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How to Generate your Income Tax Return XML file for free?

Updated on: 23 Nov, 2023 01:22 AM

There are two ways of submitting an ITR, i.e., online and offline. To submit an ITR offline, you must first download the necessary income tax utility in either Excel or JSON format, then fill out the form, save your changes, produce an XML file, and upload it to the website. In this guide, let’s have a look at how to generate your Income tax return using XML file.

What is an ITR XML file?

ITR XML is a specific file format that is generated after filling the required data of your Income Tax Return in an offline utility. Now you have an idea as to what the ITR XML file is, so let us get onto the next part.

What are the various methods of filing ITR online?

When you are filing ITR online, you can do it in three ways. First, by filling the required information directly in an online form & submitting it. Another by downloading the form, filling in the required info, generating XML file and uploading it online. You can also use Tax2Win’s self-filing portal for free

How to file ITR with an XML File?

Step 1: Without logging in to your account on the portal, download the relevant offline utility from Home > Downloads. Install it on your computer and move to Step 2.

offline utility from Home

Step 2: Install and open the utility. Please note that the utility version will get updated when you are connected to the internet (in case of version updates). Once you have opened the utility, click Continue. ITR forms that can be downloaded. Select the Assessment Year for which you want to file ITR. You can either use Excel Utility or Java Utility, but the most preferred way to generate XML file is through Excel Utility. Download the ITR form you need to file.

Install and open the utility

Step 3: You will land on the Income Tax Returns page, where you will see the given screen:


JSON is a file format used when downloading or importing your pre-filled return data into the offline utility, and is also used when generating your prepared ITR in the offline utility. Preview and Submit Income Tax Returns to learn the return filing process in the offline utility.

pre-filled return data

Step 4: Under the Returns tab, click File Returns for the relevant AY to start.

click File Returns

Step 5: Select the relevant option that is applicable to you.

Select the relevant option

Step 6: Complete the process and on the Complete your verification page, select your preferred option, and click Continue.

Step 7: You will be taken to the e-Verify page to e-Verify your return.

e-Verify your return

Applicability of ITR Form you should file with

  • ITR Form-1
    1. Resident Individuals having total income upto Rs. 50 lakh. (Non- Residents are not eligible to fill ITR-1)
    2. Individual having following source of income :
      - Salary Income
      - One House Property
      - Other source Income
      - Agriculture Income upto Rs. 5,000/-
  • ITR Form-2
    1. Any individual or HUF who is a director in a company.
    2. Any individual or HUF who holds shares of an unlisted company.
    3. Any individual or HUF not having income from business and profession.
    4. Any individual or HUF whose Agriculture income exceeds Rs. 5,000/-
    5. Any individual or HUF who is having more than one house proper.
    6. Any individual or HUF who is a non-resident.
    7. Any individual or HUF whose total income exceeds Rs. 50 lakh.
  • ITR Form-3 Individual or HUFs who is having income from profit or gain from business.profession.
  • ITR Form-4 Individual who is falling under presumptive schemes under section 44AD, 44ADA or 44AE and having total income upto Rs. 50 lakh.
  • ITR Form-5 For Firm, AOP,BOI and LLP
  • ITR Form-6 For companies other than companies claiming exemption u/s 11
  • ITR Form-7 For persons including companies required to furnish return under sections 139(4A) or 139(4B) or 139(4C) or 139(4D)

Documents Required During Income Tax Filing?

You don’t need any physical documents during income tax filing. You just need to know the components of form 16 and the policies you have purchased for availing rebate in taxes.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q- What is the ITR XML file?

XML is a kind of file. When you convert an offline form to an XML file, it's much easier to upload the data you submitted. The data will be simply disseminated onto the income tax department's web repository after submitting the XML file.

Q- How do I open ITR XML in Excel utility?

How do you open a XML file in Word? Within Word, select File > Open, and choose your XML file. This will open the file in Word.

CA Abhishek Soni
CA Abhishek Soni

Abhishek Soni is a Chartered Accountant by profession & entrepreneur by passion. He is the co-founder & CEO of Tax2win is amongst the top 25 emerging startups of Asia and authorized ERI by the Income Tax Department. In the past, he worked in EY and comes with wide industry experience from telecom, retail to manufacturing to entertainment where he has handled various national and international assignments.