New Delhi, March 31, 2017

Govt notifies simplified form; e-filing of income-tax returns begins from tomorrow

 The government on Friday notified a simplified Income Tax Return form for individuals which will be available for filing ITR for Assessment Year 2017-18 from tomorrow.

Currently, SAHAJ (ITR 1) is filed by salaried employees and ITR 2 by individuals and HUFs whose income does not include income from business.

The government has done away with two forms ITR 2A (used by individuals & HUFs not having income from business or profession and capital gains and who do not hold foreign assets).

Taxpayers who deposited Rs 2 lakh or more post demonetisation, will have to make this disclosure in the new ITR forms notified today.

The information has to be furnished in the new one-page, simplified ITR-1 'Sahaj' for taxpayers who have income from salary, a house property or earn interest totalling upto Rs 50 lakh.

Column Part-E of the ITR-1 form seeks information on cash deposits made by the assessee between November 9, 2016 and December 30, 2016 if the "aggregate cash deposits" during this period were Rs 2 lakh or more.

The department has also made furnishing of the 12-digit Aadhaar number mandatory and if it is not available the 28-digit Aadhaar enrolment id should be made available.

 The I-T department has given a number of opportunities to taxpayers to explain any unaccounted deposits made during the note ban period, such as the 'Operation Clean Money' and the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojna (PMGKY). Now, the move to introduce this new column in the ITR form is meant to ascertain all deposits made by a person or entity irrespective of the threshold.

"This is just an effort to ascertain what deposits were made during the demonetisation period. The department has not issued notices in cases where the deposit amounts were small," a senior officer told PTI.

Only 6 crore out of 29 crore persons holding permanent account number (PAN) file income tax returns at present.

The e-filing facility for ITR-1 is enabled from April 1 and ITRs can be filed till the stipulated deadline of July 31.

At the time of filing the form, the taxpayer has to fill in PAN, Aadhaar number, personal information and information on taxes paid. TDS will be auto-filled in the form.

Post July 1, as per amendments to the Finance Bill 2017 as passed by the Lok Sabha, it would become mandatory for an assessee to provide the Aadhaar number or the number showing that he has applied for Aadhaar in the ITR.

Also ITR 4 (filed by Individuals & HUFs having income from a proprietary business or profession) will now be known as 'Sugam' and ITR-4S will be substituted.

The form ITR-4S was used for filing ITR by individuals/ HUF or Partnership Firm having income from presumptive business.

[The Business Standard]