Hefty power bill may become I-T criterion

New Delhi, February 15: | Updated: Feb 16 2002, 05:30am hrs
In a bid to revamp one-by-six scheme for compulsory filing of income tax returns, the government is likely to include payment of electricity bill exceeding Rs 20,000 in a year as one of the criteria under the scheme in the forthcoming Budget.

Once bitten, twice shy!
The FM doesnt want to be ranked (FE dated Feb 15), and CII has gladly obliged. CII D-G Tarun Das has said, We will certainly offer our comments, may be even use adjectives like good, better, or excellent, but unlike last year, we wont rank the budget. Touche!
There is also a suggestion that elected representatives of the people should be categorised as a separate class under Section 139(1) and be compulsorily required to file returns of their income.

According to sources, the move is expected to be part of the modifications in the scheme which may also exclude those paying telephone bills below Rs 20,000 per annum from the compulsory requirement of filing income tax return, or remove subscription to telephone as a criterion altogether. They said that it has been felt that some modifications are required in the application of current economic criteria.

Under Section 139(1) of the Income Tax Act, persons in occupation of an immovable property exceeding a specified floor area, is the owner of or the lessee of a motor vehicle other than a two-wheeler motor vehicle, is a subscriber to a telephone, has incurred expenditure for himself or any other person on travel to any foreign country, is the holder of a credit card (not add on), or is a member of a club where entrance fee is Rs 25,000 or above, is required to file I-T return even if the persons total income during the concerned financial year is below the taxable limit.

Revenue department officials said that there was a need for effective implementation of the one-by-six scheme to check tax evasion. They added that though technically, a person who satisfies one of the six criteria but does not have taxable income is liable to submit his return of income, it has been observed that more than 80 per cent of the returns filed in this category, show taxable income.

The officials said that there was a feeling in the ministry that some of these criteria including owning of a telephone needed a relook.