Cleartax, which until recently used to only enable tax filing for individuals, has now launched a platform which allows businesses and freelancers to file taxes, without using a Chartered Accountant. In an emailed response to MediaNama, Cleartax founder Archit Gupta said “A business tax return is 28 pages. Filing that for laymen is very tough.”
Product and Pricing
Cleartax is simplifying this by taking a question and answer (Q&A) approach, which requires users to fill in their income (revenue); expenses, based on classifications; assets, kind of asset and date of purchase. Based on classifications, Cleartax automatically calculates depreciation for the business, and helps users classify personal expenses from business expenses. The platform allows for an automated preparation of the profit and loss account and balance sheet. In addition to this, the platform has customized filing for segments such as doctors, engineers, freelancers, derivative traders, commission agents, insurance agents, wholesalers/retailers – based on Expense, Income and Assets Definition through drop down menus. Cleartax also has a curated pool of Chartered Accountants to look into tax queries through email and phone calls.
The product is free for Freelancers, Commission & Insurance Agents, while charging Rs 3700 for businesses with income over Rs 5 lakh, Rs 6,500 for businesses with income of upto Rs 10 lakh, and Rs 11,300 for businesses with income of over 10 lakh. This product launch comes shortly after Cleartax raised $12 million from SAIF Partners. At the time, Gupta had told MediaNama that the company was also looking to launch a product that helps businesses file GST.
MediaNama’s Take: Cleartax is in an interesting position, of becoming a funnel between the business and the government; they’re in businesses because the government has failed to make it easier and more intuitive to file taxes, and Chartered Accountants benefit from this complexity. While their platform allows businesses and individuals to file taxes without involving a Chartered Accountant, there’s also a use case for Chartered Accounts themselves, as buying subscription packages to file taxes on behalf of individuals and businesses. For context, while they aren’t directly comparable, think of Naukri.com: Naukri should ideally disrupt the recruitment consultant business, and businesses shouldn’t need them to meet their hiring needs. However, since it is something that businesses often prefer to outsource, it is used extensively by recruitment consultants, on behalf of companies. The same is applicable to ClearTax: it allows an easier interface and a simpler process for Chartered Accountants to file taxes on behalf of others.