The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has notified the Income-tax Return (ITR) Forms applicable for the Assessment Year 2019-20. These ITR Forms will be applicable for filing of income-tax return in respect of income earned during the previous year 2018-19 (between 01-04-2018 to 31-03-2019). The new forms incorporate the changes made by the Finance Act, 2018 in the Income-tax Act, 1961.
It is the usual practice of CBDT to change the ITR forms every year in the month of April to incorporate the amendments made in the I-T Act by the previous Finance Act. However, this time the ITR forms have been changed with two major objectives – to incorporate the changes made by the Finance Act, 2018 and to seek additional disclosures. The additional disclosures have been sought by the CBDT in respect of all those income which are often subject to tax disputes or which are prone to tax avoidance. It appears that the CBDT has envisaged to turn the ITR forms into Scrutiny forms. By making the changes in current year ITR forms, the Dept. has increased the scope of disclosure and the scope to uncover the under-reporting or wrong-reporting of income. The Finance Minister while presenting the Interim Budget, 2019 has revealed that last year 99.54% of the Income-tax returns were accepted as they were filed. With this level of disclosures, the Dept. can easily flag the doubtful returns to unearth the possible tax avoidances at the time of processing of return by the CPC.
Though the structure of new ITR forms remain same, yet the no. of changes in these ITR forms are enormous. We have minutely scrutinized the new ITR Forms and have identified the key changes in new ITR forms viz-a-viz last year ITR Forms. These changes are explained below.
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