Income Tax Returns become simpler, with revised deadline and crisper forms

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Income-Tax122Income Tax department has notified a new set of simpler IT forms to help the tax payers, wherein the details like the  number of foreign trips and bank account balances have been done away with. Income Tax returns can now be filed till 31 August, the new deadline set in the regard of the larger controversy that rose after the earlier system was scrapped. The new norm follows the Finance Ministry’s promise last month, that, the earlier fourteen pages long ITR form would be replaced by a simpler three page form.

Tax department has notified ITR 1, ITR 2, ITR 2A and ITR 4S. The first one is to be filed by an individual with salary income and income from one house property.

A new simplified form – IITR 2A – is to be filled by those individuals and Hindu Undivided families (HUF’s), who do not have an income from business, profession, foreign assets or capital gain. It requires only the passport number of the person or unit, if available. Filers will have to declare only the total number of savings and bank accounts held by them (excluding the dormant ones), anytime during the previous year.

ITR 2 can be filled by those individuals and undivided families with capital gains and more than one house property.

The new forms are not only less tedious to fill, the details they seek are enough for tax authorities to track foreign travel and financial transactions. All the above forms, excluding ITR 1, seek an Aadhaar number and a mail id of the tax payer in case the tax payer has one. This is aimed at encouraging online ITR filing.

In terms of bank details, tax payers will have to provide the IFSC code of the bank and account in which they want their refunds to be credited. Those who file an ITR 2A, would receive a two-page schedule to be filled only by those who have to disclose details on a case-to-case basis.

In the new ITR forms, an expat who is not an Indian citizen and is in India on business, employment or student visa would not mandatorily be required to report the foreign assets acquired by him during the previous years when he was non-resident and whether or not any income was derived from such assets during the relevant previous year.

The government, which has been making efforts to curb the black money inside and outside India, has introduced a legislation to this effect. The earlier form was intrusive in nature, as it sought extensive details, arousing public rage.

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