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Tax Return Preparer Scheme

This article deals with salient features of the Tax Return Preparer scheme under the GST regime as enshrined in Model Law and Draft Rules.

1. Who are eligible to be appointed as Tax Return Preparer

Any of the below mentioned may be appointed as tax return preparer:-

a) he is a retired officer of the Commercial Tax Department of any State Government or of the Central Board of Excise and Customs, 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 two years.

b) He has passed a graduate or postgraduate 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.

c) He has passed a degree examination of any Foreign University recognized by any Indian University as equivalent to the degree mentioned above.

d) He has passed 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 CA Final, CMA Final or CS Final.

e) He has passed any other examination notified by the Government for this purpose.

Further he must be a citizen of India and a person of sound mind and has neither been adjudicated as insolvent or convicted by a competent court for an offence with imprisonment not less than two years.

2. Functions of the Tax Return Preparer

A Tax Return Preparer can undertake any or all of the following activities on behalf of a taxable person, if so authorized by the taxable person to:

  1. Furnish details of outward and inward supplies.
  2. Furnish monthly, quarterly, annual or final return.
  3. Make payments for credit into the electronic cash ledger.
  4. File a claim for refund.
  5. File an application for amendment or cancellation of registration.

3. Process of enrollment as a Tax Return Preparer

Any person who fulfills the eligibility as discussed above make an application in FORM GST TRP-1 to the authorized officer for enrollment as a TRP.

On receipt of the application the authorized officer shall, after making such inquiry as he considers necessary, either enroll the applicant as a Tax Return Preparer and issue a certificate to that effect in FORM GST TRP-2 or reject his application where it is found that the applicant is not qualified to be enrolled as a Tax Return Preparer.

4. Appointment and removal of Tax Return Preparer

Any taxable person may, at his option, authorize a TRP on the Common Portal in FORM GST TRP-6 or, at any time, withdraw such authorization in FORM GST TRP-7 and the TRP so authorized shall be allowed to undertake such tasks as indicated in FORM GST TRP-6 during the period of authorization.

5. Manner of return filing or furnishing statement through Tax Return Preparer

Any taxable person opting to furnish his return through a TRP is required to give his consent in FORM GST TRP-6 and before confirming submission of any statement prepared by the TRP, ensure that the facts mentioned in the return are true and correct.

Where a statement required to be furnished by a taxable person has been furnished by the TRP authorized by him, a confirmation shall be sought from the taxable person over email or SMS and the statement furnished by the TRP shall be made available to the taxable person on the Common Portal Provided that where the taxable 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 statements furnished by the TRP.

The Tax Return Preparer shall prepare the statements with due diligence and affix his digital signature on the statements prepared by him or electronically verify using his credentials.

6. Disqualification as a Tax Return Preparer

If any Tax Return Preparer is found guilty of misconduct in connection with any proceeding under the Act, the authorized officer may, by order, in FORM GST TRP-4 direct that he shall henceforth be disqualified under section 34, after giving him a notice to show cause in FORM GST TRP-3 against such disqualification and after giving him a reasonable opportunity of being heard. Aggrieved person may appeal to the commissioner within 30 days of the order.

7. List of Tax Return Preparers

A list of Tax Return Preparers enrolled shall be maintained on the Common Portal in FORM GST TRP-5 and the authorized officer may make such amendments to the list as may be necessary from time to time, by reason of any change of address or death or disqualification of any Tax Return Preparer.

No person shall be eligible to attend before any authority, as a Tax Return Preparer, in connection with any proceeding under the Act on behalf of any taxable person or person unless his name has been entered in the list maintained. An Accountant or a Tax return preparer attending on behalf of a taxable person or a person in any proceeding under the Act before any authority shall produce before such authority, if required, a copy of the authorization given by the taxable person or person in Form GST-TRP-6.

The purpose of this article is to spread awareness about the soon to be implemented Goods and Service Tax in India.

ca rishabhkumar(The author practices as a Chartered Accountant under the name and style of Rishabh Kumar Barmecha and Associates and is an expert in auditing, financial investigation, direct and indirect taxation. The author can be reached at rishabhkumarbarmecha@gmail.com Mobile No.  91 9007909221 or Twitter @CARKBarmecha.)

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