Personal Finance

Here's a ready reckoner on changes in new ITR forms

Keerthi Sanagasetti | Updated on April 11, 2021

The impact was higher on NBFCs since they were unable to function during the initial phase of lockdown istockphoto mediaphotos

Understanding them can come in handy while filing your returns for assessment year 2021-22

Last week, the CBDT notified the new ITR forms for assessment year 2021-22. Tax payers can breathe easy this year, given the limited changes in the tax forms. The changes this year are only with respect to certain amendments in the tax law, proposed in the Budget of 2020.

Besides, certain schedules introduced last year to accommodate the relief given to taxpayers during the pandemic have now been removed. For instance, Schedule DI (Detail of Investments/deposit/payment for the purpose of claiming deduction) finds no place in the new ITRs.

Here is a low-down on a few important changes in the new ITR forms, that can come in handy while filing your returns for assessment year 2021-22.


Eligibility tweaks

The exclusion list of ITR-1, that is, persons who cannot file their returns using ITR-1 has got some new frills this year. Now, taxpayers for whom TDS has been deducted under section 194N can no longer file their returns in ITR-1. Per the section, banks (including co-operative societies and post office) are required to deduct TDS at the rate of 2 per cent on cash withdrawals exceeding Rs 1 crore (in aggregate) in the previous year. For non-filers of income tax returns (i.e. those who did not file returns in all of the last three assessment years), the deduction shall be 2 per cent for amounts exceeding ₹20 lakh or at the rate of 5 per cent if withdrawals exceed Rs 1 crore.

In addition, following the recent amendments to tax law, employees who can defer their tax liability on ESOPs cannot file returns in ITR 1 or 4. They have to file returns in forms 2 and 3 only.

ESOP taxation

The Budget of 2020 proposed deferring the tax on ESOPs allotted for employees of a narrow stream of eligible start-ups. ESOPs are taxed twice, in the hands of the recipient employees – once at the time of receipt as a perquisite and next upon subsequent sale of the shares (Capital gains).

Employees of eligible start-ups can now defer the tax on perquisite by 48 months from the end of the relevant assessment year in which the shares are allotted. The Schedule TTI (Computation of tax liability on total income) now requires clear bifurcation of such current and deferred tax amount on ESOPs.

Dividend income

Another Budget amendment was the abolition of DDT and the consequential taxation of the same in the hands of the shareholders. In the ITR forms, apart from withdrawing the redundant mentions of the DDT sections, the Schedule OS (Income from Other Sources) has also been accordingly tweaked to accommodate these amendments. For example, a new row has been inserted to provide deduction for interest expenditure which can be claimed as a deduction under section 57(1) if incurred in relation to dividend income. Further new rows have been added to incorporate dividends earned by non-resident taxpayers, that are chargeable at special rates, under section 115A.

ITR Forms 2, 3 and 4 required taxpayers to provide quarterly break up of dividend income, which helps in computing the interest liability according to advance tax provisions. This break up is now also required to be furnished by taxpayers filing returns using ITR-1.

Concessional tax rates

Starting AY 2021-22, taxpayers can opt for lower tax regime under section 115BAC, by foregoing certain exemptions and deductions. In Part A of all the ITR Forms, taxpayers are required to specify if they are opting for new tax regime under section 115BAC. Assessees with income from business or profession were required to exercise such option on or before the due date for furnishing the returns by filing Form 10-IE. ITR Form-3 hence requires such taxpayers, to furnish the date of filing form 10-IE and its acknowledgement number.

Besides, consequential amendments, with respect to exemptions and deductions foregone have also been made. For instance, in ITR 3, amendments have been made in Schedule DPM (Depreciation on Plant and Machinery) and Schedule UD (Unabsorbed Depreciation), to make one -time adjustment in the written down value of the plant and machinery, for the exemptions now foregone.

New utility

In a bid to ease the burden of taxpayers when filing the returns, the CBDT has launched a new offline utility called JASON for the assessment year 2021-22. The existing excel and java utility have been discontinued. The new JSON utility has currently been enabled for ITR 1and 4 only.

The utility will import and pre-fill the data from e-filing portal to the extent possible. It is enough if taxpayers fill the balance data. However, facility to upload ITR at the e-filing portal using the utility is not yet enabled. It is expected to be available sooner than later.

Published on April 10, 2021

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