Arjit Gupta is a Kanpur-based Chartered Accountant with more than 10 years of experience in taxation. There’s a joke he often likes to share:
Indira Gandhi once asked God, “When would Sanjay Gandhi become the Prime Minister of India”?
God replied, “Never in his life-time.”
Disheartened, she further asked, “When would Rajiv Gandhi become the Prime Minister of India?”
God responded, “Never in your life-time.”
Gathering more courage, she asked, “When would filing of Income Tax Returns become simpler?”
Indira Gandhi almost fainted after listening to God’s masterstroke, “Never in my life-time!”
The sentiment behind the satire is something which Arjit connects with well. It is also the reason why his startup, Mytaxcafe, came about. Along with Arjit are Satish Bhatia and Abhishek Porwal. Satish is a software engineer and a CISA (USA) having more than 15 years of experience in software development, while Abhishek is a finance professional, having a rich experience in corporate and personal finance. The trio came together to launch Mytaxcafe in June 2013.
Working from Kanpur in the heart of Uttar Pradesh, Mytaxcafe is a 15-member team that aims to provide seamless tax filing solutions along with the maximum tax savings. “We are all set to become India’s one-stop-solution for all tax-based queries like e-filing of tax returns, assistance in getting tax refunds, tax planning, and tax consultancy etc,” says Arjit.
Mytaxcafe helps people efile their income tax returns with 100% accuracy so that the user doesn’t miss out any chance to optimize tax savings. With 40,000 registered users, Mytaxcafe is a completely B2C startup at the moment. But the company is in the process of making tie-ups with corporates and banks for a B2B2C offering.
Completely bootstrapped, Mytaxcafe was born out of the experience Arjit had while interacting with taxpayers. “I felt that on one hand, the income tax department was encouraging more and more tax filings but on the other hand it failed to provide them easy tax filing solutions,” he says. Total taxpayers in India are just three percent of total population and according to the startup, this is mainly because of lack of education and less tax friendly eco environment in India.
Mytaxcafe works on a freemium model wherein the basic ITR filing is free of cost and the premium services like CA-assisted filing will be chargeable in the future. There are a host of other startups in this space as well. ClearTax is one of the outliers which became the first India-focused startups to be accelerated at YCombinator. There are the likes of Quicko and Taxmantra which are also gaining ground. The government’s website of course, remains an option but lags in terms of the user experience. For Mytaxcafe, the plan is to expand their horizon of services from just individuals to freelancers, commission agents, professionals and contract workers. An app is also on the way to accelerate growth on the mobile front.