Policy

Income-tax forms simplified; date for filing returns extended to Aug 31

Shishir Sinha New Delhi | Updated on January 24, 2018

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No need for details on foreign trips, dormant bank accounts

Income-tax assessees will not be required to give details of foreign trips as well as the balance in various bank accounts while filing their returns. Details of dormant bank accounts too will not be required.

Dropping the provision for mandatory disclosure of foreign trips and dormant bank accounts, the Finance Ministry on Sunday notified the watered down, new three-page Income-Tax Return (ITR) forms. They will be made available for electronic filing by the third week of June. Accordingly, it also proposed extending the last date for filing returns to August 31, against July 31.

A new ITR form 2A has also been introduced for Individual or Hindu Undivided Family which does not have capital gains or income from business/profession or foreign asset/foreign income, but has income from more than one house property.

The new forms ITR 1 (Sahaj), ITR 2 & 2A and ITR 4S (Sugam) will be used to file returns for the assessment year 2015-16 (for income earned during 2014-15). Individuals having exempt income without any ceiling (other than agricultural income exceeding ₹5,000) can now file Form ITR 1 (Sahaj).

It may be noted that the new forms were first notified on April 15, but soon got entangled in a controversy, after which Finance Minister Arun Jaitley ordered a revision of forms.

Under the new forms, in lieu of foreign travel details, it is now proposed that only the passport number, if available, would be required. Similarly, as regards bank account details, only the IFS code, account number of all the current/savings account held at any time during the previous year will be required. Details of dormant accounts not operational during the last three years are also not required.

Foreign assets

The Ministry said an individual, who is not an Indian citizen and is in India on business, employment or student visa (expatriate), will not mandatorily be required to report foreign assets acquired by him during the previous years in which he was non-resident, if no income is derived from such assets during the relevant previous year.

Published on May 31, 2015

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