Who is a Tax Return Preparer under GST

In the current indirect tax regime, there are accounting and tax professionals who are authorized to file returns on behalf of taxable persons. Currently, this role is performed by Chartered Accountants (CAs), Sales Tax Practitioners (STPs) and advocates. The Draft Model GST Law seeks to formalize this association between a tax payer and the return preparer and make the three-way association between a tax payer, a tax return preparer and GSTN transparent.

Let us understand who a Tax Return Preparer is, under GST.

A Tax Return Preparer is a person approved by the Central or State Government to perform any or all of the following activities, on behalf of a taxable person:

  • File an application for fresh registration
  • File an application for amendment or cancellation of registration
  • Furnish details of outward and inward supplies
  • Furnish monthly, quarterly, annual or final GST returns
  • Make payments for credit into the electronic cash ledger, i.e. payments for tax, interest, penalty, fees or any other amount
  • File a claim for refund
  • Represent the taxable person in any proceeding under the Act, other than inspection, search, seizure and arrest
  • File an appeal to the First Appellate Authority
  • File an appeal to the Appellate Tribunal (can only be done by a CA/CS/ICWA/Advocate)

Who can become a Tax Return Preparer?

A person can become a Tax Return Preparer under GST if he/she satisfies the conditions listed below:

  1. Should be a citizen of India
  2. Should be a person of sound mind
  3. Has not been declared as insolvent
  4. Has not been convicted for an offence with imprisonment for more than two years
  5. Meets the required education or work experience criteria, given below:
Should be a retired officer of the Commercial Tax Department of any State Government or of the Central Board of Excise and Customs, having worked in a post not lower in rank than of a Group-B gazetted officer, for a period not less than two years
OR
Has passed-A. a graduate or postgraduate degree or its equivalent examination, having a degree in Commerce, Law, Banking including Higher Auditing, or Business Administration or Business Management from any Indian University established by any law for the time being in force
OR
B. a degree examination of any Foreign University recognized by any Indian University as equivalent to the degree examination mentioned above
OR
C. any other examination notified by the Government for this purpose
OR
D. any degree examination of an Indian University or of any Foreign University recognized by any Indian University as equivalent of the degree examination, and has also passed any of the following examinations-

  • final examination of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India OR
  • final examination of the Institute of Cost Accountants of India OR
  • final examination of the Institute of Company Secretaries of India

Forms pertaining to a Tax Return Preparer

Form GST TRP-1 Application for enrollment as a Tax Return Preparer
Form GST TRP-2 Certificate of enrollment as a Tax Return Preparer, issued by an authorised officer
Form GST TRP-3 Notice seeking additional information on application for enrollment or show cause notice issued to Tax Return Preparer for misconduct
Form GST TRP-4 Order of rejection of application for enrollment or disqualification of a Tax Return Preparer found guilty of misconduct
Form GST TRP -5 List of enrolled Tax Return Preparers maintained on the Common portal
Form GST TRP-6 Authorisation of a Tax Return Preparer by a taxable person on the Common Portal
Form GST TRP-7 Withdrawal of authorisation of a Tax Return Preparer by a taxable person

Filing of Returns by a Tax Return Preparer

A taxable person can authorise a Tax Return Preparer to file GST returns. Once authorised, the Tax Return Preparer prepares and furnishes the Statement, which has to be confirmed by the taxable person.

The process for this is shown below-

Filing of Returns by a Tax Return Preparer
At any time, a taxable person can withdraw the authorisation given to a Tax Return Preparer using Form GST TRP -7.

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Pugal T & Anisha K Jose

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