How this CA revolutionised conventional Tax practice by launching a digital platform for faceless assessments & appeal

 

  • Hi, I am Mayank Mohanka, a Chartered Accountant, Tax Practitioner, and entrepreneur from India. 
  • Born and brought up in Delhi, India; after qualifying as a CA I started my career at a well-established business house. 
  • In 2020, amid the peak of the corona pandemic…I decided to quit my secure position of 15 years as a Senior Partner and start my own venture.
  • Did I have a business plan? Not really but my desire to contribute to India’s progression towards digitalization made me wonder - how income tax and other statutory e-compliances work can be made hassle-free and cost-effective.
  • It was then in August 2020, that I launched India’s first digital platform, TaxAaram - a solution for people’s tax-related planning & compliances accessible from the comforts of their home!

Beginning my journey in Taxation and Advisory

In our ‘Marwari’ culture, it is often said that, “Baniyon ki 52 Buddhi hoti hain”, meaning that ‘Aggarwal Baniyas’ (a community in India) have number-crunching in their blood. This, I think is also true in my case, given my fascination with Balance Sheets and numbers.

This fascination led me to pursue B. Com (Hons.) and eventually a Chartered Accountancy course from The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI).

After qualifying as a CA in 2006, I remember getting campus placements calls from a handful of companies but I decided to join an established New Delhi-based business conglomerate. 

To begin with, I was allotted a work desk in the back-office accounts section and was given the responsibility of handling the accounting and finance-related compliances and advisory functions of our well-diversified and reasonably big organization having 250 plus staff members.

Though tax planning, representations, and advisory have always remained my favorite domains, I took up this role as I was equally good at numbers.

I passed my initial days working very hard and within six months I became the blue-eyed boy of all the seniors in our office, including our Chairman.

Almost 3 years later, my sincerity, meticulous approach, and eagerness to take initiative made me bold and confident enough to ask for a change in my work profile! 

So, it finally happened….I was considered worthy enough to take on the onerous responsibility of Heading the Tax consultancy and business advisory affiliate firm- Sushil Jeetpuria & Co in the capacity of Partner...a dream come true. 

Deciding to quit my secured job of 15 years

Over the years, in my role as a Partner in our Tax & Business Advisory Firm, I made Representations for a widely diversified cross-section of industries including Power Sector, Banking & Finance, Real Estate, Food Processing, Infrastructure, Manufacturing, Education and Information Technology, before Authority for Advance Rulings, ITAT, Education Boards and other appropriate forums.

However, after 15 long years in the organization, like most people, I reached a saturation point both in terms of financial earnings as well as learning and performing. 

By early 2020, I was looking for my 'Next' challenge. I wanted to create an identity of my own other than being a partner in a firm.

I made up my mind to quit my job as a Partner just when the world was hit by the pandemic.

Did I have a business plan? Not yet...but I knew it was a Now or Never situation.

Taking all the factors into consideration, amid the peak of the corona pandemic, when everyone else has been working hard to secure their already secured jobs, I quit my job to fulfill my dream and satiate my entrepreneurial hunger. 

Also Read

This CA & partner at EY went the entrepreneurial route and bootstrapped a profitable startup to help secure valuables

 

Creating a digital platform for statutory e-compliances

During the pandemic with a nationwide lockdown, like everyone, my Mom started ordering groceries online on mobile apps.

So, it was this one thought which constantly did rounds in my mind that - If all essential commodities & groceries can be delivered at people's doorstep with seamless ease, on several online apps, so why not tax and statutory e-compliances?"

This seed thought gave rise to my Start-up TaxAaram India Pvt Ltd.

In India, there are 50 million Return Filers and one million tax assessment cases every year. The idea was to create a web-based e-interface utility and mobile app offering expert professional services concerning all Indian tax compliances like faceless tax assessments and appeals, return filings and other PF, ESI & ROC related statutory compliances within the comforts of one's home, without the requirement of visiting any tax consultant’s office or any government tax department.

