How to file income tax returns (ITR) online in India?

(Last Updated On: June 21, 2019)


In this return filing season, where returns are being filed for AY 2016-17, AY 2017-18 and are about to be filed for AY 2018-19. We bring to you the easiest guide on e-filing ITR in India.

Filing income tax return may seem to be a tedious task. But, is not really so. Filing online just involves a series of actions and some prerequisites to ease out the complete process.

Pre requisites of ITR Filing

This is not the legal or mandatory step but a suggestive way to make things simpler. Keeping the documents and information handy in advance which would be required during the e-filing process but helps you manage things well. Some documents which must be arranged prior to start with the filing process can be enumerated as:

  • PAN card
  • Form 16 or other document describing your income source
  • Bank details preferably bank passbook or statements
  • Aadhaar
  • 26 AS
  • Tax deposited receipts / challans
  • Loan details – Home Loan or education loan Statement containing yearly EMI summary
  • Details of receipts of LIC or medical policy premium paid
  • PPF passbook
  • Other Investment details
  • 80G details if you made any donations during the year


For filing your return online you need to first register yourself with the income tax department.

For registration you may visit here

If you are already registered you can proceed with efiling your ITR by entering the login credentials namly, User ID  being your “PAN” and the password you set last time. In case you forgot your password it can be easily be recovered by your last year filing details, bank account details, security ques and other manners alike.

Selection of ITR form

Selection of correct ITR form is one of the most vital steps. The tax department prescribes different tax forms for different assessees. The ITR forms for AY 2018-19 has not been released yet but an understanding about ITR forms for AY 2017-18 and AY 2016-17 can be drawn from this image.

Filing necessary details

After registration next comes in line is filing necessary details. Following details should be added in ITR form

  • Basic details like Name, Address etc
  • PAN details
  • Cross check ITR form selected. Ensure return is filed under correct section. Section 139(1) – original return, 139(4) belated return, 139(5) revised return etc
  • Check your taxable status whether you have tax refund or tax payable etc
  • Enter details as per your form 16 or other documents you possess, from all sources of income.
  • Enter details for deduction you wish to claim. Like deduction under section 80C, 80D etc
  • Check the total tax liability calculated.
  • Enter TDS details, which can be imported directly from your 26AS through TRACES.
  • Enter donation details if any.
  • Mention your bank account details. Number of bank accounts you have, give details of all operating accounts and one primary account details in which you wish to receive refunds.
  • Confirm the declaration and proceed with generating XML

Paying Taxes

Assume that you have not paid the taxes in full beforehand. And while filing your tax return you come to know the tax due amount. You should first proceed with paying taxes online and later complete filing your ITR.

Generating XML

There are various ways of filing your ITR

  • In case you file though income tax india efiling website directly you may either
  1. File though department’s website directly (in some cases) for which no xml file is required to be generated.
  2. File through department’s excel utility for which what you should do next is to validate your return to check whether its error free or not. If its error free you can proceed with generating xml extension file which will be required to upload your pre filled excel sheet on the departments website. But if validation shows some errors, probably some mandatory fields you might have escaped to fill you need to satisfy all those requirements first to proceed further with e filing.

Uploading and e-verification

Next and last step deals with uploading your xml file generated above. In case you are filing directly you need to just upload the return as a final step.

E verification is a new and emerging option to not sign and send rather electronically authenticate your return through OTP. It saves lot of time, money and energy which was invested in traditional way of signing your ITR V acknowledgement and posting it to CPC. E verifying your return also ensures faster processing of returns.

Want to avoid this long and tedious process?

Just File Your Income Tax Return with Tax2win!

Abhishek Soni

Abhishek Soni is a Chartered Accountant by profession & entrepreneur by passion. He is the co-founder & CEO of Tax2win is amongst the top 25 emerging startups of Asia and authorized ERI by the Income Tax Department. In the past, he worked in EY and comes with wide industry experience from telecom, retail to manufacturing to entertainment where he has handled various national and international assignments.