Hi, I’m Varun Jajoo – the co-founder of DeFi Tax Calc.
I’m one of those weird, boring accountants who genuinely likes tax compliance.
I vividly remember an incident from my 7th grade. “What do you want to be when you grow up?” asked the teacher. And I replied as confidently as a 12-year-old could – Chartered Accountant. I grew up watching my dad run his tax practice, and as kids are wont to do, I emulated him.
Which is, of course, what I went on to do – become a Chartered Accountant. I’ve worked for large international firms, boutique accounting firms and even run my own tax practice. And every role I’ve done made me realize that I’m the happiest when I’m able to free small businesses and individuals from their tax compliance worries.
Although the problem with being an accountant is, you don’t remove your accounting hat – ever. When I got into the cryptocurrency rabbit hole, all I could think of was the variety of transactions and the lack of standardization in reporting.
And what happens when an accountant finally accepts that excel is probably not good enough anymore for calculating taxes? He decides to build a solution which helps users sort out their crypto tax compliance without getting overwhelmed.
A painful problem
People get into crypto for all sorts of reasons.
Most came in because of the Bitcoin or the Dogecoin hype and stayed for the Ethereum or Shiba Inu.
Some analytical minds came in to check out everything DeFi (decentralized finance) and realized that there was a lot of money to be made on borrowing and lending in various protocols.
While some are just investors who want to HODL to eternity.
But no one ever got into crypto to solve a cryptic puzzle with 3 separate reports from each of their trading platforms, other weird summaries from the DeFi protocols and some more transaction reports from their hot/cold wallets.
I spent hundreds of hours sorting out crypto gains for clients and realized that calculating gains on excel just wasn’t efficient enough.
Accountants aren’t the biggest fans of crypto...yet
I’ll admit I did think about buying Bitcoin in 2018, but, like 99% of the world, I thought it was nothing but a scam, a ponzi scheme and a hype which will soon die down.
Even today, most accountants (my dad included) think of crypto as a big red flag and won’t go anywhere near it.
This results in accountants not being familiar with most of the crypto terminology. And you know what’s worse than a boring accountant? A frustrated and confused accountant.
Too many Aussie accountants have lost too many clients to the same 50-100 accountants who deal with crypto transactions. A lot of accountants give up on crypto because of lack of time or interest in crypto. We aim to take away both these excuses from every Aussie accountant.
The user knows best
As my co-founder, a brilliant data scientist, built up a model which calculated every possible type of gain, I realized I had no way to verify it. And if I couldn’t understand how I ended up with ‘X gains’, how could anyone else be sure that their transactions were correct?
That was when we realized we had a much bigger task at hand. Building a software behind a black box wasn’t going to be enough. We regrouped, re-imagined and re-engineered a product which would let users review their transactions.
Nobody knows your transactions better than you, definitely not a software. So, we built our entire product around the belief that users should be able to review and update every transaction.
Eight months back, the thought of starting a project which is much more than regular tax accounting made me excited but also nervous. Today, I’m just as excited and nervous, if not more.
This feels like the beginning of an incredible journey, and we’ve got so much farther to go. But we can’t wait to get started.