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How to become a Certified GST Practitioner ?

Updated on:  

08 min read

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.

This article covers the relevance of certification and how to get certified through the GST practitioner exam.

Latest Update

31st December 2020
A person registered as a GST Practitioner can now file an application for cancellation of their Registration, in Form GST PCT-06.

Who is a GST practitioner?

A 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: A GST practitioner can assist in making an application for GST registration on behalf of the taxpayer or make amendments in/cancellation of GST registration.
  • Returns: A GST practitioner can assist in preparing the monthly/quarterly/annual GST returns such as GSTR – 3B, GSTR – 1, GSTR – 9, etc.
  • Refunds/Payment: GST practitioners 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, the 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. 

A 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 the 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 a 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 certificationWithin two years of enrollment on the GST portal, appear for the GSTP exam conducted by NACIN paying requisite fees. Candidates must score minimum 50% of the total marks to qualify as certified GSTP. The list of enrolled GSTP would then be available on the GST common portal for the taxpayers to exercise their choice.

Pre-requisites for the GSTP exam

If the candidate fulfils the basic conditions, he must enrol himself on the 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 Narcotics). 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, GST Council Secretariat and in the leading English and regional newspapers.

Registration:

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).  

Fees:

Examination fees need to be paid by the candidate at the time of enrolment. The applicable fees will be specified on the NACIN website, along with the manner of payment.

Nature of exam:

It is a computer-based test consisting of Multiple-Choice Questions only.

Result declaration:

NACIN shall declare the result within one month of the conduct of examination and would be communicated to the candidate by email/post.  

Passing marks:

In order to become a GSTP, the person must score at least 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.

Examination syllabus:

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
  • All the States 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 the States Goods and Services Tax Rules, 2017 
  • Notifications, Circulars and orders issued from time to time under the said Acts and Rules.

Do’s and Dont’s for GSTP exam

Do’s:

  • Register for the exam on the 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 the Admit card to the examination hall

Don’ts:

  • Arriving late by half an hour for the examination. Gates close fifteen minutes before the commencement of the exam.
  • Bring prohibited items such as mobile phones, Bluetooth devices inside the examination hall.
  • Use unfair means or practices during the examination.
  • Tamper with the hardware/software deployed for the examination.
  • Misbehave in the exam centre in any manner.
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