What is Annual information return (AIR)?

An Annual information return is to be filed by specified entities to the income tax authority for high-value financial transactions registered/recorded by them in a particular financial year (beginning on or after April 1, 2014) as per the amendment to section 285BA of the income tax act, 1961.

Annual Information Return (AIR)

Who is required to furnish Annual information return (AIR)?

The annual information return should be furnished by certain entities including individuals, banks, issuers of credit cards, issuance of shares by the company through the public or right issue, issuance of bonds or debentures by institutions or companies, mutual funds, registrars or sub-registrars etc. The class of persons who needs to file AIR and nature and value of financial transactions to be registered/recorded are shown in a tabular format below –

S.no Class of persons Nature and value of transactions
1 A Banking Company operating under the Banking Regulations act, 1949 (including any bank or banking institution specified under section 51 of that act)
  1. Cash payment of Rs.10 Lakh or more made to purchase pay orders or bank drafts or banker’s cheque in a financial year
  2. Cash payment of Rs.10 Lakhs or more made to purchase pre-paid instruments issued by the Reserve Bank of India during a financial year
  3. Cash deposits or withdrawals (including bearer’s cheque) of Rs.50 lakh or more in one or more current accounts of a person in a financial year
2
  1. A Banking Company operating under the Banking Regulations act, 1949 (including any bank or banking institution specified under section 51 of that act)
  2. Post Master General
Aggregate of Rs.10 Lakh or more as cash deposits by a person in a financial year in one or more accounts (apart from current account and term deposit)
3 A Banking Company operating under the Banking Regulations act, 1949 (including any bank or banking institution specified under section 51 of that act) or any other company or institution engaged in issuance of credit card

Cash payment made by any individual against one or more credit card bills of –

  1. Rs.1 Lakh or more in cash
  2. Rs.10 Lakh or more through any other payment mode

in a particular financial year

4
  1. A banking company or a cooperative bank
  2. Post Master general
  3. Non-banking financial corporation
  4. Nidhi Company
One or more time deposits (apart from time deposits made through renewal of another time deposit) of Rs.10 Lakh or more made by any person in a financial year
5 A Mutual Fund Trustee or any other person responsible for managing the affairs of the mutual fund after getting authorization from the trustee Receipt of Rs.10 lakh or more from any person for acquisition of units of one or more mutual fund schemes in a financial year (apart from amount received on account of transfer from one mutual scheme to another)
6 A company issuing shares by way of public or rights issue Receipt of Rs.10 Lakh or more from any person for acquiring shares (including share application money) issued by the company in a financial year.
7 A company or institution issuing bonds or debentures Receipt of Rs.10 Lakh or more from any person for acquiring bonds or debentures issued by the company or institution (apart from amount received on account of renewal of debentures or bonds issued by that company)
8 Registrar or Sub-registrar or inspector-general appointed under section 6 of the registration act, 1908 Any person involved in selling or purchasing transaction of immovable property of Rs.10 Lakh or more or valued by the stamp valuation authority at Rs.30 Lakh or more as specified in the section 50C of the act
9 A Stock exchange listed company purchasing its own securities under section 68 of the companies act, 2013 Any person buying back the shares (apart from open market shares) for Rs.10 Lakh or more in a financial year
10 Any Authorized person under foreign exchange management act, 1999

Receipt of Rs.10 Lakh or more from any person for sale of foreign currency including –

  1. Any currency credit made to foreign exchange card.
  2. Or, currency expense through a debit or a credit card or through issuance of travellers cheque, any other instrument etc.
11 Any person who is liable for audit under section 44AB of the act Cash payment receipt of more than Rs.2 Lakh by any person for sale of goods or services of any nature (apart from those specified in SL. Nos. 1-10 under this rule, if any)

What is the due date for filing AIR?

The due date for filing annual information return (AIR) is 31st August immediately preceding the financial year in which the transaction actually registered or recorded. For example – If the transaction has been done during FY 2020-21, then the last date for filing annual information return will be 31st August 2021.

What is the penalty for Non-filing of Annual information return (AIR)?

  1. Under section 271FA, non-filing of AIR will attract a default penalty of Rs.100 per day till the time failure continues.
  2. Section 285BA(5) directs the authorities to issue a notice to the person (who is failed to furnish AIR) asking him/her to file a statement within 30 days from the date of issue of such notice. If a person fails to furnish the statement within the specified time, a penalty of Rs.500 per day will be levied from the day the time specified in the notice for filing the statement expires.

Should an entity need to file single AIR or separate for each branch/regional office?

An entity is only required to file single AIR for the organization as a whole.

How can I prepare AIR in the electronic/computerized form?

In order to prepare AIR, follow the steps below –

  1. Visit the official website of NSDL-TIN at https://www.tin-nsdl.com
  2. Download NSDL AIR preparation utility from the official NSDL-TIN website
  3. In-house facilities or third party software can also be used for the preparation of annual information return.

You can check the list of software providers at https://www.tin-nsdl.com

Who is authorized to receive AIR?

CBDT has authorized a body named National Securities Depository Limited (NSDL) to receive AIR. There are two ways by which NSDL receives the AIR –

  1. Through TIN-Facilitation centres (Network of front offices nationwide)
  2. Through web-based facility online

This data has been collected by NSDL and distributed to the income tax department.

What are the forms used for preparing AIR?

AIR should be furnished in the following ways –

  1. Form 61A on computer readable media such as CD, Floppy duly verified by a signature and control chart in Form 61A (Part-A) in paper format.
  2. Form 61A (Part-B) in electronic format

What is the manner in which AIR is to be furnished?

AIR must be furnished in form 61A electronically for all entities. The Physical format is not permitted for furnishing of AIR.

Is it mandatory to quote TAN in AIR?

Yes, it is mandatory for all the filers to obtain TAN and specify the same in the ‘Folio No.’ column in both the sections of Form no.61A (Part A and Part B)

What is the Folio number to be specified in AIR?

TAN deduction and collection account number of an organization is the folio number specified in AIR. If the filer is not a government entity, TAN of the entity’s principal office will be considered as the folio number.

How to apply for TAN?

In order to apply for TAN, you should follow the steps given below –

  1. Visit the official website of Income tax department https://www.Incometaxindia.gov.in or the official website of NSDL-TIN – https://www.tin-nsdl.com
  2. Fill the form 49AB available at the official website of income tax department or NSDL-TIN or through the TIN facilitation centres managed by NSDL
  3. You can find the full list of all TIN-FC’s on the official website of NSDL-TIN

Can TAN application be submitted online?

Yes, TAN application can easily be submitted online at NSDL-TIN website – https://www.tin-nsdl.com

Can we quote PAN in place of TAN?

No, we cannot quote PAN in place of TAN. PAN should only be quoted in the field where it is required.

How to file AIR?

  1. Visit the official website of NSDL-TIN – https://www.tin-nsdl.com/services/air/air-index.html
  2. Use clean text ASCII format to prepare AIR. It can be prepared by using in-house software or any other third party software. Click on “AIR RPU” for the return preparation utility.
  3. Choose the format in which you need to prepare AIR. Click on “Data structure (File format) to prepare AIR in the data structure format.
  4. After preparing the file in the desired file format, verify it through the AIR File Validation Utility (FVU)
  5. If your file is showing any error after verifying, rectify the error and verify the same again through FVU and follow this step till the time you obtain an error-free file.
  6. On successful validation, copy the file generated by FVU on a CD/floppy. Submit the CD/Floppy along with print out (duly filled and signed) of PART A of form 61 A. You can also upload the generated file on the TIN website directly.

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