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Tata Capital > Blog > What’s Trending > eFiling Demystified: The Ultimate Guide to Streamlining Your Tax Returns

What's Trending

eFiling Demystified: The Ultimate Guide to Streamlining Your Tax Returns

eFiling Demystified: The Ultimate Guide to Streamlining Your Tax Returns

Filing tax returns has long been a tedious chore. The queues, paperwork, and manual calculations have resulted in errors and delays. However, the government has simplified the process of filing income tax returns over the years through e-filing. 

E-filing provides a straightforward and stress-free alternative to the conventional method of filing taxes on paper. By opting for e-filing, you not only save precious time and effort but also ensure adherence to tax regulations, all while minimising the risk of errors.

Read on to discover more about what is an electronic filing system, its benefits, the different types of ITR forms, and how you can easily file your tax return online. 

What is e-filing?

E-filing, or electronic filing, is the method of electronically submitting your tax returns through the income tax website. This process is available to all taxpayers and provides a swift, secure, and convenient alternative to traditional paper filing. The best part? You can file taxes online for free.

What are e-filing Benefits?

There are numerous valuable benefits that e-filing provides over traditional paper-based filing:

- E-filing allows taxpayers to conveniently submit returns electronically from home or office, eliminating trips to post offices and long queues. E-filing portals also offer 24/7 accessibility.

- It allows taxpayers to check return status in real-time on the income tax department's website. Instant acknowledgments and email notifications further enhance transparency.

- E-filing allows for faster processing of returns, with quicker resolutions for revisions and refunds compared to paper filing.

- Past years' tax returns filed electronically can be easily accessed from the e-filing portal as and when needed for personal records or income verification.

- E-filing significantly reduces errors that may occur in manual calculations, ensuring a more accurate and efficient filing process.

- The online nature of e-filling eliminates the need for hiring professionals, making it a cost-effective choice for taxpayers.

What are e-filing documents required?

Before we delve into what is the e-filing process, it's important to be aware of the documents you may need while filing your taxes. These include:

Basic documents:-

- PAN card

- Aadhaar card (linked to PAN)

- Bank account details

Income-related documents: -

- Salary slips

- Rent receipts

- Form 16, 16A, 16B, and 16C

- Form 26AS

Deductions and exemptions-related documents: -

- Interest certificates from savings and deposit accounts

- Details of home loans

- Proof of tax-saving instruments

- Documents related to income from capital gains

- Proofs of rental income, foreign income, and dividend income

What are different types of ITR forms?

Now that you know what is e-filing, its benefits, and documents required, it’s important to understand the different types of ITR forms to avoid rejection by the Income Tax Department. The choice of the right form depends on your sources of income.

ITR Form 1: For resident individuals (excluding HUF) with income up to Rs. 50 lakhs. It covers salary or pension income, one house property income, and other sources like bank interest.

ITR Form 2: For individuals and HUFs with a total income surpassing Rs. 50 lakhs. It is applicable when the income doesn't stem from business profits.

ITR Form 3: For self-employed individuals with business profits or those holding a partnership in a firm.

ITR Form 4: This is a simplified form for a large number of small and medium taxpayers.

ITR Form 5: For firms, LLPs, AOPs, BOIs, Artificial Juridical Persons, estates of deceased or insolvent, business trusts, and investment funds.

ITR Form 6: For companies not claiming exemption under section 11 (Income from property held for charitable or religious purposes).

ITR Form 7: Applicable to individuals and companies required to submit returns under specific sections.

What is the e-filing process?

It's time to address the pressing question: "how do I file my taxes online?" Filing income tax returns through the e-filing system is a hassle-free process, especially when you have all the essential details ready. You can choose to file your Income Tax Return (ITR) through either online or offline methods.

Online: -

Follow these steps to file your ITR online:

1. Visit the income tax e-filing portal at

2. If you're a new user, register by clicking on "Register Yourself" and providing the required details. Existing users can log in with their user ID (PAN details), password, and captcha code.

3. Go to "e-File," then to "Income Tax Returns," and then click on "File Income Tax Return."

4. Select the assessment year, filing type, ITR type, and submission mode.

5. Indicate your status (Individual, HUF, Others) and proceed.

6. Choose the appropriate ITR form (ITR 1 or ITR 4). Or you can click on “Proceed” to help find your ITR.

7. Specify the reason for filing the income tax return and proceed.

8. Select the verification mode.

9. Fill in all the relevant fields in the ITR form.

10. Verify your ITR by entering the Electronic Verification Code (EVC) or One-Time Password (OTP). Alternatively, send the signed ITR-V to the Central Processing Centre (CPC) for verification.

Upon verification, your ITR will be filed.

Offline: -

In the offline process, you can download the form and upload the complete form without the fear of being timed out. Follow the steps below:

1. Download the applicable JSON utility from the e-filing portal.

2. Go to “Downloads” and then to “Income Tax Returns.”

3. Download utility.

4. Fill all the applicable fields in the ITR utility and generate a JSON file.

5. Log in to the e-filing portal, go to "E File," then "Income Tax Returns," and finally "File Income Tax Returns."

6. Choose the assessment year, FILING TYPE, ITR type, and submission mode.

7. Upload the generated JSON file.

8. Verify your ITR by entering the Electronic Verification Code (EVC) or One-Time Password (OTP). Alternatively, send the signed ITR-V to the CPC for verification.

Upon verification, submit your ITR. Now your e-filing for ITR is complete.

Regardless of the method chosen, the key is to have all your documents ready and follow the step-by-step instructions. After filing, promptly verify and submit your ITR to fulfill your tax obligations effectively.

Wrapping up

By understanding what is e-filing, anyone can seamlessly adapt this paperless, automated process for their tax filing needs. E-filing eliminates the hassle of paper forms, mathematical errors, and postal delays. Within minutes, tax returns can be uploaded from anywhere without standing in queues.

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