The only constant thing in the world is “Change”. And it seems that the Income-tax department is a keen follower of this saying. The Income-tax department brings new changes and improvements in Income-tax Return forms each year, to simplify return filing process for taxpayers as well as to get relevant data from the returns filed.
This year is not different. Here are certain significant changes that have been incorporated by Income-tax department for the financial year 2014-15 in case of all the ITR Forms.
- As we all are aware, the Income-tax return for a Financial Year can be filed, latest within two years from the end of the Financial Year. To avoid undue hardship in genuine cases of delayed filing of Income-tax return, the Income-tax department has issued circular (No.9/2015) , to allow filing of return after the above specified two years period. The Taxpayer will have to make an application to Income-tax authority to permit the delay in filing the return and if the Income-tax Authority accepts the application, the Taxpayer will be allowed to file the return. A new option, “Return U/s 119(b)” has been added to ITR forms, for filing returns in such situations. The taxpayer, who has failed to file return for earlier years and has missed to claim losses or refunds, can now apply for delay condonation and take benefit from this provision.
- Introduction of Aadhaar No. in ITR’s- If the taxpayer is having an Aadhaar No., he is required to provide the same in ITR Form, from the current financial year. The Income-tax department may use Aadhaar card number for verification of ITR V, which will be an alternative to physical submission of ITR-V acknowledgment. The details of the process are yet to be announced. The Passport number, if any, is also required to be provided for all ITR forms, except for ITR 1 and ITR 4S.
- During current financial year, the taxpayer will have to provide details of ALL operational savings and current bank accounts. The following bank account details will be required to be provided in ITR forms:-
- Name of the Bank.
- IFS Code.
- Account Number.
- Saving/Current Account.
The Taxpayer will have to choose one of the bank account as Primary Bank account, in which Income-tax refund if any can be deposited.
Simplification of ITR Forms:-
In order to reduce the intricacies and unnecessary confusion regarding filling of details in ITR forms, the Income-tax department has made certain changes in ITR forms, which will certainly simplify the ITR forms for small taxpayers.
Earlier ITR 1 was to be filed by individuals having income from Salary, income from only one house property and income from other sources except income from winnings from lotteries or income from horse races. Taxpayers had to file ITR 2 just because they were having income from more than one house property or Exempt(Tax Free) Income of more than Rs 5000/- or Winning from lotteries,etc. As a result, taxpayers were unnecessarily required to provide additional details in ITR 2.Following are some of the welcome changes in ITR forms.
- Expanding coverage of ITR-1 and ITR-4S
The Income Tax Department has expanded the coverage of ITR-1 and ITR-4S. Previously, A Taxpayer having exempt Income (including Agricultural Income) of more than Rs 5000/- were not covered by ITR-1. Now the Department has removed this limit for exempt income other than Agricultural Income and accordingly taxpayer can file return in ITR 1 even if exempt (tax free) income like dividend on shares of company exceeds Rs.5,000/-. Similar changes are also made in ITR-4S.
- Introduction of Form 2A
A New form i.e Form 2A is introduced for the individuals and HUF’s who do not have the Capital Gain income or Business/Profession income or Foreign Income or Foreign assets. The new ITR 2A is simpler form, as compared to ITR 2.
Following are some of the cases where ITR-2A will be applicable to individuals or HUF’s:
- Income from more than one House Property – Earlier, a Taxpayer having Income from Salary, Other Source and Income from more than one House Property were required to file in ITR-2. Now such persons can file return in ITR-2A, which is simplified as compared to ITR-2.
- Income from other sources of the nature of winning from lotteries or income from race horses is covered in ITR-2A.
- Loss incurred under “Income from other sources” during the year can be claimed in ITR 2A.
- Agriculture income more than Rs. 5000 is also to be covered by ITR-2A.
As a measure of simplification , it has been ensured that ITR 2 & ITR 2A forms do not have more than three pages and additional information is in the form of Schedules which will be required to be filled in only if applicable. It is a welcome step from Government to reduce complexities in new forms, which should certainly help win hearts and confidence of Taxpayers in India.