How to File Income Tax Return

Taxes act as the revenue source for the government. Further, the government utilizes this revenue for the purpose of developing infrastructure, providing the best healthcare, education facility, subsidy to the farmers or agriculture sector, and various other government-funded welfare schemes. 

Moreover, the term tax is mainly bifurcated into two types, i.e., direct taxes and indirect taxes. The tax which is levied directly on the individual’s earned income is called the direct tax. For example, Income tax is a direct tax. Also, it shall be noted that the calculation of tax is based on the income slab rates applicable during that fiscal year.

The term Income Tax denotes a type of tax in India through which the Central Government charges on the income earned or received during the previous financial year, both by the businesses and individuals. 

In this learning blog, we will discuss about the meaning and process of filing an Income Tax Return in India.

What is Income Tax Return?

An Income Tax Return or ITR is a form that allows a taxpayer to declare his/ her income, expenses, investments, tax deductions, taxes, etc. Further, the provisions of the Income Tax Act, 1961, make it compulsory under various scenarios for an eligible taxpayer to file his/ her income tax return.

An ITR is a form filed by an individual to report his/ her annual income. There may be various reasons for filing an ITR (Income Tax Return) even If there is zero level of income.

An individual may want to file his/ her income tax return for stating the income for a financial year, claiming an income tax refund, carrying forward losses, claiming tax deductions, etc.

Further, the Income Tax Department offers the facility for filing an income tax return electronically. 

Documents Required for Filling Income Tax Return

The documents required for filing Income Tax Return in India are as follows:

  1. PAN (Permanent Account Number) of the respective Taxpayer;
  2. Aadhar Card Details;
  3. Bank Account Details;
  4. Form 16;
  5. Details of the Investment made;

How to File Income Tax Return?

The steps involved in the process to file Income Tax Return are as follows:

  1. Visit the official website at;
  2. Now, click on the option ‘Downloads’ located at the top menu bar;
  3. Choose the Assessment Year (A.Y.) and then download the offline utility software, i.e., the Microsoft Excel or Java, or the JSON utility, based on your preference and requirement. However, it shall be noted that the excel and java utility are withdrawn by the income tax department from the Assessment Year 2020-2021;
  4. After downloading the offline utility, now the taxpayer needs to fill in the pertinent details of his/ her income, and then check the tax payable, or the refund receivable based on the calculations of the utility. Further, it shall be noted that the details of an income tax challan can be submitted in the downloaded form as well;
  5. Now the respective taxpayer can see a few buttons located on the right-hand side of the downloaded form;
  6. Choose the “Validate” button to confirm that all the required information is duly and completely filled;
  7. Now, in the next step, log in to the official income tax e-filing portal, and click on the option “e-File” to choose the “Income Tax Return” option;
  8. Enter all the necessary and required details, such as PAN, ITR Form Number, Assessment Year, and the Mode of Submission. However, one should always remember to click the option “Upload XML” from the drop down corresponding to the field name “Submission Mode”;
  9. Now, annex the XML file from the computer and then, click on the option “Submit”;
  10. Lastly, select one of the available options of verification modes, such as the Aadhaar OTP, EVC (Electronic Verification Code), or sending a physically signed copy of the ITR-V to the CPC, Bengaluru;


In a nutshell, the process to electronically file an Income Tax Return (ITR) by using the internet facility is called the E-filing. Further, the process to e-file an ITR is both quick and easy, and can effortlessly be completed from the ease of an individual’s office or home. Also, E-filing of an ITR can assist in saving money as one would not have to appoint an individual or professional to file ITR.

You might also like : What is Tax ? Different Types of Tax in India

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