The government has made it mandatory for individuals with income above Rs 10 lakh to file their tax returns 2011-12 onwards electronically. “E-filing has been made compulsory for the person who is an individual, or a Hindu Undivided Family, if his or its total income, or the total income in respect of which he is or it is assessable under the Act during the previous year, exceeds Rs 10 lakh for assessment year 2012-13 onwards,” the income tax department said.
E-filing for such individuals was optional till 2010-11.
The department had received a record number of 1.64 crore e-returns in the 2011-12 financial year.
“We have done it to encourage people to go for e-filing of returns. This makes the entire process faster. However, the digital signature is not mandatory for them,” a finance ministry official said.
Currently business houses with receipts of Rs 60 lakh and professionals with income of Rs 15 lakh are mandatorily required to e-file their return with digital signature.
As on March 31, 2012, there were 19,684,592 tax payers who had registered for e-filing.
The new tax returns forms also ask assessees to furnish details of donations made for claiming tax deductions.
Besides, the government has made it mandatory reporting of assets held by individuals abroad, including financial interest in any entity, overseas.
“Furnishing of return by such a resident would be mandatory irrespective of the fact whether the resident taxpayer has taxable income or not,” finance minister Pranab Mukherjee had said in the Union Budget.