How the process of e-filing IT returns works

By | July 5, 2010

The process of electronically filing Income tax returns through the internet is known as e-Filing. It is a simple process in which, you need to fill up the tax return form provided online and the other required information about income, expenditure and savings. Then, it is just a matter of logging into the income tax website and following simple instructions.

The period between April and July consists of a lot of running around for people to file their income tax returns. It is a legal obligation for every individual to file a return of income, whose taxable income during the year has exceeded the exemption limit of Rs 1.5 L  (Rs 1.8 L in case of females and Rs 2.25 L in case of senior citizens).

Filing of income tax returns is generally seen as time-consuming and people leave it to their chartered accountants to do it or get in touch with someone who, for some amount of money, would do it for them. However, the Income Tax department has made it easier for people to file their returns – by providing a portal to file their returns online or e-Filing.

What is e-Filing?

The process of electronically filing Income tax returns through the internet is known as e-Filing. It is a simple process in which, you need to fill up the tax return form provided online and the other required information about income, expenditure and savings. Then, it is just a matter of logging into the income tax website and following simple instructions.

Who can use the e-Filing facility?

Any individual or organization that files returns using the general method can take advantage of this facility. The pre-requisite for filing online is that you must have a valid PAN number. Direct E-filing is available for Form Nos. ITR-1, ITR-2, ITR-3, ITR-4, ITR-5, ITR-6 and ITR-8.

However, as per Section 206 of Income Tax Act all corporate and government deductors are compulsorily required to file their TDS return on electronic media (i.e. e-TDS returns). It is mandatory for Companies and Firms requiring statutory audit u/s 44AB to submit the Income tax returns electronically. However, for other deductors, filing of e-TDS return is optional.

Which are the sites used for e-Filing of Returns?

There are many sites on the internet which offer services which help you file your taxes online. However, E-Filing of tax should be done on and use for more information.

When do you file your returns?

The last date for filing return of income for the year ended March 31, 2009 is July 31, 2009 and for individuals who are required to get their books of accounts audited under the Income Tax Act, it is October 31, 2009. If individuals file their returns after the last date mentioned above, they will be charged a penal interest at the rate of 1% per month of delay. However, if such a return is filed after March 31, 2010, apart from the penal interest, they will also be liable for a penalty of Rs 5,000.

What steps to follow to e-File income tax returns?

To file you rincome tax returns online, you need to:

  1. Register at
  2. Complete Registration process
  3. Login to Income-Tax Portal
  4. Download and fill the relevant form
  5. Create XML e-Return file
  6. Upload e-Return file to Income-Tax Server
  7. Print Acknowledgement
  8. Incase the return is digitally signed, on generation of ‘Acknowledgement’; the Return Filing process gets completed. Assessee may take a printout of the acknowledgment for his record.
  9. Incase the return is not digitally signed, on successful uploading of e-Return, the ITR-V Form would be generated which needs to be printed by the tax payers. This is an acknowledgment cum verification form. The tax payer has to fill-up the verification part and verify the same. A duly verified ITR-V  form should be mailed to  ‘Income Tax Department – CPC, Post Box No – 1, Electronic City Post Office, Bangalore – 560100, Karnataka’  within 30 days after the date of transmitting the data electronically or visit The TIN Facilitation Centers of the NSDL. You can check out which centre is closest to you, here. They will help you upload verified ITR-V form to the TIN central system.

What are the benefits of e-Filing of taxes over paper filing?

One of the foremost benefits of e-filing is the flexibility of filing your returns anywhere / anytime. You just need to have access to an internet connection. Other than this, online tax returns are processed much faster than paper returns and the tax is worked out automatically as the payee completes the form. With this the payee also gets the acknowledgment slip immediately. Also online filing is a safe and secure mode. Lastly, you can forget about standing in long queues since you can file your returns sitting in the comfort of your homes.

How popular is it currently?

According to the income tax department data, online filing of returns by salaried employees and interest or pension earners has jumped four times to 5.8 lakh returns in 2008-09 vis-à-vis 1.43 lakh a year ago. The aggregate online filing by individuals and corporates surged more than two times during 2008-09 to 48.3 lakh against 21.92 lakh returns filed in 2007-08. Needless to say, e-Filing of tax returns is gaining tremendous popularity.

