How this Jaipur-based CA has been making filing taxes easy and error-free since 1999
Over the years, India’s tax regime has undergone several changes. For instance, there used to be multiple taxes such as VAT, sales tax, etc. All that has changed with the introduction of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) in 2017. GST was introduced and implemented with the motto of “One Tax, One Nation” and was aimed at removing the cascading effect of multiple taxes that existed before.
One company that has been a witness to India’s changing tax regime is SAG Infotech Pvt Ltd, which was founded in 1999 by a chartered accountant (CA) – Amit Gupta.
Amit completed his Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Rajasthan in 1996 and then went on to work with CA firms, including one that belongs to his brother. He would appear for his CA exams while working. Amit tells SMBStory that during his college days, he realised that the existing tax structures involved a lot of manual work and needed technological reform. This compelled him to think of solutions that would make tax filing easy, simple, and error-free.
Amit says that around the same time, he also developed an interest in coding which would later become a rewarding one.
A one-stop solution
In 1999, after gaining some experience in the tax sector, he launched his own enterprise – SAG Infotech Pvt Ltd. The Jaipur-based company was launched with the aim to become a one-stop solution for all tax filing needs of an individual or an entity.
In the initial years, Amit would work on Microsoft’s Visual FoxPro to develop desktop applications. One of SAG Infotech’s first products was Genius – an overall taxing solution for income tax, tax deducted at source (TDS), and AIR/SFT.
Today, SAG Infotech has expanded its portfolio of products to include – Genius, Gen GST (for GST filing), Gen Payroll (human resource solution), and Gen Complaw (ROC filing software) and a few more. The software has been developed by Amit and his team of developers.
The company has over 44,000 customers, who majorly comprise CAs, advocates, and micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs). It has also witnessed steady growth in terms of turnover. The company claims to have clocked Rs 8.26 crore in FY18, Rs 9.85 crore in FY19, and Rs 11.5 crore in both FY20 and FY21.
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Core USP and key differentiator
Amit says that the USP of SAG Infotech is that it simplifies the tax filing process, and makes it simple, quick, and error-free. All software developed by SAG is run mainly on JAVA, Software as a Solution (SaaS), and other technologies.
Amit says, “The process of filing a return is very easy. Individuals can create an account on the Gen GST portal and download the GST form to fill and submit. In case the user is old, they can import any important data for return-filing from third-party software, government portal, excel template provided by GSTN, as well as important JSON files.” It takes between one to five minutes to process the invoice.
The software works on a subscription basis. There are various subscription options available, priced between starting from Rs 2,000. Amit says that the company doesn’t provide one-time services and offers the subscription on a renewal basis.
Some of SAG Infotech’s well-known clients include MDH, Parle, Fortis Hospital, Central Bank of India, Reliance Broadcast Network, and many more.
While software applications were available on the website and desktop applications, SAG has introduced apps for its various products. The GST Billing and e-Filing App, which was introduced in 2017, has more than 10,000 downloads on Google Play Store and has a rating of 3.9.
While SAG Infotech has been a player since 1999, this industry has also seen several startups and other new-age technology-based companies, including ClearTax, myITreturn, EZTax, and a few others, emerge in the last few years.
Commenting on the competition, Amit says, “Startups easily get funding, which helps them market themselves better. A lot of so-called big companies in this space were loss-making until GST was introduced.”
Amit says that while every day is a struggle to survive as an entrepreneur, he has confidence in his product and believes that SAG Infotech has a “good hold in the market.”
The government has also taken several steps towards digitising the tax filing process. Commenting on the industry and the government’s efforts, Amit says,
“Income tax requires a few amendments but it is largely streamlined. The GST portal will take four or five years to mature.”
He adds that the industry is understanding the portal but new additions introduced by the government can complicate the process further.
He gives the example of GSTR-1 form, which can be filed on a monthly or quarterly basis. Amit says that this confuses users at times. He also points out that it is easier for bigger companies to manage and adapt to changes but challenging for the small and medium businesses which operate on limited resources.
According to data shared by the income tax department, 5.95 crore ITRs were filed for Assessment Year 2020-21 till January 10, 2021, as compared to 5.67 crore ITRs for the previous Assessment Year, by September 10, 2019. Amit says that every year, the number of people of filing returns will increase by 15-20 percent.
He claims that the business has not been greatly impacted by COVID-19 as the company works on a subscription model.
On the road ahead, the company has an interesting product in its pipeline. Amit shares that at SAG Infotech, they are working on an ERP software for enterprises that will have myriad solutions like taxation, inventory management, accounting, etc.
He says that this product is unique because it will also have a compliance feature.
By activating this feature, the platform will generate prompts or notifications that will help the customer understand if it is falling short of any compliance requirements and save the individual entity from fines.
Amit plans to launch this product before December this year and is also seeking to raise funds.