Annual Information Return (AIR) – meaning, provisions, Applicability & FAQs
Annual Information Return (AIR) of ‘high value financial transactions’ is required to be furnished under section 285BA of the Income-tax Act, 1961 by ‘specified persons’ in respect of ‘specified transactions’ registered or recorded by them during the financial year. The due date of filing of the return is the 31st of August of the following year. The ‘specified persons’ and the ‘specified transactions’ are listed in Rule 114E of the Income-tax Rules, 1962. As per this rule, specified persons (Filers) should prepare their AIR in Form 61A (Part B) on computer readable media (i.e. CD or Floppy), supported by a duly signed verification and control chart in Form 61A (Part A) in paper format. AIR should be furnished to the Director of Income Tax (Intelligence and Criminal Investigation) i.e. DIT (I & CI). CBDT has authorized NSDL to receive AIR through the TIN Facilitation Centers on behalf of DIT (I & CI).
Today I am covering in this article various questions related to Annual Information Return (AIR) and its filing.
What is Annual Information Return (AIR)?
As per the amendment to Section 285BA of the Income Tax Act, 1961, specified entities (Filers) are required to furnish an Annual Information Return (AIR) in respect of specified financial transactions registered/recorded by them during the financial year (beginning on or after April 1, 2004) to the income tax authority or such other prescribed authority.
Who is required to furnish AIR?
As per the amended Rule 114E of the Income Tax Rules, 1962, the Annual Information Return should be furnished by every person mentioned in column (2) of the Table below in respect of all transactions of the nature and value specified in the corresponding entry in column (3) of the said Table, which are registered or recorded by him during a financial year beginning on or after April 1, 2004:
|Class of person (2)||Nature and value of transaction (3)|
|1||A banking company to which the Banking Regulation Act, 1949 (10 of 1949), applies (including any bank or banking institution referred to in section 51 of that Act).||Cash deposits aggregating to ten lakh rupees or more in a year in any savings account of a person maintained in that bank.|
|2||A banking company to which the Banking Regulation Act, 1949 (10 of 1949), applies (including any bank or banking institution referred to in section 51 of that Act) or any other company or institution issuing credit card.||Payments made by any person against bills raised in respect of a credit card issued to that person, aggregating to two lakh rupees or more in the year.|
|3||A trustee of a Mutual Fund or such other person managing the affairs of the Mutual Fund as may be duly authorised by the trustee in this behalf.||Receipt from any person of an amount of two lakh rupees or more for acquiring units of that Fund.|
|4||A company or institution issuing bonds or debentures.||Receipt from any person of an amount of five lakh rupees or more for acquiring bonds or debentures issued by the company or institution.|
|5||A company issuing shares through a public or rights issue.||Receipt from any person of an amount of one lakh rupees or more for acquiring shares issued by the company.|
|6||Registrar or Sub-Registrar appointed under section 6 of the Registration Act, 1908.||Purchase or sale by any person of immovable property valued at thirty lakh rupees or more.|
|7||A person being an officer of the Reserve Bank of India, constituted under section 3 of the Reserve Bank of India Act, 1934, who is duly authorized by the Reserve Bank of India in this behalf.||Receipt from any person of an amount or amounts aggregating to five lakh rupees or more in a year for bonds issued by the Reserve Bank of India.|
Who is an Annual Information Return – Administrator?
CBDT has appointed the Director General of Income Tax (Systems) as ‘Annual Information Return – Administrator’ for the purpose of administration of Annual Information Return Scheme.
Should an entity who is required to file AIR, file a single AIR for the whole organization or can it file separate AIR for each of its branch/ regional office?
An entity who is required to file AIR is required to file one single AIR for the whole organization.
Who is authorized to receive AIR?
CBDT has authorized National Securities Depository Limited (NSDL) to receive AIR. NSDL receives the AIRs through its country-wide network of front offices called TIN Facilitation Centres (TIN-FCs) and on-line through web-based facility. The data received by TIN-FCs and data received on-line is collated by NSDL and disseminated to the Income Tax Department.
How can I prepare AIR in the electronic/computerized form?
You can prepare AIR using in-house facilities or any other third party software or NSDL AIR Preparation Utility, which is freely downloadable from http://www.tin-nsdl.com/airdownloads.asp
What are the forms used for preparing AIR?
