New Delhi: The government has made it mandatory for individuals with income of over Rs 10 lakh to file their tax returns for 2011-12 electronically.

 "E-filing has been made compulsory for the person who is an individual or a Hindu Undivided Family, if his or its total income, or the total income in respect of which he is or it is assessable under the Act during the previous year, exceeds ten lakh rupees for assessment year 2012-13 onwards," the Income Tax Department said.

E-filing for such individuals was optional till 2010-11. Income Tax Department had received a record number of 1.64 crore e-Returns in 2011-12 financial year.

"We have done it to encourage people to go for e-filing of returns. This makes the entire process faster. However, digital signature is not mandatory for them," a finance ministry official said.
Currently 'Business Houses' with receipts of Rs 60 lakh and professionals with income of Rs 15 lakh are mandatorily required to e-file their return with digital signature.

As on March 31, 2012, there were 19,684,592 tax payers who had registered for e-filing.

 The new tax returns forms also ask assesses to furnish details of donations made for claiming tax deductions.

Besides, the government has made it mandatory reporting of assets held by individuals abroad, including financial interest in any entity, overseas.

"Furnishing of return by such a resident would be mandatory irrespective of the fact whether the resident taxpayer has taxable income or not," Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee had said in the Budget.