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Credit Card, Loan Payments Come Under Tax Department’s Scrutiny

To track cash transactions made during the 50-day demonetisation period, all cash payments of over Rs. 2 lakh for repaying loans and credit card bills during the period will have to be disclosed in the new one-page income tax return or ITR form, news agency Press Trust of India reported quoting an income tax official. This move comes amid concerns of unaccounted cash being used to repay loans or settle credit cards bills after making big-ticket purchases. The tax department will collate the data it has of cash payments made in excess of Rs. 2 lakh with the returns filed. “We want to see if the income profile matches with the cash payments made,” the agency report said, citing the tax official.

Revenue Secretary Hasmukh Adhia had earlier said that the new column of cash deposits made during November 9-December 30, 2016 was a one-time feature in the ITR and would not be there in the ITR from next year onwards.

The Income Tax Department has notified a simplified one-page form called ITR-1 or ‘Sahaj’. This ITR Form-1 (Sahaj) can be filed by an individual having income up to Rs. 50 lakh and who is receiving income from salary, one house property or other income (interest etc.). (Also read: New ITR form-1 (Sahaj) to benefit 2 crore filers)

Cash deposited in excess of Rs. 2 lakh during the November 9-December 30 period last year, if any, has to be mentioned in Sahaj. The form has a new column providing for declaration for any deposit of over Rs. 2 lakh in accounts. The changes made in return form are an attempt to catch tax evaders, the official said.

The Income Tax Return Form-1 or Sahaj will replace the earlier seven-page form, making it much easier for filing returns for most taxpayers. Sahaj makes quoting of the 12-digit Aadhaar number mandatory along with Permanent Account Number (PAN). While the earlier ITR form too had a column to quote Aadhaar, the government has through an amendment to the Income Tax Act made quoting it mandatory.

Post-demonetisation, the government had provided a 50-day window beginning November 9, 2016 to deposit the junked notes in bank accounts.