Editor’s Pick: Facilitators Taxed

By the time you read this article, most of you would have definitely filed your income tax returns either on your own or with the help of tax professionals. For sure, you would have undergone a period of anxiety with respect to the filing of income tax return within the due date especially in coordinating with the office of your consultants. Maybe, you would have been angry that they don’t respond immediately or they have not taken up your file for processing immediately.
But let us spare a moment and look from tax professional’s perspective. It is important for us to acknowledge the fact that they are only facilitators who help you in filing your income tax return (Of course for a fee). This July’18 month is different from that of July month of all the previous years for more reasons. Till last year there was no GST return filing which eventually started only in August post Income tax filing due date of July. This year they have to meet the following timelines –
July 7th – Due date for paying TDS
July 10th – Due date for filing GSTR 1
July 15th – Due date for PF return
July 20th – Due date for filing GSTR 3B
July 31st – E-TDS return filing and due date for filing Income tax return
During my interaction with a couple of senior professionals, one common thing was “It does not matter how much you plan for tax season, you will always end up firefighting”.
Every service calls for utmost attention to detail and every miss in due date attracts penalty. In the list of service attracting a penalty, income tax is also included this year. Due to the introduction of penalty on belated filing, there was a surge in filing the income tax return within the due date and the workload has increased many times over when compared to last year. Understandably there is a delay.
In spite of Government announcing the penalty for belated filing, still, there were lots of people initiating the income tax filing process only in the last week of July. I have also observed during my visit to my auditor’s office, literally taking a decision not to accept any more clients for filing the income tax return. The reason pointed out for this decision is that once the client is accepted for filing the income tax return, they have to ensure that the return is filed within time. If not, the tax professionals have to bear the penalty and cannot recover from the client. The penalty amount is more than the filing fees. Also, they will be facing with the usual problem of the server not responding on the last few days.
The lethargic approach by the taxpayers with respect to the filing of returns is not restricted to the first-time filer but also with respect to taxpayers who have been filing for years. One Chartered Accountant says, “these clients who are regular, they know their income, they know the documents we ask for, but still they will not provide everything in one go”.
Looking at the list, I felt for a moment, the list of clients for whom these tax professionals file the income tax return looked longer than Anjaneya’s tail, it was never ending work” and I felt that these facilitators are actually taxed than the taxpayer.
By announcing the extension of due date for filing the income tax return from 31st July 2018 to 31st Aug 2018, I hope these facilitators and their team get much-needed rest so that they can put in their best in serving the clients.

Recommended For You

About the Author: Sriram

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *