Are you someone who’s really good with numbers and has an excellent working memory for carrying out detail-oriented work? Are you someone who is good at analyzing huge data and isn’t overwhelmed by formulating long calculations? Are you someone who would enjoy checking and analyzing the balance sheets of individuals or organizations for calculating taxes? If the answer to all the above questions is affirmative, then the GST Accounts Assistant & GST Practitioner is a great career option for you.
GST Practitioner and GST Accounts Assistant are not two widely different professions. A GST Practitioner is a professional who is registered and approved to work as a GST Practitioner under an Act (to file GST returns, claim benefits under GST, etc.). However, a GST Accounts Assistant could be any person knowing GST, is appointed by a company or any person for performing functions related to filing returns by the applicable due dates.
Why Become a GST Accounts Assistant?
GST (Goods and Service Tax) is an indirect federal sales tax that is applied to the cost of most of the goods and services produced or sold in India. It is a value-added tax levied/imposed on the goods and services which are sold for domestic consumption. The meaning of value-added is that the sellers add GST to the selling prices of goods or services that they sell. So, this is a value addition to the goods and services. When a customer or buyer buys the products or services, she pays the sales price plus GST. This GST amount, which is collected by the sellers from the customers, is paid to the government.
GST Practitioner and GST Accounts Assistant are not two widely different professions. The only difference between the two is that a GST Practitioner is a professional who is registered and approved to work as a GST Practitioner under an Act(to file a GST returns, claim benefits under GST, etc.). A GST Practitioner, on behalf of a taxable business or a seller, has to appear as an authorized representative before any officer of the GST department, appellate authority or appellate tribunal.
However, GST Accounts Assistant could be any person knowing GST, is appointed by a company or any person for performing functions related to filing returns by the applicable due dates. He or she is not accountable for any false statement or any other questionnaire raised by any officer of the GST department, appellate authority or appellate tribunal.
In Section 2(55) of CGST (The Central Goods and Service Tax) Act, 2017 the definition of GST Practitioner states that any person who is approved to work as a GST Practitioner under Section 48 of the CGST Act, 2017 can practice as a GST Practitioner. As per Section 48 of the CGST Act, 2017, any person/tax professional who can prepare returns and perform other activities based on the information furnished to him or she by a taxable/registered person is referred to as GST Practitioner. However, as per the Act, no person is eligible to represent as a good and service tax practitioner on behalf of any registered or un-registered person before any authority in connection with any proceedings under the Act, unless he or she has been enrolled under Rule 83.
As a Goods & Services Tax (GST) Accounts Assistant, you will be involved in the computation of tax liabilities related to GST, filing of returns, and maintaining records of the same for audit purposes. You will be appointed for maintaining, making or preparing periodic records of accounts from time to time.
As a Goods & Services Tax (GST) Accounts Assistant, you will be responsible for making payment electronically of the tax liability/computed tax amount. You will be engaged in filling up the tax return form in the prescribed format with relevant transaction details. You will be filing periodic GST Returns independently.
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What does a GST Accounts Assistant do?
As a Goods & Services Tax (GST) Practitioner
You will be engaged with one or more of the following roles and responsibilities on behalf of a registered/taxable person: –
- Filing up an application for fresh registration.
- Filing up an application for amendment or cancellation of registration.
- Furnishing the details of outward and inward supplies.
- Furnishing the monthly, quarterly, annual or final returns on behalf of the registered/taxable person.
- Making payments for credit into the electronic cash ledger, such as payments for tax, interest, penalty, fees or any other amount.
- Filing up a claim or refund.
- Appearing as an authorized representative before any officer of the department, appellate authority or appellate tribunal.
As a Goods & Services Tax (GST) Accounts Assistant
You will be engaged with one or more of the following roles and responsibilities: –
- Recognizing the applicability of Goods and Service Tax.
- Monitoring the daily routine accounting work.
- Filing up the tax return form such as Form GSTR – 3B, Form GSTR – 1 & Form GSTR – 9 in the prescribed format with relevant transaction details.
- Preparing and maintaining various transactional records in the books of accounts.
- Identifying the types of payment, modes of payment, and rules of collection of tax.
- Memorizing the due dates for making the payments/filing the returns.
- Defining the difference between the TDS (Tax Deducted at Source) and TCS (Tax Collected at Source) to the company.
