Ready reckoner: How to e-file your tax returns on line

With July 31 drawing closer, it’s once again time to pore over your documents and ring up your taxconsultant. Most individuals prefer to adopt the conventional method and let their chartered accountant handle the cumbersome procedure. However, this year, those with a taxable income of over Rs 10 lakh have no choice but to take the e-filing route. Besides, even others could consider opting for e-filing. It is not as confusing as it is made out to be. If you neither owe any tax nor have any refund to be claimed, you can follow these simple steps to ensure that your returns are filed with minimal hassles:

1. First of all, you need to start by logging on to the website ( created by the I-T department for the purpose. If you haven’t registered already, you can do so with the help of your PAN. It acts as your user ID in this case.

2. Next, you need to download the appropriate ITR form for individuals listed in the site. Go to the ‘Downloads’ menu and choose ITR-I (Sahaj), if your only source of income is salary or pension. Those with income from one house property or interest income or can also use this form. Remember, the current assessment year is 2012-13.

3. Now, open the downloaded excel utility.

4. Now, enter all the details asked for. The required information will be available in your Form 16.

5. Next step is to validate the same by hitting the ‘Validate’ key. An XML sheet will be generated and saved on your computer. The registration process (Step 1) can also be initiated at this stage.

6. You can upload this XML file on to the I-T portal after selecting AY 2012-2013 and the relevant form. You will be asked whether you wish to digitally sign the file. If you have obtained the DS (digital signature), select Yes. Else, choose ‘No’.

7. If a message regarding successful e-filing is flashed on your screen, you can consider the process to be complete. Your ITR-Verification form will be mailed to your registered e-mail ID.

8. Now, all you need to do is to get a print-out of the ITR-V ( only in black ink ), put your signature and send it by ordinary post to the Income Tax Department-CPC, Post Bag No-1, Electronic City Post Office, Bangalore – 560100, Karnataka within 120 days of filing your returns on-line.

9. It is important to ensure that your tax return reaches this office within 120 days, failing which, you will have to go through the process all over again.

10. If you do not receive an acknowledgement from the I-T Department in due course, you can send the form again. However, don’t opt for courier services under any circumstance as it will not be accepted.