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Filing ITR-1 this year? You must know about these changes
June, 11th 2019

If you are filing ITR-1 this year, then there are several procedural changes you must know about. Being aware of these changes will make it easier for you to file your income tax return.

Here are the changes that you must know.

Addition of new tab for section 80GGA
This year in the online form of ITR-1, a new tab for section 80GGA has been added. If you wish to claim deduction under section 80GGA, then you are required to enter the details in the new tab.

Section 80GGA provides deduction for the donations made towards scientific research/rural development. However, individuals with business income cannot claim this deduction.

Chartered Accountant, Naveen Wadhwa, DGM, says, "Any individual who wishes to claim this deduction will be required to furnish additional information - relevant clause under which deduction is claimed, name and address of the donee, PAN of donee and amount of donation made in cash and any other mode. The new schedule seeks detailed information to rule out false claims in ITRs."

Remember, donations in excess of Rs 10,000 in cash are not allowed as deduction. Also, 100 percent of the amount donated is eligible for deduction under this section.

Changes in reporting of exempted incomes
In last year's ITR-1, you were required to report exempted incomes under the head 'Taxes Paid and Verification'. However, this year, these incomes will have to be reported under the tab, 'Computation of income and taxes'. Wadhwa says, "This is now a coherent replacement as it belongs to income schedules only."

In addition to that, last year, while reporting exempted incomes, you were required to report tax-exempt portion of allowances such as HRA (house rent allowance) received from your employer, under this head. This year, tax-exempt portion of allowances received will be reported while filling salary details in ITR-1.

Validating your bank account on e-filing website for faster credit of tax refunds
The income tax department has decided to issue only e-refunds from March 1, 2019. E-refunds will be issued to only those bank accounts that are validated on the e-filing website and are linked with filer's PAN.

If your PAN is not linked with your bank account or your bank account is not validated on the e-filing website of the income tax department, then it is likely your tax refunds will be delayed.

Choosing of verification option
When filing ITR-1 in the previous year, while selecting details such as ITR form, assessment year and so on, you were also required to choose the ITR verification option with which you will be verifying your ITR.

However, this year, this option has been moved under the 'Taxes Paid and Verification' head. Once the ITR-1 form on the website is filled with all the required details, then you will have to choose the option with which you want to verify your ITR. Wadhwa says, "Earlier, verification method was asked at the time of selecting or uploading the relevant ITR form. This is now a logical placement of 'Verification' options."

However, if you are filing your ITR using Excel utility, i.e., by uploading an XML file, then you are required to choose the verification option while selecting details such as ITR form as mentioned above.

Detailed break-up of donation made under section 80G
If you have made any donations in FY 2018-19, then you will be required to provide the detailed break-up of how much of it was in cash and how much using banking channels. "This has been done to curtail the misuse of section 80G for donations made," adds Wadhwa.

Under section 80G, you can claim deduction for donations made to certain notified funds, charitable institutions or notified institutions set-up by the government.

Lesser information is pre-filled
In a departure from the previous year, this year there is less pre-filled information while filing ITR-1 online on the e-filing website.

Wadhwa says, "Up to last year, when TDS details were imported from tax passbook (Form 26AS), the fields of Salary Income and Income from Other Sources were also filled with the gross payments subjected to such TDS. This year, the data is imported only in TDS Schedules and not in the income schedules. It appears that the department has deliberately disabled this practice because of two reasons - first, if an income field is pre-filled with certain numbers, the taxpayers might get afraid from changing it and certain income would not be reported in ITR. Second, this year, additional information is required to be disclosed for the income to be reported in ITR 1/ITR 4, thus, it would not be possible for the department to pre-fill the relevant field."

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