ITR Filing: Govt income tax website or private website?

At the end of every financial year, salaried employees are handed over the Form 16 that needs to be duly filled by you to ensure that your employer has deducted accurate TDS from your salary. ITR filing is a compulsory process for all the individuals regardless of the fact that your tax is deducted each year and you have no tax based dues left. If your annual income exceeds the minimum exempted limit for tax, then you need to file an ITR.

Internet platform for e-filing of ITR:

Before internet took over the lengthy process of filing an ITR with the income tax department, the process used to take months to be completed successfully. However, the offline process for ITR filing still continues till date. A major section of ITR filing or e-filing income tax has moved to an internet-based platform.

Most of the private tax-payers have chosen to make the efile income tax system a mandatory part of the income tax return process. This helps a smooth operation of the same without the hassles of maintaining a lot of paper documents. Online tax e-filing has been termed compulsory in cases such as:

  • Yearly income crosses the threshold of INR 5 lakh or a refund is being claimed. The same does not apply to the Super Senior Citizen Furnishing with ITR1/ITR2.
  • Accounts that must be audited as per the section 44AB.
  • The applicable return on income tax has been furnished as per the rules under ITR-3/ITR-4.

The individuals who are free to file an offline ITR are as follows:

  • People who have attained the age of 80 years or more at any point in the present financial year.
  • People who generate a yearly income that is less than INR 5 lakh and the individuals who need not claim any refund during the income tax return.

Apart from the government based option for e-filing income tax, many private websites have come into play to help ease the load on the official website and ensure accurate submission of the ITR. These private companies are permitted by the officials from Income Tax Department to help the individuals who have incomplete knowledge about the process of online tax e-filing.

What is the difference between filing your ITR from the private website as opposed to official website by the government?

When you opt to choose the official government website for your online tax e-filing requirements, you get the same for free regardless of the form you plan on using for the return. However, an efile income tax via the private website could incur you some costs for the complex part of the procedure with the basics free as the government websites.

If an individual chooses to efile income tax via the department’s official website, the person needs to pick the type of IT Form by himself by going through all the rules, regulations and guidelines provided under each type of IT Form. This makes the process a rather complicated one.

On the other hand, when an individual files his ITR form via any private website, he gets a set of well-built software that makes the tax easy by simply uploading your Form-16 by filing up all the required data. The data obtained via the form is automatically filled in at the required places in the future process of e-filing income tax.

Most of the private websites incorporate the use of a questionnaire based module for the users where they answer all the required questions and the system automatically fills in the details for the users. The user need not search through each and every section of the form and fill it up accordingly which is time-consuming.

E-filing income tax when done via the platform used on the government website can be hectic with a need for a number of software to support the process. The ITR based forms available with the government websites operate on two formats namely-Java and Excel. To help with proper form filing process, numerous excel based functions need to be enabled which includes ‘ActiveX’ as well as ‘Macros’.

Now, when your work on your e-filing process with the help of private websites, most of the software-based concerns are taken care of for your ease. However, this ease charges you with some fees which when compared with the free services of government website are rather affordable to avoid the unnecessary hassles. The user-friendly interface in the private website helps the user guide through the entire process with ease without committing any kind of error during the e-filing process.

However, when you tread through the pages of private websites, make sure fill in your details after checking the authenticity of the same without getting affected by any kind of online scam which is highly possible in the internet platform.


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