financial services · income tax return

How to e-File Income Tax Returns by Uploading Forms Using Excel Utility

Each year the Department of Income Tax comes up with new changes to make tax filing for returns easier for taxpayers. This blog is to educate taxpayers on the step by step process in which one can upload forms and file ITR online.
There are normally two processes to file for return online:

  1. The first procedure is to download the relevant income tax form via the official website of the income tax department, fill the form offline, save the form, generate an XML file and then finally upload it.
  2. The second way is to specifically enter all the relevant data by filling the online form and then submitting it.

The second method, however, is applicable only in the case of ITR 1 and ITR 4.

The step by step process to e-file your tax return using the upload method is as follows:

  • Go to the official website of Income tax India efiling.
  • Download the correct ITR form which is applicable to you (determined on the income types you have earned within the financial year for the returns filed). The forms can be downloaded in either formats; excel or Java. You will find the ITR forms for the relevant year, under the “Downloads” tab.
  • Start preparing the return by filling the form with all the relevant information in excel or Java. The cells containing text in red color are to be mandatorily filled and the taxpayer has to enter the data in the green colored cells. As you continue filling up the sheets, the white background cells automatically pick up the data and system calculates from the data entered in other cells. Click the validate button once after the sheet has been filled to verify that all the mandatory sections are filled.
  • While filing the ITR form in excel format, some excel functions must be enabled first. The validate and other buttons of the excel file will be functional only when ‘Macros’ and ‘ActiveX’ functions are enabled. You can enable the Macros by the following ways;
  • File > Excel Options > Trust Centre > Trust Centre Settings > Macro Settings > Enable All Macro > Click ‘OK’ button twice to save this setting.
  • The ‘ActiveX settings’ can also be enabled in the same way via the Trust Centre settings.
  • ITR form usually has multiple sheets out of which some are required to be filled with general information and computation of tax, while others contain the various kinds of income and tax rebates. Each sheet must be filled depending on the what category of taxpayer you fall under. The white colored background fields in the tax computation sheet get automatically filled after you fill the income sheets.
  • Once all the information has been entered in the different worksheets of excel file, save it and click ‘Generate XML’ to generate the XML version of your return. Always check the generated XML file to see if all the information you provided is shown correctly.
  • For online filing of income tax return, go to the official e-filing website of the income tax department to upload and file the return. First-time users must firstly get registered in the portal. If you are already registered then login to your account.
  • Enter your user ID which is your PAN, password, date of birth and enter the ‘Captcha’ to sign in.
  • Select the ‘e-file’ tab and click on ‘Upload Return’ option.
  • You will be directed to a page where you must enter a few details while uploading your ITR (including the relevant assessment year, ITR form name, digital signature).
  • Via the browse button, attach the ITR XML file. The file which was generated after filling the required information in excel/java utility software and saved in your computer.
  • Select yes on ‘Digital Signature Certificate’, if the option is applicable to you. The DSC must be registered with the e-filing website.
  • DSC users will be asked to upload their pre-registered signature. After the signature has been uploaded successfully, the submission of ITR form online will be completed. An acknowledgment receipt will be emailed to your registered email address verifying the same.
  • Non-DSC users will be required to verify your return via any of the options provided by the income tax department. The form uploading process is the same as mentioned above. Once the upload of return is successful (in XML format), find ‘My Account’ tab and click ‘e-filed returns’. You will be able to see the status of all the returns uploaded and filed by you. You can also find out if the return is under process, uploaded or is pending for e-verification.
  • After the return has been uploaded, you must verify your return using the electronic verification code, Aadhaar OTP or by posting the signed acknowledgment copy (ITR-V) to CPC, Bengaluru.
  • To e-verify, your return, go to ‘My account’ tab and select ‘e-verify’ option. You can e-verify your return either via Aadhaar OTP option or electronic verification code.
  • Upon selection and completion of the verification process, the procedure for filing ITR is done. The I-T department will process your verified returns and you will receive an email confirming the same.

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