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Review of online income tax return preparation service TaxMunshi from Paisaa.in

Paisaa.in provides an online income tax return preparation service, called TaxMunshi. Here’s a review of the service.

UPDATE (28th July 2010): You can get a discount of Rs. 50 on income tax return preparation from TaxMunshi. Just use the promo code HalfCentury before payment. The code is valid till 30th July 2010.



Paisaa.in provides an online income tax return preparation service, called TaxMunshi. Through this service, you can prepare ITR1 and ITR2 for a nominal fee of Rs. 149.

(Want to know which Income Tax Return (ITR) is right for you? Please read “Income Tax (IT) Return Filing – Which ITR form to use?”)

The best part is that you don’t have to pay even this small fee upfront – you enter all your data, get your return prepared, and pay the Rs. 149 only when you download and print your return!

People from Paisaa.in approached me to review their service. So, I registered as a user, and filled up some sample data to see how the service works.


The Methodology

I assumed a profile that is quite common:

  • 27 year old man
  • Salaried, with an income of about Rs. 7,00,000 per year
  • Has purchased a house 4 years back, and has a home loan
  • Has some share transactions, both short term and long term
  • Invests in Section 80C instruments

(Check out “Saving Income Tax – Understanding Section 80C Deductions” to know more about Section 80C investments and how you can save income tax through them)

I registered as a new user, and prepared ITR2. Here is a step-by-step review.

Visiting the site and registration

Paisaa.in is fast to load, and has a simple layout. The first thing that hits you is that it is a secure site (https) – it immediately assures you that the sensitive financial data that you would have to enter would be encrypted, and would be absolutely safe.

Paisaa.in

Click here to see large image

To start the tax return preparation, you click on “Start for free”, which opens up a new window. Here, you can register as a new user, or can log-in if you are already registered.

(Note: If you have a pop-up blocker installed, you would face issues because this new window is treated as a pop-up and is blocked!)

Registering as a new user is simple, and you are asked only for basic information like your name, email, phone number, etc.

Once you register, you get a confirmation email. Your account gets activated once you click on the confirmation link in the email. You can log into your account after this.


Entering information

Entering your information is a step-by-step process. You are asked for information about specific things in a single screen (for example, your address and contact information) – you enter it, and move to the next screen.

You are provided with convenient help buttons which provide you more information about tricky fields (for example, the help for “filing tax return under section” field gives you various options and their explanation).

The information that is asked for is about the following:

  • The various incomes that you have in the year (salary, house property, capital gain, etc)
  • Employer details
  • Salary details
  • Home loan details
  • Share transaction details
  • Details of insurance premiums paid, investments, etc.
  • Bank account details (for refund)

Payment Modes

You have to make the payment just before downloading your income tax return. Multiple modes of payment are available:

  • Credit cards
  • Debit cards
  • Net banking
  • Cash cards
  • Mobile payments

Actual Tax Return

I of course didn’t pay the money for return preparation, and I was just reviewing it. Therefore, I didn’t get a chance to have a look at the actual return.

But from the website, we see that you have two options:

  • You can either download the return in PDF format, print it and physically file it, or
  • Electronically file (e-file) the tax return through TaxMunshi (you can e-file with or without a digital signature)


The positives – things that would make you opt for TaxMunshi service

  • Secure site ensures that your data is safe
  • Analyzes your data, and selects the correct return (ITR1 or ITR2) for you
  • Help provided for tricky fields
  • Provision to enter salary from multiple employers
  • Provision to enter details for multiple houses owned by you
  • Various error checks (like validation of the format of PAN / TINnumber) ensure that probability of entering wrong details is considerably reduced
  • You can save your data, and come back later to continue return preparation
  • Online service, so you can prepare returns while sitting in the comfort of your home
  • You do not have to disclose your financial information to a person

Bonus

Irrespective of whether you enroll for their tax return service or not, Paisaa.in has a good tax calculator for you. Do check it out.

Areas of Improvement

  • The TaxMunshi service opens as a new window, and can be blocked by pop-up blocker software
  • Service is available only for ITR1 and ITR2
  • The window where you enter all the details gets refreshed every time you enter data and go to the next screen – this can get a little irritating after a while

Disclaimers

  • All observations are as per the functioning of the service at the time of the review (as on 12th June, 2010)
  • This review is an unpaid review, and has been requested by Paisaa.in http://www.paisaa.in/
  • Paisaa.in is an advertiser on RaagVamdatt.com. However, this has had no positive or negative influence on the review.

(To request a review for a product or service that you have, please contact me. To know about various advertising options, please check out “Advertise on www.RaagVamdatt.com”)

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