For ensuring that the e-filing utility for filing of return for the assessment year 2020-2021 is available as on 1st April 2020, the Income-tax Return (ITR) Forms ITR-1 (Sahaj) as well as ITR-4 (Sugam) for the assessment year 2020-2021 has been notified through notification made on 3rd January 2020. In the notified returns, the conditions relating to the eligibility for filing of ITR-1 and ITR-4 Forms were modified with an intention towards keeping these forms short and simple with a basic minimum number of Schedules. Thus, an individual who owns a property in joint ownership has not been made eligible for filing the ITR-1 (Sahaj) or ITR-4 Forms (Sugam). For the similar reason, an individual who is otherwise not required for filing but is required to file a return due to the fulfilment of one or more conditions in the seventh provision to section 139(1) of the Income-tax Act, 1961 (the Act), was also not made eligible for filing ITR-1 Form.
After the aforementioned notification, issues have been raised that the changes are likely to cause a lack in the case of individual taxpayers. The taxpayers with the jointly owned property have been expressed issues that they would now require to file a detailed ITR Form in place of a simple ITR-1 and ITR-4. Similarly, individuals who are needed to file a return as per the seventh provision to section 139(1) of the Act, and are otherwise eligible towards filing ITR-1, have also expressed issue that they would not be able to choose for a simpler ITR-1 Form.
The matter was examined and it has been decided to permit an individual, who jointly owns a single house property, for filling his/her return of income in ITR-1 or ITR-4 Form, as might be applicable, if he/she meets the other conditions. It was also decided to allow an individual, who is needed to file a return due to the fulfilment of one or more conditions stated in the seventh provision to section 139(1) of the Act, towards filing the person’s return in ITR-1 Form.