AIR should be furnished vide Form 61A in the digitized form on computer readable media (i.e. CD/floppy), supported by a duly signed verification and control chart in Form 61A (Part A) in paper format.
What is the manner in which AIR is to be furnished?
AIR should be furnished in electronic form by all categories of entities required to furnish AIR. Furnishing of AIR in physical form is not permitted.
What is Folio Number to be quoted in AIR?
The Folio Number to be quoted is the TAN of the organization. In case the filer is a non- government entity, the folio number will be the TAN of the principal office of the entity.
Is it mandatory to quote TAN in AIR?
All filers are required to obtain TAN and quote the same in the column of ‘Folio No.’ in both Part A and Part B of Form no. 61A.
How to apply for TAN?
The application in Form 49B (available at web-site of Income Tax Department or http://www.tin-nsdl.com/DownloadsTAN.asp can be filed at any of TIN Facilitation Centres (TIN-FC) managed by NSDL. List of TIN-FCs are available in http://www.tin-nsdl.com/TINFaciliCenter.asp .
Can TAN application be submitted online?
TAN application can also be furnished online at https://tin.tin.nsdl.com/tan/index.html .
Can we quote PAN in place of TAN?
No. PAN should never be quoted in the field where TAN is required to be quoted.
Is PAN of the transacting Parties to be quoted in AIR?
The filer shall also quote the Permanent Account Number (PAN) of all persons in respect of whom the prescribed transactions has been registered or recorded by him, except:
How will transactions of joint parties be provided in AIR?
In the case of transactions involving joint parties, the filer shall
How to mention transactions of joint parties in AIR?
Each transacting party record will be identified by a unique Transaction-Detail Record Serial Number (Sr. No.). If two or more transacting parties are involved in a Joint Transaction then the Transaction-Detail Record Serial (sr. No.) Number will be common to them.
There is another field ‘Joint Transaction Party Count’, used to identify the total number of Joint transacting parties involved in a transaction. If the number of joint transacting parties involved in a transaction is 5 (i.e. 1+4 joint holders), filer should specify “5” against the first holder in the field ‘Joint Transaction Party Count’. For the rest of the joint holders “0” should be stated in this field. For transactions with a single transacting party, this field will have a default value of 1. For the first Transacting party involved in a Joint Transaction filer should provide all the transaction details. For the rest of the Joint Transacting parties, filer should provide the information that is unique to the Transacting party like Name, PAN, and Address fields (in all the remaining fields in the Transaction Detail no value should be specified). An example explaining the fields is given below:
Example: There are 3 transactions in a file. The first transaction has 3 (1+2) joint parties, the second has no joint parties and the third transaction has 2 (1+1) joint parties.
The relevant part of the input file would look as given below. It may be noted that in case of a joint party, only the name, address and PAN are required to be given. Other details like amount, date, transaction code, mode of transaction, name and address of the filers’ office/branch need not be provided.
|Name of transacting party||Transaction Detail Record Number||Joint Transaction party count||Date of transaction|
If the share of each of the joint parties is known, give a separate line item for each party involved in the joint transaction and mention the separate transaction amount relating to that party i.e. treat them as separate single party transactions. In this case, the Transaction Detail Record Number would be different for each party and the corresponding Joint Transaction Party count would be 1.
In case of Cash deposits in saving Account (transaction Code 001), Credit Card Payment (transaction code 002) and Investment in RBI bonds (transaction code 008), whether every entry for the transacting party is required to be given by the filer?
No, in case of transaction codes 001, 002 and 008 only the total of all cash deposits or all payments or receipts, as the case may be, during the relevant year will be mentioned. The date in the date column in these cases will be the last date of the relevant financial year for which transactions are reported, e.g. 31.3.2005 for transactions in FY 2004-05.
What is the data structure (file format) for preparing AIR?
AIR has to be furnished in computerized form as per the data structure (file formats) specified by the Annual Information Return – Administrator.
What are the precautions to be taken while furnishing Form 61A (Part A) in the physical form?
While submitting Form 61A (Part A), one should ensure that:
After I prepare my AIR, is there any way I can check/verify whether it conforms to the prescribed data structure (file format)?
Yes, after you have prepared your AIR you can check/verify the same by using the AIR-File Validation Utility (AIR-FVU). This utility is freely downloadable from NSDL website and is also available with TIN Facilitation Centres (TIN-FCs).
