The Union government recently changed the rules for filing Income Tax returns. Here is all you need to know.
“Prior to the changes, the usual requirement for filing returns was based on income criteria. For individuals, the criteria was that if their gross total income was above ₹2.5 lakh, they had to file the I-T returns. Similarly, a senior citizen (60–80 years) had to file returns if the gross total income was greater than ₹3 lakh. The criteria for a very senior citizen (80 years and above) was an income greater than ₹5 lakh,” Abhishek Murali, president of the All India Tax Payers’ Association (AITPA) said.
New additional rules have now been introduced which are not confined to income alone.” Even if you have absolutely no income during the year, if any of the following criteria are satisfied, then it is a mandatory requirement to file I-T returns. Failing which penalties and fines will be levied on the defaulter,” he pointed out.
i) Where tax deducted at source/tax collected at source is ₹25,000 or more
ii) Where aggregate deposits into the Savings Bank accounts during the year is ₹50 lakh or more
iii) For a business: where gross receipts/sales is ₹60 lakh or more (even if loss making)
iv) For a professional: where gross receipts is ₹10 lakh or more (even if loss making)
These are in addition to the existing non-income rules which were introduced in April, 2020:
v) Electricity bills paid – ₹1 lakh or more in a year (for aggregate of all properties owned or rented)
vi) Where foreign travel expenses incurred either for self or for others – ₹2 lakh or more in a year
vii) Deposits into current account of ₹1 crore or more during the year.
Hence, in all of the above cases a return of income has to be filed, irrespective of what incomes/loss/refund is due to the assessee.
In order to comply with law in letter and spirit, it would be advisable to file a return of income for assessees, even when in doubt, to avoid penalties and action from the Income Tax Department, Mr. Murali pointed out..