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Understanding the Concept of Statement of Financial Transaction (SFT) – Annual Information Return (AIR)

Deepti Shikha

| Updated: Apr 28, 2020 | Category: Finance & Accounting

Statement of Financial Transaction

The Income-tax law has structured the concept of statement of financial transaction or reportable account (previously it was called Annual Information Return or AIR) to keep a watch on high-value transactions undertaken by the taxpayer. The tax authorities, with the help of statements, can collect information on certain specified high-value transactions conducted by a person during a year. Specific organisations must file the announcement of financial transactions or reportable accounts. In this statement, they are required to furnish the details of the particular financial transactions or any reportable account registered or recorded or maintained by them during the year. The income tax department keeps track of the specified financial transactions which are carried on by a person during a year. In this article, we will discuss the various provisions relating to the statement of financial transactions or reportable accounts.

What is a statement of financial transaction or reportable account?

According to section 28​5BA of the Income-tax Act, 1961 substituted by the Finance Act, 2014 with effect from 1 April 2015, the specified entities or Filers are required to furnish a statement of financial transaction or reportable account in respect of some specified transactions or any reportable account registered/ recorded /maintained by them during the financial year to the income-tax authority or such other prescribed authority as suggested.

What is the Specified Financial Transaction to be Mentioned in the Statement of Financial Transaction?

A specified financial transaction has been classified as follows:

  1. Transactions related to purchase, sale, or exchange of goods, property, or right or interest in property.
  2. Transactions made for rendering any service.
  3. Transactions made under works contract.
  4. Transactions made by way of investment or expenditure incurred.
  5. Transactions for taking or accepting any loan or deposit.

Who Needs to Furnish Statement of Financial Transaction and Reportable accounts?

The following person needs to furnish a statement of financial transaction or reportable accounts registered or recorded and maintained by them during the financial year to the prescribed authority:

  • An Assessee or a taxpayer.
  • In the matter of a Government office, the prescribed person.
  • A local authority /other public body or association of person.
  • The Registrar or sub-Registrar appointed as per Section 6 of the Registration Act, 1908.
  • The Registering authority is empowered to register motor vehicles according to Chapter IV of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988.
  • The Post Master General, as explained in section 2(j) of the Indian Post Office Act, 1898.
  • The collector is described in section 3(g) of the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013.
  • The recognised stock exchange, as refereed in section 2(f) of the Securities Contracts (Regulation) Act, 1956.
  • An officer appointed by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) constituted as per section 3 of the Reserve Bank of India Act, 1934.
  • A depository, as referred in section 2(1)(e) of the Depositors Act, 1966.
  • Reporting financial institutions.
  • Any other person other than those mentioned in clauses (a) to (k) as may be prescribed.

Nature and Value of Specified Transactions in Statement of Financial Transaction

According to Section 285BA, the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) can prescribe different values with respect to different specified financial transactions for different specified persons having regard to the nature of such transactions. It is also prescribed by CBDT via Rule 114E as enumerated below:

Nature of Transaction Monetary Limit Person Required to submit Statement of Financial Transaction
Cash payment made for the purchase of bank drafts or pay orders or banker’s cheque Aggregate to Rs 10 lakh or more in a Financial Year A banking company or any co-operative bank to which the Banking Regulation Act applies
Cash payments for purchasing of pre-paid instruments issued by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Aggregate to Rs 10 lakh or more in a FY A banking company or any co-operative bank to which the Banking Regulation Act applies.
Cash deposits made in one or more current account of a person Aggregate to Rs 50 lakh  or more in a FY A banking company or any co-operative bank to which the Banking Regulation Act applies
Cash withdrawals are made from one or more current account of a person Aggregate to Rs 50 lakh  or more in a FY A banking company or any co-operative bank to which the Banking Regulation Act applies
Cash deposits are done in one or more accounts other than a current account and also time deposit of an individual Aggregate to Rs. 10 lakh or more in a financial year A banking company or any Co-operative bank to which the Banking Regulation Act applies, Post-Master General of post office
One or more time deposits other than the renewed time deposit of another time deposit of an individual Aggregate to Rs. 10 lakh or more in a financial year Nidhi Company according to Section 406 of the Companies Act, 2013
NBFC holding certificate of registration under the RBI Act and permission  to hold or accept deposit from public
Credit card payments are made by any person either in cash or by other modes in a financial year. Aggregate to Rs 1 lakh or more in cash or Rs 10 lakh or more by any other mode in a financial year. A banking company or any Co-operative bank to which the Banking Regulation Act applies or any other company or organization issuing credit card
Receipt  done from any person for acquiring bonds or debentures issued by the institution or  company (other than renewal) Aggregate to Rs 10 lakh or more in a financial year A company or institution who issues bonds or debentures
Buyback of shares from any individual (other than the shares bought in the open market) An aggregate amount of Rs 10 lakh  or more in a FY Listed company purchasing its own securities as per section 68 of the Companies Act, 2013
The receipt made from any person for acquiring units of one or more schemes of a Mutual Fund Aggregate of Rs 10 lakh or more during a Financial Year. A mutual fund trustee or any other person authorised to manage the affairs of the Mutual Fund
Receipt from any person for the sale of foreign currency, which includes any credit of the currency to foreign exchange card or expense through a debit card or credit card or through the issue of a traveler’s cheque /draft /another instrument. Aggregate of Rs 10 lakh or more during a financial year. Authorised person as mentioned in Section 2(c) of the Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999
Purchase or sale of the immovable property The transaction value /valuation of stamp duty authority as referred to in Section 50C for an amount of Rs 30 lakhs or more. An Inspector-General appointed as per section 3 of the Registration Act, 1908 or Registrar or Sub-Registrar appointed under section 6 of that Act.
The cash receipt for sale done by any person regarding the goods or services of any nature. Exceeding Rs 2 lakh Any person who is liable for an audit according to section 44AB of the Act

Which forms are to be used for furnishing of Statement of Financial Transactions?

