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Shift-control: e-filing of tax returns picks up

Depending on tax consultants for filing of tax returns may soon be a thing of the past,if the spurt in online tax filing is anything to go by. Like in other cities...

Written by Arun Jayan | Pune |
July 23, 2009 4:05:50 am

Depending on tax consultants for filing of tax returns may soon be a thing of the past,if the spurt in online tax filing is anything to go by. Like in other cities,corporate houses in Pune had already taken to online tax solutions while more and more individuals too are going the e-way to file their returns.

With only nine days left for individual taxpayers to file their returns,quite a few online tax return filing sites are coming forward to woo maximum customers. With special offers and celebration such as ‘e-filing week’,the web portals are out to ensure than more people choose the online mode. The prices of various packages offered by such sites vary from Rs 100 to Rs 1,000 and the services offered range from submitting of Form 16 to expert advice in tax planning. The sites include taxyogi.com,investmentyogi.com,taxsmile.com and taxspanner.com.

According to taxsmile.com,which has a client base of 80-90 corporates,there is a steady rise in number of individual registrations. It expects a rise of over 15 per cent in online tax filing for 2010-2011.

“Taxsmile comes in two packages — taxsmile silver and taxsmile gold,for which we charge Rs 250 and Rs 400 receptively. Taxsmile gold includes the cost of getting a digital signature. We are planning to introduce a tax-on-wheels programme. These are mobile vans that move around in the city,educating and helping people in filing the tax returns,something which is already available in Bangalore,Chennai,Hyderabad,” said Ravi Jagannathan,managing director and CEO of 3i Infotech Consumer Services Ltd that runs taxsmile.com. The company is celebrating an e-filing week from July 20 to 26.

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According to a study done by the company,27 lakh tax returns of the total 3.7 crore in 2008-’09 were filed electronically.

Against this,only 10.86 lakh of 3 crore tax returns were filed electronically in 2007-’08.

One of the main advantages of online filing of tax retuns is that it can be done from anywhere,anytime,says Chandrashekhar Chitale,chairman,direct taxation committee,Mahratta Chamber of Commerce,Industries and Agriculture. “The rise in electronic filing of tax returns is mainly because it saves time. Besides,it gives an instant acknowledgment of receipt. For employees who are working away from their native place,the online mode is best suited because it doesn’t require their physical presence.”

“e-filing as a concept was introduced in 2002 and it was made compulsory for certain types of business segments from 2005. The next year onwards,individuals too were allowed to file their returns electronically,” said Jagannathan.

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