  • Non-Disclosure of Foreign Assets : Taxpayer needs to disclose all foreign assets owned or beneficially owner in his/her name. In event of the same is missed, may attract hefty penalties under Black Money (Undisclosed Foreign Income and Assets) and Imposition of Tax Act, 2015.
  • Filing ITR without considering all income sources: While filing the return form, it is important to consider all income sources whether from current or previous employment. In case any income from the previous employment is not mentioned, the discrepancy will be reflected in the Form 26AS as well as TDS certificate. Not only this, but one should also reconcile the data appearing in AIS/ Taxpayer Information Summary (“TIS”) with their records to ensure that income and corresponding taxes are rightly reported in the return of income. In case of any discrepancy, the tax department may send a demand notice due to which the taxpayer might have to pay extra tax dues.

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