Foreign assets details while filing income tax returns

The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has issued new income tax return forms for those holding assets outside India, (Forms ITR-2, 3 and 4). The detailing requirements have been made more stringent.
The new return form has an annexure attached, which lists the kind of assets and the details pertaining to each that an individual filing returns will have to furnish. And, it is mandatory. To begin with, the wordings used in the Finance Bill or in the tax return to define ‘any asset’ is wide enough to cover all assets held by an individual outside India, “The schedule specifically requires the details of bank accounts, financial interest in any entity and immovable property. It also requires the assessee to furnish the details of any other asset and accounts where the individual has a signing authority.”
  • Long-term capital gains with and without claiming indexation benefit to be reported separately
  • In case of donation made, detailed primary information of the donor (name, address and PAN)
  • For TDS income (other than salary), give TDS certificate number and the year in which TDS was deducted
  • For business income, give detailed report of unabsorbed depreciation loss or loss claimed before calculating depreciation 
  • Partnership firms should report capital investment and percentage share in the profit, apart from share of income
Following are the details you have to furnish if you hold assets abroad:
·         Bank accounts 

You will need to give the location of the country where you hold the account, name and address of the bank. Also, you will have to give the account holder’s name if you are a signatory to the account. And, the peak balance maintained in the account during the assessment year for which you are filing returns.
·         Financial interest 

If you have an interest in any entity abroad, the country name and code, name, address and nature of the entity where the interest is held, and the total investments made by you in the assessment year, need to be given.
·         Immovable property /asset

For home/land held abroad, you need to provide the name of the country where you hold it and its code, location of property/asset and total investment made in it till now. Co-ownership details also need to be given, such as the joint owner’s name, Permanent Account Number (PAN) and share held in the property.
These rules apply even to signing authorities. Some say these are too many and bothersome details. Especially for those on long deputation abroad, like employees of information technology companies, as most of the money they earn is taxed by the employer. And, there are some who have very low balance in their foreign accounts.
These details may not be asked for long. Since this is the first year and there is the black money issue, these many details are required. Otherwise, it will not plug the loopholes like in case of e-filing. In e-filing, you are not required to furnish all details; many things are optional.

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