New I-T return forms to curb black money

Indian taxpayers have to disclose details of all bank accounts held by them in the country and also foreign trips, as per the new income tax return forms, notified by the Central Board of Direct Taxes. This new disclosure will start with the assessment year 2015-16.

The requirements for additional disclosure come, as the government is trying hard to curb black money and improve tax collections.

Individuals having income from salary, pension, one house property and other sources like interest file the returns in ITR-1 form. Apart from this if they earn income from capital gains and foreign assets they file returns in ITR-2 forms.

The new forms require an assessee to furnish the number of accounts he/she holds including those opened and closed during the previous year and the balance in the account as on March 31.

The assessee will also have to furnish the name of the bank, account number/numbers, its address, The Indian Financial System Code (IFSC code) and any possible joint account holder.

“The disclosure requirement on number of accounts and also those opened and closed is interesting. A lot of people have a number of bank accounts and they leave some accounts passive or inactive,” Vineet Agarwal, Partner, KPMG, said.

Foreign travel

On foreign travel, tax payers are required to disclose passport number, the issuance place of the passport, countries visited, number of times such visits are made and in case of a resident taxpayer, the expenses incurred from own sources in relation to such travel.

The new ITR forms, this time, also feature a new column to include the Aadhaar number of the assessee.

“This could be part of the longer plan to include Aadhaar as a unique number, it might become bigger than PAN. Already bank accounts and gas subsidy are linked to Aadhaar” said Mr. Agarwal.

Another feature now is if an assessee has forgotten to file his return or revised return within deadline, he can approach the CBDT directly and get permission to file the return, which the authority will decide on the merits, he added.

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