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Proposal for changes in Form 26AS will shift India closer to pre-filled tax return regime

NEW DELHI:  Tracking and declaring myriad transactions while filing tax returns is set to become a lot easier for individuals, with the Finance Bill proposing to include details like property and share transactions in Form 26AS from June this year.

Experts say the move shifts India steadily closer to a pre-filled tax return regime.

Mandatorily compiled and made available to the assessee by the I-T department, the form had until now displayed only details of tax deducted at source (TDS) and high-value transactions provided by banks.

Thanks to advancing technology,  “multiple information… such as sale/purchase of immovable property, share transactions etc are being captured or proposed to be captured,” noted the budget memorandum. The tax department will now need to provide this information to the assessee to “facilitate compliance”.

Since the move extends the ambit beyond TDS information, Section (203AA) of the I-T Act is proposed to be scrapped. A new Section, 285BB, will be introduced mandating the taxmen to upload “a statement… setting forth such information, which is in the possession of an income-tax authority,” the memo said.

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