Note: This guide applies only to salaried individuals.The most important part of this exercise is to procure the Form 16, which is provided by your employer. It is a statement of your taxable salary, allowed deductions, and the tax that has been paid on your behalf. Also, banks and other financial institutions that deduct tax on the interest due to you are supposed to supply you with the Form 16A.
If that sounds Greek and Latin, all you need to do is contact the HR department and demand a copy of your Form 16. This needs to be done before 31st July, if you are eligible for tax refunds (this depends on the tax slab you fall in). However, if you aren't eligible and your salary is under 5 lakhs, you are exempt from filing returns. It is prudent to do so nonetheless. This is especially true if you intend to apply for home \ car loans in the future, since that requires I-T return details spanning the last three years.
With the Form 16 sorted out, you can then log on to the INCOMETAX INDIA website.
Step 1: Click on the Register link to create a new account. You are then prompted to enter your PAN number, which is assigned as your user ID.
Step 2: Enter your details in the registration form, following which you will receive a confirmation mail in the inbox of the specified email address. Keep your PAN card handy, because the details have to match those mentioned on the card.
Step 3: After verifying and logging into your spanking new account, you need to view the Form 26AS statement and ensure that the Tax Deducted at Source (TDS) amount matches the one mentioned in your Form 16. However, if the TDS amount in the Form 16 is more than that reflected in the Form 26AS, you cannot file your I-T return online. You will then have to contact your CA or the Form 16 issuer to correct the discrepancy.
To view the 26AS statement, click on the View Tax Credit Statement (Form 26AS) under the My Account drop-down menu at the top.
Step 4: In the subsequent form, select Assessment Year 2011-12 from the drop-down box, enter your Date of Birth, and click Submit.
Step 5: Note down the total TDS deposited (highlighted by the red box) and verify if it matches with the amount mentioned in your Form 16.
Step 6: Now, we need to download the I-T Return utility. To do so, select Individual, HUF from the e-Filing menu under the Download section at the top of the left hand side bar.
Use the table below to check which one of the ITR forms you are supposed to fill. Since this guide only covers salaried individuals, you'll have to select ITR-1. However, if you own a business or have amassed a truckload of money after selling off property, this guide is of no use to you. Then again, you're rich enough to hire a CA anyway.
That means you have to download either the PDF or Excel version of the I-T Return utility.