THE first quarter of the financial year is of importance to scores of taxpayers as they scamper to file their tax returns. And, almost like every year, this year too there are changes in tax forms and what taxpayers need to be watchful of at the time of filing their returns. The reason that each year the income tax return (ITR) form undergo a change and need the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) notification is because of tax related changed introduced in the Budget, makes it necessary for the CBDT to introduce and notify the changes in the forms.
In the Budget earlier this year, a one-page simplified ITR Form-1 (Sahaj) was notified which makes its debut. While all income tax return (ITR) forms can be filled electronically, returns furnished with ITR- 1 (Sahaj) or ITR-4 (Sugam) has exceptions where certain filers have the option to file a return in paper form. The exception applies to tax-payers who are individuals aged 80 years or more, or individuals or HUF having income less than Rs 5 lakh and who are not claiming any income tax refund.
While all income tax return (ITR) forms can be filled electronically, returns furnished with ITR- 1 (Sahaj) or ITR-4 (Sugam) has exceptions where certain filers have the option to file a return in paper form.
Another change across forms is the introduction of specific columns to report each capital gain exemption separately. Details of each capital gains exemption under Sections 54, 54B, 54EC, 54EE, 54F, 54GB and 115F need to be reported in its applicable column. Moreover, a taxpayer availing of these capital gains exemptions is required to mention the date of transfer of original capital asset which was missing in earlier ITR Forms.
Similarly, in case of capital gain arising on transfer of unquoted shares, it will now be mandatory for investors to obtain the valuation report. To ensure that investors correctly report the capital gains from unlisted shares, the new ITR Forms require the taxpayer to provide figures of actual sales consideration and fair market value (FMV) as determined by a merchant banker or chartered accountant.
Another unique feature in the ITRs 2, 3 and 4 in case of individual taxpayers is the doing away with the mention of gender, i.e., male or female or transgender, as the column of gender has been removed.
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