Filing income tax returns has always been a struggle for Indians. From filing out the lengthy paper work to understanding the basic documentation required to file income tax return, ITR has been a huge problem for many Indians.  However, the Indian government has simplified this process as well and starting April 1 the new form for E-filing of ITR or income tax returns will be introduced. The Income Tax department has reduced the length three page form for the salaried employees into a single page form which is easier to understand. The tax assessment for the financial year 2017-18 will become much easier as various columns have been removed and replaced by a simple and crisp IT returns to form. The IT department also plans to introduce its own online tax calculator to check the tax liability and calculate the tax to be paid. How to file advance tax in India? Steps to file Income tax online, eligibility criteria & last date of filing returns. Also Read - India's Direct Tax, Advance Tax Collections Grow Despite Covid Pandemic, Net Collections at Rs 9.45 lakh crore

There are currently 18 different columns for claiming deductions in income tax returns under section 80. The various sub-sections of Section 80 of income tax act help in claiming various deductions by investments in LIC, PPFs as well as repayment of housing loan and payment of medical insurance premium. Section 80C of the IT Act allows a deduction of up to Rs 1.5 lakh to be claimed from the total income from investments in LIC and PPF and repayment of housing loan. Section 80D allows tax payers to receive a tax deduction for medical insurance payments. Also Read - Government Extends Last Date For Linking Aadhaar with PAN from 31st March to June 30 | Details Here

Here is a step by step process for e-filing of income tax returns

1. The first step to filing income tax returns is to register on the income tax department’s tax filing website, incometaxindiaefiling.gov.in. It is necessary to have a PAN card to register, and as per the new law, Aadhar number will also become mandatory for registering. Also Read - After Banning TikTok, India Freezes Bank Accounts of ByteDance For Alleged Tax Evasion: Report

2. After logging in to the website, you can either download the form (ITR-1 for salaried taxpayers and pensioners), fill it up and upload the completed form online or chose to fill the form online by selecting the quick e-file option.

3. Once the ITR form has been filled upload or submit the form with the required documents. Salaried taxpayers need to attach Form 16 from their employers and other relevant documents for the deductions.

4. If the form has been filled offline, a XML version of the document needs to be uploaded online. Once the .xml file is ready click on the upload XML tab and files, the IT returns.

5. On submitting the, IT returns to form an acknowledgement receipt is generated. If a digital signature is used, then this number needs to be preserved. When a digital signature is not used, an IRT-V is directly generated and sent on mail. This is the final step which validates the tax filing process.

E-filing facility for ITR 1 will be enabled from April 1 and ITR can be filed until July 31. The forms for filing ITR also differ for different people. While salaried taxpayers, pensioners and HUFs (Hindu Undivided Families) without any family business can file ITR 1-SAHAJ, 2 and 2A, ITR 4S – SUGAM can be used by an individual or HUF whose income includes business income.

From April 1 the 3-page form of ITR will be shortened down to one single page, and various mandatory sections like disclosure of foreign trips and dormant bank accounts have been removed. The main aim of this simplification is to motivate more people to file income tax returns and give a boost to the number of taxpayers. Currently, around six crore people from the total 29 crores PAN holders file for income tax returns and this latest effort hopes to increase this number exponentially. (Inputs from PTI)