It's an attempt to simplify the tax filing process and reduce the compliance burden on the tax payer. The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), the income tax regulator, has notified the new simplified income tax return forms for the assessment year 2017/18. Here are the changes that you should know about.
1) The New ITR- 1 (Sahaj) Form is a one page form and it can only be filed by an individual with income of up to Rs 50 lakh a year. This will include salaried income, interest income and income from one house property. "Those who have income of more than Rs 50 lakh or own more than one house property will have to file ITR - 2 Form," said Archit Gupta, founder and CEO, Cleartax.com.
2) In order to account for those who have deposited Rs 2 lakh or more in a bank account during the demonetisation period, the tax department has introduced a new column where the person filing the tax will have to give details of the money deposited and bank account. If a person has deposited Rs 2 lakh or more he or she will mention the IFSC code, name of bank, account number along with the amount deposited in the income tax return."At the time of demonetization, it was said by the concerned authority and it appears that probability to receive notice for cash deposit would be less in case where cash deposit amount is less than Rs 2.5 lakh that is the exemption limit. Now with this change that is addition of column "cash deposit in case amount is Rs 2 lakh or more", it seems that chances of getting notice is increased to explain the source of income despite the fact that the said assessee is having income less than Rs 2.5 lakh in current year," says Sudhir Kaushik, CFO, TaxSpanner.com.
3) Now, mentioning Aadhar number is mandatory for filling income tax return. You have to mention the 12-digit Aadhaar number or the 28-digit Aadhaar enrolment number while filing the income tax return. Till last year it was optional to mention the Aadhaar number while filing the return.
4) The asset and liability column has been removed from ITR- 1 (Sahaj) form. Earlier a person having income of more than Rs 50 lakh in a year had to declare assets and liabilities while filing the tax return. It has been done away with in ITR-1 as now a person with inocme over Rs 50 lakh can't file ITR-1. All the other forms still have the asset and liability column.
5) The number of income tax forms has been reduced from earlier nine to seven. "Old ITR-2, ITR-2A and ITR-3 have been done away with and merged to new ITR-2," said Gupta of Cleartax.com. ITR -2A was filed by those having more than one house property. While ITR-3 was filed by those having income from business and profession. ITR 2 was filed for those having more than one house property plus taxable capital gains tax. Now, if you have more than one house property, taxable capital gains tax or income from business and profession, then you will have to file new ITR-2 Form.
As the ITR 2A and ITR 3 no longer exist, ITR-4 and ITR-4S (Sugam) have been renumbered as ITR-3 and ITR-4 (Sugam) respectively.