Moneycontrol
Oct 27, 2017 12:46 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

Filing income tax returns? Here are important changes made this year

When claiming deductions in the new form, you need to check the specific sections as only Section 80C, 80D, 80G & 80TTA are mentioned. The rest have been merged in a single window.

Navneet Dubey @navneetdubey91

 Are you getting down to filing your tax returns? If so, you should be aware of the changes made in the income tax laws for the assessment year 2017-18. Here we give you an update on the changes brought in by the government:

--From July onwards mentioning of Aadhaar or the Enrolment ID of Aadhaar application form has become mandatory for filing tax return. However, your form will not turn invalid if PAN card does not get linked with Aadhaar by July 1.

--To remove the complexity in the filing of returns mainly in case of those individuals where the non-business income is up to Rs 5 lakh, I-T department has now introduced a simple one-page ITR form to file their I-T returns.

--Individuals who are generating income up to Rs 50 lakh from salary, one house property and bank deposits can use ITR 1, while those individuals and HUFs generating income (non- business) from other sources like selling real estate, stocks, units of mutual fund, gold etc or EPF/PPF withdrawals will have to use ITR 2.

--The number of ITR Forms have been reduced to 7 from the earlier 9 forms. The old ITR-2, ITR-2A, and ITR-3 are replaced with single ITR-2. The old ITR-4 is renumbered as ITR-3 and so on.

--Introduction of two new sections has been done, section 10 (38) to mention exempt Long-term Capital Gains Tax and section 10 (34) to mention exempt dividend disclosure from Indian companies.

--When you are filing deductions in the new form, you need to check the specific section as only section 80C, 80D, 80G & 80TTA are mentioned and rest of them has been merged in a single window.

Chetan Chandak, Head of Tax Research, H&R Block India, said that in the last 2 years, the government has taken significant efforts towards reducing or rather ending taxpayer’s harassment in the form of scrutiny assessments. These initiatives included:

--Restrict the scope of the scrutiny for the stated purpose in case of “limited purpose scrutiny”

--Compulsory processing of return and granting of consequential refund to the taxpayer even if the case is under scrutiny

--Email based paperless scrutiny assessment allowing the assessee to respond to the scrutiny notices remotely

--Reducing the time allowed for completion of the scrutiny from existing 21 months to 12 months in phased manner

“Out of all the above measures, the reduction in the time limit for completion of the scrutiny assessment and issuing of the assessment order (AO) is most important. As per this amendment, the AO is under an obligation to complete the assessment within the stipulated time else his order will have no validity under the law,” Chandak added.

In 2016 budget, the time limit was reduced from 24 months to 21 months. Budget 2017 has further reduced this time limit to 18 months for A.Y. 2018-19 and to 12 months for A.Y. 2019-20 onwards. As an effect of this amendment, the AO will have lesser time to complete all the assessment cases allotted to him and he will not drag the cases unnecessarily.

All these measures aim at simplifying the tax compliance and making it more taxpayer friendly. It further aims at timely collection of revenue for the tax department and fixing the accountability of tax officers.

tags #Tax

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