GST law is a new and evolving indirect tax law in India. Thus, it is bound to raise doubts in the minds of taxpayers concerning registrations, return filings, refund claims and other compliances under GST. Understanding this, the Government has introduced the concept of GST practitioners to assist taxpayers in GST compliances.
The GST practitioner is a person approved by the Central Government or State Government to perform one or more of the activities mentioned below, on behalf of the taxpayers:
- Registration: GST practitioner can assist in making application for GST registration on behalf of the taxpayer or make amendment/cancellation of GST returns.
- Returns: GST practitioner can assist in filing monthly/quarterly/annual GST returns such as Form GSTR – 3B, Form GSTR – 1 & Form GSTR – 9.
- Refunds/Payment: GST practitioner can file refund claims or pay taxes on behalf of the registered persons.
- Authorised representative: GST practitioner would be allowed to appear as an authorised representative before any officer of the GST Department, Appellate authority and the Tribunal.
Importance of certification by GSTP Exam
Once enrolled as a GST practitioner, such person must pass the GSTP examination within two years of enrolment. An exception to this is that if a person is enrolled as a GSTP before 1st of July 2018, he shall get one more year to pass the examination.
GST practitioner files essential data/information on behalf of the taxpayer. Considering the importance of the work done by the GST practitioner, he must be registered on GST Portal and must pass an exam to obtain a certificate, before he can start his own practice. Obtaining certification of GST practitioner (GSTP) helps to increase credibility and trust for the services provided by the practitioner, in the eyes of the taxpayer.
Steps to be a certified GST practitioner
Following steps must be followed by an individual to become a certified GST practitioner:
Step 1: Register on the GST portal as GST practitioner in Form PCT-01 and obtain Enrollment certificate in Form PCT-02
Upload necessary details for registration as ‘GST practitioner’ on the portal. GSTN will generate Temporary reference number (TRN) and verify these details through an OTP sent on the registered mobile number. Upload supporting documents and submit the application through DSC or EVC. An acknowledgement with the GSTP Enrollment number is received on registered email ID within fifteen days.
Step 2: Appearing for the GSTP Exam conducted by NACIN for certification
Within two years of enrollment on GST portal, appear for GSTP exam conducted by NACIN paying requisite fees.
Candidate must score minimum 50% of the total marks to qualify as certified GSTP.
The list of enrolled GSTP’s would then be available on the GST common portal for the taxpayers to exercise their choice.
Pre-requisite for GSTP exam
If the candidate fulfils the basic conditions, he must enrol himself on GST portal for GST practitioner in Form PCT-01 and obtain the enrolment number in Form PCT-02 from the concerned officer after due enquiry. He must then appear for the GSTP exam to get certified.
GST Practitioner Examination procedure
The examination for enrolment as GST practitioner would be conducted by NACIN (The National Academy of Customs and Indirect taxes and Customs). https://nacen.gov.in/
Date of exam:
The exams are conducted twice a year across India at designated centres. The candidate can opt for the centre of his choice. The date of exam is notified by NACIN and is available on the GST portal and CBIC website. The GSTP exam for 2018 was held on 17 December 2018.
The registration for this exam can be done on nacin.onlineregistrationform.org. Candidates are required to login with the help of GST enrolment number (user id) and PAN (password).
Examination fees of INR 500 is payable by the candidate at the time of enrolment.
Nature of exam:
It is a computer-based test consisting of Multiple-Choice Questions only.
NACIN shall declare the result within one month of the conduct of examination and would be communicated to the candidate by email/post.
In order to become GSTP, the person must score minimum 50% of the total marks. The person is required to pass the exam within a period of 2 years of enrolment. There is no limit on the number of attempts taken by the candidate during the said period of 2 years.
Paper: ‘GST law and procedure’ would cover the following legislation:
- The Central Goods and Services Tax Act, 2017
- The Integrated Goods and Services Tax Act, 2017
- State-specific Goods and Services Tax Acts of 2017
- The Union Territory Goods and Services Tax Act, 2017
- The Goods and Services Tax (Compensation to States) Act, 2017
- The Central Goods and Services Tax Rules, 2017
- The Integrated Goods and Services Tax Rules, 2017
- All-State Goods and Services Tax Rules, 2017
- Notifications, Circulars and orders issued from time to time typically up to two months before the date of the exam. NACIN may issue guidelines in this regard. For the exam held on 17 December 2018, amendments up to 1st September 2018 were applicable.
Do’s and Dont’s for GSTP exam
- Register for the exam in NACIN website well in advance.
- Pay examination fees.
- Study the GST laws and return filing processes thoroughly.
- Stay updated with amendments in GST law
- Carry original identity documents such as PAN, Voter ID & Passport.
- Carry Admit card to the examination hall
- Arriving late by half an hour for the examination. Gates close fifteen minutes before the commencement of exam.
- Bring prohibited items such as mobile phones, Bluetooth devices inside the examination hall.
- Use unfair means or practices during the examination.
- Prepare for essay type questions.