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New Tax Return Form May Come Down to 2-3 Pages
May, 05th 2015

The new Income Tax Return (ITR) form may only need the average taxpayer to fill out 2-3 pages, sources told NDTV.

Those who want to file further disclosures regarding additional income from various sources or details of expenditures incurred will have to file specific pages for each category of disclosures, they said.

A controversial 14-page long ITR form that sought bank details and foreign trip disclosures was released last month and came under heavy criticism, which prompted Finance Minister Arun Jaitley to order a review.

The 14-page form turned controversial as the Supreme Court appointed SIT or special investigations team asked for the inclusion of foreign travel details in the form in a bid to curb the black money menace.

According to sources, the Revenue Department made the addition without the minister's consent. The 14-page long form was notified by the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT). Mr Jaitley was on an official foreign trip when the controversial order was passed.

Sources say the new tax form will also not seek details about work-related foreign travel, which it earlier sought. It may only require the taxpayer to reveal the number of personal foreign visits he/she undertook, they said. But the tax department will focus on frequent foreign fliers who travel on personal expense.

The 14-page long ITR form sought a number of disclosures including the number of bank accounts held by the taxpayer "at any time (including opened/closed) during the previous year" with the last balance in the account on March 31 of the just-concluded financial year.

The taxpayer would also have had to furnish the name of the bank, account numbers, their address, IFSC code and any possible joint account holder, according to the existing form which would be replaced soon.

"I am having the entire matter (ITR form) reviewed and very soon you will hear an extremely simplified procedure coming for us," Mr Jaitley had said on Thursday while replying to the debate on the Finance Bill, 2015 in Parliament.

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