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A primer to Saral-II
June, 22nd 2010

Taxpayers will have to fill a new form, Saral-II, this tax-filing season. The form, introduced by the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) in April, is supposed to make filing tax returns easier. The form is to be used for filing returns for Financial Year 2009-10 or Assessment Year 2010-11.

Kaushik Mukherjee, executive director, PricewaterhouseCoopers said, Saral-II incorporates a larger variety of income compared to income tax returns-1 (ITR-1), which sought different forms for declaring different types of income.

Eligibility: Saral-II is to be used only by individuals having income from salary, pension, from one house property (excluding the loss brought forward from previous years), and from other sources excluding lottery and horse race. In other words, you can use this form if you earn salary, pension or interest income.

If you have to club two incomes like yours and your spouses, or that of your minor child, you can use this form, provided the incomes clubbed fall under the specified categories.

Other forms
ITR-2: Individuals or Hindu Undivided Families (HUFs) who dont earn from business or profession

ITR-3: Individuals or HUF partners in firms and those who dont earn from business or profession under any proprietorship

ITR-4: Individuals or HUF earnings from a proprietary business or a profession

ITR-5: Firm, association of persons, body of individuals, corporation or society, and local authority

ITR-6: Company

ITR-V: If returns in Forms Saral-II (ITR-1), ITR-2, ITR-3, ITR-4, ITR-5 & ITR-6 are transmitted electronically without digital signature

An important point in Saral-II is that no documents like tax computation, tax deducted at source (TDS) certificates issued by employers (Form 16), other TDS certificates (Form 16A), tax payment challans are required to be attached.

You can file returns on paper/electronically with digital signature/transmitting data electronically and thereafter submitting the verification in return form ITR-V by furnishing a bar-coded return.

Electronic filing: You are required to take two prints of ITR-V. Sign one copy and post it to the Directorate of Income Tax in Bangalore and retain the other copy for your record.

You also need to furnish the magnetic ink character recognition code of the bank for receiving the refund through the electronic clearing system. Homi Mistry, partner, Deloitte said, In the previous form, one could give details of either a savings bank account or a current account. But in Saral-II, you can give only your savings account number. So, in case you dont have a savings account, it will be a problem.

On taxable income, the tax is to be calculated inclusive of secondary and higher education cess at the rate of 3 per cent.

The new form has many advantages over the earlier version. For example, individuals with salary income and more than one house have to file returns with Form ITR-2, a complex, six-page document. Financial planners say senior citizens or retirees who have acquired a second property over the course of time and rent from which is a source of income, cannot use Saral-II.

Earlier, if you earned dividend or long-term capital gains from mutual funds or shares and income from agriculture up to Rs 5,000, it had to be filled in ITR-2.

However, the annual information report has been retained in the new form. It requires declaration of transactions such as deposits over Rs 10 lakh in savings account, property transactions over Rs 30 lakh, purchase of Reserve Bank of India bonds or company debentures of over Rs 5 lakh, company shares issued for more than Rs 1 lakh, among others.

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