New Delhi: The government Tuesday announced a new scheme under which any tax payer can seek online help or call an expert home for a nominal fee to help file income tax returns.
The expert, called Tax Return Preparer, can charge a maximum of Rs.250 for preparing a tax return.
The new Tax Return Preparer Scheme is an initiative of the income tax department to help small and marginal tax payers in filing their returns, the finance ministry said in a statement.
"This scheme is applicable to individual and Hindu undivided family (HUF) tax payers who can take assistance of Tax Return Preparers (TRPs) in preparation and filing of their income tax returns," it said.
The TRPs are self-employed graduates who are trained by the income tax department for filing of tax returns as well as quarterly tax deducted at source (TDS) statements.
"TRPs are authorised to collect a nominal charge of Rs.250 or less from the tax payers for preparing their income tax returns," the ministry said.
The income tax department also pays incentive to the TRPs for preparing of returns, which is a percentage of the total tax paid as per the returns prepared by the TRP and subject to a maximum of Rs.1,000.
The home visit facility of TRPs has been made available in few cities such as Bangalore, Chennai, Guwahati, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Kolkata, Lucknow, Mumbai, New Delhi and Patna.
It would be extended to more cities in the next phase, ministry said.
The income tax department has launched a website, trpscheme.com, on which the tax payers can put their requests for help. There are two options -- one can choose between "online help" and "home visit".
For online help, the taxpayer can fill in his tax related query along with his contact details. The query will be answered by tax experts through Email or phone within 24 hours.
A taxpayer who chooses to register for home visit will be asked to indicate in short the help required and a convenient date and time when the TRP can visit him/her for assistance. The visit is arranged accordingly.