Did you know that you can file an income tax return even after missing the due date? Such a return, known as a belated income tax return, however, attracts a penalty charge according to the current income tax laws. For example, filing an ITR for financial year 2018-19 (assessment year 2019-20) by December 31 attracts a penalty of Rs 5,000 under the current rules, according to the Income Tax Department's website - incometaxindia.gov.in. However, the late filing fee cannot exceed Rs 1,000 for assessees with a total income up to Rs 5 lakh. (Also read: How to check status of e-filed income tax return)
Here's are eight steps one can follow to prepare and file an income tax return (ITR) online through the taxman's e-filing portal (incometaxindiaefiling.gov.in):
1. In order to access the online facility, the user is required to log in to the Income Tax Department's e-filing portal (incometaxindiaefiling.gov.in) by entering details such as the user ID, the password, and the date of birth (DoB). (Also read: Filing income tax return using Aadhaar leads to allotment of Aadhaar)
2. Once logged in, the user can access the "prepare and submit ITR online" option under the "e-file" section. Only the income tax return using forms ITR 1 and ITR-4S can be filed online. (Also read: Know all about income tax forms)
3. In the next step, the user is required to select either of the forms along with the relevant assessment year to proceed. (Also read: Steps to check status income tax return online)
4. The user can proceed by filling in the required details and clicking on the "submit" button to proceed.
5. After this, the user is required to upload the Digital Signature Certificate (DSC) if applicable, and click on "submit" to proceed.
6. Otherwise, the ITR verification form - also known as the ITR-V - is displayed. The user is required to click on the given link and download the ITR-V, which is also sent to the registered email address of the user.
7. If the ITR is uploaded with a Digital Signature Certificate, the return filing process is complete.
8. In case the return is not accompanied with a Digital Signature Certificate, the ITR-V form is printed, signed and physically sent to the Central Processing Centre (CPC), Bengaluru within 120 days from the date of online filing (also known as e-filing).
This completes the process of preparing and submitting an income tax return online.