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For keeping a watch on the high-value transactions done by the taxpayers, the Income Tax Act has framed a new concept to furnish a Statement of Financial Transactions in a prescribed form 61A also known as AIR (Annual Information Return) previously. In other words, the Statement of Financial Transactions or Form 61A is a record of specified financial transactions that should be furnished under the Income Tax Act.

Which are the Specified Financial Transactions?

The specified financial transactions referred above are of following kinds:

  • Sale, purchase or exchange of goods, right, property, or interest in any property.
  • Works contract.
  • Delivering services.
  • Any investment or expenditure.
  • Accepting any deposit or taking any loan.

It is important to note that CBDT can recommend different values with respect to different transactions for different persons by considering the nature of the transactions. The aggregate value of transactions in a particular financial year must be more than Rs.  50,000.

Due Date to File Form 61A

This statement for the previous FY (financial year) needs to be furnished within May 31st every year. In case an assessee is not able to do so, the authorities would issue a notice to such an assessee, demanding the assessee to submit the form within 30 days from issuance of such notice. In case such assessee continues to be the assessee in default by not answering to such notice, a penalty would be levied on the assessee that would amount to INR 500/day of such default. This penalty would be calculated from the expiry of the period as stipulated in such notice.

Transactions to be reported in Form 61A

 

Individuals responsible for furnishing Form 61A Type of Transaction and limit
Banking Companies and Co-operative Banks Cash payment for purchase of POs (Purchase orders) / DDs (Demand drafts) for amount totalling to INR 10 lakhs or more annually
Banking Companies and Co-operative Banks Cash payment exceeding INR 10 lakhs for purchasing any prepaid RBI instruments like RBI bonds, etc.
Banking Companies and Co-operative Banks Deposits or withdrawals amounting to INR 50 lakhs or more from a current account of an account holder
Banking Companies, Co-operative Banks and Post Offices Deposit totalling to INR 10 lakhs or more in one or more accounts of an account holder
Banking Company, Co-operative Bank, Post Master General of Post office, Nidhi Cash payment aggregating to INR 1 lakh or more in a year or INR 10 lakhs or more against any credit card bill which is issued to a customer in a year
A company or an institution issuing debentures or bonds Receipt exceeding INR 10 lakhs in a year from an individual for acquiring such debentures/bonds
A company issuing shares Receipt exceeding INR 10 lakhs in a year from an individual for acquiring such shares. This includes share application money received.
Listed companies Share buy-back from a person for an amount totalling INR 10 lakhs or more
Manager/Trustee of a Mutual Fund Receipt exceeding INR 10 lakhs in a year from an individual acquiring the units of such Mutual Fund
A Dealer of Foreign Exchange Receipt from a person for sale of a foreign currency or expenses incurred in such foreign currency via a debit/credit card or via issue of draft or traveller’s cheque or any other financial instrument for an amount totalling INR 10 lacs or more annually
Inspector-General/Sub-Registrar appointed under the Registration Act, 1908 Sale/ Purchase by a person of an immovable property for INR 30 lakhs or more or which is valued by stamp valuation authority at INR 30 lakhs or more
Persons liable for audit u/s 44AB of the Income Tax Act Cash receipt exceeding INR 2 lakhs by a person for sale of goods or rendering of services (other the ones specified above)

 

Filing Nil Statement

There’s a dilemma many have that if an entity that hasn’t entered into any of Specified financial transactions in the FY (Financial Year) 2017-18 but falls into the reporting class of person as provided under the provisions of the Income Tax Act – Do they need to file a NIL Form 61A/Statement of financial transactions.

There have been few circulars issued by the CDBT (Central Board of Direct Taxation) on the same which somewhat hasn’t solved the dilemma, however, experts in the field recommend that Nil Statement is not mandatory but to stay on the safer side an assessee could consider filing the STF (Statement of Financial Transactions) or Form 61A

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