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Frequent changes in I-T returns annoys taxpayers

Frequent changes in I-T returns annoys taxpayers
Highlights

With less than a month left to file the returns, the frequent changes are proving to be annoying The result is to reenter data or gather more details...

MUMBAI: With less than a month left to file the returns, the frequent changes are proving to be annoying. The result is to re-enter data or gather more details in the last minute.

For the financial year 2017-18, the due date for filing of I-T returns was July 31 which was extended to August end. In some cases, fresh clarifications have to be sought by taxpayers from their chartered accountants. Additional information under the head ‘Income from other sources’ requires the taxpayers to show interest on refund of income tax and other interest separately.

“This is how the I-T department makes changes surreptitiously. It does not change the notified forms but makes changes in the electronic version and since e-filing is mandatory in most cases, taxpayers or their professionals have to make last minute changes to work already done. It is also not fair to ask additional information from some taxpayers who file their returns after such changes were carried out whereas the same information is not obtained from early filers,” said Rajeev Khandelwal, a delhi based chartered accountant.

He adds saying, “Taxpayers would readily have details of interest from bank accounts but many were not reporting the interest on I-T refunds, largely owing to ignorance. While interest on I-T refunds is taxable, several taxpayers are now seeking clarifications from professionals.”

“Further, many taxpayers generate their returns through third party return filing software. Any changes made in the version released by the I-T department is also required to be incorporated in the third party software which takes a few days. In short such frequent changes lead to hardship in the form of additional compliance, re-entering of data and may also delay the filing of return of income. This is unfair, especially as the I-T Act now contains a penalty for late filing of the I-T returns which can be a maximum of Rs 10,000,” said Hinesh R Doshi, another chartered accountant.

Gautam Nayak, CNK & Associates tax partner, said, “The difficulty is that, very often, you fill up the utility after compiling all the details and then suddenly realise that the format of the utility has changed. If you try to file the return in the old utility, you would get an error message while uploading the return. You again have to file up a fresh utility and if in the meanwhile there is no change once again in the utility, only then can you file e-file your return.”

Other than individuals having income of less than Rs 5 lakh and people over 80 years age, everyone requires to file the return electronically.

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