The Goods and Services Tax (GST), which was implemented on July 1, has left major businesses in a snag due to the newly rolled out rules and regulations.
Archit Gupta, Founder and CEO of ClearTax, spoke to BE’s Ankita Chakraborty on how his venture is aiding businesses to comply better with various tax processes.
Q. How has your venture simplified the tax filing processes?
A. ClearTax has simple and easy solutions for filing both the GST and income tax. In case of income taxes, our tax filing is intuitive, based on the data you provide. You go through simple questions and your answers help you file the required sections of the Income Tax Return (ITR). You do not have to go through the entire form. Only the mandatory part has to be filled and along with what is applicable to your specific case. We have several built-in calculators that allow taxpayers to succeed at e-filing without help. Our tax filing for businesses and professionals is based on intelligent software that asks you only relevant details and tells you how to provide them. We are on a mission to help taxpayers succeed at filing independently and we offer help wherever it is required. Lakhs of taxpayers trust us with their income tax return filing. As far as the GST is concerned, we have launched several trainings, webinars and podcasts so that taxpayers can fully comprehend the GST. We have exhaustive content on the GST, which is widely read on the web. We use a lot of graphics to help users absorb the GST law in an easy and simple manner. We also launched a GST Bill Book, which lets users prepare GST-compliant invoices in an easy manner and it is free of cost right now. We have several tie-ups with large businesses to address their specific concerns and the concerns of their vendors and sellers.
Q. What is the guarantee that the person who is filing the tax will get back the tax return? How secure is it?
A. We place the highest importance on respecting and protecting the privacy of our customers. We use bank level security. So that is number one on our priority list.
Q. As the majority people are not yet too tech savvy in India, how do you help your users while they are filing the tax return? Who is your target base?
A. The income tax department has itself mandated that income tax returns must be filed online. Anyone who has income in excess of `5 lakh or is claiming a tax refund must file return electronically. Only ITR-1 and ITR-2 can be filed in paper. All other forms have to be filed online. Besides, given the benefits of e-filing like error-free, built-in checks and balances, and intuitive experience, those who come and e-file once do not prefer to take the offline route. So there are several benefits to e-filing and we advise people to do so. Besides, in some cases, e-filing is mandatory.
Q. Half of the tax laws have become more complicated? How would you simplify that?
A. We write extensively on taxes. We try to simplify tax laws by writing in a very simple language so that anyone can read, understand, and apply them. Our aim is to help our users to understand tax laws and succeed in tax filing smoothly. We prepare a lot of guides, videos, infographics, webinars, and podcasts to discuss and simplify taxes. Our guides are widely read and shared on the web.
Q. Which are the sectors most affected after the GST? How is ClearTax helping these sectors?
A. Nearly all businesses and service providers have been impacted by the GST. We are the leaders when it comes to solving tax issues using technology. We know taxes may not be easy to deal with for every business. We want to change that. We are helping taxpayers understand what GST means. We developed a GST training (done in more than 20 languages) that has been widely used. For large businesses we have readied bespoke solutions. We have a large number of SME clients for whom we have launched a GST Bill Book, which lets users create GST compliant invoices absolutely free of cost. These SMEs can use our GST filing software for as little as Rs.100 a day.