Tax Fil­ing in Ver­nac­u­lar Lan­guage Could be the Fastest Way to Achieve PM’s Tar­get of 10 Crore Tax Re­turn Fil­ers in In­dia


In­dia’s first ver­nac­u­lar app – myITre­turn - sup­ports widen­ing of tax base - sup­ports English and 10 In­dian lan­guages. Ad­dress­ing tax of­fi­cials at the two day Ra­jasva Gyan Sangam in New Delhi, Hon’ble Prime Min­is­ter, Shri Naren­dra Modi ex­horted the im­por­tance of grow­ing the tax payer base and gave them a tar­get of 10 crore tax­pay­ers from the cur­rent 5.43 crores.

This point un­der­lines a star­tling statis­tic about the coun­try. 3% of the In­dian pop­u­la­tion files their tax re­turn in In­dia to­day. Com­pare this to the United States, where the tax­pay­ing pop­u­la­tion is whop­ping 45% and one can be­gin to un­der­stand what the PM was get­ting at.

There is no doubt that the tax base will rise. Fa­cil­i­tat­ing the In­come-tax fil­ing process is es­sen­tial for this to hap­pen. On­line tax­fil­ing plat­forms have seen a surge in users, as more and more tax­pay­ers get com­fort­able with the idea of fil­ing their re­turns on­line. And not just on­line, but also on their mo­bile phone. This should not come as a sur­prise. Ac­cord­ing to es­ti­ma­tion by IAMAI re­port, out of 462 mil­lion In­ter­net users in In­dia, 371 mil­lion users will ac­cess it from a mo­bile de­vice by 2016. The lat­estIAMAI re­port men­tioned that while a size­able chunk is from ur­ban ar­eas, fu­ture growth will be driven by mo­bile In­ter­net users from ru­ral ar­eas. The ru­ral user base has been dou­bled since 2014 and is ex­pected to con­tinue in­creas­ing at an in­cred­i­ble rate in 2016 as well, sur­pass­ing all pre­vi­ous fig­ures.

“The num­ber of tax fil­ers also in­di­cate the state of our coun­try’s econ­omy”, as­serts Saakar S Ya­dav of myITre­turn. com - one of In­dia’s lead­ing on­line tax fil­ing plat­form and an au­tho­rised e-Re­turn In­ter­me­di­ary (eRI). He fur­ther added, “To widen the tax base, we need to reach to a much larger au­di­ence. They may not own a com­puter, but they will have a mo­bile phone. They may not speak English, but they will be pro­fi­cient in Hindi, Marathi, Ben­gali or Tamil. Pro­vid­ing con­ve­nience and sim­plic­ity to this tax filer is the ul­ti­mate goal.”

With over 3 lac app down­loads within a year of its re­lease, myITre­turn. com is poised to make sig­nif­i­cant progress of reach- ing this goal. In a first of its kind func­tion­al­ity, the mo­bile ap­pli­ca­tion sup­ports 10 lan­gua­gesin An­droid and iOS – [English, Hindi, Gu­jarati, Marathi, Tamil, Tel­ugu, Kan­nada, Malayalam, Ben­gali and Pun­jabi.]. “You do not call your ‘Mummy’, ‘Mother’ or your ‘Appa’, ‘Fa­ther’. Nor do you call your ‘Pu­tar’, ‘Son’. Nei­ther do you call your ‘Thambi’, ‘Bro’ or your ‘Dada’, ‘El­der Brother’. Then why file your In­come-tax re­turn only in English?” asks Saakar S Ya­dav. This is the prob­lem he is keen to solve.

Cur­rently, the web­site myITre­ has over 13 lakh users. It re­cently launched a new ver­sion of its web­site which is fast and mo­bile friendly. The process is fur­ther min­i­mized and users can file their IT re­turn as quickly as within 10 min­utes. It lets you up­load your Form-16 (from one or more com­pa­nies) to quickly cap­ture your in­come de­tails and file your re­turn. It also al­lows you tocre­ate mul­ti­ple users for your fam­ily mem­bers, so that all their re­turns can be filed from the same ac­count.

“If the In­dia story has to hap­pen, the tax filer base should atleast be 20% of the pop­u­la­tion. With a large work­ing youth pop­u­la­tion, it is the ul­ti­mate econ­omy yard­stick” says Saakar S Ya­dav.

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