New ITR forms to seek details on cash deposits during demonetisation

CBDT’s income tax return forms for 2017-18, called ITR-1 or Sahaj, will include a new column for declaring cash deposits during demonetisation


The new ITR forms will also require the assessee to compulsorily mention their Aadhaar number. Photo: Pradeep Gaur/Mint
The new ITR forms will also require the assessee to compulsorily mention their Aadhaar number. Photo: Pradeep Gaur/Mint

New Delhi: The tax department is including a new column in Income Tax Return forms for assessment year 2017-18 for obtaining details on cash deposits made by an individual during the demonetisation period between 8 November and 30 December 2016, people aware of the matter said.

The new column will also be introduced in salaried individuals’ income tax returns form, called ITR-1 or ‘Sahaj’, said the people.

While the I-T department has given a number of opportunities to taxpayers to explain unaccounted-for cash deposits made during the demonetisation period, the move to introduce the new column is to ascertain all deposits made by a person or entity irrespective of the threshold.

“This is just an effort to ascertain what deposits were made during the demonetisation period. The department has not issued notices in cases where the deposit amounts were small,” a senior tax officer said.

According to the people mentioned above, the new ITR forms will continue having a column asking taxpayers to mention their Aadhaar number but this time it would be mandatory and not optional like earlier.

The e-verification of ITRs using the Aadhaar will continue, they said.

The new ITR-1 or ‘Sahaj’, the officials said, has also been made simpler by bringing together the columns for all deductions and details about assets and liabilities. All the ITRs are expected to be launched by 1 April keeping in mind the thrust of the department and its policymaking body, the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), on timely filing of income tax returns to enhance the “non-intrusive information-driven approach for improving tax compliance and effective utilization of information in tax administration”.

“It is expected that all the nine different ITRs will be launched in one go by the department at the start of the new financial year 2017-18 from 1 April. Taxpayers can file their ITRs till the stipulated deadline of 31 July” the people added.

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