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The Income Tax department has come out with eight new tax return forms. Of these, the ITR-1 (Income tax returns-1) and ITR-2 (Income tax returns-2) forms are most relevant for salaried individuals.
These two forms have come into effect from May 14, 2007, for filing tax returns for the financial year 2006-07.
ITR-1 is applicable to those individuals who have earned only salary and interest income during the financial year. ITR-2 is applicable to those who have other types of non-business incomes, such as income from house property, capital gains, etc.
Note: Those individuals claiming deduction on interest on housing loans would be required to file ITR-2 only.
Neither of the forms require the taxpayers to prepare the controversial cash flow statement (a statement of your income and expenditure for a year). The new forms have been made annexure free. What this means is you are not required to attach any documents to the tax return. Not even Form 16!
You will have the following options to file your tax returns:
Now, let's look at the important features of the ITR-1 and ITR-2 forms.
ITR-1 is relatively simpler and similar to the Saral Form, the Form 2D. Two versions of ITR-1 have been introduced. One is two-pager and the other is a three-pager. The only difference between these two versions is the latter is more spacious than former. Content-wise, both versions are identical.
Since you do not have to attach Form 16 to the tax return form, you will need to fill in certain details that appear in your Form 16 here.
One important aspect of the new form is that taxpayers are required to mention the amount of certain types of high value transactions carried out by them. These transactions are already being reported to the tax authorities through Annual Information Return filed by various agencies such as banks, credit card companies, mutual funds, RBI, property registrars, etc.
This section should be carefully filled in. Incorrect reporting of such transactions may trigger scrutiny of your tax return by the Income Tax department.
Under this section, the taxpayers are required to mention the transaction amount of the following:
Nature and value of transaction
Cash deposits totalling Rs 10 lakhs or more in a year in any savings account.
The important point here is that this clause is applicable if the total of all cash deposits during the financial year in a saving account is Rs 10 lakh or more.
Payments totalling Rs 2 lakhs or more in the year made against bills raised in respect of a credit card.
The important point here is that this clause is applicable if the total of all payments during the year for a credit card is Rs 2 lakh or more.
Let me explain: if you have used three credit cards during the FY 2006-07 and you pay a total of Rs. 1.9 lakhs against the first credit card, Rs. 1.4 lakhs against the second credit card and Rs 50,000 against the third credit card, then you need not report anything since you did not pay Rs 2 lakhs or more against a single credit card.
However, in FY 2006-07, if you pay total Rs 2.2 lakhs against the first credit card, Rs 2.7 lakhs against the second credit card and Rs 1 lakh against 3rd credit card, then you need to mention an amount of Rs 4.9 lakhs under this item. This is the total amount of payments against those credit cards whose total payment is Rs 2 lacs or more!
Payment of Rs 2 lakhs or more for acquiring units of a mutual fund.
This clause is applicable only if the amount of a single payment towards acquiring units of a fund is Rs 2 lakh or more.
Payment of Rs 5 lakhs or more for acquiring bonds or debentures issued by a company or an institution.
This clause is applicable only if the amount of a single payment towards acquiring bonds or debentures of a company is Rs 5 lakh or more.
Payment of Rs 1 lakh or more for acquiring shares issued by a company.
This clause is applicable only if the amount of a single payment towards acquiring shares issued by a company is Rs 1 lakh or more. This would cover payment of Rs 1 lakh or more made for IPO application or for obtaining shares under ESOP scheme.
Purchase property valued at Rs 30 lakhs or more.
This clause is applicable only if the value, as considered by registration authorities at the time of purchase, of any immovable property bought by the taxpayer is Rs 30 lakh or more. The clause is not applicable if the transaction value is less than Rs 30 lakh.
Sale of property valued at Rs 30 lakh or more.
This clause is applicable only if the value, as considered by registration authorities at the time of sale, of any immovable property sold by the taxpayer is Rs 30 lakh or more. The clause is not applicable if the transaction value is less than Rs 30 lakhs.
Payment of an amount or amounts aggregating to Rs 5 lakhs or more in a year for bonds issued by the Reserve Bank of India.
This clause is applicable if the aggregate of all payments towards purchase of RBI bonds exceeds Rs 5 lakh in a financial year.
ITR-2 is more comprehensive and seeks more detailed information.
Some of the important schedules in ITR 2 are:
Schedule S on salary income
This requires the taxpayers to divide their salary income into:
1. Salary (Excluding all allowances, perquisites and profit in lieu of salary)
2. Allowances exempt under Section 10 such as HRA, LTA, conveyance, medical reimbursement, etc.
3. Allowances not exempt such as shift allowance, special allowance, taxable portion of HRA/ LTA, etc.
4. Value of perquisites in the form of rent free accommodation or interest free loans, etc.
5. Profits in lieu of salary
The amount of items 2, 4 and 5 is generally mentioned in the Form 16 itself. However, many taxpayers will have to work out the amounts under items 1 and 3 by themselves. The amount under the first head would include only the basic salary. The amount under the third head would include gross salary as mentioned in Form 16 minus amounts under 1 and 2.
Schedule HP for Income from House Property
Taxpayers are required to mention the full address of each of the properties owned by them. They are also required to mention the name and the PAN (mentioning of tenant's PAN has, however, been kept optional) of the tenant.
A detailed computation statement is required to be filled in for each of the properties owned by the taxpayer. The form enables the taxpayers to fill in the details of upto two residential properties. If a taxpayer owns more than two houses then s/he may have to attach an annexure to provide complete details.
Schedule CYLA for current year losses adjusted
Details of income after set off of current year losses are required to be furnished in a tabular format. For most taxpayers this would apply since the setoff of loss from properties (arising due to interest on housing loan) against salary income has to be shown in this schedule.
Schedule AIR for transactions reported through annual information return
This is the same as what we discussed for ITR-1in the table above.
~ What taxpayers would like the most is the fact that the tax returns are annexure free.
~ Enhanced use of technology would help the tax department to find the tax evaders more easily. Honest taxpayers may benefit since tax rates may go down if the compliance level increases.
~ The two-paged ITR-1 is relatively simpler. However, the six-paged ITR-2, which would be applicable to all the individuals owning a house, is relatively complex. Those filing ITR-2 are more likely to seek professional assistance in preparing their tax returns.
ADROIT is a Pune-based firm that specialises in providing domestic and international tax services to salaried individuals and professionals. They can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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