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37 thoughts on “How the process of e-filing IT returns works

  1. Naresh Sharma


    It is wrong to give impression that general public is filing the returns thru net. e-filing is again being done by CAs. who were previously doing physically.
    further the maximum exempt income is 150,000

    1. admin

      Hi Mr.Sharma,

      Thanks for visiting us. We have corrected the figures on tax exemption limits. On the other aspect, though most people still feel comfortable about their auditors filing their returns, who do it online these days, it is very much possible to individuals to file their returns on their own, online as well. Thks.


    Notwithstanding the e-filing of TDS Returns,the ITOs do not bother to go to the e-return servers to retrieve data and verify themselves. This results in unnecessary scrutiny of selected assessees and harassment.


    The last sentence "or visit the TIN Facilitation Centre" is incomplete. It is not clear whether we forward the "hard copy with signature" to the TIN facilitation centre or again a "floppy copy" of the IT Return filed.

    1. admin

      They will help you upload your verified ITR-V form info to the TIN central system and record the acceptance through the hard copy submitted. Alternatively they will also help you file your returns.

      TIN Facilitation Centers are available at 478 locations across the country

      Activities carried out by these TIN Facilitation Centers are:

      * Receive e-TDS/TCS returns from deductors/collectors and upload them to the TIN central system.
      * Receive TDS/TCS returns in paper format from non-corporate, non-government deductors/collectors and upload them to the TIN central system.
      * Receive Annual Information Returns from filers and upload them to the TIN central system.
      * Receive Request for New TAN and / or Changes or Correction in TAN data from applicants.
      * Receive Request for New PAN card and / or Changes or Correction in PAN data from applicants


    Admin has responded to my query with the remark that TIN info will upload the ACK ITR-V form to the TIN Central system. So the ACK ITR-V form which is generated automatically on your e-filing is once again to be "uploaded" into TIN INFO centre?
    That apart,do we file the hard-copy with the CPC BLR only and not with any of the IT Dept.locally? And do we have to attach other documents like working of the IT and copies of TAX Payments and Salary TDS Form 16 along with the hard copy? From the last year I understood that the local IT Depts. were NOT accepting the attachments. As a result in my case and in the case of another colleague of mine the IT Officer simply "IGNORED" the Form 16 TDS Certificate and issued Notice to pay the amount. This is ridiculous.

  5. Anonymous

    Last year i filed my income tax online. its easy and good. CA`s just charge for nothing.


    e-filing is easy this time compared to last year. The validation of each page is done in seconds, which was not the case previously (as IT portal will not support the time consumed and keep trying again and again to complete the process). The arrangement of getting Ack – form V from the CPC, Bangalore was done in 15 days of submission of the e return. Hope it is good as on date. Still, the rush for returns going to be in thousands per day in the days to come, let us wait and watch what the Income Tax department's portal's response for the loading time.

  7. yogishiva

    e-filing is easy,They will help you upload your verified ITR-V form info to the TIN central system and record the acceptance through the hard copy submitted. Alternatively they will also help you file your returns.

    TIN Facilitation Centers are available at 478 locations across every country in the world.

  8. Dr.Praveen

    In Future if you need any sort of Loan ,Will the financial institutions accept the Digital acknowledgment ? I am doubtful many people including institutions are not aware of digital signature.

  9. krishnan nair

    I have not filed my returns till date for a single accounting year. If i want to file returns from 2006-07, 2007-08 and 2008-09, what will be penalty for me.. I earned around 25k to 35k per month doing photography, vdo shooting, and real estate consultancy job (both are not yet registered). can u suggest me a proper way to make it systematic.

    1. anand

      Show the aggregate income of last 3 years as the income under business and profession in the year in which you intend to file the return.claim allowable deductions like salary to staff,office maintenance expenses,telephone,depreciation,books and periodicals etc other expenses etc and reduce your liability.Ideally i am of the opinion that the expenses in your business would come to 60 to 70% of your income. for balance 30% show deductions under 80 C 80G etc and you could bring your Liability to the minimum tax zone.quote your PAN No in your return.File ITR 4 either online or as a hardcopy


    I sent my wife's ACK ITR-V form ALONG with my mine and my Housing Society's in a Single Envelope – one week back to CPC Bangalore by ORDINARY POST from DADAR Main Post Office,Mumbai for Rs.5/-Postage.
    I am wondering whether I should have either a)SENT each separately or b)Sent ALL BY UCP(Under Certificate of Posting).
    I keep wondering whether these CPC Chaps at BLR will come out with a theory that they "will NOT accept Combo-Hard copies" of more than ONE per Envelope.
    Will someone enlighten me on this?

  11. ANAND

    The objective is to ensure that ITR V reaches the IT Department Postal address at Bangalore.It does not matter whether you enclose one ITR V per cover or multiple ITR V per cover.The IT rules are silent on this.It is good practice to superscribe your PAN Nos on the cover if you are sending multiple ITR V in the same envelope. Since the processing of E returns is being done by Infosys on behalf of the IT Department i think that they will not insist on the one return per envelope theory.It is also good practice to send all such documents in future by Registered post with acknowledgement due.

  12. Saijash

    I am working in Japan for Last 6 years, and I don't have income in India. Do I still have to file returns?

    1. anand

      You dont satisfy the basic condition of being a resident in India from what i see which is physical presence in India for 182 days during the previous year and 365 days during 4 years preceding the relavant previous year.You fall in the category of NRI/NORI and your global income which is in Japan will not be brought to tax in India.However any Income which accrues to you or is deemed to arise or accrue in India will be brought to tax.You will then have to file a return through a representative assessee in India.Otherwise no need to file your returns.


    ANAND: Thanks for your info. I am glad to state that all 3 ACK were acknowledged by CPC BLR as I got all three ACKV Confirmations by separate emails as given in the E-filing. Thank God for small mercies.
    But the latter part of your info is incorrect. If you send by Regd.A/D it will be rejected,which kindly note. The IT Dept.Note is very categorical in that regard.


    It might interest readers to note that I have also done PLAN B,viz. filing of Physical Return with copies of your Form 16,Interest details,copies of all your claims of 80C Deductions and Investments with the local IT Dept. of your jurisdiction. The particualr software I am using "SENSYS E-Expert" has helped me do this and a separate physical ACK from the local IT Dept. will make doubly sure that the IT Dept.cannot send a NOtice to you saying you have NOT FILED IT Return for a particularAY….AFTER 3 years!!???

  15. girish amin

    the site is fantastic.FM Chidamram during his regime had promoted e filing. Today excise & service tax besides others is e- filed.This initiatve by the dept is indeed very welcome. Besides it is also very simple for the lay man to understand

  16. Ananda

    I filed my returns by e-file and sent off the printout to the CPC via ordinary post.
    To my surprise and astonishment, i recd. acknowledgement email in 5 days.
    The Govt. can be efficient if it choses to be.

  17. Balaji

    Is it required to get the acknowledgement from IT dept on the ITR-V form. I can download the ITR-V from the website for last year(FY2007-08).

    I dont remember whether I posted it to the IT office in Elect. city or not. Is there a way to get acknowledgement seal from IT dept now for returns filed last year.


  18. Setu

    How does the tax refund works when the return is done bu e-filling, and the excess tax has been deducted by TDS.

  19. anand

    efiling and the refund procedure are independent of each other.Based on your efiled returns if you have indicated the refund amount without omitting your sources of income. you should get a prompt direct refund to your bank account if you have mentioned your nine digit Bank MICR No and Bank Branch address details

  20. shine

    I submitted through e-filing and with digital signature. Surprisingly I got ITRV generated with message to send by post. Any one has seen similar issue ?

  21. George Rego

    I'm a non-resident Indian. I have a few NRO fixed deposits where TDS has occured. As I don't have to pay tax as long as I am an NRI can I do efiling IT Returns? and how do i claim the refund of the TDS.


  22. Kesav Edp

    I have seen this in my case last year. I have received the first e-mail from IT dept to sign and send ITR-V through post. Again I received a second e-mail after 3 days from IT dept to ignore the first e-mail stating it was sent inadvertently. But remember I filed through Taxsmile and I contacted them about the first e-mail I received from the IT dept. So they might have contacted the IT dept on my behalf to resolve the matter.

  23. Kesav Edp

    You have to provide your bank details (MICR Code and/or IFSC code, AC number) when you fill the details online. Excess tax deducted will be credited directly to your back account.

  24. Kesav Edp

    A small correction. You have 120 days instead of 30 days to send back the signed ITR-V to Bangalore IT dept.

  25. ramesh

    when can we file our it returns for ay 2009-10 of firm liable for audit u/s.44ab

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