How To File Income Tax Return Online And Offline?


An income tax return is an Income tax form that you need to fill in and submit to the Income Tax Department. In this form, you need to provide specifics details of your income and taxes (taxes that you may have paid or other individuals who may have deducted your tax)[1].

Different types of Income Tax Return Forms are as follows[2]:

ITR 1: Form which is applicable for an individual who has no income other than pension/ salary and interest.

ITR 2: This type refers to a person who has income under various heads but not income from business/profession.

ITR 3: This form is applicable to a person who is a partner in a partnership firm.

ITR 4: Form which is applicable for an individual who gets income from profession/ business.

ITR 5: This is applicable for BOI, AOP, Firms, Local Authority.

ITR 6: This is applicable to any company.

ITR 7: This form is germane for trust.

The e-Filing of Income Tax Return

The e– filing of income tax returns attributes to the process of electronically filing income tax returns.

Now you don’t have to stand in long queues to file income tax returns. The Income Tax Authority developed the customized return form which is accessible on the Department’s website. These forms have been made up with such features that taxpayers need not file any supporting documents with them.

The user can file the Income Tax Return (ITR) in two different ways-

  1. a) Online
  2. b) Offline

Online Income Tax Return Filing:

Enter the appropriate data (details) directly online at the e-filing portal and then submit it. The taxpayer can be filed for ITR 1 and ITR 4 online[3].

Step 1: Click on the Income Tax e-Filing portal,

Step 2: Log in to the e-Filing portal by entering user ID (PAN), captcha code, password and then click ‘Login’.

Step 3: Go to the ‘e-File’ menu and select the ‘Income Tax Return’ link.

Step 4: On Income Tax Return Page:

  • PAN will be auto-populated
  • Select ‘Assessment Year’
  • Select ‘ITR Form Number’
  • Select ‘Filing Type’ as ‘Original/Revised Return’
  • Click on the ‘Submission Mode’ as ‘Prepare and Submit Online

Step 5: Click on ‘Continue’

Step 6:  Read the directions carefully and fill in all relevant and mandatory fields of the Online ITR Form.

Note: To prevent loss of data/rework throughout the session, press the ‘Save Draft’ button on a regular basis to save the inserted ITR info as a file. The saved draft will be available for a period of 30 days from the date of saving or till the date of filing of the return or unless there is any change in the XML schema of the notified ITR (whichever is faster).

Step 7: Select the appropriate verification choice in the ‘Taxes paid and verification’ tab. Select any of the following options to confirm the income tax return:

Step 8:  I would like to e- Verify.

Step 9: I would like to e-Verify later within 120 days from the date of filing.

Step 10: I do not want to e-Verify and would like to send the signed ITR-V to the “Centralized Submission Centre, Income Tax Department, Bengaluru-560 500” within 120 days from the date of filing through normal or speed post.

Step 11: Click on the ‘Preview and Submit’ button to confirm all details entered in the ITR.

Step 12: ‘Submit’ the ITR.

Step 13: On Selecting ‘I would like to e-Verify’ choice, e-Verification can be done by any of the following methods by entering the EVC/OTP when asked for.

Step 14: To submit the IPR automatically submit the EVC / OTP within 60 seconds.

Step 15: The submitted ITR should be verified later by using the option ‘My Account > e-Verify Return’ or by sending the signed ITR-V to CPC.[4]

Offline Income Tax Return Filing:

Download the appropriate ITR, fill in the form offline, save the created XML file and upload it.

The user should download either of the following ITR utility in order to e-File an ITR using the XML upload method: Excel Utility/ Java Utility.

Step 1: Go to the Income Tax e-Filing portal

Step 2: Download the Appropriate ITR utility under ‘Downloads > IT Return Preparation Software.’

Step 3: Extract the downloaded ZIP utility file and Open the Utility from the extracted folder.

(For more information click on the ‘Read me’ document).

Step 4: Fill in the appropriate and necessary fields of the ITR form.

Note: Pre-filled XML can be downloaded post login to the e-Filing portal from ‘My Account > Download Pre-Filled XML’ and can be transferred to the utility for pre-filling the personal and other available details.

Step 5: Verify all the tabs of the ITR form and measure the tax.

Step 6: Generate and Save the XML.

Step 7: Log in to the e-filing portal by entering the User ID (PAN), Password, Captcha code and then click ‘Login.’

Step 8: Click on the ‘e-file’ menu and click the ‘Income Tax Return’ link.

Step 9: On Income Tax Return Page:

PAN will be self-populated

Click ‘Assessment Year’ Select ‘ITR Form Number’

Click on the ‘Filing Type’ as ‘Original/Revised Return’ Select ‘Submission Mode’ as ‘Upload XML’

Step 10: Choose any of the options to verify the Income Tax Return.

Step 11: Click ‘Continue’

Step 12: Attach the ITR XML file.

Step 13: DSC as verification option, Add the signature file created by the DSC management utility.

Step 14: Aadhaar OTP as a verification method, Enter the Aadhaar OTP received in the mobile number registered with UIDAI.

Step 15: EVC via bank account,  Demat account or bank ATM as verification option, Enter the EVC received in the mobile number registered with the bank or Demat account.

Step 16: Other two authentication options, the ITR must be submitted, but the process of filing the ITRs will not be finished before it has been checked. The submitted ITR should be e-Verified later by using the alternative ‘My Account > e-Verify Return’ or the signed ITR-V should be sent to CPC, Bengaluru.

Step 17: Submit the ITR to view the uploaded ITRs.

Note: Pursuant to section 139(5) of the Information Technology Act[5], it is specified that, after filing their return, if an individual discovers some omission or incorrect statement, may file a revised return.


A lot of people seem to think that filing a tax return is voluntary and therefore dismiss it as unnecessary and burdensome. As we see, this is not a very healthy prospect of tax filing.

The filing of tax returns is an annual practice seen as a moral and social responsibility of every citizen of the country. It is the basis for the government to decide the amount and means of expenditure of people and to provide a forum for the assessor to demand reimbursement, among other types of relief from time to time.

As Arthur Vanderbilt stated ‘Taxes are the lifeblood of government and no taxpayer should be permitted to escape the payment of his share of the burden of contributing thereto.’[6]


[2] Way to e- filing of income tax return by Prof. Dr. Kriti Pandey


[4] Supra note 3

[5] The Information Technology Act, 2000


This Article is Authored by Amisha Sah, 2nd Year, B.B.A LL.B, Student of NMIMS.

Also Read- Benefits of Filing ITR Even When Income is Below the Taxable Limit

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