The Indian income tax department has launched a new tax portal and has also created new income tax utilities to enable income tax returns filers to file their tax returns.
Past years’ utilities could be run on Linux or any other operating system because they were written in Java. However, this time, the utilities are EXE files that can only run on Windows.
Therefore, the prerequisite to run the new utility is to install Wine emulator to run the EXE files of the income tax department.
To run the utilities in Linux, do the following:
Install Wine. To do so, refer this link https://askmeaboutlinux.com/2020/12/13/how-to-install-wine-5-0-3-stable-from-winehq-on-linux-mint-20-or-ubuntu/. Further instructions on installation are at https://wiki.winehq.org/ if you use other Linux distributions.
Download the income tax utility required for your return from https://www.incometax.gov.in/iec/foportal/downloads/income-tax-returns. I chose to download the Utility for ITR1-4 which was at this link https://www.incometax.gov.in/iec/foportal/sites/default/files/2021-06/ITDe-Filing%20Setup%201.0.2.zip of the income tax web site.
Extract the EXE. After you have downloaded the utility zip file, open the File Manager, go to the Downloads folder where the utility was downloaded and extract the EXE file named “ITDe-Filing Setup 1.0.2.exe” from it. It got extracted as “ITDe-Filing Setup 1.0.2.exe” in the Downloads folder in my case. This file has to be run to use the utility on a Linux computer.
Run the Utility using Wine. In my case, I opened the File Manager, navigated to the Downloads folder, and all I did was right click on the EXE file “ITDe-Filing Setup 1.0.2.exe” and it had an option to “Open with Wine Windows Program Loader“. I chose that option and the utility runs.
Note that if it cannot be run using the File Manager, the income tax EXE file can also be run from the command line. To do so, open a terminal window and type the following commands:
cd ~/Downloads <enter>
wine "ITDe-Filing Setup 1.0.2.exe" <enter>