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Parliamentary panel asks finance ministry for a common income tax return

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A parliamentary panel on Thursday asked the finance ministry to expeditiously come out with a common ITR form to ease I-T return filing for individuals and non-business taxpayers.

The ministry had in November last year proposed to come out with a user-friendly common income tax return form for all taxpayers, except trusts and non-profit organisations. It had invited stakeholder comments on the same.

The Standing Committee on Finance, chaired by BJP MP Jayant Sinha, had earlier flagged difficulties being faced by people in filing Income Tax returns and urged the tax department to make the process simpler and more taxpayer friendly.

It had said that any person with income from various sources, like salary, rent and business income, cannot file ITR on his own and has to seek advice of either a chartered accountant or a person having adequate knowledge and expertise in filing ITR.

In reply to the recommendations of the committee, the ministry has stated that in order to make tax compliance more convenient, pre-filled details of certain income, like salary, are being provided to individual taxpayers.

The scope of information for pre-filing is being further expanded by including information such as house property income, bank interest, dividends, the tax department said.

Further, it is proposed to introduce a common ITR form in tandem with international best practices, by merging all existing forms except ITR-7.

It is expected that the proposed ITR form brings ease of filing returns to individuals and non-business type taxpayers considerably.

"The committee, therefor, would expect the ministry to expedite the process and introduce the new format at the earliest," it added.

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