NEW DELHI :
The coronavirus-induced lockdown is changing the way chartered accountants (CAs) do their business of filing income tax returns, GST returns and fulfilling other compliances. Tax filing and investment portal ClearTax has recorded a 30% jump in adoption of its cloud-based platforms for CA firms.
"In the current situation, neither chartered accountants are able to go to their offices nor can they get documents collected from their clients. This has led to a change in trend. CAs can from anywhere and at anytime using cloud-based fintech softwares," Archit Gupta, Founder and CEO, ClearTax, said.
Even the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) has recommended its members to use cloud-based compliance tools. Earlier this year, another fintech operator HostBooks signed an agreement with ICAI to encourage the use of technology and automation among CAs.
"Covid-19 has changed the way of doing business and professionals like CA’s are not out of that zone. Prior to this pandemic, most of the small and medium CA firms were not putting efforts to make their office digitized or adopt new emerging technology solutions. They were reliant on traditional locational & device-dependent desktop-based manual accounting system and the data was always lying on their premises as they were used to it for a long time," Kapil Rana, Founder and Chairman, HostBooks Limited, said.
HostBooks has also observed a significant increase in users for their cloud-based all-in-one accounting and compliance system.
ClearTax plans to launch a mobile app for CA firms this month using which one can file returns, make tax payments, invoices and even do client collaboration.
ClearTax currently has about 1,500 enterprise customers using its platform to file GST returns and has further observed a significant increase in the adoption rate of their GST compliance platform during COVID-19 as both individuals and enterprises are now filing their taxes from home.
Due to the lockdown which started from March 25, the finance ministry has extended various income tax and GST related compliance deadlines. For those filing belated income tax return (ITR) and revised tax return for FY 2018-19 can now do so by June-end this year. Earlier the deadline was March 31.
Deadlines for making investment and payments for claiming deduction under Section 80C (LIC, PPF, NSC, etc), 80D (mediclaim) and others for FY 2019-20 has also been extended to June 30.