Also, people in India are conventionally using the services of individual CAs but the current tax eco-system has inducted the mechanism of faceless adjudication by Indian Tax Authorities. So, our unique idea gels very well with this newly introduced tax compliance environment in India.

Taking all this into consideration, I started working on this idea to help one get complete aaram (relief) from all his/her compliance headaches!

Growth of the start-up

I have been working on this venture (read taxaaram.com) for almost a year full-time. However, I must confess that this journey of putting my thoughts into action and converting my dream into a reality has not at all been easy.

Right from conceptualization of the idea, incorporation of a Private Ltd Company, designing & implementing 12 exclusive online service domains with 60 Service Plans, blogging on regular basis on Tax & Corporate Laws in India, development of digital platform & mobile app to the hiring of skilled manpower, all has been tirelessly done by me.

We have incorporated our flagship company TaxAaram India Pvt Ltd with the Registrar of Companies in India. We also registered our Startup TaxAaram India Pvt Ltd with the DPIT, Government of India with Registration No. DIPP72571.

For taking care of the technological aspects, we have hired an independent technical team. We have a dedicated and skilled team of 15+ members including CAs, MBAs, and other staff.

I am managing the affairs by boot-strapping and internal accruals/revenue from our loyal registered users.

Our startup is also in compliance with our Hon'ble Prime Minister Sh. Narendra Modiji’s vision of creating ‘Digital India’.

Also Read

How two Chartered Accountants launched a crowdfunding startup to connect NGOs to potential donors. 

 

Model of Business and Operation

Our digital platform taxaaram.com and mobile app TaxAaram is operating in both B2B & B2C segments with retail as well as corporate client base.

We are India's first digital platform offering faceless assessments and appeals e-services. Anybody can file his/her income tax, GST, PF, ESI and ROC return or file responses to his/her tax and other compliance notices within the comforts of their homes.

Steps:

  • Register on taxaaram.com (which is free)
  • Then the user is assigned a unique and dedicated dashboard with the documents uploading and downloading functionality. There’s also the facility of calling, messaging, and emailing with the dedicated professional real-time assistance of qualified team (CAs) of TaxAaram, in relation to their tax notices and other compliances.
  • Within 24 hours of uploading your notice or query, you will get expert professional help and assistance and professional consultancy in relation to your notice or query, within the comforts of your home.
  • The clients can either choose their required service plan online at taxaaram.com, or they can also finalize the terms offline after discussion with us

We are also working on including advanced techniques like artificial intelligence and machine learning in preparing the qualitative and updated replies to the tax notices using our repository of tax database.

So, now just like ordering online groceries, you can simply order online for expert professional e-services in relation to all your tax compliances like filing qualitative e-responses to your tax notices, filing ITRs and GST Returns and doing PF, ESI and ROC related compliances.

Challenges

Leaving the cushy and secured position of a senior partner in a reputed CA Firm, amid the unprecedented corona crisis was a difficult decision.

Moreover, I invested a substantial chunk of my savings into my business. Needless to mention the sleepless nights and untiring toiling which went into giving my idea a concrete shape.

The biggest challenge was the corona pandemic itself and the resultant uncertainty arising from it.

Yet, somehow, I have dared to convert this challenge into an opportunity by making full and optimum use of the technology and unconventional ways of doing tax practice.

Also Read

After an unplanned career break, this CA & her MBA batchmates co-founded a Startup to help women restart their careers

 

Wrapping Up...

My journey may appear foolish to some and inspiring to others, but for me, it has been a soul-satisfying journey.

I have always believed that one thing is more powerful than your Destiny and that is your ‘Willpower’.

I am trying to nurture and nourish my startup venture with all my experience gained by me in 15 years of testing, demanding & satisfying CA practice. I am confident that with my sincerity and commitment to render excellent professional services, I will take this small venture of mine to bigger heights.

 

Signing off with a small request, please do visit taxaaram.com and please do download TaxAaram Mobile app from Google Playstore.

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