In the recent budget finance minister announced that tax payers would be able to use pre-filled income tax return (ITR) forms. The good news is you can now download these pre-filled ITR forms, but the bad news is its still not accurate. The idea was these pre-filled ITR forms would make return filing smoother, consume less time and have less chances of error.
As per my experience the start is good but we have a long way to go. In this post we tell you how to download/use these pre-filled ITR forms.
Pre-filled ITR Forms
Income Tax Return filing website has provision for online filing of ITR only for ITR-1 and ITR-4. In case you use the online form its pre-filled with a lot of data.
For ITR-2 and ITR-3 (also available for ITR-1 and ITR-4) you have to either download excel based or Java based utility and prepare your returns using them.
Download Pre-filled ITR XML
For ITR-2 and ITR-3, there is no provision to fill forms online. You need to download the utility and fill those to file your ITR. However, for these (all ITR forms) you can download pre-filled ITR XML files as shown below.
Login to Income Tax Return Filing website
Go to My Account >> Download Pre-Filled XML
You will be taken to the form below:
On Selecting the ITR Form applicable to you, you will be taken to next screen:
As shown in the screenshot, IT Department states that following information would be pre-filled:
- PAN, Name, Date of birth shall be prefilled from PAN database.
- Address, Aadhaar Number, mobile number, and e-mail ID will be prefilled from e-filing profile. You need to update your e-filing profile before proceeding.
- Employer details, allowances, and deductions shall be prefilled from Form 24Q, Annexure-II.
- Gross rent received or receivable or letable shall be prefilled from Form 26AS.
- Details about interest from a term deposit, dividend and other income chargeable under income tax law shall be prefilled from Form 26AS.
- Bank Account details shall be prefilled from e-filing profile or past income tax data.
- Tax payment, TDS and TCS details shall be prefilled from Form 26 AS.
Also Read: 25 Tax Free Incomes & Investments in India
Select Bank Account for Tax Refund and click on Download XML. The XML can also be downloaded if this account is not selected here.
You get a pop-up for prefill consent which tells “you that you agree to check all the pre-filled data and make necessary changes to report the correct details”. You must take this consent seriously as I could find some data which was missing.
How to Import Pre-Filled XML in ITR Utility?
There are two ITR utilities – Java and Excel. You can import the XML in both as shown below.
For importing XML in Excel utility:
For importing XML in Java utility:
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Here are some posts which can help you with e-filing of ITR 2019:
Pre-filled ITR Forms – Use with Caution
We checked a few cases on how good the pre-filled ITR forms are but found somethings missing. Here are some instances:
- Income from other sources was missing. Even though Form 26AS had few entries for interest from term deposit but it was not captured in ITR form.
- Deduction u/s 80D for payment of health insurance premium was missing in the pre-filled ITR form even though it was present in Form 16 issued by the employer.
- Deduction u/s 80C & 80CCD(1B) was rightly captured.
- Salary breakup was correct
- TDS & TCS information from Form 26AS was matching
- Other details related to name, PAN, address was matching.
To conclude, pre-filled ITR Form is good move but you must check every detail, and this is also recommended by the income tax department – as the responsibility of providing correct information lies with the tax payer.