How to Become a GST Accounts Assistant – Eligibility Criteria
For GST Practitioner
After completing Graduation or Post Graduation or any equivalent degree, you can apply for GST Practitioner exam registration by filling out form GST PCT – 01.
However, you can also apply for GST Practitioner exam registration, if you fall under one or all of the following eligibility criteria:
One who has passed the following examinations:
- Final examination of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India
- Final examination of the Institute of Cost Accountants of India
- Final examination of the Institute of Company Secretaries of India
For an authorized GST Practitioner: For being an authorized GST Practitioner, you need to follow the following steps:
- On the common portal on Form GST PCT – 05, a potential client will view the lists of GSTPs.
- The potential client then will authorize the GSTP to prepare any or all of the prescribed statements using Form GST PCT – 06.
- If any client wants to withdraw the authorization then he or she can withdraw it by using Form GST PCT – 07.
- Once a GST Practitioner is authorized, he or she should prepare the required statements and affix his or her digital signatures on them. They can also electronically verify them using their login credentials.
- After furnishing the statement, a confirmation will be sought from the potential client via SMS or Email. The statement furnished by a GST Practitioner will also be available to the client on the GST Portal.
- The client must ensure and confirm that the statement submitted by the GST Practitioner is true and correct within the provided due date. If the client fails to confirm the statement than it will be considered confirmed automatically.
- The responsibility of the correctness in the statement which is filled by the GST Practitioner will rest with the Client.
For GST Accounts Assistant
For obtaining NSQF Level 4 qualification in GST Accounts Assistant, you need to be:
- 21 years of age,
- Have completed your Graduation in Commerce or allied subject,
- Or if you have completed your Post Graduation in commerce or a similar related field, then also you may obtain this Qualification certificate. However, Post-Graduation is not compulsory.
Preparing and maintaining finances or financial records is an essential part of every company, organization, and government around the world and as such job opportunities are ubiquitous. At the beginning of your career, you may find job opportunities as a junior or intern GST practitioner/GST Account Assistant.
You may find job opportunities in various Governments as well as private companies or organizations. Also, you may start your own GST filing center and start working independently.
As a GST Practitioner or GST Account Assistant, you can expect a desk job with regular hours and tightly defined responsibilities. Based on the size of the outfit you are employed with, you will often be working as a part of a large group of accountants carefully sifting through and recording copious amounts of data. Work hours may become long and unpredictable later in your career as you undertake greater responsibilities.
Salary of a GST Accounts Assistant
Salaries vary according to job profiles and the kind of facilities you get to work at.
In entry-level jobs: You may get about Rs. 5,000 – Rs. 10,000 or more per month.
Salaries increase with your work experience and as you get promoted.
In junior-level roles, you can expect to earn about Rs. 10,000 – 18,000 or more per month.
In mid-level jobs, with 6-12 years of work experience, you may expect to get about Rs.15,000– Rs.25,000 per month or more.
In senior-level jobs, with 12-15 years of work experience, you may expect to get about Rs. 25,000 – Rs.50,000 per month or even more.
If you are working as an Individual or independent GST Practitioner or GST accountant, then you may charge around Rs. 500 – Rs. 10,000 per GST file or even more for larger companies, depending upon the complexity of the job.
Career Progression in GST Accounts Assistant Profession
You can grow as a GST Practitioner in terms of the growth in your practice, meaning, more clients, and therefore more income.
As a GST Accounts Assistant, the growth opportunity is very limited unless you move into other areas of accounting.
What does industry trends say – future prospects
According to the latest IBEF (Indian Brand Equity Foundation) India stands as the leading sourcing destination across the world, accounting for nearly 55% global market share of the US$ 185-190 billion global services sourcing business in 2017-18. Also, India’s labor force is projected to reach 160-170 million by 2020. The demand for GST practitioners or GST Accounts assistants is expected to rise due to the rise in the corporate sector. Also, with the initiative of ‘Startup India’ by the Government of India, the economy is expanding and thus the financial segments are also growing while keeping pace with the industry. These industries will provide enormous opportunities for GST Practitioners. Apart from this, the need to file the GST as per the government orders and to avoid the penalty of non-filing of GST the demand for GST practitioners or GST Account Assistants will increase.
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