The change in ITR forms brought forward by the Income Tax Department for this assessment year received outrageous responses from the taxpayers. Since it requires the taxpayers to furnish extensive details about their finances, they found the new format to be unnecessarily complicated and backward-looking. However, the income tax department opines that this would help in curbing tax evasion and transactions in black money.
One of the clauses that the taxpayers found troublesome is about foreign trips. Now along with domestic assessees foreign nationals will also have to furnish complete details about their foreign trips. They also need to differentiate business expenses from the personal ones. Taxpayers find the clause to be unreasonable as there are numerous personal expenses during a trip and it is almost impossible to keep track of petty transactions.
The new form also requires the assessees to provide their bank account details, names of any joint account holder, IFSC Code, etc. They also need to provide details of their accrued income from rentals or interests or returns. But no upper limit has been decided for asset value like those related to residential property which makes it even more confusing. Also, taxpayers calculate their tax liabilities on the basis of approximations; if the department asks for actual figures, it would be hectic for them.
In response to the taxpayers’ views, the department says that some of these clauses have been modified to curb evasion and catch the defaulters. Officials say that it is not only inconvenient for the people, it is also difficult for them to compile such information together. They also clarified that the assessees need not mention the details of non-contributing joint account holders.
Apart from all the clauses that create inconveniences for the taxpayers, the new formats and clauses also have some positive points. In this new format, there is least chance of any expense leaking from the tax net. In a nutshell, the government is trying to make sure that taxpayers make correct calculations and an honest person would not find that troublesome.