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Lack of income demoralises TRPs
August, 14th 2007
The Tax Return Preparer (TRP) scheme of the Income Tax department is facing an uncertain future, or so it appears.

A cross section of TRPs accept that the scheme has not generated much income. No wonder many are contemplating to quit.

The pilot scheme was launched with twin objectives of helping marginal tax payers and also providing employment to graduates. Under the scheme 33-odd TRPs were recognised by the department to help assesses in the city.

However, most of the TRPs cite non-availability of adequate work for all as they are authorised to file returns of only individuals and Hindu Undivided Family (HUF).

With the bulk of these returns have already been filed by July 31, people are now coming to them in ones and twos. This is the situation for professionals who boast of their own offices and infrastructure like computers and other needed machinery.

Unemployed graduates for whom the scheme is actually meant and who can not afford all the needed facilities are waiting for things to look up.

Department only talked of providing finance but never extended it to TRPs. We were told to approach a particular bank for finance but when we reached the bank, officials there had no clue of TRP scheme, leave alone granting money, said Ujjwal Kapoor.

Few more promises like opening of a resource centre for TRPs too were not fulfilled. There is a possibility that a few can be employed in departments help centres.

What makes the scheme even more arduous is a clause, that no TRP should have income from salary. Although intention behind it is to make a return preparer focus entirely on hisher role as a TRP. However, income generated from filing returns is not enough to make both ends meet, added Ritesh Tiwari.

Per return a TRP gets Rs 250 and in case heshe files a return for a first timer, heshe is also entitled to commission of 3 per cent on the tax payable by the first timer. But, so far, as claim these professionals average earnings could be put at Rs 15,000 which is the gross amount. Earnings have varied for different professionals.

Although the scheme reads, once a TRP is always a TRP, what can make TRPs stick to it, is little more of work and training, so that we can help in filing more returns, added many of them.
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