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Rediff.com  » Business » Filing taxes on your own is easier than you think!

Filing taxes on your own is easier than you think!

Last updated on: April 22, 2014 16:53 IST

Online tax filing firms are on the rise.

Tax filing day is fast approaching and you need not dread hefty deductions or how to claim refunds, as online assistance is a phone call away.  

With every business going online these days, tax consultants too are exploring this avenue to tap the growing class of tax payers, which at present is around 90 lakh and is hardly a miniscule of India’s population of 1.2 billion.  

However, with the government making it compulsory for all classes of salaried population to file returns, the number of tax payers is sure to go up year-on-year.  

With the probable increase in tax payers, the demand for expert advice will also rise, and here comes the role of online firms. These companies claim to guide you through the entire process, which is not tedious as it is conceived to be.  

Online firms assert, they charge much less than offline tax consultants and professionals. But you should use your own logic to get the best service at competitive charges.  

Says, Vikram Ramchand, one of the founder members of MakeMyReturns.com, “Most tax payers find tax filing to be very complicated and hence do not take the effort to understand even basics while filing returns. Professional help can give one not only a fair understanding of  how the entire taxation system works, but will also encourage one to understand the finances better.”  

If Ramchand was to distinguish between offline and online tax filing process, he obviously stands by online system and here’s why:  

* If you approach an online firm, you will get to know the fundamentals which your HR head may perhaps not tell you.  

* If you approach your consultant or an agent appointed by your office, you will be generally asked to invest a certain amount under 80C, 80CCC and 80CCD which are common features of tax deductions. The agent may not walk you through the entire process as a long queue of your colleagues would also be in a hurry to submit their documents.   

*On the other hand, an online expert will simplify the process so that you can understand the basis on which deductions are made by the company and the I-T department. Since the agent is dealing with only one person at a time, he can even help you with strategies to lower the tax burden and save money.  

*You can always revisit your returns on a later date, if you file it online.  

Meanwhile, though in nascent stage, online tax filing firms are likely to evolve in numbers in future. Hence, the MakeMyReturns is keen to offer more services.  

We have a long way to go and will raise funds to meet objectives

The firm is looking to raise around $300,000 (through crowdfunding), which will be used to strengthen operational capability and to add more features to the existing ones.   

Competition to heat up  

Though a start-up with over two years in operation, the consulting firm has more than 40,000 customers and is constantly innovating to beat competition.

"We compete with Cleartax.in, taxspanner.com," says Ramchand. He further adds that the industry is growing in double digits and each one needs to constantly innovate to stand out from the rest. “We have recently tied up with a nationalised bank to offer our services to their customers,” he informs.  

MakeMyReturns is an e-firm which helps tax payers via one-on-one interaction with chartered accountants for a nominal fee of Rs 149 for self filing and Rs 249 for advice.

The cost can, however, go up to Rs 750 depending on what service one is keen to avail from the company.

Shaheen Mansuri in Mumbai