- Who is a GST Practitioner?
- Functions of a GST Practitioner
- How to Become a GST Practitioner?
GST is a destination based tax that has led to subsuming a host of indirect taxes. Although, the indirect tax compliance has reduced relatively to the previous indirect tax regime, the taxpayer is still required to undergo a considerable amount of compliance under GST. Thus, Filing of GST returns, claiming a refund of tax, availing ITC etc are few of the compliances that a registered taxpayer has to undergo under GST.
So, to make GST compliance easy, the government took various initiatives. One of them was the initiation of registered GST practitioner exam.
The government via notification number 60/2018 introduced rule 83A in CGST rules, 2017. In accordance with rule 83 (1), clause b, every person who is enrolled as a goods and services practitioner under sub-rule 2 needs to pass the GST practitioner examination.
Further, such an exam shall be conducted by the National Academy of Customs, Indirect Taxes and Narcotics (NACIN).
So, this article talks about who is a GST practitioner, what is GST practitioner examination and how to become a GST Practitioner.
Who is a GST Practitioner?
As per section 48 of the CGST Act, a registered person may authorize an eligible person to act as the approved GST practitioner. Thus, the approved GST practitioner is a tax professional who is authorized to prepare returns and undertake other activities as per the information furnished to him by the taxable person.
However, the responsibility to file the tax returns and other information lies with the registered taxpayer himself. So, to carry out such duties and obligations, a GST practitioner is required to enroll with centre or state authority.
Furthermore, any CA, CS, CMA holding certificate of practice, advocates, retired government officials and graduates are eligible to apply for GSTP registration. Apart from this, even the authorized representatives of the taxpayer can appoint GSTPs.
Functions of a GST Practitioner
A goods and service tax practitioner can perform any of the following activities on behalf of a registered taxpayer provided he is authorized to do so.
- Fill out the details of inward and outward supplies while filing tax returns
- Prepare and file monthly, quarterly, annual or final returns
- File a claim for refund
- Make deposit for credit in electronic cash ledger
- Prepare and file an application for amendment or cancellation of GST registration
- Generate e-way bill after furnishing information on the portal
- Fill details of challan in GST ITC – 04
- Prepare and file an application for amendment or cancellation of enrollment number under rule 58 of CGST act
- File an application intimating the tax authorities regarding payment of tax under composition scheme or withdrawal from the said scheme
It is important to note here that a registered person who authorizes a GSTP to perform any of the above functions is required to give consent to any of the applications filed by the GSTP.
How to Become a GST Practitioner?
In order to become a certified GST practitioner, an eligible person needs to register on the GST portal as a GST practitioner and appear for the GST practitioner examination. Following are the steps to become a certified GST practitioner:
1. Make an Application
An eligible person intending to become a GST practitioner needs to make an application in form GST PCT – 01 electronically on the common portal as per rule 83(1) .
Such an application can be made either directly or through a facilitation centre notified by the commissioner for enrollment as GSTP.
2. Issue of Certificate in GST PCT-02
After the application is filed by the eligible person, the authorized officer makes an enquiry as he considers necessary. The authorized officer enrolls the applicant as a Goods and Services Tax practitioner once he is satisfied by all the necessary details and documents.
Following this, the authorized officer issues the certificate in form GST PCT – 02. However, the authorized person can reject the application in case he finds that the applicant is not qualified to be enrolled as a goods and services tax practitioner.
3. Validity of Enrollment
As per rule 83(2), the enrollment made as a GST practitioner shall remain valid until it is cancelled.
4. GSTP Examination
No person enrolled as a goods and services tax practitioner shall be eligible to remain enrolled unless he passes the GSTP examination. This examination is conducted by the National Academy of Customs, Indirect Taxes and Narcotics (NACIN).
To appear for the exam, the candidate must register online on a website specified by NACIN and must pay the requisite fees. Furthermore, the candidate must score fifty percent of the total marks in order to qualify as a GSTP.
Also, a person enrolled as a GSTP is required to pass this examination within 2 years of enrollment.
However, if a person is enrolled as a goods and services tax practitioner prior to July 1, 2018, such a person shall get one more year to pass the GSTP examination.
