File tax returns easily using the new Indian Income Tax initiative this year

File tax returns easily using the new Indian Income Tax initiative this year

With the latest deadline for filing taxes for individuals fast approaching, it is important to file your returns as soon as possible to beat the last-minute rush and penalties for delayed filing. While there are concerns and issues plaguing the newly launched website, there’s a silver lining to it. Earlier this year, the Income Tax Department had launched a new initiative called “Jhatpat Processing” aimed at simplifying the process to file taxes.

What exactly is “Jhatpat” Processing?

In this initiative, the ITD prefills your tax return forms thus avoiding hours of keying in your income and deduction details. Using your PAN number, they’re able to pull details about the Tax deductions made by your employer (details present in Form16), Tax returns from your Bank Deposit Interest, etc. automatically from other central government websites. With this initiative, The individual has to just review and confirm the details to file the returns. And the entire process along with e-verification of returns takes only 5 minutes to complete!

Woes of the newly launched Income Tax Website

The public has been raising concerns about the newly launched website regarding the speed of page loading, users not being able to log in, etc. We’re sure that these issues will be ironed out in the coming future as communicated by the government authorities. But there’s an alternate way to overcome these issues for a time being. The taxpayers can file their taxes using the offline utility (still digital) offered by the ITD which can be downloaded to your local PC.

Disclaimer: The following section simply explains the author’s experience in filing tax returns using the utility. This should not be considered as Financial advice and interpreted in any other way or form. If you’re not sure, please use a registered Chartered Accountant for filing your returns.

Filing Using the Offline Utility

  • Before proceeding with this method, ensure to register yourself in the newly launched Income Tax portal (https://www.incometax.gov.in) and keep your username/password details handy.
  • Naviagate to the “Downloads” Section of the website
  • Select the Assessment Year (E.g. 2021-2022 Assement Year for 2020-2021 Financial Year). Download the “Common Offline Utility” file – Usually a zip file around 90-100 MB size
File tax returns easily using the new Indian Income Tax initiative this year
  • Extract the contents of the Zip file and run the utility.
  • Allow any security/network permisssions pop-ups. This utility uses internet to communicate, file, and verify returns.
  • Click the “File Returns” button on the first page
File tax returns easily using the new Indian Income Tax initiative this year
  • Select “Download Pre-filled Data” and click continue.
File your tax returns easily using the new Indian Income Tax initiative this year
  • Enter your PAN Number and Select the Assessment Year (E.g. 2021-2022 Assement Year for 2020-2021 Financial Year)
File tax returns easily using the new Indian Income Tax initiative this year
  • Login using the same username and password credentials that you use for the Income Tax Website.
  • Once you login, you can see that the utility has downloaded your pre-filled return. Click on “File Return”
  • Select the other basic details shown.
  • If you’re aware of the ITR type that you need to file, select that from the drop down menu.
  • From here on, the utility guides you through all the steps to check the pre-filled details and confirm.
  • Click submit post the summary page to file your return after paying any pending tax dues.
  • After filing your return, you can also easily e-verify through the utility using the Aadhaar OTP option. (Again shouldn’t take more than 1 minute)

End Notes

This nifty utility from the Income Tax Department should hopefully help you file an e-verify your returns in a matter of minutes without frustration or confusion. Let us know your experience of using this functionality in the comments below and share this article with your friends and families.

Lastly, pay your taxes as a responsible citizen and help the Nation to Grow!

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