What is File Validation Utility (FVU)?
FVU is a program developed by NSDL which is used to verify the format level correctness of the return file. When you pass AIR through FVU, it generates an ‘error file’ if there is any error related to format in the input file. The error file will display the error code and error description. You can rectify these errors and pass the file again through the FVU till you get an error free AIR file. If there is no error in the file, a message “File Validation Successful” will be displayed. For detailed help on use of FVU, refer to the “AIR setup readme.txt” and the instructions available upon clicking the ‘readme’ icon in the opening screen of the AIR FVU.
What are the platforms for execution of FVU?
In order to install and run AIR-FVU, Java has to be installed on the computer. Details are given in AIR File Validation Utility section of website.
After validating the return using AIR-FVU, which file should I furnish?
The AIR-FVU will generate an upload file with the same filename as the ‘input file’ but with extension ‘.fvu’. (Example ‘input file’ name is FORM61A.txt, the upload file generated will be FORM61A.fvu). This upload file shall be furnished.
Where can I furnish my AIR?
You can furnish your AIR at any of the TIN-FCs managed by NSDL. TIN-FCs are set-up at various locations across the country. Details of the TIN-FCs are given on the NSDL-TIN website.
What is the manner of submission of AIR to TIN FC?
The AIR should be submitted in a CD/floppy along with Form No. 61A (Part A), duly filled and signed, in paper form to any TIN-Facilitation Centers of NSDL.
What if any of the control totals mentioned in Form 61A Part A do not match with that in the AIR?
In such a case the AIR will not be accepted by the TIN-FC. You should ensure that the control totals mentioned in the AIR and that mentioned on Form 61A (Part A) match. In case of any difficulties/queries, you may contact TIN Call Center at 020 – 27218080.
What are the charges for furnishing AIR with TIN-FCs?
You have to pay charges as mentioned below:
|Number of records||Upload Fee|
|Up to 100||₹ 42.37|
|101 to 1000||₹ 178.00|
|More than 1000||₹ 578.50|
* Excluding taxes as applicable
Can more than one AIR be furnished in a single computer media (CD/ floppy)?
No, each AIR should be in a separate CD/floppy along with separate Form 61A (Part A) for each return.
Can a single AIR be furnished in two or more floppies?
No, if the size of the return is more than what can be furnished in one floppy then it should be furnished in a CD.
Can AIR be furnished in compressed form?
Yes, if the return file is furnished in compressed form, it should be compressed using Winzip 8.1 or ZipItFast 3.0 or higher version compression utility only, so as to ensure quick and smooth acceptance of the file.
Do I have to affix a label on the AIR CD/floppy?
Yes, you should affix a label on the AIR CD/floppy for identification purpose. You shall mention name of filer, PAN (except Government Filers), TAN, Form No. (viz. 61A) and period (viz. Financial Year) to which the return pertains on the label affixed on the CD/floppy containing the AIR.
What are the special precautions to be taken while furnishing AIR?
You should ensure the following while furnishing AIR:
Will the TIN-FC give any acknowledgement/receipt for AIR?
In case the AIR file is complete in all aspects TIN-FC will issue a provisional receipt to you. The provisional receipt issued by TIN-FC is deemed to be the proof of AIR furnished by you.
What if my AIR is not accepted by TIN-FC, how will I know the reason for rejection?
In case of non-acceptance of your AIR file, TIN-FC will issue a Non-Acceptance Memo which will state reason for rejection.
Under what circumstances the AIR will not be accepted?
The AIR will not be accepted in the following cases:
Disclaimer: The contents of this article are for information purposes only and does not constitute advice or a legal opinion and are personal views of the author. It is based upon relevant law and/or facts available at that point of time and prepared with due accuracy & reliability. Readers are requested to check and refer to relevant provisions of statute, latest judicial pronouncements, circulars, clarifications etc before acting on the basis of the above write up. The possibility of other views on the subject matter cannot be ruled out. By the use of the said information, you agree that Author / TaxGuru is not responsible or liable in any manner for the authenticity, accuracy, completeness, errors or any kind of omissions in this piece of information for any action taken thereof. This is not any kind of advertisement or solicitation of work by a professional.
(Republished with Amendments by Team Taxguru)