Filing tax returns may be easier now, with the first batch of 3,737 tax return preparers completing their training on Wednesday.
Speaking on the occasion, finance minister P Chidambaram said, The tax return preparer scheme seeks to deliver services at low or marginal cost at the taxpayers doorsteps. Along with small entrepreneurs, Chidambaram hoped other institutions like insurance and banks would employ them to sell their products as well. The government would assist them in taking loans from banks to buy computers for their work, he added.
Speaking on the new tax return forms, ITR-1, the finance minister said, Indias tax return forms are amongst the simplest in the world. It is a myth to say that these are outdated. The ITR-1 was simpler than Saral launched by the previous government, Chidambaram said, adding, the tax return preparers will get commissions from the I-T department to assist new taxpayers in filing returns for three years. They can also charge up to Rs 250 as service fee from old assesses.
Under the scheme, NIIT trained 4,517 candidates, out of which 3,737 have qualified. NIIT will hold supplementary tests for the candidates in the next three weeks.
The I-T department has also set up a resource centre to monitor the implementation of the scheme and assess the work of the return preparers. It will also issue quality alerts to them, as and when needed. The return preparers will also be required to undertake periodic on line training and exam.
The tax return preparer scheme was announced in the last Budget to make it easier for taxpayers to file returns.