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July 31 is the last date I think to file the Tax returns in India this year Well, now you can file these IT (Income Tax) returns online. It is VERY EASY, I just did it for myself, VERY SIMPLE STEPS and your returns can be filed and acknowledgment received all just by few keyboard strokes and few mouse clicks! All in a matter of 10 minutes! Einstein had once said that filing tax returns was what he considered to be very difficult, I don’t think so or probably I don’t have a complex income like how Einstein had ;) So here we go.. NOTE: I am assuming you are a salaried professional, else the steps might vary depending on how you really make money, so before you start read the disclaimer at the end ;) Requirements: First you need to have two things next to you. Your PAN Card and Your Form 16 Then you need to have the latest version of Adobe Acrobat Reader installed in your system so that you can open and fill in the e-form Next ensure that your system date is correct in your computer, else the acrobat reader will complain when you open the e-form later. Registration Go to https://incometaxindiaefiling.gov.in/portal/register.jsp and register yourself by providing your PAN number etc Login Go to https://incometaxindiaefiling.gov.in/portal/login.jsp and login into your account registered above. You will have to use your PAN number as your user name. Download the PDF NOTE: I am assuming you are a salaried professional Next click on Return Preparation Software If you are a salaried professional click, then click on PDF Utility next to ITR-1 and download the PDF file for the ITR form to your local system You can also download the corresponding help ITR-1 with Instructions to help you to fill in the downloaded form. Fill the ITR Form Open the first PDF downloaded above and start filling it. As you can see it is a simple 2 page PDF form which you can fill. You can also use the second pdf downloaded above which contains useful tips to fill in the ITR form Your personal details are easy to fill. Then rest of the sections are mostly a copy paste from your Form 16. Check Form Once you have completed filling all the mandatory fields in the two pages, Click on the Check Form button at the bottom of the second page. If you have missed out any fields, then it will alert you when you click this button. Generate Bar Code Once you have completed filling all the fields, Generate BarCode and Export To XML buttons will be enabled, till then they will be disabled. So now click on Generate Bar Code button. The BarCode (!) will be generated in the background. Dont worry too much about what it does or what it means, even I dont know :) Export To XML Now click on Export To XML button and it will prompt you to save an XML file. Do not change the name of the XML file, just save it as it is to some location in your system. Upload the XML Again go to https://incometaxindiaefiling.gov.in/portal/login.jsp and login into your account. On the left hand side, there is a Submit return link. Click on it. The page displayed now will provide you an option to Upload the XML file. Upload the XML file generated in the earlier step and Click Upload Download the Verification Form And thats it! You should receive a message saying Your returns have been successfully uploaded. with a link at the bottom Click Here to download ITR-V. Click that link and download your ITR-V form. Thanks to Pavithra here is more info provided by her about the ITR-V form that you downloaded. The ITR-V form is not the acknowledgment, but it is the Verification form. You get this if you have not attached the digital signature to your IT Returns. (You can buy digital signature – costs around 500Rs). If you get ITR-V form, you need to submit this form at the Income tax dept or the post office to complete the process of filing your returns. After doing this, you will get the acknowledgment. But, if you attach a digital signature, you will directly get an acknowledgement and you dont need to do any additional step! Troubleshooting I faced one problem explained below while uploading the XML file. Just in case you face the same problem, then you may probably want to look at what I did to resolve it. While uploading the XML file I received an error saying, Invalid DOB value. I opened the xml file and saw that the two date fields ITRForm:DOB and ITRForm:Date had no values in them. So if you know XML (which is very simple actually), just change these fields with appropriate values like 1979-09-25 and 2007-07-25 where the first one is your date of birth and the second one is the date on which you submitted your returns. I did not face any other problems to file the returns. Overall, I feel the power of technology has been put to very good use and life is more easier and simpler now. Hopefully in the future it will be even more simpler where in we have to just upload our Form-16, and lo, the returns are filed :) I have also sent a suggestion to the IT dept to make the process simpler further.. that they can direct the employers to provide Form 16 in an XML format or as a PDF to their employees. And the employees can simply login into their account in the IT dept website and upload the XML/PDF file as their returns which in turn can be processed by the IT dept software! Hope this helps, if it doesn’t, don’t bother me, because in that case you need a Chartered Accountant and NOT ME! Disclaimer : Let me repeat, I am not a Chartered Accoutant. This was just to help you file your returns online which I thought was simple enough for one to do it himself/herself, because I did it for myself and found it very easy. I have not reviewed what I have written above, so it may not be correct completely! I am in no way responsible if you get anything messed up while filing the IT returns nor do I represent any body or individual who can help you to file your returns. Simply put, these steps are GUIDELINES ONLY I am in no way responsible if something crashes your computer or for anything that happens to you or to anybody else, living or non living entity, before or on or after filing the returns! You are the answer to all your questions. You are the solution to all your problems