Income tax returns can be filed in paper form as well as electronically. E-filing is the simpler, paper-less way to file your tax returns. It can be done for free through the Income Tax Department’s website as well as through third-party service providers. E-filing is hassle-free and mostly error-free. When the tax returns are prepared online, they are pre-checked for errors so that the taxpayer doesn’t get a notice from the IT department.
However, e-filing can be done only within certain deadlines. If you fail to meet the deadline, then you have to compulsorily file your returns in paper form.
For example, 31st March 2016 was the last date to e-file tax returns for FY2013-14 (AY2014-15). If you missed that deadline, you can now only paper file your returns for this period. The same would be the case for previous financial years.
So, if you got a notice from the IT department to paper file your tax returns or you want to do the same now that you have missed the e-filing deadline, this is how you can file your paper tax returns:
- You can use ClearTax to prepare your tax returns for free
- Once your returns are prepared, download the ITR file
- A printout of this ITR file has to be then submitted to the nearest local office of the Income Tax Department
- The receiving officer will give you a stamped acknowledgement upon receipt of your tax returns
This is how you file your paper income tax returns. You do not need to submit any documents at the time of filing your paper returns. However, the relevant documents should be kept handy and furnished if the tax department asks for them.