Govt opts for Saral solution
SUCCUMBING TO sharp criticism from various quarters, the government on Thursday dropped the new four-page Form 2F for filing income tax returns.india Updated: Jun 09, 2006 15:08 IST
SUCCUMBING TO sharp criticism from various quarters, the government on Thursday dropped the new four-page Form 2F for filing income tax returns.
Revenue Secretary K.M. Chandrasekhar told reporters that the Form 2F was optional and meant only for this year. The assessees could file returns this year either in the existing Saral form or the new Form 2F, he said.
A complicated replacement of the popular ‘Saral’, Form 2F was widely criticised for seeking details of expenditure and investment.
The government will come out with another form next year based on the feedback it receives this year. Earlier, while notifying the new Form 2F, the government had said that it would be optional for this year and mandatory from the next year.
The new form next year could be an improved version of either the existing Saral form or Form 2F, Chandrasekhar said. On the rationale behind the Form 2F, the Revenue Secretary said that it was really “simple”. He said there was an attempt to make the form self-explanatory and do away with all annexures, including Form 16A, that provided details of tax deducted at source by the employer.
Critical of the attempts to depict Form 2F in bad light, Chandrasekhar said it was certainly simpler than the existing Saral form and the additional pages provided only “worksheets” to make the filing of return easier for the common man.
The new form required the tax assessees to provide cash-flow statement indicating income, expenditure and investment. But Chandrasekhar said that it was optional to provide the cash-flow statement. The basic purpose of cash-flow statement is to track if the assessees were concealing income, he said. Unlike in the past, tax authorities now had access to a lot of information like annual information return to track the lifestyle of the tax assesses, he added.
Chandrasekhar said the tax department was improving the existing Form 16AA provided by the employers. All those tax assessees who do not have any income other than salary upto Rs 1,50,000 need to file only form 16AA as tax returns.