NEW DELHI :
The government on Thursday lifted the bar on tax payers having joint property ownership from filing income tax return in forms 1 and 4 meant for people with income upto ₹50 lakh from salary, business or profession.
An official statement from the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) said that the eligibility norms for filing tax returns in forms 1 (called Sahaj) and form 4 (called Sugam) have been eased. The move comes after tax payers expressed concerns about the conditions regarding use of these forms that were notified on 3 January.
The earlier notification had said that a person who owns a property in joint ownership were not eligible to file their tax returns in these two forms. It also meant that certain persons who are required to file returns only because of certain transactions entered into during the previous financial year such as bank deposits above ₹one crore, spending more than ₹two lakh in foreign travel or spending more than ₹1 lakh in energy consumption, were not able to use these two forms and instead had to go for more detailed forms. The lifting of the restriction allows these assessees to use ITR forms 1 and 4.
“After the aforesaid notification, concerns have been raised that the changes are likely to cause hardship in the case of individual taxpayers. The taxpayers with jointly owned property have expressed concern that they will now need to file a detailed ITR Form instead of a simple ITR-1 and ITR-4," said the statement, adding that restrictions were removed after looking into their grievance.
Tax experts welcomed the move. “This is a welcome clarification from the government, allowing middle class taxpayers owning a single house property to file simpler ITR forms ITR-1 and ITR-4 and not the detailed ITR forms, even if they own house property in joint names," said Shailesh Kumar, director, Nangia Andersen Consulting Pvt. Ltd. Taxpayers holding multiple house properties, however, will have to file more detailed ITR forms, as the government apparently believes additional house properties as investment and not as basic need, explained Kumar.