Pune: The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has notified the income tax return (ITR) form applicable to assessment year (AY) 2018-19. These ITR forms will be applicable to the filing of I-T return in respect of income earned from April 1, 2017, to March 31, 2018. The new forms incorporate the changes made by the Finance Act, 2017 to the Income Tax Act, 1961.
It is apparent that the new ITR forms have shifted the entire onus on the taxpayers to prove their claim for deductions, expenses or exemptions. This year, the ITR forms seek a lot of new information from the taxpayers, who opted for the presumptive taxation scheme, in respect of capital gains from unlisted shares, transactions with registered and unregistered suppliers under GST, so on and so forth.
There have been several changes done by the CBDT. The CBDT has removed the ‘gender’ category from personal information applicable to ITR 2, 3 and 4. According to the notification issued by the CBDT, “Individual taxpayers who are filing income tax return in form ITR 2, ITR 3 or ITR 4 aren’t required to mention the gender (i.e. male, female or transgender) as the column of gender has been removed.”
The senior officer of the I-T department said that they examine each taxpayer by their Permanent Account Number (PAN).
“When an applicant applies for PAN, they have to mention their gender in the form. Recently, the board has included ‘Transgender’ option under the gender column. Taxpayers use PAN while filing the ITR. It is not necessary to mention the gender in the column,” said a highly placed officer.
From this financial year, the government has amended Income Tax rules that will now allow transgenders to be recognised as an independent category of applicants for obtaining a Permanent Account Number (PAN) for their tax-related transactions. However, the transgender community welcomed the move and said that they appreciate that CBDT completely removed the gender category from the form.
“How does it matter who belongs to what gender as long as that person is fulfilling his or her responsibility. There are so many people who unwillingly fill the female or male box in gender category. Now, that the government has been taking step toward including the third gender, I feel society is slowly becoming progressive,” said Shyam Konnur, a gay and LGBTQI rights activist from Pune.