Not everyone is a tax whiz and that’s why thank god for CA’s. But apart from CA’s even you can personally file income tax returns if you know tax basics . And for those of you who don’t, there are websites, apps and even people from the IT department who can help you out.
#1. DIY-Do It Yourself:
If you decide to ‘do it yourself’ you can directly file your tax returns with the income tax department physically or online.
1. Doing it physically (Disclaimer: This is only for those who’s income is less than Rs. 5,00,000 in the previous year, has no refunds to claim, has not claimed for tax relief for taxes paid abroad nor has any incomes or assets located abroad.)
For physically filing income tax returns, get the relevant ITR form from the income tax office or download it from their website. Fill these forms. Look up the ward or income tax office under whose jurisdiction you fall from the Income Tax department website and submit your forms physically there. Once done, take a stamped and numbered acknowledgment.
2. E-filing it or doing it online on www.incometaxindia.gov.in – This can be done partially or fully online.
For partial online filing– Download the relevant ITR form from the website and fill up the form and save it as an ‘XML’ form. Then register on the website (if not already registered) by creating a user ID (which is your PAN) and password. Once your account is created, log in and upload the forms and submit.
For fully online filing– Log in with your user ID and password. Select the ITR form applicable to you. Fill in the required details online and submit the form. In both processes, you will get an acknowledgement on successful submission.
Before e-filing your returns read this article- IT website to familiarize yourself with the website.
#2. Do It Through Experts:
If you still find the IT website complicated, then a tax return preparers- TRP from the IT department can assist you. To locate a TRP in your area just log on to their website www.trpscheme.com, enter your state, city and pin-code and a list of registered TRPs in your locality will be displayed along with their details. These TRPs charge you according to your tax liability. The maximum amount they can is Rs.250 and higher the tax liability, lower will be their fees. Also, don’t forget to get the TRP’s details- ID number, name and counter signature on your ITR forms.
#3. Do it through an app or website:
Apart from TRP’s there are registered apps and websites that act as an intermediary between you the taxpayer and the IT department.
The apps are mostly for simple filing of income tax returns and only provide basic facilities like filing form ITR-1. Few popular apps are taxspanner.com, myITreturn.com and hellotax.co.in.
On the other hand websites allow simple and complex filing of tax returns. If you file your returns on these websites yourself, it is free. But if you want the website to e-file it for you, the charges vary between Rs.200 and Rs.10,000, depending on the complexity of the return and number of income sources. But don’t just go on the charges, check whether it is an authorized website or not. You can check the authorized websites on http://www.tin-nsdl.com. Few popular ones are cleartax.in, myITreturn.com, and Quicko.com.
#4. Do it through a CA:
Filing income tax returns yourself through the above methods is easy if your sources of income are simple such as salary. But for someone with many sources of income or someone who has income from abroad or even someone who needs tax audits for their business, hiring a Chartered Accountant is the best. These are professionals who can help you file your returns and also give you advice on how to save taxes.
Now that you know the 4 ways to file your returns, file them before 31st July 2018. And for those who still filed previous years returns i.e returns for income earned in FY 2016-2017 then do it before March 31 2018.
This is an abridged version of an article from the liveMint.