Manual tax form filing for foreign remittances allowed. Know what experts say

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The Income Tax Department on Monday allowed manual filing of tax forms 15CA and 15CB, used for sending foreign remittances, as technical glitches plague the new tax portal even after a week of its launch. Users have been finding it difficult to send foreign remittances since 30 May as the tax department had shut down the utility for six days before the launch of the new portal.

Though the person sending foreign remittances can do the filling of the forms manually, these have to be uploaded online as well, which may lead to duplication of efforts, some experts said. “The CBDT 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.

Chartered accountants are also awaiting clarity on another technical issue. “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) 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.

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“The technical snag had created a significant hardship for businesses, which required payment to be made outside India, for placing the orders or for obtaining licenses or meeting their commercial obligations. However, banks were not permitting foreign remittance, for want of Form 15CA/15CB. This practical problem has 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 the transaction and the amount of income tax deducted on such foreign remittance. In certain cases, this Form 15CA is also backed by a chartered accountant’s certificate in Form 15CB, which certifies that appropriate income tax has been deducted on such remittance. Such Forms 15CA and 15CB were required to be filled online using the income tax e-filing portal.

After the certification, these forms have to be sent to the banks which then release the foreign remittances.

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