The Telegraph
Tuesday , April 19 , 2011
Since 1st March, 1999
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Filing of tax returns gets Sahaj & Sugam

New Delhi, April 18: The finance ministry today introduced “Sahaj” and “Sugam” forms to make the process of filing income tax returns simpler and user-friendly.

“Sahaj and Sugam are major steps towards simplification of income tax return filing,” said Sudhir Chandra, chairman of the Central Board of Direct Taxes.

While Sahaj is for the salaried, the Sugam form is for small businessmen and professionals.

Chandra said the government would also notify a provision in early June exempting people with a salary of up to Rs 5 lakh from filing returns. However, they will have to file the return if they seek refund. Senior citizens filing returns for income from pension, dividends, interests and property will not be subjected to scrutiny.

In the Union budget for 2011-12, the age for senior citizens for income tax purposes has been reduced to 60 years from 65 years. Senior citizens will get tax exemption for income up to Rs 2.5 lakh from Rs 2.4 lakh earlier.

Chandra also said efforts were being made to facilitate electronic filing of the two kinds of forms.

The new forms have been attractively designed and have bar codes, showing the tax and refund history of a taxpayer. They can be easily uploaded. The information sought is similar to the earlier Saral form, said an I-T practitioner.

Officials said the Sugam form will reduce the compliance burden of small businessmen who fall within the scope of presumptive taxation. Presumptive taxation involves the use of indirect means to ascertain tax liability.

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