Income Tax Department moots common ITR for all taxpayers

The Income Tax Department on Tuesday proposed to introduce a user-friendly common Income Tax Return (ITR) form for all taxpayers by merging all existing forms of return of income except ITR-7.  

Under the Finance Ministry’s proposal, income from virtual digital assets will have to be disclosed under a separate head. 

All taxpayers, except trusts and non-profit organisations, can file returns with the proposed new common ITR form, on which the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has invited stakeholders’ comments by December 15. 

Currently, taxpayers are required to furnish their income tax returns in ITR-1 to ITR-7 depending upon the category.  

“The current ITRs are in the form of designated forms wherein the taxpayer is mandatorily required to go through all the schedules, irrespective of the fact whether that particular schedule is applicable or not, which increases the time taken to file the ITRs,” the Finance Ministry said in a statement. 

“The proposed draft ITR takes a relook at the return-filing system in tandem with international best practices. It proposes to introduce a common ITR by merging all the existing returns of income except ITR-7,” it said. 

However, the current ITR-1 and ITR-4 will continue. This will give an option to such taxpayers to file the return either in the existing form (ITR-1 or ITR-4), or the proposed common ITR, at their convenience.

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