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1st batch of tax return preparers pass out from NIIT
May 23, 2007 15:33 IST
Tax payers will now be able to get assistance in filing returns from this year, with the first batch of 3,737 tax preparers completing their training.
"It is an attempt by the Income Tax Department to deliver the services to its constituents right at their doorstep, either at no cost or at a very marginal cost," Finance Minister P Chidambaram said while addressing the tax preparers who passed out from IT education company NIIT.
The tax preparers, which were handed out certificates, will get commission from the Income Tax Department to assist new tax payers in filing returns for three years.
They could also charge up to Rs 250 as service fee from old assesses. Chidambaram also said tax return forms in India were among the simplest in the world and it was a myth to say that these were outdated.
The Income Tax code with comprehensive structure would also be launched this year, he added. Referring to new tax forms, Chidambaram said ITR-1, meant for individual tax payers, was among the simplest form and simpler than Saral form launched by the previous government.
The tax preparer scheme, announced in budget 2006-07, was launched with several motives, including to increase taxes. Under the scheme, NIIT trained 4,517 candidates, out of which 3,737 have qualified.
NIIT will hold supplementary tests for the candidates in next three weeks. The government has collected Rs 2,29,505 crore (Rs 2,295.05 billion) in direct taxes during 2006-07, at the lowest cost of tax collection of 0.59 per cent or Rs 1,363 crore (Rs 13.63 billion).
Chidambaram hoped that other institutions like insurance and banks would employ them to sell their products as well. The government would assist them in taking loans from banks to buy computers for their work, he added.
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