Form 2F, the new income tax return form for the salaried class, is here to stay. The form will continue, but the government was open about bringing in amendments, Parthasarthi Shome, Adviser to Finance Minister, said on Tuesday.
We have just introduced the form. If we get feedback such that some changes have to be made, those can be looked at, he said on the lukewarm response received by the new form. He was speaking at an international tax seminar organised by Assocham.
The new four-page return form, which has an optional cash flow statement for tax payers, has stirred a controversy. The revenue department has claimed that the form has been brought in to simplify the filing of tax returns, as also make it more transparent.
Mr Shome pointed out that the existing Saral form, which the 2F is replacing from next year, was more restricted in terms of presentation of information.
Salaried taxpayers had the option of filing income tax returns on either Saral or 2F this year However, according to a sample survey undertaken by the department in Mumbai, the response has been very poor to the new form 2F, sources said.
But, they said it needs to be put in context as the new form had been introduced recently. So the response could not have been overwhelming, especially when the option of filing on the old form was also there. Asked about the group set up to amend the Income Tax Act, he said the groups were in the last stage of finalising their reports.
He said the finance ministry had received a number of responses on the phasing out of exemptions and a broadsheet was being prepared to develop a comprehensive view on all of them. This broadsheet of responses would be analysed during the Budget-making process.
On the international taxation front, Mr Shome said transfer pricing administration was getting harmonised with the Asean system. He also emphasised that there was a need to tighten transfer pricing audits as India has been receiving large scale overseas investments.