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How to File ITR Online?

As a taxpayer, you can easily submit your Income Tax Returns (ITR) through online methods using the official portal of the Income Tax Department.

  • 5,485 Views | Updated on: Mar 26, 2024

The online filing of ITR is an easy and convenient method, allowing an individual to file their taxes instead of having to rely on a tax practitioner.

As the deadline to file the income tax return (ITR) draws closer, numerous last-minute hustlers struggle with the procedure that seems complicated at face value. Right about now, your company’s account department will be chasing you for the tax-saving investment proof, Form-16, identification proof, etc. The maximum penalty a taxpayer is required to pay for missing a deadline is ₹10,000, so completing the procedure well before the stipulated time is advisable.

Individuals have the option to file their ITR online or offline. Online filing involves downloading the ITR preparation software, filling in details, generating a JSON (JavaScript Object Notation) file, and submitting it via the official e-filing portal. Offline filing requires downloading the ITR form, filling in details, gathering supporting documents, calculating tax liability, and submitting either physically or through electronic verification. Let’s go through it in detail.

What is an Income Tax Return?

The Income Tax Return is a form that should be submitted to the Income Tax Department of India after the financial year. As the name suggests, this form contains information about an individual’s income and the taxes that need to be paid on it. The ITR form enables the taxpayer to declare his income, expenses, tax deductions, investments, taxes, etc. The information filled in the ITR pertains to a particular financial year starting from 1 April to 31 March of the following year. The different kinds of taxable income include:

  • Salaried income
  • Profits and gains from business
  • Income from house property
  • Income from capital gains
  • Income from miscellaneous sources such as dividends, interest on deposits, royalty income, winning a lottery, etc.

How to File ITR Online and Offline?

You have the option to file taxes online through the official income tax e-filing portal. It is essential to choose between the “online” or “offline” filing methods when submitting your return via the government portal.

Steps for Filing ITR in Online Mode

Step 1. Access the official website and utilize the designated option to log in.

Step 2. Download the ITR return preparation software, obtaining the essential Excel or Java utilities.

Step 3. The downloaded file will be in ZIP format.

Step 4. Extract the ZIP file and fill in the required fields within the utility.

Step 5. Ensure to click on “compute tax” after validating each sheet.

Step 6. Generate and save the XML utility.

Step 7. The Excel/Java tool is ready to upload to the website for electronic filing.

Step 8. Complete one of the six options for return verification before submitting the form.

Steps for Offline Filing Mode

Step 1. Visit the official website of the Income Tax Department and download the ITR form in either Excel or Java utility format, ensuring it corresponds to the relevant assessment year.

Step 2. Open the downloaded ITR form on your computer and provide the necessary details. Enter accurate information regarding your personal details, income, deductions, and tax liability per the form’s instructions.

Step 3. Gather all essential supporting documents, including Form 16, Form 26AS, TDS certificates, and pertinent financial statements, validating the information presented in your ITR.

Step 4. Determine your tax liability for the financial year using the appropriate tax slabs and deductions. If you have outstanding tax dues, settle them before filing your return.

Step 5. Ensure that all fields in the ITR form are accurately filled and free of errors. Thoroughly review the form to guarantee its accuracy and completeness.

Step 6. Once all necessary details are entered, use the provided utility to generate a JSON file of the ITR form. Save the JSON file on your computer.

Step 7. Upload the JSON file to submit the ITR form.

Step 8. Utilize methods such as Aadhaar OTP, net banking, or Electronic Verification Code (EVC) to complete the verification process with just a few clicks.

Filing ITR for FY 2024-25

While the final budget for FY 2024-25 is yet to be presented, no major changes have been announced for tax filing for AY 2024-25 in the interim budget. However, based on the interim budget and other announcements, here is what you might need to know:

No Changes to Tax Rates

The tax rates and slabs introduced in the previous budget are likely to remain unchanged for AY 2024-25. This means you will pay the same income tax depending on your income bracket under both the old and new tax regimes.

Income Tax Return Forms

The CBDT (Central Board of Direct Taxes) has released all ITR forms for AY 2024-25. These forms include new fields for disclosures like Legal Entity Identifier (LEI) number, acknowledgement number of the Audit Report and UDIN, and details of the Capital Gains Accounts Scheme.

Unchanged Standard Deduction

The standard deduction ₹50,000 for salaried individuals and pensioners under old and new tax regimes remains unchanged.

Section 87A Rebate Extended to the New Tax Regime

Individuals and HUFs opting for the new tax regime with net taxable income up to ₹7 lakhs can now claim the full rebate under Section 87A, which was earlier available only under the old regime. This means you can get a tax rebate of up to ₹25,000.

Who Needs to File the ITR?

