Thursday, July 17, 2008 - file your tax returns online

Taxspanner is an online income tax filing web site which offers its services in two basic forms - Self Service and Advanced assisted Service. The process of filing returns is simple and straightforward. You have the option to start off without registering with the web site to begin with. The self-driven wizard guides you through the entire flow. You are required to fill your personal details and income related information. The Site provides you an online Form 16 which needs to be filled and submitted. Once you have completed all your details the web site requires you to make an online payment. Once you have made your payment you can download and print your return and deposit it to your nearest Income Tax office or you can use the e-filing service offered by Taxspanner via MTNL to submit your returns directly to IT department. The pricing varies based on the type of service you want to avail. For self service option you are charged with 249 while advanced assisted service costs you Rs449. For e-filing it offers digital certificate signing service for Rs749 which may save you an extra visit to IT office. To promote itself it has tied up with icicibank and offers discounts to icici netbaking users. In addition it offers paid referrals schemes which allows a user to ear Rs50 per signed up paying referred user. The services are directed to consumers and has an extension for corporates too. Unlike other sites in this space, it does not have value added features for corporates or have any separate support for tax consultants which in itself constitutes a big market.

On the pricing front, I believe it is a pretty reasonable offering. However, it still needs to improve upon its usability as compared to other sites like In order to be competitive and to scale up business it should definitely consider going retail through a franchisee network which should not be an expensive arrangement. This would definitely increase its reach and would give an edge over its competitors in this space.

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