New income tax returns form wants details of foreign travels
GN Bureau | April 18, 2015
In pursuit of black money, the government is hauling up ordinary tax payers and seeking additional details in the new income tax return (ITR) form for assessment year 2015-16. This will be applicable to financial year 2014-15, for which returns have to be filed by July-end.
The new form asks for all bank accounts details regardless of whether they hold a minimum balance or lots of cash, instead of only salary account details.
It also wants detailed account of your foreign travel made last year (2014-15). Among the details are passport number, the number of trips made, the countries visited, and the personal expenses incurred on personal account. When there is hue and cry over retrospective tax demand, this clause on foreign travel details from last year is nothing but harassment.
Finance minister Arun Jaitley has promised an end to “tax terrorism” like arbitrary tax demands, especially those applied retrospectively. But the details sought about foreign trip are tax terrorism.
The new tax forms will seek information about the capital gains accrued through trading activity, with a detailed break-up of the long-term capital gains, short-term capital gains and tax rate. Stock market trading details are bought, so is agriculture income.
Once you give those details, the taxman will have endless opportunities to harass a person.
Meanwhile, Jaitley has sought urgent implementation of common reporting standards on automatic exchange of information globally, asserting that it is the only way to tackle the challenges posed by black money.
The problem of offshore tax evasion and flow of illicit money can be addressed only by the free flow of financial account information exchanged among countries on an automatic basis, Jaitley said in his intervention on ‘International Tax Issues’ during the annual Spring Meeting of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank in Washington.
“We strongly feel that there is a need to ensure that the Common Reporting Standards on Automatic Exchange of Information should be implemented on a fully reciprocal global basis and those countries which have not yet committed to the timeline of 2017 or 2018 should do it without any further delay,” he said.
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