While the number of new income-taxpayers is growing exponentially year after year, no new tax returns preparers (TRPs) have been recruited since 2006.
The Income Tax TRP scheme was launched by the finance ministry in 2006, to help taxpayers file their returns at a nominal fee of Rs 250, by recruiting unemployed youth or people willing to work part-time as TRPs. Though the scheme received a good response in Delhi, the state capitals and a few tier-I cities, it failed to generate a favourable response in tier-II & III cities due to shortage of TRPs. As a result, the taxpayers belonging to marginal, small and senior citizens category have to face difficulties in filing returns.
“Several senior citizens find it difficult in filing I-T returns and therefore many of them keep away from filing. The government should create awareness and increase the number of TRPs to ensure that this segment gets help. It’ll increase the revenue base,” said chairperson, Confederation of Senior Citizens’ Association of Delhi, J.R. Gupta.
A Delhi-based TRP Abhishek agrees that fresh appointments of TRPs would match growing demand. The IT department too agrees on the need of TRPs.
“Looking at the growing demand and due to an increase in ambit of the TRP scheme from 2009, there’s a need of 5,000 fresh TRPs. If recruitment takes place, assesses in smaller centres will be benefited,” an Income Tax official source said.