The income tax department on Monday allowed manual filing of form by resident and NRI taxpayers wanting to apply for deduction of taxes at a lower or nil rate on total income.
The Income Tax Act, 1961, provides that if a taxpayer considers that her total income warrants deduction of income tax at lower/ nil rate, she may apply to the assessing officer (AO) requesting for lower withholding certificate.
Such application was to be e-filed by filling up Form 13. However, to remove "genuine hardship" being faced by certain applicants in filing online application in Form 13, the tax department has allowed non-resident Indians (NRIs) to file manual application before the TDS officer or in ASK Centres till March 31, 2019, a finance ministry statement said.
Also, resident applicants can file manual application in Form 13 till December 31, 2018. Income Tax Rules (Rule 28, Rule 28AA, Rule 28AB, 37H, 37G) govern the mechanism for issuance of certificate for deduction of tax at lower/ nil rate.
Nangia Advisors LLP Partner Suraj Nangia said the notification has been issued to address the hardships arising in the transition phase of shifting from manual filing to e-filing of the Form 13.
"However, the deferment of online filing of Form 13 is just for NRIs and not the other category of non-resident taxpayers viz. companies or LLPs. Further, relief for the resident taxpayers is only for a week, which implies that we may see many residents rushing to file their lower withholding applications till December 31, 2018," said Nangia.