If a salaried person needs help in filing taxes, he can opt for a slightly more expensive plan called as assisted filing. It starts between Rs 499 and Rs 799 and goes up if there is foreign income, capital gains and so on. Most of the websites have partner chartered accountants (CAs) who file the taxes. Some such as H&R Block India and Quicko work with in-house as well as CAs. If you are unhappy with the expert assigned, you can request for a change. The taxpayer also has the option to consult a CA on the phone for a limited time for tax matters. The price for talking to CAs ranges between Rs 499 and Rs 999.
Faster, easier filing:
As these platforms use technology, a salaried person can file returns within 10 minutes if all the required documents are uploaded to their platform. The computations for capital gains from shares, fixed deposit, house property, are automatically done once you key in the details.
To make it faster, most of these platforms start by asking you a specific set of questions. You are asked if you have sold a property, changed jobs, and so on. Based on the answers to these questions, the platform decides the ITR form and other documents that you need to upload. “We have a similar set of questions for professionals and small businesses who want to opt for presumptive taxation scheme,” says Archit Gupta, founder and CEO, ClearTax. It can be confusing for taxpayers to know if they are eligible for presumptive taxation scheme, especially in the case of taxpayers who are freelancers. The questions asked at the beginning of return filing, can help to know the eligibility.
Other than error-free and faster filing, the convenience and support also make these platforms a better choice than filing returns on the income tax department’s online tax filing utility. “Our support for client queries is more efficient over calls, e-mails and messages with minimum turnaround time for resolution of queries. There’s a dedicated tax advisor round the year for each customer,” says Chetan Chandak, Head of Tax Research, H&R Block India. Some of these platforms have also added apps for filing, but they are not yet popular. Most individuals prefer to file returns on their computers.
Eliminating errors: These websites also use multiple methods to verify your details at each stage. Sonagara points out deductions under Section 16 as an example. Government employees get a total for Rs 7,500 deduction as entertainment allowance and professional tax. But many confuse this with deductions available under Chapter-6A, which deals with tax-saving investments. If the deductions claimed under Section 16 cross Rs 7,500, the taxpayer cannot move forward with the filing process unless he rectifies the mistake.
Every platform now matches the returns with the information available in Form 26AS to check if all incomes have been reported. Many individuals enter the mobile number in the field where they are supposed to state their total income. The software can detect such errors.
Taxpayers are responsible for mistakes: Despite all the checks, there’s still a possibility that there can be an error in filing. In the past, there was a case where an online tax filing website made a mistake in punching the salary of an assessee. The assessing officer raised the tax demand. When the case went to the income tax appellate tribunal, it said that as long as it was a genuine mistake and no mala fide intention of the taxpayer, he or she cannot be held responsible.
The onus of filing correct returns in on the taxpayer as it is his responsibility to provide exact details and check if the returns are filed correctly. All platforms give a summary to their customers before filing the tax. It’s essential that you review the returns after filing them.