The Finance Ministry today asked taxpayers to file their Income Tax returns for 2015-16 early to avoid the rush towards the last date of August 31.
The tax department, yesterday, made fully operational its e-filing website for taxpayers to file their I-T returns for assessment year 2015-16.
“Taxpayers are requested to e-file their returns early to avoid the rush closer to the last date of filing,” a finance ministry statement said as electronic filing of Income Tax Returns (ITR) commenced.
The tax department has released the software for preparing the Income Tax Return forms — ITR 1-Sahaj, ITR 2, 2A and 4S-Sugam for Assessment Year 2015-16.
The Income Tax department had on June 22 notified the new set of ITR forms, including a three-page simplified one, for taxpayers to file their returns for assessment year 2015-16.
“The e-filing of these return forms has been enabled on the e-filing website- http://incometaxindiaefiling.gov.in,” the statement added.
ITR 1-Sahaj, 2 and 2A can be used by individual or HUF whose income does not include income from business. ITR 4S – Sugam can be used by an individual or HUF whose income includes business income assessable on presumptive basis.
The new form ITR 2A has been introduced this time and is for individuals or HUFs who do not have capital gains, income from business/profession or foreign asset/foreign income.
The statement suggested taxpayers to use the return preparation software available free of cost under the ‘Downloads’ section on the home page of the I-T department’s website.
“The use of departmental software will ensure preparation of error-free returns thereby avoiding any need for future rectification due to data validation mistakes,” the statement added.
The facility for pre-filling of information for these return forms is available in the software for preparing the return forms.
“When the taxpayer exercises this option and fills in his PAN, then personal information and information on taxes paid and TDS will be auto-filled in the form,” it said.
In the new ITR form assessees would now have to declare only the “total number of savings and current bank accounts” held by them “at any time during the previous year (excluding dormant accounts).”
The form also has space to fill up the IFSC code of the bank and in an additional feature, tax filers have been given an option to indicate their bank accounts in which they would want their refund credited.
Also, a person who had travelled abroad in the previous year will be required to provide only the Passport Number.
The I-T department, in the new ITRs, has also sought the Aadhaar number of filers and has also given options for providing two email ids to it.
The department has also provided for an additional four-page schedule to this simplified form for those who wish to file anymore details, applicable in a case-to-case basis.
The new ITRs have replaced the 14-page form that were notified earlier this year, triggering a major controversy with individuals, industrialists and MPs saying tax filing would become cumbersome as those forms had sought details including foreign trips and bank accounts details.
The I-T department then came out with a new form on May 31, which was notified on June 22.
Following this, the last date of filing ITRs by individuals was extended from July 31 to August 31.