Certified professionals who help people file tax returns should constantly update their knowledge and help taxpayers reduce the cost of compliance, Minister of State for Finance S S Palanimanickam said.
"The scope of work for TRPs (Tax Return Preparers) has increased tremendously but the underlying objective remains the same, i.e. to provide quality services to the taxpayers at a very low cost and to increase awareness amongst them," Palanimanickam said.
The primary objective of the TRP Scheme (TRPS) is to bring the convenience of tax filing to the doorsteps of taxpayers across the country. This does not helps boost the taxpayer base but only increases the employability of graduates.
"It has been observed that small taxpayers end up spending more on filing taxes. This is an attempt to reduce their cost of compliance," said P Rajendran, chief operating officer of NIIT [ Get Quote ].
The entire training expense is borne by the government, he added. TRPs were trained by NIIT, which awarded certificates to them on successfully clearing the exam.
TRPS training is provided only to graduates in economics, commerce, maths, statistics, management, science and law.
TRPs are certified to file returns of individual and HUF income tax assessees as well as file tax deducted at source (TDS) and service tax returns of small and medium enterprises.
Launched by the Directorate of Income Tax in 2006, TRPS is aimed at raising the level of awareness and compliance amongst taxpayers.
The objectives include providing an employment avenue for unemployed or partially employed graduates and reduce the cost of compliance for small taxpayers, leading to an increased assessee base for the government.
Image: Minister of State for Finance S S Palanimanickam