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Govt likley to withdraw new I-T forms seeking details of foreign trips

The government will likely roll back the controversial new income tax return forms that makes it mandatory to disclose a host of information including details of foreign trips, top officials told HT.

business Updated: Apr 18, 2015 23:12 IST
Timsy Jaipuria
Timsy Jaipuria
Hindustan Times
income tax,income tax return form,Arun Jaitley

The government is likely to roll back the new income tax forms that mandate disclosure of a host of information including details of foreign trips, a top official said on Saturday.

"Finance minister Arun Jaitley just called me from Washington, he is seized of the matter and has asked for a re-consideration," revenue secretary Shaktikanta Das said.

The new forms had sparked outrage among people with taxpayers questioning the need for securing such data. The forms also triggered fears that this could lead to harassment by I-T officials.

The government notified the new forms on Friday that will require the taxpayer to give details of foreign trips, bank accounts, passport and Aadhaar number while filing returns.

The new forms, which run into 14 pages, were to be applicable from the current assessment year implying taxpayers will have to furnish details from last year (2014-15) including overseas travel, the money spent on such trips and the sources of these funds among others.

HT had first reported on August 22 about the government’s plans to make it mandatory to disclose details of overseas trips in tax return forms as part of a broad strategy to crack down on India’s black economy.

Under the new tax filing norms, the taxpayer would have been required to furnish the number of bank accounts held “at any time (including opened/closed) during the previous year" with the last balance in his or her account on March 31 of the just concluded fiscal.

The tax payer would have also been required to give the name of the bank, account number/numbers, its address, IFSC code and any possible joint account holder.

IFSC code is the Indian Financial System code, which is an eleven-character code assigned by RBI to identify every bank branches uniquely.

Besides, the taxpayer would have been also required to provide details about his or her passport, the place where it was issued, countries visited during the previous financial year, number of times such trips were made and in case of a resident taxpayer, the expenses incurred from “own sources in relation to such travel.”

Read: Taxpayers to disclose bank accounts, foreign travel to Income Tax dept

First Published: Apr 18, 2015 18:19 IST