ITR filing 2017:Attention last minute tax filers! Know about key changes made by govt this year

While it is advisable that you should keep your checklist ready for filing your ITR successfully, you must also know about the key changes made by govt this year.

With only two days left to file FY 2016-17 Income Tax Return (ITR) – the annual ritual – by individuals and other category of taxpayers, its certainly is a crunch time for last minute tax filers.

While it is advisable that you should keep your checklist ready for filing your ITR successfully, you must also know about the key changes made by govt this year.

Here are a few changes that have been made for ITR filing 2016-17.

Total number of forms

The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), the policy-making body of the tax department, has reduced the total number of ITRs forms to seven from the previous nine.

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New simplified 1 page ITR form

The government has brought out a simpler, one-page form for filing income tax returns for this financial year.

The Income Tax Return Form-1 (Sahaj) will replace the 7-page form, removing a plethora of columns on deductions from income claimed.

Sahaj can be filed by an individual having income of up to Rs 50 lakh from salary, house property and interest.

Currently, SAHAJ (ITR 1) is filed by salaried employees and ITR 2 by individuals and HUFs whose income does not include income from business.

The government has done away with form ITR 2A (used by individuals & HUFs not having income from business or profession and capital gains and by those who do not hold foreign assets).

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Cash deposit of 2 lakh or more

Taxpayers who deposited Rs 2 lakh or more post demonetisation, will have to make this disclosure in the new Income Tax Returns (ITRs) forms.

The information has to be furnished in the new one-page, simplified as ITR-1 ‘Sahaj’, for taxpayers who have income from salary, a house property or earn interest totalling upto Rs 50 lakh.

Column Part-E of the ITR-1 form seeks information on cash deposits made by the assessee between November 9, 2016 and December 30, 2016 if the “aggregate cash deposits” during this period were Rs 2 lakh or more.

Quoting of Aadhaar number

CBDT after notifying the ITRs forms for assessment year 2017-18 has made furnishing of the 12-digit Aadhaar number mandatory and if it is not available, the 28-digit Aadhaar enrolment id should be made available.

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Mandatory Aadhaar-PAN linking

Individuals having PAN will have to link it to their existing 12-digit biometric Aadhaar number from July 1.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley through an amendment to tax proposals in the Finance Bill for 2017-18 had made Aadhaar mandatory for filing income tax returns and provided for linking of PAN with Aadhaar to check tax evasion through use of multiple PAN cards.

While Aadhaar is a biometric authentication issued by the UIDAI, PAN is a 10-digit alphanumeric number alloted by the I-T department to individuals and entities.

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