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What experts say on manual filing of remittance forms

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The tax department on Monday allowed manual filing of forms 15CA and 15CB, which are required for foreign remittances, as the new tax portal was facing technical glitches even after a week of its launch. The technical snag was making it difficult for people to send foreign remittances as the tax department had already shut down the utility on 30 May for six days.

So, now a person making foreign remittances will have do the filling of the forms manually. However, the forms have to be again uploaded online, which may lead to the duplication of efforts, say some experts. “The CBDT (Central Board of Direct Taxes) wants us to upload the documents again on the portal before 30 June. This will lead to duplication of efforts and our clients may not pay us for this,” said Prakash Hedge, a chartered accountant based in Bengaluru.

There also may be another technical issue for which chartered accountants are awaiting clarity. “We are supposed to generate a unique document identification number (UDIN) for any certificate issued using the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India’s (ICAI’s) portal. This UDIN has to be mentioned in any certificate we issue and has to be generated within 15 days of issuance of that certificate. Now, we may have to issue another UDIN while uploading the forms online again. Clarity is needed on this front,” said Hedge.

“The technical snag had created significant hardship for businesses that require payments to be made outside India, for placing the orders or for obtaining licences or meeting their commercial obligations. However, banks were not permitting foreign remittance, for want of Form 15CA or 15CB. This practical problem had brought many business transactions to a standstill,” said Shailesh Kumar, partner, Nangia and Co. LLP. It is likely to be resolved now.

Any person, who needs to make a foreign outward remittance, needs to file an online declaration in Form 15CA, specifying the nature of transaction and amount of income tax deducted on such foreign remittance. In certain cases, Form 15CA is backed by a chartered accountant’s certificate in Form 15CB, which certifies that appropriate income tax has been deducted on such remittance. The forms were then required to be filed online on the income tax e-filing portal .

After certification by chartered accountants, these forms were then to be submitted to banks, which then release the foreign remittances.

With Monday’s direction, these forms need to be downloaded and filled manually. Still, the relaxation is likely to provide some relief to people making foreign remittances.

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The use of Form 15CA

In case a person is sending money overseas, he or she needs to declare it to the tax department using Form 15CA and to the bank through which the remittance is being made. This declaration shows that tax has been paid on the money remitted. The declaration will have all the details of the remitter and the recipient of remittances. If you are remitting money under the Liberalized Remittance Scheme (LRS), you have to use Form 15CA, which has four parts—A,B,C and D. Part C is generally used by the chartered accountants for their declaration.

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