As per the provisions of the income tax act, the last date to file the income tax return by the taxpayers (who are not liable to tax audit) for the financial year 2020-21 is 31st July 2021. The income tax department has recently notified new offline ITR forms, Form no. 1 and Form no. 4, for the assessment year 2021-22. The new ITR forms are available to be convenient for the taxpayers for compliance.
The taxpayers can now use the single JSON utility for both ITR-1 and ITR-4 available in the income tax filing portal. Through the JSON facility, the taxpayer’s can pre-fill the data from the income tax e-filing website. The balance data has to be filled in manually. The details which are imported (except PAN) can be changed after importing.
However, the facility to upload the income tax return directly through utility is not yet provided. The taxpayer has to save the utility’s details or export the output JSON file in the system. The exported file can be used to upload on the e-filing portal once the facility is enabled.
The excel and Java version of ITR utilities will be discontinued from AY 2020-21.
The changes in the ITR form are aligned to the following amendments in the Finance act, 2020:
- The new income tax regime inserted with low-income tax rates: The taxpayers will be allowed to opt for either the existing tax slab rates or the new tax regime (provided prescribed deductions or rebates are not availed). The taxpayer must choose the alternative in Part A (General) of the new ITR forms.
- Deferment of tax payment by the employees of start-up companies to whom Employees’ Stock Option (ESOPs) are allotted: Such taxpayers will now have to file their income tax return through ITR-2 or ITR-3 instead of ITR-1 or ITR-4. Where details related to deferment of tax in ESOPs will be required to be disclosed.
- Tax deduction at source under section 194N: Where 2 per cent tax is deducted if the taxpayer withdraws any amount up to Rs. 1 crore and above Rs. 20 lakh; and 5 per cent if the amount is withdrawn is above Rs. 1 crore. As per the amendments made in income tax rules, these taxpayers will not be allowed to file ITR-1.
The new ITR forms are elementary and user-friendly. It will reduce the compliance burden on the taxpayers. The questionnaire-based functionality will help the taxpayers to choose the forms that apply to them.
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