New 3-page IT form drops foreign-trip disclosure details

news
01 June 2015

Finance minister Arun JaitleyThe finance ministry has come out with simplified three-page income tax return (ITR) forms, dropping the controversial provision for mandatory disclosure of foreign trips and dormant bank accounts. It has also extended the last date for filing of returns to 31 August.

The proposed New Form ITR 2A can be filed by an individual or HUF who does not have capital gains, income from business / profession or foreign asset / foreign income.

Also, in the ITR 2 and the New ITR 2A forms, the main form will not contain more than 3 pages, and other information will be captured in the schedules, which will be required to be filled only if applicable.

As the software for these forms is under preparation, the new forms are likely to be available for e-filing by the third week of June 2015. The time limit for filing these returns is also proposed to be extended up to 31 August 2015.

However, passport number, if available, would be required to be given in forms ITR-2 and ITR-2A. Details of foreign trips or expenditure thereon are not required to be furnished.

A finance ministry statement said, "In lieu of foreign travel details, it is now proposed that only Passport Number, if available, would be required to be given in Forms ITR-2 and ITR-2A. Details of foreign trips or expenditure thereon are not required to be furnished," it said.

Forms ITR 1, 2 and 4S for assessment year 2015-16 were notified on 15 April 2015.

The finance ministry has since announced that these forms will be reviewed in view of various representations. In view of the responses received from various stakeholders, it has been decided to simplify these forms for the convenience of the taxpayers.

Individuals having exempt income without any ceiling (other than agricultural income exceeding Rs5,000) can now file Form ITR 1 (Sahaj).

Similar simplification is also proposed for individuals / HUF in respect of Form ITR 4S (Sugam).

While individuals / HUFs having income from more than one house property and capital gains are required to file Form ITR-2, it was, however, found that a majority of individuals / HUFs who file Form ITR-2 do not have capital gains. Therefore to simplify the form for these individuals / HUFs, a new Form ITR 2A is proposed which can be filed by an individual or HUF who does not have capital gains, income from business / profession or foreign asset / foreign income.

In lieu of foreign travel details, it is now proposed that only passport number, if available, would be required to be given in Forms ITR-2 and ITR-2A. Details of foreign trips or expenditure thereon are not required to be furnished.

However, as regards bank account details in all these forms, the IFS code, account number of all the current / savings account, which are held at any time during the previous year will be required to be filled up.

The balance in accounts will not be required to be furnished. Details of dormant accounts, which are not operational during the last three years are not required to be furnished.

An individual who is not an Indian citizen and is in India on a business, employment or student visa (expatriate), would not be required to report the 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.

As the software for these forms is under preparation, they are likely to be available for e-filing by the third week of June 2015. Accordingly, the time limit for filing these returns is also proposed to be extended up to 31 August  2015.

The finance ministry said it would issue a separate notification in this regard.





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