May 07, 2013, 07.32 PM | Source: Moneycontrol.com

Tax amendments to file Income-Tax return for AY 2013-14

It is well known fact that tax payers are now required to file their Income-tax Return for the Financial Year 2012-13 relevant to the Assessment Year 2013-14. These Income-tax Returns in most cases have to be filed by 31st July, 2013.

It is well known fact that tax payers are now required to file their Income-tax Return for the Financial Year 2012-13 relevant to the Assessment Year 2013-14. These Income-tax Returns in most cases have to be filed by 31st July, 2013. However, for the Corporate Sector as well as for persons who are having the requirement of tax audit the last date of filing Income-tax Return happens to be 30th September 2013.

The Central Board of Direct Taxes recently has amended certain provisions of the Income-tax Rules concerning filing of the Income-tax Return. Some of the points mentioned in this new amendment are really very very important for practical filing of the Income-tax Return by the tax payers for the Assessment Year 2013-14. Hence, in this article an attempt is being made to highlight all those important points which are required to be kept in mind while filing the Income-tax Return for the Assessment Year 2013-14. The Income-tax (3rd Amendment) Rules, 2013 which have been issued vide Notification No. 34/2013 dated 1.5.2013 provides for amendments in Rule 12 of Income-tax Rules, 1962 and also through these rules certain Income-tax Return Forms have been substituted. The substituted Return Forms are SAHAJ ITR 1, ITR 2, ITR3, SUGAM ITR 4S, ITR 4 and ITR V. Please use the new Income tax Return forms while filing Income-tax Return for the A.Y. 2013-2014.
 
The following are some of the important amendments which have been made in the Income-tax Rules with reference to filing of Income-tax Return for the Assessment Year 2013-2014:-

1. Until last year the Income-tax Return in Form No. SAHAJ-ITR1 was permitted to be filled up by all individuals having salary income as also income from house property and income from other sources except income from lottery or from horse races. However, as a result of the new amendment the individual if he has got any loss under the head Income from Other Sources, then such person will not be able to file Income-tax Return in Form No. SAHAJ(ITR1). It is specifically mentioned in the new amendment that persons taking advantage of filing Income-tax Return in the SAHAJ Form should not have any loss under the head Income from Other Sources.
  
2. The new amendment makes it very clear that the provisions relating to filing of Income-tax Return by the individuals in Form SAHAJ (ITR1) shall not be applicable to a person who is resident, other than not ordinarily resident in India specially if such person has assets (including financial interest in any entity) located outside India or such person has signing authority in any account located outside India.

3. The SAHAJ Income-tax Return form also cannot be used by an individual claiming any double taxation tax relief under sections 90 or 90 A or 91 of the Income-tax Act, 1961.

4. It is provided in the new amendment that Income-tax Return for the A.Y. 2013-2014 also cannot be filed in form No. SAHAJ by all individuals having income not chargeable to tax exceeding Rs. 5,000/-.

5. It is well known fact that tax payers are not required to enclose any papers or documents with their Income-tax Return. However, the new amendment provides that where the assessee is required to furnish a report of Audit as per section 115AB or 92E or 115JB of the Income-tax Act, 1961, then such audit report shall be furnished electronically with the Income-tax Return.

6. Last year individuals and Hindu Undivided Families having total income in excess of Rs. 10 lakhs were required to furnish the Income-tax Return electronically under Digital Signature or transmitting the data in the Return electronically and thereafter submitting the verification of the Return in Form  ITR V. Now as a result of the amendment not merely individuals or Hindu Undivided Families but all persons other than companies and persons filing Form No. 7 (like Educational Institutions, Trusts etc.) if their income exceeds Rs. 5 lakhs would be required to furnish the Return for the Assessment Year 2013-14 electronically under Digital Signature or transmitting the data in the Return electronically and thereafter submitting ITR V. This is really very very important new amendment whereby it is now compulsory for persons having income in excess of Rs. 5 lakhs for the Assessment Year 2013-14 to file their Income-tax Return in the Electronic Form. However, the charitable trusts and educational institutions etc. who are required to file their Income-tax Return in Form No 7 will not be compulsorily required to file the Return electronically irrespective of their income.
 
