Saturday, 11 August 2018

Changes in I-T returns’ e-versions irk taxpayers

Salaried taxpayers who were recently trying to file their income tax returns found another set of changes made to the electronic version (technically also referred to as schema or utility), as released by the I-T department.
With less than a month left to file the returns, these frequent changes are proving to be irksome. The changes result in having to re-enter data, or gather more details at the last minute.

In some instances, fresh clarifications have to be sought by taxpayers from their chartered accountants. The due date for filing of I-T returns for salaried taxpayers is July 31, which for the financial year 2017-18 (year ended March 31, 2018) was extended to August end. To illustrate, electronic versions of ITR-1 and ITR-2 — the forms typically used by salaried employees — were revised again as recently as on August 1 and August 9 respectively.

The latest changes in both the forms require additional information in respect of income taxable under the head ‘Income from other sources’. It requires the taxpayer to show interest from bank savings accounts, term deposits, interest on refund of income tax and other interest, separately. As an example, ‘other interest’ could constitute what has been received from company bonds or debentures.

All ITR forms, including those used by corporate entities, such as ITR-7, have seen several ‘release changes’, in some cases on as many as four instances since the date of notification of the I-T returns on April 5.

I-T regulations require that all returns are to be filed electronically, with a few exceptions carved out for individuals over 80 years of age, or those having annual income of less than Rs 5 lakh.

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