Thursday, June 18, 2009

E-filing tax returns

The US tax return system is an amazing one. The e-filing convenience has to be seen to be believed. Much of it can be replicated in India. But not so fast.

I tried to register at Taxsmile which promises an e-filing and from first glance, it does not appear to make my job any simpler. For instance, the form 16 cannot be directly uploaded (why? It is a standard format right?). It does not help you calculate your capital gains/losses (why not offer an integration with any of the online brokers for instance and make it automatic). And for all this work, I have to pay 250 or 400 rupees.

The trouble is that most companies work with one Chartered Accountant (and his or her hundreds of interns) to get this job done manually. And they charge you anywhere between 150 to 300 for this. I am personally in favour of going electronic with the returns. So if Taxsmile needs more customers, it needs to either bring down the price or offer it free for one year or make it more convenient. If after filling out all the things, I have to depend on a courier to get my returns done correctly (See report linked below), well, it is a waste of my time and money (this seems to be basic scheme). The next level of membership has some complicated options but it does look like the courier is not involved...

And after this news report, I am no longer sure...

3 comments:

Oracle said...

I feel it is still better option as with just Rs 250 or Rs 400 (with Digital Signature), you can do it sitting anywhere in the world if you got your Form 16. I used to file returns online since last 2 years and using https://myitreturn.com/Default.aspx which has collaborated with my ex-employer and it was free of cost ( though they mentioned Rs 100 for this service) which was never deducted from our payroll. When I was not with employer, it costs me Rs 200 and I had to submit recipt on my own to local IT Dept where I am submitting my online return. In coparision to Skorydov, Tax Smile is adding extra Rs 50 and will do this manual job once you submit ITR-V to them or Add Rs 200 and you don't have to spend money to post or curior it. I am not in India and its a lot better than chasing for CA or some agent who will file and give me back recipt with same cost. India is shining.

Prasanth said...

I have filed taxes earlier in US. Though I e-filed, still had to send my W2 form by mail to IRS. So I do not see much difference between the new one here and in US. Also, my understanding is that you can upload your Form 16 if your employer gives you a digitally signed Form 16 (in soft copy). Also, you can file for free at the incometax website. No paying money to anyone.

kevinhil123 said...
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