Widening its net to check generation of black money, the Income Tax department has introduced significant changes in the income tax return form starting assessment year 2015-16. Taxpayers will now have to disclose instances of foreign travel, details of their bank accounts in the country along with usage of balance in capital gain account schemes.
Relief obtained on account of tax treaties will also need to be mentioned in the returns for 2015-16.
In the new income tax return (ITR) form, any individual with an Aadhaar number will have to mention it and will have to mandatorily produce tax residency certificate (TRC), hitherto required only if asked by the assessing officer.
The new ITR forms, including ITR-1 and ITR-2, require an assessee to furnish the number of bank accounts held by the individual “at any time (including opened/closed) during the previous year” with the last balance in his or her account on March 31 of the just concluded fiscal.
The assessee will also have to furnish the name of the bank, account number/numbers, its address, IFSC code and any possible joint account holder.
With regards to foreign travel, the tax department wants the assessee’s passport number, place of issue of passport, countries visited, number of times such journeys were made, and in case of a resident taxpayer, the expenses incurred from “own sources in relation to such travel”.
Tapati Ghose, partner, Deloitte Haskins & Sells LLP, said: “Additional disclosures mandated in the new income tax return forms reaffirm the government’s intent to track taxable income overseas and in India. Changes incorporated in tax returns were expected from the budget speech of the Finance Minister and subsequently with the introduction of the Undisclosed Foreign Income and Assets (Imposition of Tax) Bill.”