Tax Reimbursement Claims, Still A Dreaded Dump Of Paperwork

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Tax saving, for most people, is a black hole riddled with Hows and Whens. To top that, filing reimbursements forms an exhausting exercise plagued with paperwork, filling forms and saving proofs. Both corporates and their employees are equally affected by this daunting challenge.

For companies, managing tax reimbursements eats up a lot of valuable time and resources, so much so that it is often outsourced to other payroll firms. For bigger companies, the process involves complicated logistical hassles and an intense resource management exercise. For smaller and mid-sized firms, it spells a lot of challenges in terms of expenditure.

Inertia or ignorance?

While the system of reimbursement filing suffers from time-consuming and expensive processes, there is not much activity to relieve the pain. In fact, this area has long been neglected and remained set in its ways for decades. Manual work has taken preference over technology. But, are we really going to keep walking down that road forever?

Awareness about other options is growing but there’s a lack of alternatives because compliance to laws is difficult to achieve. The area of tax reimbursements is fringed with legal guidelines and the biggest challenge is to adapt such processes to newer ways while adhering to Income Tax laws.

Some companies have moved to consolidated desktop-based software solutions for reimbursement submissions which, in most cases, are not user-friendly. These semi-digital interfaces are difficult to navigate and do not do away with paperwork completely. In fact, it adds another layer of processes to reimbursements filing.

The compliance scare

Moving away from paper work may entail legal challenges. Tax filing requires adherence to several guidelines that can be difficult to envision without traditional ways. For example, physical storage of each medical bill for a period of seven years, a guideline put in place to ensure smooth tax audits of companies. Moreover, companies may have specific internal regulations that they may have to adhere to. The idea is to come up with solutions that fit in all kinds of compliance concerns that may hinder tax reimbursements.

Next steps?

Holding hands with tech is the most important step that should be taken to move reimbursements from a manual to a digital plane. Today, we use apps to call a cab, order food, book hotels and even get medical help. In an era of smartphones, even desktops are losing the relevance they once had. Expense reimbursements and submission of proofs for tax exemptions should ideally be so easy that people can manage them on their fingertips.

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Imagine a world where medical reimbursements are filed and claimed paperlessly with an app! Or, meal vouchers sent and received through smartphones. Think, what would it be like to not worry about saving paper bills after a fuel refill?  Smooth and easy, such processes will bring about a revolution in the way reimbursements are filed today. What would add a solid edge to this is if such a system can be customised to fit in all compliance requirements of a company.

The idea is to offer corporates solutions that help them replicate their current tax reimbursement process on a digital plane. We should get to a point where compliance is achievable at every level and paperwork is reduced at every step.

The Millennial workforce is ready to lap up the tech revolution. When tax benefits are being offered to them, it should be given in the way most convenient to them. It’s time we ease out one of the most complicated processes that we know today. Let’s take tax reimbursements to a digital plane!