The seventh proviso to Section 139 was inserted by the Finance Act, 2019, which provided for certain criteria which mandated the filing of income-tax returns even when the individual’s income is less than the basic exemption limit. Such criteria include deposition of Rs one crore or more in a current account, expenditure exceeding Rs 2 lakh for foreign travel, or an amount exceeding Rs 1 lakh for electricity consumption during the year.
Now, vide Notification No. 37/2022, CBDT has notified a new Rule 12AB which prescribes additional conditions which mandate the filing of Income-tax returns despite the fact that income is below the basic exemption limit, says Ms Goel. These additional criteria are:
- Total sales/turnover/gross receipts in the business exceed Rs 60 lakh during the previous year
- Gross receipts in profession exceed Rs 10 lakh during the previous year
- Aggregate TDS/TCS during the year is Rs 25000 or more (In the case of senior citizens increased limit of Rs 50,000 shall be applicable)
- Deposits in saving bank account is Rs 50 lakh or more during the previous year.
This will be applicable for the ITR filing of FY 2021-22 ( AY 2022-23), says Abhishek Soni, CEO, Tax2win.in, an ITR filing website.
“These are very stringent measures and certainly many taxpayers would come in ITR filing requirement even with income less than prescribed limit,” says Sujit Bangar, Ex-IRS officer and founder, Taxbuddy.com, an ITR filing website.
Ms Goel says: “The government is aiming to capture all the assessees incurring high-value transactions but not filing income tax returns since taxable income is less than the basic exemption limit. Such a move will definitely help in increasing the number of income tax returns filed in the country and thus bring more transparency to the system.”