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Bennett Coleman & Company Ltd (BCCL), better known as the Times of India Group, has picked up a stake in First Altus Resources and Networks Private Ltd, the owners of Taxshax.com, an online income tax return filing company. As usual, they pick up stakes in exchange for ad and branding support in the paper. This is part of BCCL’s “innovative” private treaty model where there is a thin line between editorial coverage and branding for the portfolio companies. The private treaty portfolio companies at last count stands at about 175.

Taxshax plans to make tax filing a more easier process for everyone, although this model is not new. FileMyReturns.com had entered the market as early as 2000, and diversified into payroll and HR processing thereafter.

Interestingly, Delhi-based iTrust Financial is doing this online as well as offline which seems to be a better model for the Indian market. iTrust also sells financial products and have employed personal financial consultants to help consumers plan their taxes and savings.

TaxShax thinks the market is lucrative as they plan to target the ever growing young computer savvy individuals who are entering the tax bracket.

BCCL had picked up stakes in several online companies such as the New Delhi-based Culture Holiday (I) Pvt. Ltd, a company owning TravelChaCha.com, a travel portal, which provides end-to-end travel planning services, Travelmasti and HolidayIQ.

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