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A Step-by-Step Guide on How to File ITR Online, AY 2023-24

As the income tax season continues, it's a good idea to review the primary steps necessary for e-filing your returns.

Nine primary steps of how to file ITR online:

Step 1: Step one marks the calculation of income and tax

To begin with, the taxpayer is required to calculate their income based on the provisions of the applicable income tax law. This calculation should include all sources of income, such as salary, freelancing, interest income, and so on. Additionally, the taxpayer can claim deductions for tax-saving investments under section 80C, among others.

Moreover, the taxpayer should also consider any credit for TDS, TCS, or advance tax payments made by them.

Step 2: The second step pertains to TDS Certificates and Form 26AS

In the second step, the taxpayer should summarize their TDS amounts from the TDS certificates received for all four quarters of the financial year. Form 26AS can also help the taxpayer by providing a summary of the TDS and tax paid during the financial year.

Step 3: Determine the appropriate Income Tax Form

Before beginning the process of filing returns, the taxpayer must determine the appropriate ITR (Income Tax Return) form they need to fill out. It's possible to file returns either online or offline. While only ITR 1 and ITR 4 are available for online filing, all other income tax forms must be uploaded offline by generating XML and uploading it.

Step 4: Up next is downloading the ITR Utility from Income Tax Portal

To download the ITR utility software, the taxpayer must first visit the official income tax portal at and click on the 'Downloads' option on the top menu bar. After making the proper assessment year selection, you must download the offline utility programme, which can be either Microsoft Excel, Java, or JSON utility, depending on your preferences. However, it's crucial to note that the income tax department has discontinued the Excel and Java utility from AY 2020-21 onwards.

Step 5: This step entails completing the downloaded file with your details

After downloading the offline utility software, you must fill in all the relevant details regarding your income. Check the tax payable or refund receivable as calculated by the utility. You can also include the details of the income tax challan in the downloaded form.

Step 6: Up here, you will need to validate the information you registered

The downloaded form will have several buttons on the right-hand side. Click on the ‘Validate’ button to ensure all the necessary information has gotten provided.

Step 7: The seventh step encapsulates converting the file to XML Format

After successfully validating the form, click on the ‘Generate XML’ button on the right-hand side of the file to convert it into an XML file format.

Step 8: The last step needs you to upload the XML file to the Income Tax Portal

Next, log in to the income tax e-filing portal and select the ‘Income Tax Return’ option under the ‘e-File’ tab. Provide your PAN, assessment year, ITR form number, and submission mode. It's crucial to select the ‘Upload XML’ option from the dropdown menu corresponding to the ‘Submission Mode’ field, as shown in the image below.

Step 9: You can also e-verify

There are six modes available for e-verifying your return: Net banking, Bank ATM, Aadhaar OTP, Bank Account Number, Demat Account Number, and Registered Mobile Number & E-mail ID.


1) What is the significance of Income tax return filing?

The Income Tax Department requires individuals to file their returns only if their income exceeds the basic exemption limit or if they meet specific criteria. However, even if someone is not eligible, it is still beneficial to file the ITR for various reasons, such as creating a valid proof of income, applying for loans, credit cards, VISA applications, and more. This is particularly crucial for residents with assets located outside India or those with signing authority for accounts based outside India.

2) How to obtain a copy of your income tax return online?

  1. Log in to using your credentials.

  2. Click on "View Returns/Forms".

  3. Click "Submit" after selecting "Income Tax Returns" and the pertinent assessment year.

  4. A list of filed ITRs will appear. You can download an ITR-V acknowledgement number by choosing it. The ITR V PDF file will open, which can then get downloaded.

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