  • Statement of Financial Transaction (SFT) is to be submitted either in Form 61A (other reporting entities) or Form 61B (prescribed reporting financial institution).
  • SFT is to be submitted electronically, under the digital signature certificate to the Director of Income-tax (Intelligence and Criminal Investigation) or the Joint Director of Income-tax (Intelligence and Criminal Investigation).
  • A Post Master General /Registrar / Inspector General may furnish SFT in a computer-readable media being a Compact Disc or Digital Video Disc (DVD), along with the verification in Form-V on paper.

What is the Procedure to Submit the Statement of Financial Transaction?

The following listed procedure must be adopted to submit the Statement of Financial Transaction (SFT):

  • Login to the e-filing portal and go to my account, then move to Manage ITDREIN (Income Tax Department Reporting Entity Identification Number)
  • Click and ‘Generate New ITDREIN.’
  • Select the type of form and Reporting entity category and then Click and Generate ITDREIN.
  • Then an ITDREIN will be generated and also a confirmation email, and SMS will be sent to the registered email id and mobile number, respectively.
  • The generated ITDREIN will appear under My Account
  • Upload Form X along with the Digital Signature.
  • Verify by entering PAN no, Form Name, Financial Year, Reporting entity category, Half-year, upload type, etc.
  • The uploaded file will either get accepted or rejected.

Due date of Filing of Statement of Financial Transaction

The Statement of Financial Transaction (SFT) must be filed in Form 61A shall be submitted on or before 31 May of the Financial Year, immediately preceding the FY in which the transaction is recorded or registered.

A statement of reportable account is to be submitted in Form 61B shall be submitted by prescribed reporting financial institution for every calendar year on or before 31 May of next year.

What is the Remedy if there is a Defect in the Submitted Statement of Financial Transaction?

In case, if the concerned income tax authority considers the SFT to be defective, they shall be intimated by the reporting entity or person by such authority. The authority shall provide an opportunity to rectify the defect with a time span of 30 days from the date of receiving such intimation. This due date can further be extended for rectification of default by the income tax authority at his discretion on an application made in this behalf. However, if within 30 days the defect is not rectified, such a statement will be treated as invalid, and the consequences of non-filing of SFT shall apply here.

Consequences of Failure to fulfill the Terms of Section 285BA and its related Rules

Failure to furnish SFT

  • If the person fails to furnish the statement of financial transactions within the due date, the authorised income-tax authority may serve notice to such person asking him to furnish the SFT within a period not exceeding 30 days from the date of service of such notice. The person shall furnish the statement within a time specified in the notice.
  • If the SFT is not furnished by the reporting person within the original due date, a penalty of Rs, 500 per day will be charged as default fees. Further, if no report is filed even within the extended due date specified in the notice served upon the person, a penalty of Rs. 1000 per day will be charged from the day immediately following the day on which the specified time in the notice expires.
  • From the date of expiry of the original due date mentioned in the notice, and overall penalty of Rs. 500 per day will be fixed and Rs. 1000 per day beyond the due date, as specified in the notice served.

Inaccurate information in the  Statement of Financial Transaction

Any individual furnishing SFT, discovers any inaccuracy in the information provided in the statement, he needs to inform the inaccuracy in the statement and must furnish the correct information to the income-tax authority or agency or any specified authority within a time span of 10 days.

Special provision for penalty in case of prescribed reporting financial institution

A penalty will be charged with amount Rs 50,000 on prescribed reporting financial institution, in case it provides  any inaccurate information in the statement where:

  • The person is responsible for inaccuracy because of his failure to comply with the prescribed due diligence.
  • The person who knows of the inaccuracy during the furnishing of the statement of financial transaction (SFT) or reportable account, but does not inform the prescribed income-tax authority or such other authority or agency.
  • If the individual finds the inaccuracy after the statement of financial transaction or reportable account is furnished and fails to inform and furnish correct information within ten days as mentioned above

Conclusion

The statement of financial transactions is submitted to check the accuracy of the transactions done. By filing form 61A, a person can declare that the money he owns is not black money. The Ministry of Finance has been working along with the Government of India to curb down the black money and also to widen the tax base. It has introduced various initiatives in this regard. One such initiative is to cast an obligation on the Government agency and also other authorities to provide a reliable source of information to report the high-value transactions. The specified persons were required to submit the Annual Information Return (AIR) introduced in 2003 with respect to specified transactions under section 285BA.

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Deepti Shikha

Deepti is a Law graduate with an avid interest in reading and very proficient in summarizing legal cases. She has enough experience in handling legal affairs of the company. In the initial days of her career, she has worked as a legal researcher and has 3+ years of experience.

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