Cs as GST Auditor
The Ministry of Finance,
Government of India.
(Copy to PMO, Ministry of Law & the Finance Ministries of all the States & Union Territories)
Sub- Recognition of Company Secretaries as the Auditor under Goods and Service Tax Act.
We are the members & the Students of Institute of Company Secretaries of India (ICSI), a Statutory Body constituted under the Company Secretaries Act, 1980 to regulate and develop the profession of Company Secretaries in India. Today, we have more than 50,000 members and 4,00,000 students all over the Country. Our members are playing pivotal role in corporate management in promoting good corporate governance and also practicing in corporate law matters including direct & Indirect tax laws.
Under the Current Tax Regime, a large number of practicing company Secretaries are extending the registration, advisory, tax planning, compliance & appearance services to its clients in India & abroad. Having regard to their competency & Knowledge in tax laws, various states have recognized Company Secretaries to conduct Audit under VAT law.
However, in the GST law, company Secretaries have been entrusted with several functions except Audit under section 42(Tax Audit) and Section 50(1) & (2) (Special Audit), which has been specifically assigned to the Chartered Accountants & Cost Accountants. We felt it is an injustice to our profession since we have not been taken at par with the other professionals and the Authority has ignored our capabilities on delivering Audit services to the Assesses due to some unknown reasons.
We would like to contend the following as part of our demand for inclusion of Company Secretaries as the Auditor under GST law:
1. Company Secretaries are the professionals who understand & interpret the law in a much better way than other professionals and also proficient in Accounts, Management & finance. From analyzing through this aspect, we are well ahead from other professionals and have a strong case for the Audit Right.
2. Company Secretaries are the synonymous of compliance and the soul of GST lies at compliance. GST Audit is to check & verify the compliance of GST Act, rules & regulations, Since this is our core area, we will do immensely well in Audit than other professionals.
3. GST audit is verification and preparation of a reconciliation statement for the value declared in the return with reference to statutory records maintained under the GST Act and audited accounts books such as sales register, purchase register, ledger etc. Since company Secretaries are well versed with these, it is not a great task for us.
4. In some States, Company Secretaries have already performed VAT Audit, so keeping in view of their experience in VAT Audit, they must be allowed to Audit under GST also.
5. In GST regime, many new assesses will be added-up to the compliance requirement under GST, demanding the assistance of more Tax Professionals. The existing professionals authorized to conduct Audit are less in number comparing to the Demand. So bridge the gap of Demand & supply efficient professionals like company Secretaries must be allowed to Audit.
6. We have a very good track record in complying ethically, so we should be entrusted with the Audit work.
7. We are conducting Secretarial Audit, Internal Audit, Due Diligence Audit under Companies Act, So we are well versed with Audit.
8. We have pursued a tough syllabus giving utmost importance to Indirect tax laws, undergone a rigorous training in all corporate laws including indirect taxation and also continuous professional development programmes, which has made the company Secretary as a Competent professional to perform the Audit under GST Law.
We are happy to inform you that ICSI has already taken the opportunity to educate and sensitize the Industry and our members & Students on GST Law by organizing Knowledge Series on Draft GST law and the Final GST law & Rules.
Through this petition, we the members and students of ICSI , demand an amendment to Section 42 & 50 to include company Secretaries as an Auditor under GST law. If we allowed to be the Auditor under GST, then we could extend our best services under GST law in utmost transparency with diligently & efficiently.
In view of the above, we again request you to please amend the abovementioned provisions and all the three Professionals must be given equal opportunity under GST law.