In a first, Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has notified income tax return (ITR) forms for the financial year (FY) well in advance before end of it. The ongoing FY 2019-20 will end on 31 March 2020, and taxpayers will need forms to assess and file the return in the assessment year (AY) 2020-21. As of now CBDT has issued two forms—ITR-1 and ITR-4— for the AY 2020-21. However, experts believe that soon all the forms will get notified. “Government wants to avoid the backlash that we usually witness year-on-year because of delay in notifying the ITR forms or amendments thereafter," said Amit Maheshwari, partner, Ashok Maheshwary and Associates Llp, a chartered accountancy firm.
It is expected that this year government will notify all the forms before end of the FY and update utilities (e-filing tax return forms) accordingly so that a tax payer will be able to file the return as soon as AY starts, added Maheshwari.
However, “till now only the forms have been notified without the return filing utility. Thus, a taxpayer, who is required to file the return before the previous year ends (ie FY20), cannot do so until the return filing facility is activated on the e-filing portal," said Naveen Wadhwa, director general manager, Taxmann, an e-filing intermediary
ITR-1 which is also known as “Sahaj" can be used by an individual whose incomes primarily include salary income and whose total income does not exceed Rs50 lakh during the FY. On the other hand ITR-4 can be used to file returns by resident individuals, Hindu Undivided Family (HUFs) and firms (other than LLP) having a total income of up to Rs50 lakh from business and profession and filing return under presumptive taxation scheme.
“There are two major changes in the ITR Forms - first, an individual taxpayer cannot file return either in ITR-1 or ITR4 if he is a joint-owner in house property, second, ITR-1 form is not valid for those individuals who have deposited more than Rs1 crore in bank account or has incurred Rs2 lakh or Rs1 lakh on foreign travel or electricity respectively," said Wadhwa.
Though the forms are notified, according to experts it is not practical to file a return before end of the FY, even if utilities get updated. Ideally, one should file the return from 1 April onwards and before the due date of 31 July.