It may be necessary for a taxpayer to file an income tax return to report his income, to carry forward losses, or to claim a tax refund. Note it is important to keep all the documents required for calculation and reporting data handy. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to file an ITR.

Step 1 - Calculate Your Income and Taxes

According to the income tax laws that apply to you, you must calculate your income. You must include all forms of income in the calculation, including salary, freelancing, and interest revenue. You can claim the deductions such as tax-saving instruments under Section 80C and so on. It is also important to consider credit for TDS, TCS, or any advance tax paid by you.

Step 2 - Tax Deducted at Source (TDS) Certificates and Form 26AS

Using the TDS certificates you received for all four quarters of the financial year, sum up your TDS amount. The Form 26AS provides a summary of the TDS and taxes paid by you during the year.

Step 3 - Select the Correct Income Tax Form

In order to file an income tax return, you must determine which income tax form/ITR form he should use. Once you have determined the income tax form, you can proceed to file the income tax return.

Step 4 - Download the ITR utility from the Income Tax Portal

Go to the site and click on 'Downloads' on the top menu bar.

Select the assessment year and download the offline utility software, for example, Excel or Java, or JSON, according to your preference.

Step 5 - Enter Your Details in the Downloaded File

You can download the offline utility, fill in the information regarding your income, and find out the amount of tax payable or refund due based on the utility's calculations. On the downloaded form, you can fill in the details of the income tax challan.

Step 6 - Check the information you entered

On the right-hand side of the downloaded form, you will see several buttons. To confirm all required information is entered, click the 'Validate' button.

Step 7 - Convert the file to an XML format

If the file is successfully validated, click the 'Generate XML' button on the right-hand side of the file to convert it into XML format.

Step 8 - Upload your XML file to the Income Tax Portal

Log in to the income tax e-filing portal and click on the 'e-File' tab to choose the option 'Income Tax Return'.

Details such as the PAN, assessment year, ITR form number, and mode of submission should be provided. Please select the option 'Upload XML' from the dropdown corresponding to the field name 'Submission Mode', as shown in the following image.

Choose from the following verification options: Aadhaar OTP, EVC, or sending a manually signed copy of ITR-V to CPC, Bengaluru.

Step 9 - Submit the ITR

Then, attach your XML file and click on the "Submit" button.

Step 10 - To view the uploaded ITRs


Common Mistakes to Avoid

When filling out your ITR, avoid these common mistakes:

  • Getting the incorrect form
  • Quoting the wrong assessment year
  • Providing incorrect personal information
  • Failure to reconcile TDS with form 26AS
  • Claiming a tax rebate twice
  • Waiting for the 11th hour


All the Best!