Syed Mahaboob Peer
The Sub-section (15) of Section 2 of the Central Goods and Services Tax Act, 2017 defines “Authorized Representative” to read as “authorized representative means the representative as referred to in Section 116”.
The Sub-section (1) of Section 116 of Central Goods and Services Tax Act, 2017 conveys that (excepting the personal appearance of the Taxpayer required under the Act for examination on oath or affirmation) a Taxpayer can authorize representative to appear on his behalf before GST Officer or the Appellate Authority or the Appellate Tribunal.
The Sub-section (2) of Section 116 of Central Goods and Services Tax Act, 2017 stipulates the following categories of persons as eligible to be “authorized representatives” to appear before GST Officer or the Appellate Authority or the Appellate Tribunal on behalf of the Taxpayer:
1) Taxpayer’s relative or regular employee;
2) An Advocate entitled to practice in any Civil Court in India;
3) Any of the following:
a) Practicing Chartered Accountant;
b) Practicing Cost Accountant; or
c) Practicing Company Secretary;
However, there is a need to ADD under Clause (c) Sub-section (2) of Section 116 of the GST Act as another category like “any Income Tax Practitioner, who hold a ‘Certificate to Practice’ and who has not been barred from practice”.
Whereas (1) the Practicing Lawyers/Advocates already registered/enlisted with the Bar Council of India, (2) the Practicing Chartered Accountants already enlisted with the ICAI, (3) the Practicing Cost Accountant already enlisted with the ICMAI, and (4) the Practicing Company Secretaries already enlisted with the ICSI are placed under the Section 116 of the Central Goods and Services Tax Act, 2017, the Practicing Income Tax Practitioners registered under the Income Tax Act & Rules shall also be eligible for inclusion therein.
Otherwise, it may seem to be the intentional abandoning of Registered Income Tax Practitioners and/or b ias of the Ministry of Finance of the Government of India.
4) Any Retired Gazetted Officer (not below the rank of Group-B) having worked for at-least 2 years in that cadre in Commercial Tax Department of any State Government or Union Territory or of he Board;
5) Any Goods and Services Tax Practitioner authorized to act as so;
For a detailed Information pertaining to the “Goods and Services Tax Practitioners”, one can refer Sections 2(55) and 48 of the Central Goods and Services Tax Act, 2017 together with the Rules 83 and 84 of the Central Goods and Services Tax Rules, 2017.