Facing flak from all quarters on the new ITR forms that seek details on bank accounts and foreign travel, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley will hold another round of meeting with officials to simplify the procedure. Soon after his trip from Washington, Jaitley had held a meeting with tax officials on the new Income Tax Return (ITR) forms that have evoked sharp reactions from experts and others alike. “The Finance Minister will be taking another meeting to finalise changes in the new forms,” said a source.
The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), the apex policy-making body of the Income Tax department, had notified the forms for the current assessment year, seeking additional details to check the menace of black money.
As it stands, the new ITR forms, including the ITR-1 and ITR-2, require an assessee to furnish the number of bank accounts held by the individual “at any time (including opened/closed) during the previous year” with the last balance in the account as on March 31 of the just-concluded fiscal. The assessee will also have to furnish the name of the bank, account number, address, IFSC code and any possible joint account holder’s name.
Revenue Secretary Shaktikanta Das had said the government will reconsider the new ITR forms to make it simple. Jaitley had called him up from Washington, asking him not to proceed further on the matter. Experts and consultants have criticised the new forms, saying the government was seeking too much of data. They felt that the addition of new information would make the process of filing returns difficult.