With the introduction of GST and it replacing a vast number of other Indirect taxes, the number of new GST registration is very high. However, majority of these newly registered taxpayers are unaware of the compliance and filing formalities under GST, and thus they seek the help of professionals like chartered accountants, sale tax practitioners, and lawyers. Now, taxpayers can also appoint GST practitioner to submit information to the government on his behalf. Who is a GST Practitioner? A GST Professional is a tax professional who prepares returns and also does other activities on the basis of information provided to him by a taxable person. A GST Practitioner should be enrolled with either centre or state authority. Section 48 of Central Goods and Service Tax Act, 2017 states that any registered taxpayer can appoint a Goods and Service Tax Practitioner under the law. These GST Practitioner are authorized to assist the taxpayers in various compliances under the law and rules made there under. However, just by appointing a GST practitioner one cannot transfer the burden of the correctness of the documents, and returns lie with the registered taxpayers who hired the GST practitioner. Provisions regarding Goods and Service tax Practitioner are defined in Rule 83 and Rule 84 of the CGST Rule, 2017 under the Returns head. They define their eligibility criteria, functions and rules & regulations regarding the same. Pre-conditions to be fulfilled There are certain pre conditions that must be fulfilled before a person can enrol on GST portal. These conditions include that the: Applicant should be having a valid PAN card;Applicant should be having a valid mobile number;Applicant should be having a valid e-mail id;Applicant should be having valid documents and information on all mandatory fields required for enrolment;Applicant should fulfil the eligibility criteria of a GST Practitioner. Who can become a GST Practitioner? In order to determine that who is qualified to become a GST Practitioner, the rules have specified certain general and qualification requirements that are to be fulfilled. General Requirements Such person is a citizen of India.Person is of sound state of mind.Person has not been adjudged insolvent by the laws.Person has not been convicted of an offense by any court of law, which sentenced him/her to be imprisonment for a period of not less than 2 years. Qualification Requirements The law states that any person applying for GST Practitioner registration must satisfy at least one of the following qualification conditions: Any person who is; Retired officer of Commercial Tax Department of any State Government or of the CBEC, andWorked at a post of Group B Gazetted officer or above for a period not less than two years. 2. Any person registered as a sales tax practitioner or tax return preparer from a period of 5 years or more. 3. Any person who has any of the given educational qualifications and has passed any of the following exams: A graduate or post graduate or any other equivalent degree in Commerce, Law, Banking including Higher Auditing, or Business Administration or Business Management pursued from any Indian University.Any degree examination conducted by any Foreign University which is affiliated with any Indian University. Such degree is equivalent to the degrees specified in the above point.Final examination of Institute of Chartered Accountants of India or Institute of Cost Accountants of India or Institute of Company Secretaries of IndiaAny other examination notified by the government on the recommendation of the Council. Application for Registration Any person who wishes to register as a GST Practitioner can file an application on the common portal. They are required to submit an application in FORM GST PCT-01. After due scrutiny of the application, GST Practitioner Certificate will be issued in FORM GST PCT-02. Once the registration is granted it will remain valid without any time limit, but such person is required to pass all those examinations which are conducted on the notification of the Commissioner on the recommendation of the Council. However, registration of any sales tax practitioner or tax return preparer as a GST Practitioner will remain valid only for a period of one year only, and can continue as a GST practitioner only after passing the said examination notified by the Commissioner. Functions of a GST Practitioner They can undertake any of the following activities on the behalf of any registered taxpayer: Filling in and furnishing the details relating to inward and outward supplies of the taxpayer.File various returns for taxpayer including monthly, quarterly, yearly as well as the final returns.Deposit credit in the electronic credit ledger of the taxpayer.File a claim for refund under the provisions of the Act.File an application for any amendment and cancellation of registration.Can represent the registered taxpayer before any officer of department, Appellate Authority or Appellate Tribunal.Can also help clients in issuance of tax invoices, delivery challan etc.Can also help clients to generate an e-way bill for various movement of goods. How to authorize a GST Practitioner? Any registered taxpayer can authorize a GST Practitioner by giving his consent in FORM GST PCT-05. He shall list out the activities for which he is authorizing the GST Practitioner as no unspecified activity can be undertaken by him. This FORM GST PCT-05 is divided into two parts, Part A will specify the authorization details and in Part B GST Practitioner is required to give his acceptance for such authorization. GST Practitioner is required to conduct all his business with due care and proper due diligence is to be followed while preparing the statements and returns. If any misconduct is found on his part then his registration will liable to be canceled, and a show cause notice will be issued in FORM GST PCT-03. Conclusion It may be noted that a GST Practitioner cannot submit application on the behalf of taxpayer. They can only save the application and filing can only be done by taxpayers alone. In case of you have any GST related query, feel free to contact Enterslice. Read our article: Notice Pay Recovery: Is Liable for GST?