7. All those tax payers who are claiming relief of tax in terms of section 90 or 90A or 91 of the Income-tax Act and are filing their Income-tax Return for the AY 2013-14 and subsequent years will now be required to furnish their Income-tax Return electronically under Digital Signature or transmitting the data in the Return electronically and thereafter submitting the verification of the Return in Form ITR V. It may be clarified here that the impact of this new amendment will be with reference to all such persons who are taking benefit of relief in respect of income-tax paid or deducted in foreign country or specified territories. This means all those tax payers who are taking advantage of Double Taxation Avoidance Agreements or any other agreements which have been executed by the Central Government with specified associations for double taxation relief as well as persons who are taking advantage of Double Taxation Relief with countries where there is no agreement, all such persons will now be required to file their Income-tax Return electronically under Digital Signature and they can also submit the Return electronically and thereafter submit the verification of the Return in Form ITR V.

8. Tax payers are aware that since last year Form No. SUGAM (ITR 4S) was provided for filing Income-tax Return by the persons who are taking advantage of computing their income in terms of section 44AD or section 44AE of the Income-tax Act for computation of their business income based on a percentage of the profit. It may be noted that this return form be used only when the turnover of the business is less than Rs. 1 crore. The new amendment to Rule 12 of Income-tax Rules now provides that the provisions relating to filing of Income-tax Return in Form SUGAM (ITR 4S) will not apply to a person who is a resident, other than not ordinary resident in India and has any assets (including financial interest in any entity) located outside India or has a signing authority in any account located outside India. Likewise, the SUGAM (ITR 4 S) cannot be used by individual claiming Double Taxation Relief. Finally, the SUGAM (ITR 4 S) cannot be filed by persons having income not chargeable to tax exceeding Rs. 5,000 and such persons should file return in Form No. 4.

9. The most important amendment with reference to filing Income-tax Return is with reference to a new "Schedule AL" which is introduced in ITR 3 & ITR 4. This schedule contains details of Assets & liabilities of an individual or HUF. This schedule is to be filled up when the income of the individual or HUF exceeds Rs. 25 lakhs.

Conclusion: The tax payers in particular who are having income in excess of Rs. 5 lakhs for the Assessment Year 2013-14 in particular to carefully understand the new provisions relating to filing of the Income-tax Return Form whereby it has been now compulsory for them to file their Income-tax Return electronically. Likewise persons who are having tax audit should also not forget to submit the audit report with the Income-tax Return electronically. The Income tax Return forms which are required to be filled in for the AY 2013-14 are basically almost at par with the Income-tax Return Form as was being used in the previous years. All assets abroad and all incomes abroad are required to be mentioned in the Income-tax Return.

It may be noted that the impact of amendments in Rule 12 of the Income-tax Act would now mean that if an individual is having exempted income in excess of Rs. 5,000, in that situation such individual will not be able to file the Income-tax Return SAHAJ (ITR 1). For example let us say a salaried employee has got income from salary income and some bank interest income. But if he has got dividend income of Rs. 10,000, in that situation he will not be able to file the Income-tax Return in Form SAHAJ (ITR1) because the new amendment specifically mentions that the Return Form SAHAJ cannot be used by an individual having income not chargeable to tax exceeding Rs. 5,000. Such persons have to file the Return in Form No. 2. Similarly an individual or a Hindu Undivided Family carrying on business having turnover less than Rs. 1 crore and normally required to file the Return in Form SUGAM (ITR4S) will not be able to file the Return in the said SUGAM Form for the AY 2013-14 if he were to have exempted income say like dividend, interest income or income from Mutual Fund or income from Tax Free Bond exceeding the sum of Rs. 5,000. Hence, all individuals and Hindu Undivided Families in particular carrying on business and computing income on presumptive basis and also having income not chargeable to tax exceeding the sum of Rs. 5,000, cannot use the Income-tax Return Form SUGAM and will, therefore, be required to file the Return in Form No. 4. Persons filing ITR 3 & ITR 4 and having income in excess of Rs. 25 lakhs should carefully fill up "Schedule AL" to give details of assets & liabilities.

Please take care of the above mentioned important new amendments to the Income-tax Rules relating to filing of Income-tax Return and thereafter file your Income-tax Return correctly in the correct applicable form depending upon your facts and circumstances and also do not forget to file the Income-tax Return in the specific mode which is required in terms of the provisions contained in the Income-tax Law.

The author is tax and investment consultant at New Delhi for the last 35 years.You can e-mail him at subhash.lakhotia@moneycontrol.com

Disclaimer: The views and investment tips expressed by investment experts/broking houses/rating agencies on moneycontrol.com are their own, and not that of the website or its management. Moneycontrol.com advises users to check with certified experts before taking any investment decisions.

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