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Get the facts right for AIR

The Annual Information Return (AIR), which is a vital part of the new tax forms, confuses many people who are filing their returns. Arnav Pandya reports.

business Updated: Jul 31, 2008 16:49 IST

The Annual Information Return (AIR), which is a vital part of the new tax forms, confuses many people who are filing their returns.

The confusion stems from the fact that the AIR return has to be filed by institutions like banks and mutual funds houses, but details have to be mentioned by the individual in their returns too. Some of the areas that need information to be mentioned are:

Savings bank
If there is cash amounting to Rs 10 lakh or more deposited in a savings account then this has to be mentioned in the relevant space for the purpose. It is not necessary that the amount should be a single deposit. Even if there are multiple deposits and the total amount crosses Rs 10 lakh it will have to be mentioned. This is independent of any withdrawals in cash that might be made and at the same time is applicable only for savings account and not other bank accounts.

Credit card bills
If a person has paid Rs 2 lakh or more as their credit card bills, it has to be mentioned in the AIR. Again the figure here has to be calculated in the aggregate and this means that the bills for the credit card for the entire year have to be tallied and checked whether the figure exceeded for the person on the card.

Mutual fund investment
The limit in this area is an investment of Rs 2 lakh per year in a fund. This will impact investors who have made large investments especially if they have say a systematic investment plan of Rs 20,000 a month. These investors will then need to mention the total in the return form.

Company shares
One has to be a bit careful when it comes to the question of shares issued by a company. The limit here is Rs 1 lakh of investment in the shares of the company but this is only in case of a rights or a public issue. Hence if the investor makes an investment larger than this through the secondary market then there is no need to mention the details and several people would be making large investments in the secondary market.

The property value that is either sold or purchased and is more than Rs 30 lakh has to be mentioned. Since this covers both sides of the transaction every property deal has to be considered and seen whether this needs a mention in the return.

There is also a provision for various bonds and debentures including the bonds issued by the Reserve Bank of India and anything over Rs 5 lakh during the year has to be mentioned. There are varying limits for different items and hence some care has to be taken in the entire process.