Scope for Chartered Accountants, Cost Accountants and Tax consultants under Goods and Service Tax ( GST )
As a chartered accountant, the first question that comes to my mind is how beneficial the GST will be for my practice.
Its not just me but every CA, CWA or tax consultant has same state of mind. Whether GST will have a positive or negative impact on constants earnings?
Before going to provision contained in act, specifically for CA and CWA let's analyse money making services we provide to our clients under existing laws.
As a consultant to companies and small business organizations we provide following services:
- Registration under Tax laws
- Returns filing and related services
- Documentation services
- Representing clients in front of tax authorities for assessments
- Audits under various laws
- Special purpose audits to find non compliance
- Assisting in complying with tax liabilities and refunds
These are broad categories of services, as a consultant we provide to our clients. Fee of consultants depended on level of expertisation to level of work involved.
Under GST, consultants will be able to generate good income since the work load will increase and technical know how will further open the doors to new clients.
Success of GST in India is fully depended on technology, as a consultant we have good knowledge of using technology to complete our assignments.
There are various small businesses which are not tech friendly and till date were doing accounting and tax related work manually, however under GST this will not be possible.
As consultant, you will be earning from doing following activities for clients:
- GST registration : Under earlier laws, consultants generated revenue from enrolling services provided to their clients, though registration is made simple compared to existing VAT laws, but still clients will prefer registration by an experienced consultant.
- GST Sales and Purchase uploading : Few states such as Karnataka made practice of uploading of sales and purchase data, similarly under GST registered tax payers are required to not only upload the sales and purchase details but also need to reconcile this data with buyers or suppliers uploaded data. Consultants will play a major role in this due to analytical skills and technical capabilities.
- GST Returns : Under GST for a normal tax payer every month 3 returns will be filed, Sales details, purchase details and monthly returns will consume time, instead of wasting an in-house resource businesses would like to outsource this task.
- E-Tax ledger, Reconciliations and follow up work : Under GST a E-Tax ledger for each tax payer will be maintained. GSTN has made it very robust and live data will be available to each tax payer. Every tax payer has to every time keep his E-Tax ledger and reconciliations up to date. Consultants will be hired for reconciliations, following up with internal tax department to resolve issues such as mismatch in sales and purchase details, mismatch of tax credits etc.
- Compliance and documentation : Tax payers are required to maintain set of accounting records and consultants will be helpful for this.
These are some basic services that consultants will be providing to their clients. In beginning for few year, there will no assessment cases. So for next few year under GST the major revenue will be generated from above stated activities, however established professionals after few year will start generating revenue from assessments and scrutiny cases.
Requirement of compulsory audit by a Chartered Accountant (CA) or a Cost accountant (CWA)
Every practicing chartered accountant is given a benefit of audits under section 44(AB) of Income Tax Act, 1961. Similarly section 35 of CGST Act, 2017 provides for a compulsory audit.
The audit prescribed under section 35 of CGST Act, 2017 is to be conducted by either a Chartered Accountant or a Cost Accountant.
This revenue stream will begin after successful completion of first year of implementation.
How much money a tax practitioner or tax consultant can make under GST? This is definitive and good article on possible ways of generating revenue during initial years.
However as the law will mature and more and more complexities will overtake, the experts of this law will make goods earning.
CA and CMA seems to be blessed under this law. Just like income tax audit, compulsory audit is provided.
I think the minimum limit for GST audit will be inline with audit under Income Tax Act.
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