The government on Friday notified a new one-page simplified Income-tax (I-T) Return (Form 1) called ‘Sahaj’ that can be utilised by salaried employees earning up to Rs 50 lakh during the financial year (FY) 2016-17.
The new I-T returns also require Aadhar numbers or enrolment numbers to be provided by those taxpayers required to register for Aadhar. Details of cash deposited with banks following demonetisation are also required to be provided in the I-T returns.
The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has notified the I-T return forms for the assessment year 2017-18, which is for the income earned during the financial year ending March 31, 2017. According to a CBDT press release, Sahaj or Form 1, can be filed by individuals having income up to Rs 50 lakh and who earn income from salary, one house property and ‘other income’ (such as bank interest).
Thus, business men or professionals who earn income which is taxable under the head ‘Income from business or profession’ will not be entitled to file their returns in Form 1, even if their income is below the threshold specified of Rs 50 lakh.
“The new form will reduce the compliance burden to a significant extent on the individual tax payer. This initiative will benefit more than two crore taxpayers who will be eligible to use this I-T return form,” states the CBDT. For salaried employees the due date for filing the I-T return for the FY 2016-17 is July 31.
In the backdrop of demonetisation, all the newly notified I-T Returns (including Sahaj) require taxpayers to give details of cash deposited during the period November 9, 2016 up to December 30, 2016. This was the period within which the demonetised notes could be deposited with banks.
Further, taxpayers who are required to obtain Aadhar also have to provide their Aadhar number or enrolment number in their I-T return. For instance, companies are not required to obtain Aadhar and will not have to provide this detail. Norms relating to electronic filing of I-T returns continue. Individuals, whose income is up to Rs 5 lakh and where there is no refund due from the I-T department, can continue to file their I-T returns physically.