The Finance Ministry has allowed agents of non-residents to file paper-based tax returns for assessment year 2006-07.
In income-tax parlance, agents are those persons who have been either employed by or on behalf of a non-resident or who are a trustee of the non-resident. A business connection with a non-resident or payment of any income to non-resident would bring a person within the ambit of an agent for income-tax purposes. Such agents were earlier filing paper-based returns of the non-residents through Form 1 (for corporate taxpayers).
With the Government making it mandatory for all corporate taxpayers to e-file their returns (form 1), agents of non-residents were facing difficulties on this front.
It was represented that there could be more than one agent for a non-resident in India for different transactions or a person in India may be an agent of more than one non-resident.
As the e-filing software functions on the principle of `one assessee one PAN one return', such situations could not be covered.