Sponsored jaunts may escape ITR listing

But disclosures regarding foreign bank accounts may stay

Sponsored jaunts may escape ITR listing

Details of company-sponsored foreign trips may be exempted from the new norms in Income Tax (I-T) return forms, but disclosures with regard to foreign bank accounts may be retained in the ITR forms to be issued shortly.

“Disclosure with regard to foreign bank accounts may stay as otherwise it will defeat the purpose of the black money legislation. But company-sponsored trips may not find place in the new forms,” an official of the finance ministry said. As regards the length of the ITR form, the official said that it will be shorter.

Last week while interacting with media, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had said that the current forms were already very long and only three to four more questions were added in the pre-existing forms by the tax department.

“It was made to appear as if we made the shorter forms lengthy. That is not the case. The original forms already had twelve to twelve-and-a-half pages. We are trying to make it reasonably short and simple,” the finance minister had said.

Threshold for travel
Personal foreign travel will also be included in the new form if it exceeds the cap, the official said. “There may be an expenditure cap beyond which the trip will need to be disclosed in the revised ITR,” he said.

Salaried individuals and those persons who do not have business/professional income are required to file income tax returns in either ITR-1 or ITR-2 by July 31. Following the controversy over the new ITR forms which sought details of bank accounts and foreign visits, the revenue department announced putting them on hold. Jaitley promised to come out with “far more simplified” forms. The tax department also held consultations with industry chambers, seeking their views for simplification.

The ITR forms, which was notified by the CBDT last month for the current assessment year, had specific columns for bank accounts, IFSC Code, names of joint account holders and foreign visits, including the ones sponsored by companies.

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