Date of Exam
The GSTP exam is conducted twice a year as per the examination schedule published by NACIN.
NACIN publishes the exam schedule every year on its official website, common portal, GST council secretariat and leading national and regional newspapers.
The authority has already conducted 4 such examinations on the following dates:
- 31st October, 2018
- 17th December, 2018
- 14th June, 2019
- 12th December, 2019
The date and time for next examination shall be notified by the authority shortly along with the designated examination centres.
Registration for GSTP Exam
The applicant must login to nacin.onlineregistrationform.org to register for the GSTP exam. Only GST practitioners who qualify the criteria as per rule 83(1)(b) and whose enrollment on GST portal has been approved are eligible to login.
Once the candidate logs onto the examination registration portal, he is required to provide GST enrollment number and PAN. Thus, after the candidate logs in successfully, the application form will appear on the screen.
The application form will auto – populate the applicant’s details like name, address, date of birth,a mobile number, email id etc as available with GST network. This data is just the same that was provided by the applicant while registering as a GST practitioner by filling form PCT – 01.
Therefore, the applicant needs to provide only the following details and documents on the examination registration portal.
- 3 test centre choices from the dropdown list
- soft copy of passport size photograph (file type: JPEG, PNG; Size: 20 – 60 KB)
- soft copy of signatures (file type: JPG, JPEG, PNG; Size: 10 – 30 KB)
- whether the candidate falls under the category ‘person with disability’.
Fee for GSTP Exam
Once the applicant submits the application form on the registration portal, he is required to pay an examination fee of Rs. 500 online.
The moment applicant makes the payment towards fee, he is allowed to access the candidate’s dashboard via which he can submit application as well as download the admit card.
Nature of Exam
The GST Practitioner exam is a computer based test that consists of multiple choice questions only.
Declaration of Result
NACIN typically declares the results of the GSTP exam within 1 month from the date on which such an examination is conducted.
The results are declared on the official website of NACIN, GST Council Secretariat, common portal and state tax department of the respective states or UTs.
Furthermore, the results of the exam are communicated to the applicants via email or through post.
Minimum Passing Marks
In order to become goods and services tax practitioner, the eligible person is required to secure 50% of the total marks.
Furthermore, the person enrolled as a GST practitioner is required to pass this exam within 2 years of enrollment.
In addition to this, there is no cap on the number of attempts that an eligible person can make to pass this exam. However, these attempts should be within the period as specified in the above statement.
GSTP Exam Syllabus
Following is the pattern and syllabus of the examination:
|Paper: GST Law and Procedures (no negative marking)|
|Time Allowed||2 hrs and 30 mins|
|Number of multiple choice questions||100|
|Language of questions||English and Hindi|
|1.||Central Goods and Services Tax Act, 2017|
|2.||Integrated Goods and Services Tax Act, 2017|
|3.||State Goods and Services Tax Act, 2017 (of all states)|
|4.||Union Territory Goods and Services Tax Act, 2017|
|5.||Goods and Services Tax (Compensation to States) Act, 2017|
|6.||Central Goods and Services Tax Rules, 2017|
|7.||Integrated Goods and Services Tax Rules, 2017|
|8.||States Goods and Services Tax Rules, 2017 (of all states)|
|9.||Notifications, circulars and orders issued from time to time under the said acts and rules|
Guidelines for GSTP Exam
- All eligible GST practitioners are required to submit online application on examination registration portal.
- Candidates must report at the examination centre one and a half hour before the scheduled exam time.
- Gates are closed 15 minutes before the commencement of the examination.
- Candidate must carry his original and valid identity document like Aadhaar Card, PAN Card, Driving Licence, Passport or Electoral Photo Id card. Entry into the examination hall without the valid ID card is prohibited.
- The candidate is not required to carry any prohibited items.
- Each candidate shall be provided with complete infrastructure required for infrastructure.
- The candidate is required to provide enrollment number as displayed on the admit card and password, that is PAN, to start the test.
- Candidate must not engage himself in any of the unfair means or practices. If any candidate is found adopting any unfair means, he shall be disqualified.