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Tax filing set to become Saral again
March, 20th 2007

Heres some goods news for all you taxpayers. You wont miss Saral. The government has decided to dilute the complex Form 2F for filing income-tax returns, which the IT department had painstakingly prepared only to face universal criticism. Instead, there will be a new, simplified and user-friendly tax return form.

The new forms would be easy to file and user-friendly and are expected to be out in the next few days, a revenue department official said.

However, the department has yet to take a call on whether to call the new form-prepared with the help of the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad-Saral or 2F or something else. Whatever be the name, the objective of the form will be to elicit details on income of the taxpayer in a straightforward fashion.

The controversial cashflow statement for which Form 2F received much criticism too may be simplified significantly. We are not completely cast in stone... We will find a balance, the official said, adding that the government had taken feedback from all sources and is open to changes. This could mean that the government may still like to keep a version of the cashflow statement, but a simpler one that is more palatable to the general public.

Form 2F had drawn criticism from many quarters, including the Congress. The parliamentary standing committee on finance had hit hard at the five-page form saying it was cumbersome and lengthy and asked the government to stick to the Saral form. The panel said the department should update the previous return form 2E by providing more space or columns in it, instead of introducing another one. It also wanted the government to do away with the provision of cashflow statement in the form.

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