Finance Minister P Chidambaram has sought to allay the apprehensions expressed in some quarters, including the Congress, over the new income tax form, saying it is easy to fill and was introduced for being amenable to electronic filing.
In his first comment on the new form after returning from abroad, Chidambaram said last night, "One of the reasons why form 2F was introduced was that it was computer friendly, one could file it electronically."
Pointing out that it is voluntary for tax assesses to fill the new form, 2F, during the current assessment year, he, however, did not drop any hint whether the form would be made mandatory from the next assessment year.
To a query on the issue, he just said, "Let us see, how many file the form voluntarily this year."
He said form 2E, or Old Naya Saral form, was not amenable to electronic filing. The new form replaces form 2E after July 31 onwards.
Chidambaram was talking to reporters after addressing a function, organised by global association of research and policy institutes, GDN, in New Delhi.
Emphasising that the form is easy to fill, Chidambaram said, "What amazes me is why should people assume income tax returns are such trifling things that you should fill it in five minutes... One should spend at least half an hour to fill the statement. The income form that we have, I believe can be filled in 20 minutes."
Form 2F drew criticism from various quarters, including the Congress, because of the requirement to fill in the cash- flow statement.