The financial year 2016-17 has ended and it is time to file your income tax return. However, filing your ITR is going to be less taxing now as in a move towards simplifying the cumbersome income tax forms, the government has launched a new and simplified one page ITR form-1 (Sahaj) for the financial year 2016-17.
“This is a welcome step towards ease of doing business in India and simplifying administrative procedures for the common man. This ITR Form-1(S) can be filed by an individual having income up to Rs 50 lakh from salary, one house property and other income like bank interest, etc. This marks the end of the 7-page cumbersome ITR -1 form which was earlier filed by salaried individuals,” says Gautam Kapil, Tax Consultant, V K Kapil & Co Chartered Accountants.
Who can file the simplified return form?
Only individuals having salaried income/one house property income/ bank interest income/ any other income stand to benefit.
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Changes to keep in mind before filing ITR-1(S)
Part A: General Information — Aadhaar information is compulsory. In case an individual doesn’t have an Aadhaar number but has applied for it, he can give Aadhaar Enrollment ID.
Part E: Other Information – A new column has been introduced to report ‘Cash deposited during November 09, 2016 to December 30, 2016’ (if aggregate cash deposits exceeds Rs 2 lakh).
Schedule A1 – Schedule for details of Assets and Liabilities that was introduced last year has now been removed.
Columns relating to tax deductions have been rationalized, reducing the number of columns to just 5 as compared to earlier 19. “Commonly-used deductions like Section 80C(LIC), 80D (Mediclaim), 80TTA (savings account interest) & 80G (donation) have been provided for. Any other deductions can be mentioned under column ‘Any other’,” says Kapil.
There is no change in the manner of filing of ITR Forms as compared to last year. All these ITR Forms are to be filed electronically.
This will reduce the compliance burden to a significant extent on the salaried class & individual tax payers not having any business income.
As per the press release issued by the government, this initiative will benefit more than two crore tax-payers who will be eligible to file their return of income in this simplified Form.
It should be noted that from July 1, 2017, it would become mandatory for an individual to mention his Aadhaar card number or the number showing that he has applied for the Aadhaar card in the new ITR forms.
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Individuals who have income of less than Rs 5 lakh (not having any refund of taxes) or are super senior citizens can download the ITR-1(S) return form from https://www.incometaxindia.gov.in/Pages/downloads/income-tax-return.aspx and have an option of filing it manually. Please note that this form is a specimen available on income tax website for manual filing.
“The new form is still not available for e-filing on the income tax India e-filing platform and is expected to be out soon,” says Kapil.