The provisions of GST Act permit certain persons to carry out certain activities such as filing various GST returns for Outward Supplies, Inward Supplies etc. on behalf of taxpayers. They are appointed, approved and authorized by Government and will be known as GST practitioners. Government has notified the National Academy of Customs, Indirect Taxes and Narcotics, Department of Revenue, Ministry of Finance, Government of India, as the authority to conduct the examination for GST Practitioners. Those meeting the eligibility criteria of having enrolled as GST practitioners are required to pass this examination.The format of examination is as under:
A person who satisfies the below requirements can enrol himself as GST Practitioner:
The GST Practitioner should have any of following qualifications:
|1||Retired Govt. Officer||Retired officer of the Commercial Tax Department of any State Government or of the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (‘CBIC’), Department of Revenue, Government of India, who, during his service under the Government, had worked in a post not lower in rank than that of a Group-B gazetted officer for a period of not less than 2 years|
|2||Sales Tax Preparer or Tax Return Preparer||Enrolled as sales tax practitioner or tax return preparer under the erstwhile tax laws for 5 years|
|3||Graduate or Postgraduate||In Commerce|
|In Business Management/ Business Administration|
|4||Degree of Foreign University||A degree examination of foreign university recognized by any Indian University equivalent to degree examination mentioned in Sl. No. 3 above|
|5||Professionals||Chartered Accountant, Cost & Management Accountant, and Company Secretary|
|6||Others as may be notified||A person who has passed any other examination notified by the Government on the recommendation of the GST Council. (As of now no Notification has been issued)|
A person required to pass the examination may avail of any number of attempts but within the period of 30 months given above.
However, in case the GST Practitioner appearing in the examination is prevented from availing one or more attempts due to unforeseen circumstances such as critical illness, accident or natural calamity, then, he may make a request in writing to the jurisdictional Commissioner to grant him one additional attempt to pass the examination. Such request needs to be made within 30 days of conduct of the said examination. NACIN may consider such requests on merits based on recommendations of the jurisdictional Commissioner.
The syllabus of the exams would consists of the following:
In cases where any GST Practitioner is found guilty of misconduct in connection with any proceedings under the GST legislation, then he may disqualify such practitioner to function as GSTP by passing an order in Form GST PCT-04. In this regard, the authorized officer would first give a show cause notice in Form GST PCT-03.
The law also provides appeal mechanism against such order disqualifying practitioner to function as GSTP. The GST Practitioner can appeal to the Commissioner against such order within 30 days from the date of issue of such order.
The examination would be conducted twice in a year. The details of the examination would be published by NACIN every year on the official websites of the CBIC, NACIN, GST portal, GST Council Secretariat and in newspapers.
Three of such GSTP examinations have already been conducted on 17-12-2018, 14-06-2019 and on 12-12-2019.
The registration for the exam can be done by the eligible GSTPs on a registration portal.https://nacin.onlineregistrationform.org/NACIN/LoginAction_loadIndex.action
A GST Practitioner can undertake any or all of the following activities on behalf of a registered person, if so authorised by him to-
A person would be eligible to attend as a GST Practitioner before any authority in connection with any proceedings under this Act on behalf of any registered or unregistered person only when he has enrolled himself as GSTP as per the provisions of GST law (discussed above).
GST Practitioner appearing as per above before any authorisation may be asked to produce the copy of the authorisation given by the registered person in Form GST PCT-05.
The GST law provides that the responsibility for correctness of any particulars furnished in the return or other details filed by the GST Practitioner shall continue to rest with the registered person on whose behalf such return and details are furnished. However, the law also casts some responsibilities on the GSTP. Non-compliance of which may lead to cancellation of the enrolment. These responsibilities are discussed in detail in the below paragraphs:
GST Practitioner shall prepare the statements with due diligence and affix his digital signature on the statements prepared by him or electronically verify using his credentials.
1Rule 58 of the CGST Rules
The registered person who is availing the services of GSTP is required to give his consent/authorization/confirmation for application/return/statement filed by GST Practitioner as under:
|S.No.||Scope of work||Consent/Authorization/Confirmation|
|1.||Application relating refund claim||
A confirmation for these assignments must be sought from the registered person.
The application submitted by GSTP shall be made available to the registered person on the GST portal. Such application shall not be further proceeded with until the registered person gives his consent to the same.
|2.||Amendment or cancellation of registration|
|3.||Intimation to pay tax under Composition scheme or withdraw from such scheme|
|4.||Furnishing a statement||
A confirmation must be sought from the registered person over email or SMS. The statement furnished by the GST Practitioner shall be made available to the registered person on the GST portal.
Notably, where the registered person fails to respond to the request for confirmation till the last date of furnishing of such statement, it shall be deemed that he has confirmed the statement furnished by the GST Practitioner.
|5.||Preparing and furnishing return||
Consent is required from registered person in Form GST PCT-05 given to any GST Practitioner. Before confirming submission of any return prepared by the GST Practitioner, registered person should ensure that the facts mentioned in the return are true and correct.