Simple ITR-1 income tax return form not for those paying ₹1 lakh in electricity bill, owning house jointly


In significant changes in income tax return filing forms, individual taxpayers owning house property in joint ownership and those who have paid ₹1 lakh in electricity bills in a year or incurred ₹2 lakh expense on foreign travel cannot file their annual income return using the simple ITR-1 form.

The government, which usually notifies forms for filing income tax returns by individuals in April every year, on January 3 notified tax return forms for assessment year 2020-21 (income earning year April 1, 2019 to March 31, 2020).

Returns in ITR-1 Sahaj can be filed by an ordinarily resident individual whose total income does not exceed ₹50 lakh, while Form ITR-4 Sugam is meant for resident individuals, HUFs and firms (other than LLP) having a total income of up to ₹50 lakh and having presumptive income from business and profession.

According to the notification, two major changes in the ITR forms have been effected. First, an individual taxpayer cannot file return either in ITR-1 or ITR4 if he is a joint-owner in house property.

Secondly, ITR-1 form is not valid for those individuals who have deposited more than ₹1 crore in bank account or have incurred ₹2 lakh or ₹1 lakh on foreign travel or electricity respectively, it said.

Such taxpayers will have to use different forms, which will be notified in due course.

An individual who “owns a house property in joint ownership with two or more persons” is required to furnish a return of income, the notification said.

“Only the forms have been notified without the return filing utility. Thus, a taxpayer, who is required to file the return before the previous year ends, cannot do so until the return filing facility is activated on the e-filing portal,” said Naveen Wadhwa of Taxmann.

Usually, the Income Tax Department notifies the ITR forms in the first week of April of the relevant assessment year. However, in contrast to the old practice, it has notified two ITR forms ITR-1 and ITR-4 for the assessment year 2020-21 in the first week of January.

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