Joint owners of single house property can now file return of income in ITR-1 or ITR-4 forms

This is relief in eligibility conditions for filing of ITR Form-1 (Sahaj), Form-4 (Sugam) for the assessment year 2020-21

Kumar Shankar Roy Jan 9, 2020

income tax return april 2019The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has granted relaxation in eligibility conditions for filing of Income-tax Return Form-1 (Sahaj) and Form-4 (Sugam) for the assessment year 2020-21. It has now allowed joint owners of single house property to file the return of income in ITR-1 or ITR-4 Form. This is a rollback of its earlier decision to debar individual taxpayers owning house property in joint ownership from filing their annual income return using ITR-1 or ITR-4 forms.

The Income-tax Return (ITR) Forms ITR-1 (Sahaj) and ITR-4 (Sugam) for the A.Y 2020-21 were notified vide notification dated 3rd January, 2020. In the notified returns, the eligibility conditions for filing of ITR-1 & ITR-4 Forms were modified with an intent to keep these forms short and simple with bare minimum number of schedules. Therefore, a person who owns a property in joint ownership was not made eligible to file the ITR-1 or ITR-4 Forms. For the same reason, a person who is otherwise not required to file return but is required to file return due to fulfilment of one or more conditions in the seventh proviso to section 139(1) of the Income-tax Act, 1961 (the Act), was also not made eligible to file ITR-1 Form.

After the aforesaid notification, concerns have been raised that the changes are likely to cause hardship in the case of individual taxpayers. The taxpayers with jointly owned property have expressed concern that they will now need to file a detailed ITR Form instead of a simple ITR-1 and ITR-4. Similarly, persons who are required to file return as per the seventh proviso to section 139(1) of the Act, and are otherwise eligible to file ITR-1, have also expressed concern that they will not be able to opt for a simpler ITR-1 Form.

“The matter has been examined and it has been decided to allow a person, who jointly owns a single house property, to file his/her return of income in ITR-1 or ITR-4 Form, as may be applicable, if he/she meets the other conditions. It has also been decided to allow a person, who is required to file return due to fulfilment of one or more conditions specified in the seventh proviso to section 139(1) of the Act, to file his/her return in ITR-1 Form,” an official statement said.

The government usually notifies forms for filing income tax returns by individuals in April every year. On January 3, it had notified tax return forms for the assessment year 2020-21 (income earning year April 1, 2019 to March 31, 2020).

Returns in ITR-1 Sahaj can be filed by an ordinary resident individual whose total annual income does not exceed Rs 50 lakh.

Form ITR-4 Sugam is meant for resident individuals, HUFs and firms (other than LLP) having a total annual income of up to Rs 50 lakh and having presumptive income from business and profession.


Kumar Shankar Roy

Kumar Shankar Roy is contributing editor with RupeeIQ. Kumar is a financial journalist, with a functional experience of 15 years. He tracks mutual funds, insurance, pension, PMS, fixed income/debt and alternative investments markets closely. He has worked for The Times of India, The Hindu Business Line, Deccan Chronicle Group, DNA, and Value Research, among others, across different cities in India. He is deeply interested in marrying data insights with actionable opinion. He can be contacted at kumarsroy@rupeeiq.com.

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