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Good news, find Tax Return Preparers soon at a place near you; 5 things to know
September, 12th 2017

In a bid to help small taxpayers in filing their income tax return, the Income Tax Department has decided to appoint at least one trained tax personnel in every district of the country.

Are you a small taxpayer and find filing your income tax return a costly and difficult process? Do you also have trouble in locating a tax expert who could assist you in preparing and filing your tax returns or could file a return on your behalf? Don’t worry, here’s some good news for you.

In a bid to help small taxpayers in filing their income tax return, the Income Tax Department has decided to appoint at least one trained tax personnel in every district of the country. For this 7,600 additional experts will be appointed whose services will also be available on mobile application.

It may be noted that the Government of India had launched the Tax Return Preparer Scheme (TRPS) in 2006-07 to assist small and medium taxpayers in preparation of their return of income and other income tax-related issues, as also to train unemployed and partially- employed graduates from select disciplines such as Law, Economics, Statistics, Mathematics, Commerce and Management/Business Administration. Under the TRP Scheme, the Government of India authorizes tax professionals to be called Tax Return Prepares (TRPs).

“Now the government is making this service digital and will cover all the 708 districts of the country. It is proposed to provide sufficient number of TRPs in every district by scaling up of number of TRPs from a total 5,400 to 13,000 in the country,” says a PTI report.

Here are five things you must know about TRPs and how they will help small taxpayers:

1. At present, not every district in the country has a TRP. With the expansion of the tax base over the years and the government’s directive to enhance tax payer services, the new plan has been envisaged and 7,600 new TRPs will be trained and appointed by the tax department. It is also proposed that every district in the country should have at least three TRPs.

2. The service is planned to be made digital. Under the new digital plan for the scheme, “a taxpayer will be able to find his nearest TRP by logging on to the soon-to-be-launched ‘Aaykar Mitra’ mobile app, much like the prevalent cab rental apps offered for commuters by taxi aggregators such as Uber and Ola. The taxpayers will be able to send their documents to the TRP in an online mode and even rate the services of the the preparer,” says the PTI report.

3. The TRP scheme was launched with this fact in mind that such services should be available at a low cost to tax payers. A TRP, as per official rates, can charge a maximum of Rs 250 for filing one ITR.

4. Who can avail the service of TRP: Any Individual/Hindu Undivided Family (HUF), who is resident in India and whose accounts are not required to be audited under section 44AB of the Income-Tax Act, 1961, or under any other law for the time being in force can furnish his Income Tax Return after getting it prepared through a TRP.

5. A revised return under section 139 (5) can be furnished through a TRP only if the original return was furnished through the same or any other TRP. However, returns in response to notice under section 142(1)(i) or section 148 or section 153A cannot be furnished through a TRP.

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