Confused about filing ITR, GST? Connect with a tax expert through this app
July, 08th 2020
Filing income tax returns, GST, and TDS can be daunting for many, particularly the Gen Y and Z. Bringing a user-friendly platform to address tax-related queries, two aspiring CAs have developed a chat-based application run by tax experts.
Taxes are a part of working life and many times they can be cumbersome, especially if you are a first-timer. There are humongous details to be taken care of, lengthy procedures to go through, unknown tax jargons look intimidating and even though the online services related to tax filing, GST, wills, TDS, among others have streamlined the process a little, people often end up looking for external help.
Many chartered accountant firms get repetitive emails and queries from clients. There are also existing firms who offer consultation and help for these services, but they are often quite expensive and are not within the range of affordability for many first timers. To make the process smoother and affordable, two aspiring CAs have developed a mobile application as a one-stop solution to all tax related queries and services in real time. Mehak Malik and Leesha Arya, who are currently pursuing articleship training at JJ Associates Chartered Accountants in Gurugram, this year launched JJ Tax app with a focus to simplify taxation for millennials.
“While working under the articleship, we noticed how the firm would get continuous calls and emails about queries related to taxes and accounting and many of them would be repetitive in nature. Further, emails are not always a secure platform to share such queries. We realised that all these queries can be solved through chats, more effectively through a dedicated platform for it and thus decided to develop an app,” Malik told ET Digital.
Filing taxes over chats
JJ Tax works like a customer service with a team of experts answering queries over chats. Its services can be availed through membership plans of one year. Starting from Silver to Diamond, the plans include services such as income tax, accounting, TDS, advance tax, wills, GST for all individuals and HUF. The cost of the membership plan ranges from Rs 1,500 to Rs 12,200.
While any individual can avail JJ Tax’s services, it is primarily designed to suit the needs of millennials who rely heavily on digital medium of communication. “The main focus here is the younger generation who have just entered the job life, have no time to complete the formalities and are often confused and shy to seek help,” Malik said.
The duo is looking to tap into a customer base of 40 crore PAN card holders, 6 crore income tax returns and 1.5 crore GST registrations, all of which will require a multitude of services such as GST quarter and annual filing assistance, TDS, Advance Tax and appeal related services.
In the same customer base, there are 2.9 crore overseas Indians, including NRIs and Person of Indian Origins. With the government promoting the Make in India initiative, the co-founding duo believes that more of this overseas Indian population would want to invest in India and a lot of them will need assistance related to taxes.
JJ Tax has a separate Dollar plan for NRIs offering the aforementioned services along with access to download required forms and circulars.
According to Malik, there are nearly 5-lakh professionals working as CA, CS and CMAs in the country and JJ Tax wants to onboard these professionals to give them an opportunity to serve their customer base.
The firm recently launched their app on Google Play Store and Apple Store. “We are targeting to reach 10,000 subscribers by the end of this fiscal year,” Malik said.
Building an app in the middle of a rigorous learning period has been tough for the aspiring CAs, especially in balancing the work and study life. When asked if launching a business in the time of economic stress due to the pandemic will have any effect, Malik firmly said that they had sought advice and suggestions from their mentors and seniors and since the majority of the business is online, the pandemic should not affect their business much.
The firm, which has been domestically funded, is now planning to introduce their services in multiple languages and wants to go vernacular to increase its reach to regional parts of the country. Along with upgrading to a multilingual platform, it is also looking forward to having digital voice assistants and introducing tax-related subjects and classes.