Paperwork is the bane of people’s existence in the 21stCentury... so we’ve moved to trust the open territories of cyberspace to automate the boring parts of our lives. And when that mid-year time to makes sense of our taxes comes around, it can be another stress to merely try to decipher all the steps. Don’t we all wish we had a mandatory tax course in college or high school? Well, fintech company ClearTax recently announced the launch of its new app — ClearTax E-Filing — to help taxpayers file income tax returns, free of cost.
It’s no revelation how a number of us trust the power of the mobile to make quick transactions through mobile banking and Unified Payments Interfaces (UPIs), especially on-the-move taxpayers across the younger workforce. This trend has been seen not only in Tier 1 but is also consistent across traffic coming from Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities.
Archit Gupta, founder and CEO of ClearTax, explains, “The new app, with its easy interface, makes income tax filing extremely simple for those who are on the go. With a single tap, a user can upload Form 16 and their Income Tax Return can be filed in under seven minutes.”
He adds, “We constantly strive to make tax filing easier for taxpayers. App has been received well, in last 12 days, we have seen 20,000+ app installs and we are already witnessing a 4x jump in conversion rates as compared to mobile web. For easy understanding of terms, we have included hyperlinks at relevant places where our customers can simply tap and get detailed information to help understand and complete e-filing of ITR on their own, without depending on anyone else. Several taxpayers have applauded the ease and convenience we are offering.”
So what happens in this claimed seven-minute window? ClearTax app allows taxpayers to simply upload their Form 16 and then it auto-populates their ITR form. If the taxpayer has been employed with more than one employer during the financial year, he or she can upload more than one Form 16 on the app to file their ITR. Taxpayers can also add income details manually on the app and ClearTax will automatically compute any tax liability. Taxpayers who need help may opt for expert assistance to file their ITR. ClearTax app also provides an option to pre-fill data from the income tax-filing portal.
Despite ClearTax E-Filing claiming to cover many bases here, this development hasn’t exactly been met with positivity. Twitter and Facebook have been amok with complaints of the app itself malfunctioning. Vendor Vinay Sharma residing in Hyderabad shares, “I’ve received notifications that my filing isn’t complete and I cannot make head or tail of this app either. Maybe I’m not that tech-literate, but if they say they want to help our community, they could make it clearer.”
Chartered accountant Ramesh Gopinathan* has been in the industry for 15 years. He’s seen a few of his clients and friends try to use ClearTax E-Filing. “The app is aimed at those who want ease of access and comprehension, but some who have used the app often come to me and ask me to decipher the initial stages. This is a huge responsibility ClearTax’s app should be ready for. It’s a reputed organisation in tax circles, they should make it easy.”
Manjunath, a tax auditor based in Bengaluru, says, “In my 12 years of experience, I have seen many people gravitating towards e-filing options like ClearTax. I guess the main reason is because it’s free of cost. But I’d suggest that they go for the Income Tax Department’s e-filing website [http://www.incometaxindiaefiling.gov.in]. Also, there are still a lot of people who do it the manual way.”
*Name changed to protect identity
(With inputs from Praveen Sudevan)