Mar 192016
 

Income Tax Returns

The end of the financial year is around the corner and it’s again that time of the year, when you scramble and scurry to file your income tax returns.

Here are 5 websites that have been identified based on their ease of use and the value added features. Although the ranked websites also include paid services, the cost dynamic has also been an important factor. All of them are E-Return Intermediary (ERI) authorized by the IT Department.

P.S. A point to note is, the Government’s e-filing website also offers self populating fields and user friendly features. The ranking is not exhaustive but an effort has been made to separate the chaff from the content while trying to provide a dispassionate review of the choices available with the reader.

H&R Block

It scores heavily on its clean and super-easy user interface. It is secured by ‘VeriSign’ offering an additional tier of security. It also offers call and live chat support for the e-filing procedure.

One needs to register by submitting personal details while the website scans the Form 16. The free version is good enough, however an assisted version is also available for an additional cost of Rs 299. Using it is a breeze.

ClearTax

A simple webpage layout and clear user interface. It flashes an orange button to punch in your details while the green button is for scanning your Form 16.

It’s totally free while an assisted version costs Rs 599 in which the service provider identifies tax deductions missed by the user and shows the results before e-filing them.

No personalized assistance has been offered in the free version. The website’s USP is simplicity.

Taxsmile

It offers an easy interface bereft of tax jargons and multiple options. There are two options. Go for the free, do-it-yourself option incase the income is below 5 Lacs which offers email and chat support.

The do-it-for-me option costs Rs 500 where the user uploads his Form 16 and is submitted by the website for review before finally e-filing it. There are few additional value added services available for Rs 100 to 300 like Refund tracking, Document vault, Tax history and Tax credit verification.

TaxSpanner

It doesn’t offer any free services. They offer six paid options from Rs 299 to a whooping Rs 4499 offering a dedicated CA. The simplest one being the ‘filetax self’ at a cost of Rs 249 in which the Form 16 is scanned and the website provides pre-filled ITR, chat with an expert and an interesting peer-tax comparison.

The ‘filetax assisted’ costs Rs 499 which offers the ITR filed by an expert and tailored for those with multiple Form 16’s and rental income.

Tax Care India

It offers 24 paid plans in various combinations. However, the individual IT returns plans are silver, gold and platinum. They offer a graded service, just like the movie tickets in the multiplex. The basic silver plan at Rs 249 additionally covers the Home loan (single), Tax verification and Donations under 80G.

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