Sunday, 23 December 2018

What is GST Audit?

The concept of audit by a Chartered Accountant in the area of Indirect Taxes was confined to State Value Added Tax and Central Sales Tax laws of certain States. In Central Excise and Service tax only in case of suspicion of undervaluation or excessive credit special audits were prescribed (not much used) which continue in GST. Therefore, Chartered Accountants engaged in rendering professional services in the areas of State taxes would be familiar with those provisions. The GST law has subsumed several Indirect Tax laws – among others, it subsumed Central Excise, Service Tax, Luxury Tax, Entertainment Tax, VAT/CST, Entry tax laws etc.;certain levies under the Customs laws have also been subsumed into the GST laws.
It would be relevant to note that the skill sets acquired in the understanding of the statutes that have been subsumed into the GST laws would help in better understanding of the GST laws since several provisions of the Central and State enactments have been replicated (fully or partially) in the GST laws – say, for instance, the provisions of Place of Supply of Services, Time of Supply of Services,Valuation of Supply Rules, etc. That being said,one needs to exercise caution in reading and understanding the subtle departures or changes in the statute in comparison with the erstwhile legislations, in which case,one has to enhance the understanding of the fully taken forward provisions. He also needs to unlearn the old laws and learn the GST laws afresh for a complete understanding of the taxing statute.

Types of GST Audit
There are 3 types of GST audits:
1. Audit to be conducted by a Chartered Accountant or a Cost Accountant: Every taxpayer with revenue exceeding the prescribed limit of INR 2 crore during a financial year shall get his accounts audited by a Chartered Accountant or a Cost Accountant. Such taxpayers whose audit is conducted by a Chartered or Cost Accountant shall submit: * An annual return by filling the form GSTR 9B along with the reconciliation statement by 31st December of the next financial year; * The audited copy of the annual accounts; * A reconciliation statement, reconciling the value of supplies declared in the return with the audited annual financial statement; and * Other particulars as prescribed.

2. Audit to be conducted by the tax authorities: As per Section 65 of the CGST / SGST Act, the Commissioner or any officer of CGST or SGST or UTGST authorized by him by a general or specific order, may conduct audit of any registered / enlisted individual. Intimation of the audit is provided to the taxpayer at least 15 days in advance in Form GST ADT-01 and the audit is to be completed within 3 months from the date of commencement of the audit. In rare cases, the GST Commissioner has the powers to extend the period by another 6 months, if required.

3. Special Audits: If at any stage of investigation or any other proceedings, tax authority is of the opinion that the value has not been correctly declared or credit availed is not within the normal limits, department may order special audit under the mandate of Section 66, by its nominated Chartered Accountant or Cost Accountant.

Obligations of the Auditee
Auditees shall have following obligations during the course of audit:
* The taxable person will be required to provide the necessary facility to verify the books of account / other documents as required.
* The auditee needs to furnish the required information and render assistance for timely completion of the audit.

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