Can GST Practitioners conduct GST Audit?

  • Blog|GST & Customs|
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  • By Taxmann
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  • Last Updated on 10 November, 2022
GST Practitioners are the certificate holders who practice as GST practitioners within the meaning and provisions enshrined in the CGST Act, 2017. They are entrusted by the Government of India to help common man deal with day to day compliance of GST law. Upon authorisation from taxpayers, GST Practitioners can:
 
    • File GST returns of the taxpayers including the summary return i.e. GSTR-3B.
    • Make payments of the taxes in Electronic Cash Ledger.
    • File a claim for the refund
    • Apply for amendment in the GST certificate
    • Apply for the cancellation of GST certificate
    • Generate E-way Bill 
    • Switch to Composition scheme or vice-versa.
    • Furnish details of challan in FORM GST ITC-04 i.e. a form for claiming the input tax credit available previously for future utilisation in case such input ceases to become available.
The functional area of GST Practitioners is restricted to the work mentioned in the provisions of law (that are stated above). Therefore, they cannot conduct the GST Audit.
 
GST Audit can be conducted by those persons that find explicit mention in the GST Law.
 
In the GST Act, there are three types of audit prescribed i.e. audit by Chartered Accountants or Cost Accountants when the turnover of the registered person crosses the threshold limit, audit by tax authorities and special audit to be conducted on directions of Commissioner. 
 

General Applicability of GST Audit on the basis of turnover

Every registered person whose aggregate turnover exceeds the prescribed limit of Rs. 2 crores during the financial year is required to get his books audited by the Chartered Accountant or Cost Accountant and file a statement of reconciliation and certificate in FORM GSTR-9C along with the annual GST return in FORM GSTR-9 on or before 31st December of the subsequent Financial Year. 

Audit by Tax Authorities

Commissioner or any officer authorized by commissioner can conduct GST audit for a period of one FY or in multiples thereof. This audit by the tax authorities has to be conducted in the premises (i.e. principal place of business or the office) of the taxpayer within a period of three months from the date of commencement of audit. However, this period can be extended by 6 months if the commissioner approves it; making the maximum period for conducting such audit to be 9 months. Further, before commencement of such audit, the registered person is served upon a notice of intimation for conduct of audit at least 15 days prior.

GST Practitioners' Question Bank with Quick Exam Guide is a ‘do-it-yourself’ guide for aspiring GST Practitioners, where legal provisions are provided in a concise & precise manner, without tampering with the intent and spirit of the GST Laws.

Special Audit

Special audit can be conducted only by the Chartered Accountant or Cost Accountant who is nominated by the Commissioner to carry out the audit of a person registered under GST Act. Such registered person is required to get special audit done only when he has been issued the such directions by the Commissioner in FORM GST ADT- 03.   Special Audit is directed when the officer (Assistant Commissioner or any officer of higher rank than Assistant commissioner) is of opinion that there is misstatement in the value declared by the taxpayer in the returns or the taxpayer has claimed more input tax credit than it is eligible to take; and it is against the interest of Revenue Department. As a result of special audit, in case any discrepancy is found either by way of short payment of GST or erroneous refund or wrong availability or utilisation of input tax credit, the taxpayer is liable to refund the amount and along with the interest and penalty as  and when applicable.

Conclusion

GST Audit , as per the GST  Laws, can only be conducted by the Chartered Accountant or Cost Accountant or Commissioner or any officer authorised by commissioner in the cases as mentioned above and no person other than these holds the authority to carry out GST Audit. Thus, GST Practitioners cannot conduct GST Audit.  

Dive Deeper:
Types of GST Audit
GST Audit Checklist, Rules & Applicability
All about GST Audit you should know

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