If an individual’s gross total income exceeds the above-mentioned amount, they are mandatorily expected to file their ITR. In certain cases, even if the income does not exceed the mentioned amount, it is binding to file the returns. Following the current income tax laws, it is mandatory to file the ITR before the specified deadline if:

  • An individual has spent an amount or aggregate amount exceeding ₹2 lakhs for themselves or another individual traveling to a foreign country.
  • An individual has deposited an amount or the aggregate exceeding ₹1 crore in one or more current accounts maintained with a co-operative bank.
  • An individual has paid an electricity bill exceeding ₹1 lakh in a single bill or on an aggregate basis during the financial year.
  • An individual who receives income or holds assets and/or has the signing authority for any accounts in foreign countries.
  • An individual’s gross total income is beyond the exemption limit before claiming tax exemption on capital gains under sections 54, 54B, 54D, 54EC, 54F, 54G, 54GA, or 54GB.

Which Documents are Needed to File the ITR?

Before knowing how to file an income tax return online, it is important to gather all the necessary documents that will be needed to make the process easier. Here is a list of documents that will be needed for ITR filing online:


If you are a salaried taxpayer, Form-16 is a TDS certificate issued to you by your employer, which includes the salary paid to you and the TDS deducted from it. This form consists of two parts: Part A and Part B. The former includes the details of the tax deducted by your employer, your PAN number, and your employer’s TAN number. Part B of the form consists of the break-up of your gross salary, including exemption allowances, prerequisites, etc.

Interest Certificates from Banks and Post Offices

This certificate can be procured from banks or the post office to specify interest incomes such as savings accounts, fixed deposits, etc. Apart from this, you will also need to have the details of all the accounts you have held in the given financial year.

Tax-saving Investment Proofs

You need to reveal all the tax-saving investments you have made and the expenditures you have incurred under Section 80C of the Income Tax Act. The most common exemptions under Section 80C are:

  • Employee’s Provident Fund (EPF)
  • Public Provident Fund (PPF)
  • Equity Linked Savings Scheme (ELSS)
  • Life Insurance Premiums
  • National Pension Scheme (NPS) etc.

Apart from these, you will also need the following:

  • Form 26AS: Consolidated annual TDS statement that has the taxes that have been deducted at source and deposited under your PAN in any given year.
  • Personal Identification: Basic information such as your PAN, Aadhar, permanent address, etc.

Tax Exemption While Filing ITR

While the Indian government presented the Union Budget for 2023-24 in February 2023, which specified the exemption limit for AY 2024-25, the final budget for 2024-25 is yet to be presented. However, the basic exemption limit for the financial year 2023-24 (AY 2024-25) varies depending on your age and chosen tax regime:

New Tax Regime

Old Tax Regime

₹3 lakh for individuals below 60 years of age

₹2.5 lakh for individuals below 60 years of age

₹5 lakh for senior citizens (aged 60-75 years)

₹3 lakh for senior citizens (aged 60-75 years)

₹7.5 lakhs for very senior citizens (aged above 75 years)

₹5 lakh for very senior citizens (aged above 75 years)

Way Forward

Understanding the significance of the Income Tax Return (ITR) and its role in declaring income, expenses, deductions, and investments, it becomes imperative for individuals to adhere to the filing requirements. a proactive and informed approach to income tax filing ensures compliance with legal requirements and contributes to financial planning and responsible citizenship. It is a crucial responsibility that, when executed diligently, can lead to a smoother and more rewarding financial journey.

Key Takeaways

  • Individuals are advised to complete the procedure well before the stipulated time to avoid penalties, with a maximum penalty of ₹10,000 for missing the deadline.
  • Essential documents for filing ITR include Form-16 for salaried individuals, interest certificates from banks and post offices, and proof of tax-saving investment.
  • The exemption limits for different age groups are subject to the chosen tax regime, either old or new.



How can I file my income tax return by myself?

You can file your income tax return by yourself by using online platforms, downloading the ITR form, and submitting it through the official e-filing portal.


How do I file my individual ITR for the first time?

To file your individual ITR for the first time, download the relevant ITR form, fill in the required details, and submit it online or offline.


How much income is tax-free?

The amount of tax-free income varies based on factors like age and the chosen tax regime. Refer to the latest tax rules for specific exemptions.


What will happen if we do not file the ITR?

Not filing the ITR may result in penalties, and it is crucial to meet the deadline to avoid any financial consequences.


Is it compulsory to file the ITR?

Filing ITR is compulsory for individuals whose gross total income exceeds specified limits or those meeting specific criteria, as mandated by tax laws.

- A Consumer Education Initiative series by Kotak Life

Amit Raje
Written By :
Amit Raje

Amit Raje is an experienced marketer who has worked in various Fintechs and leading Financial companies in India. With focused experience in Digital, Amit has pioneered multiple digital commerce in India. Now, close to two decades later, he is the vice president and head of the D2C business department. He masters the skill of strategic management, also being certified in it from IIMA. He has challenged his challenges and contributed his efforts in this journey of digital transformation.

Amit Raje
Reviewed By :
Prasad Pimple

Prasad Pimple has a decade-long experience in the Life insurance sector and as EVP, Kotak Life heads Digital Business. He is responsible for developing user friendly product journeys, creating consumer awareness and helping consumers in identifying need for life insurance solutions. He has 20+ years of experience in creating and building business verticals across Insurance, Telecom and Banking sectors

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