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Budget 2020: FM Nirmala Sitharaman should make taxpayer-friendly announcements like pre-filled ITR forms

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Budget 2020: Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman in her budget speech of 2019-20, quoted the introduction of pre-filled income tax return forms from AY2020-21 that was meant to help the small taxpayers file their yearly returns with just a few clicks.

Currently, if a taxpayer chooses to file ITR 1 or ITR 4 form then little information such as his/her personal details, bank account number, salary details (if form 16 was issued to him), TDS deductions and interest received on FDs are pre-filled, and therefore he/she is required to find information in respect of all other requisites that he/she needs to fill therein payment of premiums, capital gains arises on the sale of securities etc.

But, if pre-filled forms get introduced; it will help the majority of taxpayers as well as professionals but in order to use this option, certain precautions need to be taken. They are as follows:

  • Verify personal details such as the mobile number and email id so that the taxpayer can get all communication like notices & intimations in respect of his/her returns on his/her own email id.
  • Verify bank account number and IFSc Code: To receive income tax refund promptly, a person's bank account number and IFSC code need to be verified
  • We expect that the income tax department will prefill the investment details of a taxpayer such as payment of premiums in respect of LLP or medical insurances; therefore before finalising the return form, the taxpayer should verify it from the policy documents as well as his/her bank statement.
  • In case the taxpayer receives salary from more than one employer, then he/she should calculate the correct amount that should have been chargeable to tax under the head 'Salaries' without claiming the slab benefit twice.
  • In case the taxpayer has any bank account where he/she hasn't quoted his/her PAN yet then the interest received from such bank account(s) could not be pre-filled, therefore the taxpayer then would need to add that interest income in his/her income tax computation.
  • We also expect the income tax department to prefill the details of the gain made on account of sale and purchase of securities through DMAT account, if this happens then the taxpayer needs to verify the same as per his/her yearly/monthly statement provided by the broker.
  • Where the taxpayer has derived income by way of commission/rent/business/capital gain on sale of assets/other interests/brokerage etc then these will not be prefilled by the Income-tax department therefore before filing the income tax return, it is advisable to consult a chartered accountant or any other recognised expert who can help a taxpayer to figure it out as per the provisions of the income tax act and rules made thereunder.

The Pre-filled Income tax forms will surely help the small taxpayers in file their Income tax returns within a few minutes and a few clicks. This will surely increase the number of tax returns from the past assessment years.

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