Authorised Representative Under GST - AN Overview

 

Authorised Representative under GST- An Overview

Authorised  Representative plays a crucial role by appearing as a legal representative of another person in adjudicating proceedings under GST regime. Section 116 provides qualification,disqualification and other procedures relating to authorised representative which are articulated under this article.

  1. Concept of authorised representative

             Authorised  Representative is a authorised by a person to appear on his behalf in any proceedings. ‘Authorised Representative’ has been defined  in the Goods and Services Act itself. Section  2(15) of the  central Goods and services Act ,2017 (hereinafter reffered to as “ the CGST Act”) defines ‘authorised representative’  as     representative reffered to in section 116. Broadly, it includes a relative, a regular employee, an advocate, a charted accountant, a company secretary, or any person with prescribed qualifications. It is also provided that indirect tax gazetted officers can appear as authorised representative after one year from retirement.

         The GST law also specifies for some disqualification for an authorised representative such as dismissal from government service, conviction under some specified Acts, insolvency, misconduct, etc. Such orders of disqualification are, however , required to be passed after complying the principles of natural justice.

2 . Appearance by authorised representative

       Section 116(1) provides that any person can appear by an authorised representative in any proceedings under the Goods and Services regime.By virtue of this, an authorised representative can appear before the following authorities-

  1. GST Officers,
  2. The Appellate Authority under GST Law,
  3. The Appellate Tribunal under GST Law.

        However, a person is not allowed to appear by an authorised representative  when he is required  under the Act to appear personally for examination on oath or affirmation.

3.   Persons who can be authorised representative

          Section 116(2) places limitation on the persons  who may be authorised to represent before the authorities. The following categories of persons are so permitted to act as an authorised representative on his behalf -

  1. Relative or persons regularly employed by the registered person

                Relative or regular employee of an registered  person  who has authorised him to act can be appointed as an authorised representative.

       2. Advocate

            An advocate who is entitled to practice in any court in india, and who has not been debarred from practicing  before any court in india, can represent the assessee.

    3. Professionals

           Any  charted accountant, a cost  accountant or a company secretary who holds a certificate  of  practice and who has not been debarred from practice, are permitted to act as an authorised representative.

    4. Government officers

        A retired officer  of the Commercial tax  department of any State Government or Union  territory   or of the Board who, during his services under the Government had  worked  in a post not below the rank than that of a Group –b Gazetted officer for a  period of not less than two years  can be  a appointed as an authorised representative.

        However, such officer  would  not be entitledto appear before any proceedings under the GST Act  for a period of one year from the date of his retirement or resignation.

 5. GST  practitioner

           A GST  practitioner would  also be allowed to appear as authorised  representative before any  officer of  department, Appellate  Authority or Appellate Tribunal, on behalf  of a registered person who has authorised  him to be his GST practitioner.

4.  Disqualification for acting as an  authorised representative  

       The Disqualifying factors in relation  to a person representing the assessee under section 116 are contained in sub-section  (3) thereof which are as follows:

  1. Who has been dismissed or removed from Government services; or
  2. Who is convicated of an offence connected with any proceedings under this Act, the State  Goods and  Services Tax Act, the Integrated Goods and Services Tax  Act or the  Union  Territory Goods ad Services Tax Act, or under  the existing law or under any of the Integrated  Goods and Services Tax Act or the Union Territory Goods and Services Tax Act, or under the existing law  or uder any of the Acts passed by a State Legislature  dealing with the imposition of taxes on sale  of goods or supply of goods or services or both;  or
  3. Who is found guilty of misconduct by the prescribed  authority;
  4.  Who has been adjudged  as an insolvent.

Such disqualifications  to act as an authorised representative  would  work  for the  period as mentioned under-

  1. For all times in case of persons reffered  to in clauses  (a),  (b)  and (c); and
  2. For the period during which  the insolvency  continues in the case of a person reffered  to in clause (d).

5. Action  for misconduct of an authorised representative 

         In term of rule  116 of the CGST Act, 2017, where an authorised representative, ( other than those  advocate/  CA/  CS/  CWA) is found, upon an enquiry into the matter, guilty  of connection with any proceedings  under the act, the Commissioner may, after providing him an opportunity of being heard , disqualify him from appearing as an authorised representative.

6. principle of natural justice to be followed

         The principle of natural justice has to be observed before any adverse action is going to be observed before any adverse action  is going to be taken against the assessee. One of the grant of an opportunity of hearing, oral or in writing,before conclusion  is arrived at by the authority exercising their powers.

7. Applicability of SGST Act/ UTGST Act

         Any person who has been disqualified under the provisions of the State Goods and Services Tax Act or the Union Territory Goods and Services Tax Act will be deemed  to be  disqualified under the GST Act as stated under section 161(4) of the CGST Act.

8. Applicability of IGST Act

         Section 20 of the IGST stipulates that the provisions of the CGST Act would, mutatis mutandis, apply to integrated  tax as they apply in relation to central tax as if these are enacted  under this Act. Accordingly, there is no separate provisions regarding authorised representative under the IGST Act, thus, the provision available  under the CGST Act, is made applicable to IGST  Act.


Mr Anil D'Souza, one of the few entrants of elite list of chartered accountants in Bangalore can help you in person with understanding the concept of authorised representative.