Easing restrictions imposed on taxpayers a week ago, the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) on Thursday said that it will allow joint owners of single house property to file income tax returns (ITR) using simple Form-1 (Sahaj) or Form-4 (Sugam).
Earlier this month on 3 January, the tax department had issued new forms for financial year 2019-20 (assessment year 2020-21) wherein it had debarred individual taxpayers owning house property in joint ownership and those who paid Rs 1 lakh in electricity bills in a year or incurred Rs 2 lakh expense on foreign travel from filing their annual income return using the simple return forms.
"After the notification, concerns have been raised that the changes are likely to cause hardship in the case of individual taxpayers," the CBDT's statement said.
According to the statement, the issue was examined and "it has been decided to allow a person, who jointly owns a single house property, to file his/her return of income in ITR-1 or ITR-4 Form, as may be applicable, if he/she meets the other conditions".
"It has also been decided to allow a person, who is required to file return due to fulfilment of one or more conditions specified in the seventh proviso to section 139 (1) of the Act, to file his/her return in ITR-1 Form," it added.
Unlike the usual practice to release ITR forms at the start of the new assessment year (in April), in line with ITR filing season, the CBDT notified forms for the assessment year 2020-21 (income earning year April 1, 2019 to March 31, 2020) on 3 January.
The notification released earlier this month made two major changes:
- an individual taxpayer cannot file return either in ITR-1 or ITR4 if he is a joint-owner in house property.
- ITR-1 form is not valid for those individuals who have deposited more than Rs 1 crore in bank account or have incurred Rs 2 lakh or Rs 1 lakh on foreign travel or electricity respectively.
These taxpayers were notified to use different forms, which would have been notified in due course.
The tax department said that CBDT to ensure that the e-filing utility for filing of return for assessment year (AY) 2020-21 is available as on 1 April 2020, ITR forms 1 and 4 were notified in January.