A goods and services tax practitioner is a professional who can prepare your goods and services tax (GST) return. If you have questions or want help with the GST process, you may want to contact one of these practitioners.
To become a GST practitioner, an individual must have a graduate or post-graduate degree in commerce, law, banking, business administration or business management. The degree can come from an Indian university or a recognized foreign university. In lieu of having a degree, you can qualify to be a GST practitioner if you’ve held one of the following roles:
- Officer of a commercial tax department for a minimum period of 2 years
- Officer of the Central Board of Excise and Customs for a minimum period of 2 years
- Group-B gazetted officer or higher for at least two years
- Sales tax practitioner for at least five years
- Tax return preparer for at least five years
Beyond these education or experience qualifications, GST practitioners must also meet the following requirements:Be an Indian citizen
- Not be insolvent
- Be of sound mind
- Not be convicted and imprisoned for any offenses in the last two years
Finally, practitioners also have to complete an exam. Individuals who were sales tax practitioners or tax return preparers under the old system must have passed an exam from the GST authority within a year of the implementation of the GST scheme. Alternatively, practitioners can qualify by passing the degree exam from an Indian university or an approved foreign university, or they can use the exams administered by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India, the Institute of Cost Accountants of India, or the Institute of Company Secretaries of India.
Responsibilities of GST Practitioners
GST practitioners can file GSTR 1 and GSTR 2 forms. GSTR 1 is the form that summarises all of your sales, also called outward supplies, for the tax period. This form shows how much GST you have collected from your customers. GSTR 2 is also a monthly return. It details your business purchases, or inward supplies, for the tax period as well as how much GST you paid on those purchases.
GST practitioners can also furnish GSTR 3 and GSTR 9. Furnishing a tax return means filling it out. GST practitioners also provide a copy of the return to the client before submitting it. GSTR 3, another monthly return, combines the totals from the GSTR 1 and GSTR 2 forms to determine how much you owe. GSTR 9 is similar, but you only need to submit it annually.
With your permission, GST practitioners can also change or cancel your GST registration, and they can act as your authorized representative. When you owe GST, your practitioner can make payments into the electronic cash ledger, and they can also file claims for refunds.
A GST practitioner can be invaluable if you need help with your GST returns. Additionally, you may want to use GST-ready cloud-based accounting software such as QuickBooks. It’s automatically updated, which makes it easier to generate GST-compliant invoices, and it tracks the GST you pay and collect so that you have the information you and your GST practitioner need to complete your returns.