With simplified forms, Income Tax department eases return pain

The income tax department has
provided a huge relief to individuals and HUFs by simplifying the return forms,
which had caused a lot of consternation among taxpayers.

In April, the CBDT notified ITR forms for individuals/ HUFs with cumbersome
disclosures, but these were withdrawn within a day because of representations
from various groups. Apart from introduction of a new
form — ITR 2A — the I-T department has now proposed ITR 1, ITR 2 and ITR 4S to
be simplified, though additional disclosures have definitely gone up compared
to last year.

ITR 1 (SAHAJ) is meant for
individuals with income from salaries, one house property and other sources. It
is proposed that this form will now cover exempt income without any ceiling
(other than agricultural income exceeding R5,000).
ITR 2 is meant for individuals/
HUFs not having income from business or profession. It covers capital gains and
income from more than one house in addition to the income sources covered by
ITR 1.
At present, ITR 2 is used by
individuals/ HUFs having income from more than one house and capital gains. The
government has proposed to introduce a new form, i.e., ITR 2A from this year,
which can be used by individuals/HUFs not having capital gains income, income
from business/profession or foreign assets/income.
Moreover, both these forms will
not contain more than three pages unlike the form last year, which had 14.
ITR 4S (SUGAM) is used by
individuals with presumptive income earned in India through prescribed eligible
means. It is proposed that ITR 4S shall also include the exempt income
disclosure like ITR 1. In respect of foreign travel details, excessive
disclosures like details of foreign trip or expenditure incurred will not be
required to be filled up. Instead, only passport Number would be required to be
As far as bank account details
are concerned, it is proposed that only the IFS Code and account number of all
the current/ savings account, which are held at any time during the previous
year, will be required to be mentioned. It is also proposed that the balance in
accounts and details of dormant accounts not operational since last three
years, which were required in the ITR forms released in April this year, will
not be required to be furnished.
It is further proposed that an
individual, who is not an Indian citizen and is in India on a business,
employment or student visa (expatriate), would not mandatorily be required to
report the foreign assets acquired by him during earlier years in which he was
non-resident if no income is derived from such assets during the relevant
previous year.

It comes as a big relief for the expatriates who come to India for employment
and may qualify for resident and ordinary resident (ROR) in India considering
their duration of stay in India.
As the software for these forms
is under preparation, the time limit for filing returns in these forms is also
proposed to be extended from July 31 to August 31 this year.

RECOMMENDED READ  Section 44AD of Income Tax Act

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