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New I-T return forms enable deduction claims in FY 2019-20, for investments made by June end

MUMBAI: The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has notified the Income-tax (I-T) return forms for taxpayers, for filing their returns for the financial year ended March 31, 2020 (assessment year 2020-21).
The I-T return forms (ITR-1 to ITR-7) incorporate the recent announcement made by the Finance Minister, to ease the burden on taxpayers owing to Covid-19. Under an earlier announcement in March, the date for making various investments or payments for claiming deductions under Chapter-VIA/B of the I-T Act, which includes section 80C (eg: contributions to LIC, PPF, NSC), 80D (Mediclaim), 80G (donations), had been extended to June 30, 2020.
A new schedule (column) has been added in the I-T return forms to report investments made between April 1 up to June 30, 2020 for which deductions can be claimed in the financial year 2019-20.
Hinesh R. Doshi, chartered accountant says, “This mitigates any anxiety the taxpayers may have had on how to claim deductions for investments during this extended three-month period.”
It may be recalled that the budget tabled on July 5, 2019, had made it mandatory from financial year 2019-20, for ‘high-spenders’ to file their I-T returns, even if their taxable income is below the threshold exemption limit.
Those who had, during a financial year, spent more than Rs 2 lakh on a foreign trip or deposited Rs 1 crore in a current account with a bank or even paid more than Rs 1 lakh as electricity bill came under the mandatory filing norms. The relevant I-T return forms seek specific details of the quantum of expenditure from these taxpayers.
Earlier clarifications from the CBDT have also been incorporated in the new I-T return forms. Joint property owners and high-spenders can file their I-T returns using the simple Sahaj (ITR-1) and Sugam (ITR-4) forms.
While the I-T return forms have been notified the software-utility for filing the I-T returns online remains to be rolled out. The due date of I-T returns for the financial year 2019-20 have been extended to November 30. However, Puneet Gupta, director, people advisory services, at EY-India points out, “The software-utility should ideally be rolled out soon. While the I-T return filing date has been extended, some salaried employees do not have their entire I-T obligation deducted through the employer. If they have not paid advance-tax, there will be interest payable each month till the date of paying the self-assessment tax.”
The simple Sahaj (ITR-1) form can be used by a resident individual having total income of up to Rs. 50 lakh, which can include income from salary, income from ‘one’ house property, income from other sources (say interest) and agricultural income of up to Rs. 5,000. This form cannot be used if the taxpayer is a company director or has invested in unlisted equity shares. The other simple form, Sugam (ITR-4) is for resident individuals, Hindu Undivided Families (HUFs) and firms having total income up to Rs. 50 lakh, where the income from business and profession is covered by the presumptive tax schemes.

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