New Delhi: No change has been made in income-tax return (ITR) forms, only the utility software has been updated, the CBDT said on Tuesday, quashing reports circulating on social media about "large-scale changes" in the forms troubling taxpayers.
The policy-making body of the Income Tax Department issued a statement saying the updating process of these forms' utility software does not hamper the filing of returns, the deadline for which is July 31.
It also said that over 1.38 crore entities have already filed their income-tax returns till now.
"No change has been made in any of the ITR forms including ITR-2 and ITR-3 since the notification made on the April 1, the first day of the assessment year 2019-20, on April 1.
"There were reports in social media that the taxpayers were facing difficulties in filing returns of income in ITR-2 and ITR-3 due to large-scale changes in the ITR form on 11th July," the statement by the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) said.
It said the software for e-filing of ITR-2, meant for individuals and 'Hindu Undivided Families (HUFs)' not having income from profits and gains of business or profession, and ITR-3, for individuals and HUFs having income from profits and gains of business or profession, was released on May 2 and May 10 respectively.
"However, the software utility update is a dynamic process and is continuously taken up as per the feedback received from the users/filers to ease their experience in electronic filing of returns," it said.
This updation, it clarified, does not hamper filing of return as the taxpayers are allowed to file using the utility which is available at that point of time.
The CBDT also said that more than 85 lakh taxpayers have filed returns in ITR-1 till date by using the said utility, which had also undergone update later.
"Therefore, the impression that the taxpayers are not able to file return due to changes in ITR form is also not correct as more than 1.38 crore taxpayers have already filed their returns by using the utility released till date," it said.
Even though the utility is being updated regularly to for ease of taxpayers, the returns filed by using the previous version of utility will continue to be valid, the statement said.
The CBDT also gave the rationale behind the updation of the utility software, using which the returns are filed.
"It is pertinent to state that the updation in utility of ITR forms is based on feedback and mainly aimed at easing the compliance burden of the taxpayers by facilitating easier e-filing," it said.
For instance, this year the facility of pre-filling of return forms has been provided based on the information furnished in the tax deducted at source (TDS) statements. This facility has been updated in the utility subsequently and this would substantially reduce the efforts of taxpayers in filling of return forms, the CBDT said.
"It is reiterated that there are no changes in the notified ITR forms and only the utility has been updated to facilitate the taxpayers. Therefore, the assertion that numerous changes have been made in ITR-2 and ITR-3 on July, 11 does not give a correct picture," it said.