Tax ReturnPreparar(TRP) Under ‘GST’ Law

Section 34(1) of the model Goods and Services Tax Act, 2016 (‘Act’ for short) provides that the appropriate Government may prescribe the manner of approval of Tax Return preparers, their eligibility conditions, duties and obligations as may be relevant for their functioning as a Tax Return Preparer.

Eligibility

Any person may act as a Tax Return Preparer under this Act if he satisfies any of conditions below-

He is a citizen of India;
He is a person of sound mind;
He is not adjudicated as insolvent;
He has not been convicted by a competent court for an offence with an imprisonment not less than two years; and
He is a retired officer of-
the Commercial Tax Department of any State Government; or
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 gazette Officer for a period of not less than 2 years; or
He has passed-
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 University established by any law for the time being in force; or
a degree examination of foreign university recognized by any Indian University as equivalent to the degree examination above; or
any other examination notified by the Government for this purpose; or
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 Company Secretaries of India; or
Enrolment as Tax Return Preparer

Any person who wants to act as Tax Return Preparer may made an application to the officer authorized in this behalf for enrolment as Tax Return Preparer in Form No. GST TRP – 1. On receipt of such application, the authorized officer shall, after making required inquiries as he considers necessary, either enroll the applicant as a Tax Return Preparer and issue a certificate in Form No. GST TRP – 2 or reject his application if he found that the applicant is not qualified to be enrolled as a Tax Return Preparer.

Validity

The enrolment as Tax Return Preparer shall be valid until it is cancelled.

Disqualification

If any Tax Return Preparer is found guilty of misconduct in connection with any proceeding under the Act, the Authorized Officer may, by order, direct that he shall be disqualified. The said order is to be made in Form GST TRP – 4. Before passing order, the Tax Return Preparer shall be given an opportunity of being heard by giving him a show cause notice in Form GST TRP – 4.

Appeal

Any person, against whom an order of disqualification is passed, may file an appeal to the Commissioner against such order. The appeal is to be filed with 30 days from the date of the order.

List of Tax Return Preparers

A list of Tax Return Preparers enrolled shall be maintained on the Common Portal in Form No. GST TRP – 5. 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.

Authorization

Any taxable person may authorize a Tax Return Preparer on the Common Portal in Form No. GST TRP – 6. The Taxable person may, at any time, withdraw such authorization in Form No. GST TRP – 7. The authorized Tax Return Preparer shall be allowed to undertake such tasks as indicated in Form No. GST TRP – 6 during the period of authorization.

Confirmation of statement

Where a statement required to be furnished by a taxable person has been furnished by the Tax Return Preparer authorized by him, a confirmation shall be sought from the taxable person over email or SMS. The statement furnished by the Tax Return Preparer shall be made available to the taxable person on the Common Portal. Where the taxable person fails to respond to the request for confirmation till the date of furnishing of such statement, it shall be deemed that he has confirmed the statements furnished by the Tax Return Preparer.

Section 34(3) of the Act provides that the responsibility for correctness of any particulars furnished in the return and/or other details filed by the Tax Return Preparer shall continue to rest with the registered taxable person on whose behalf such return and details are filed.

Activities of 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-

furnish details of outward and inward supplies;
furnish monthly, quarterly, annual or final return;
make payments for credit into the electronic cash ledger;
file a claim for refund; and
file an application for amendment or cancellation of registration.
Obligation of taxable person

Any taxable person opting to furnish his return through a Tax Return Preparer shall give his consent in Form No. GST TRP – 6 to any Tax Return Preparer and furnish his return and before confirming submission of any statement, ensure that the facts mentioned in the return are true and correct.

Obligation of Tax Return Preparer

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.

Appearance by Tax Return Preparer

A Tax Return Preparer, whose name is entered in the list maintained in the Common Portal, shall be entitled to attend before any authority in connection with any proceedings under the Act on behalf of any taxable person. He shall produce before the authority a copy of the authorization given by the taxable person in Form No. GST TRP – 6.