Become A Certified GST Practitioner – All You Should Know

Do you know that you can actually become a certified GST Practitioner? This profession came into existence after the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Act was implemented in the country in the year 2017 by the government of India. Generally speaking, persons who have studied in the fields of accounting and taxation are well-suited for such a profession.

But, there are certain things which must be considered before making a decision of opting in for such a profession. Like most professional services, a GST Practitioner should be eligible and perform well in tests, to name a few.

In this post, we shall cover insights on how to become a certified GST Practitioner. Also, knowing what functions and benefits this profession holds as well as taking a look at the eligibility, registration procedure, examination date, etc. will be provided here.

Who is a Certified GST Practitioner?

In simple words, a certified GST Practitioner is a person who is authorized to furnish the returns of registered taxable individuals and businesses and one who renders services of consultation or advice with regard to Goods and Services Tax (GST) under the compliance of the GST law. Thus, a GST Practitioner may also be called a Tax Advisor or Tax Practitioner.

The Central Goods and Services Tax (CGST) Act, 2017 has its own standard definition for a GST Practitioner. The CGST Act defines a GST Practitioner as a person who has been successfully approved under Section 48(1) of the GST Act and one who is empowered to act as a practitioner with respect to furnishing of returns of the already registered taxable persons in the country.

Section 48(1) of the GST Act empowers the central government to issue regulations for the following:

  • Manner of approval of GST Practitioners
  • Eligibility criteria of GST Practitioners
  • Their duties and responsibilities
  • Method of removal of GST Practitioners
  • Other key conditions relative to the functioning of GST Practitioners

However, in order to carry out such services, a GST Practitioner must obtain a certificate in Goods and Services Tax (GST), which is only possible after he/she clears the registration process and examination.

What is the function of a GST Practitioner or GST Advisor?

Generally, a certified GST Practitioner, under the GST law and on behalf of his/her registered taxable person is liable to carry out functions, which are given as follows:

(i) He/she must furnish returns of registered taxable person(s)

(ii) He/she must furnish annual returns of registered taxable person(s)

(iii) He/she must furnish final return of registered taxable person(s)

(iv) He/she must file a claim for refund

(v) He/she must furnish the details of outward supplies

(vi) He/she must furnish the details of inward supplies

(vii) He/she must make deposit for credit into the electronic cash ledger

(viii) He/she must file an application for amendment or cancellation of registration

The above-mentioned functions must be carried out by a certified GST Practitioner, and he/she thus, cannot neglect their responsibilities, as it could lead to legal actions against the practitioner.

How a Registered Taxable Person and/or Business Entity can Benefit from a Certified GST Practitioner?

In addition to the role and responsibility, becoming a certified GST Practitioner can prove beneficial to a registered taxable person and/or business entity in quite a number of ways. A few essential benefits of a certified GST Practitioner to a registered taxable individual and business entity are the following:

  • The client is offered services which are carried out offline, such as e-Way Bill (EWB) generation with regard to transportation of various goods/commodities
  • Client is rendered assistance in issuing tax invoice, delivery ‘challan’ etc.
  • A certified GST Practitioner offers assistance to the tax assessee in services such as completing the GST registration procedure, cancellation of GST, updating GST etc.
  • A certified GST Practitioner offers services like furnishing details of both outward and inward supplies and filing GST returns on behalf of the registered taxable person and/or business entity.

If you are a taxpayer registered under GST, then you can easily seek assistance from a certified GST Practitioner in your region. You may also consult with a certified GST Practitioner and get advise with everything related to Goods and Services Tax (GST).

What is the Eligibility Criteria for Applying/Registering as a Certified GST Practitioner?

In order to become a certified GST Practitioner, the person must fulfil certain crucial eligibility criteria as stated under the CGST Act.

Given below are eligibility criteria that must be fulfilled by the candidate(s) who wish to become a certified GST Practitioner:

  • The candidate must be a citizen of India
  • The candidate is not adjudicated as an insolvent
  • The candidate has not been convicted by a competent court
  • The candidate should have a sound mind

In addition to fulfilling these criteria, there are a couple more conditions that must be met in order to be totally eligible for the application of a certified GST Practitioner. Below you can see the conditions.

Eligibility Conditions for a Certified GST Practitioner

The various conditions which are needed to become eligible for a GST Practitioner are given below.

(a) He/she should be a retired officer of:

  • the Commercial Tax Department of any state government, or
  • the Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC), Department of Revenue

(b) He/she, who, during their service under the government, has worked in a post not lower than the rank of Group B gazette officer and for a period of not less than two years.

(c) He/she, who has enrolled as a sales tax practitioner or a preparer of tax return under the existing law for a period of not less than five years.

(d) He/she should have completed:

  1. Graduation or post-graduation degree, or its equivalent examinations, obtaining a degree in commerce, banking, law, which may also include completing a higher auditing or business administration or business management from any Indian university that is established by any law for the time being compelled in law, or

2. Degree examination of any foreign university that is recognized by any Indian university as being equivalent to the degree examination as mentioned above, or

3. Any other examination that is notified by the government on the recommendations of the Council for the purpose, or

4. He/she has passed any of the following examinations stated as under:

  • Final examination at the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India
  • Final examination at the Institute of Cost Accountants of India
  • Final examination at the Institute of Company Secretaries of India

Once you have fulfilled the criteria listed above, you can consider yourself as being eligible and can enroll for GST Practitioner. However, there is still more to it before you can be recognized as a certified GST Practitioner.

Registration Procedure, Exam, Exam Date and Certificate Validity for GST Practitioners

Now that you have learned about the various eligibility criteria that must be met prior to applying for a GST Practitioner, we shall also learn about the registration procedure, examination schedule, and the validity of a GST registration certificate.

Procedure for Registration of GST Practitioner

The procedure for registration of GST Practitioner are the following:

He/she who intends to carry out the role and responsibility as a GST Practitioner must fill their applications on Form GST PCT-01 online and submit the same on the government GST portal.

The authorized officer here is the decision-maker and holds the power to either accept or reject applications for a GST Practitioner. The authorized officer may issue a certificate in Form GST PCT-02 if the applicant is found suitable, or the application may be rejected if the officer finds that the applicant is not qualified enough to be enrolled as a GST Practitioner.

Any GST Practitioner who has enrolled in any other state or union territory (UT) shall be treated as enrolled in that particular state or union territory (UT).

Also, no person shall be eligible to attend before any authority as a GST Practitioner in relation to any proceedings under the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Act on behalf of any registered or unregistered person, unless he/she has been enrolled.

Exam, Examination Date and GST Registration Certificate Validity

No person who has enrolled as a GST Practitioner shall be eligible to remain enrolled, unless he/she has successfully passed the examination, which is conducted by the National Academy of Customs, Indirect Taxes and Narcotics, Department of Revenue, Ministry of Finance and the Government of India. Therefore, such a person must pass the said examination within a period of one year from the appointed date conducted.

Generally, the examination carried out is a computer-based test that consist of multiple-choice questions only and candidates are required to simply choose the right answer from the given set of options. Upon the completion of the examination, the results are usually announced after one month and the same are shared with the candidates via e-mail or post.

The notification that is issued by the GST Council states that the GST Practitioners are required to take up the said examination before 31st December. The schedule of examination, syllabus of the examination, and the website/portal for registration for the said examination is notified to the applicants when updated. Also, an amount of Rs. 500 is to be paid as examination fee by the applicant(s) at the time of enrolment.

The validity period of the certificate for a GST Practitioner that is issued to the person(s) is valid until that person wishes to cancel his/her certificate.

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