Apex accounting body Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) on Tuesday said it will set up centres for filing returns and tax-related documents electronically, a move that will help implement the proposed goods and services tax (GST) regime effectively.
Under an agreement signed with Central Bureau of Excise and Customs (CBEC), the ICAI will provide facilitation centres across the country for e-filing of returns and documents to the Central excise and service tax assesses. "The MoU will immensely help all those assessees who may not have the requisite IT infrastructure. This initiative will also enable a smooth collection of tax during the GST regime," ICAI president Amarjit Chopra told reporters in Mumbai.
The new tax regime, which proposes to replace various levies like excise duty, service tax, state sales tax, special additional duty and countervailing duty, is proposed to be introduced from 1 April next year.
All taxes above Rs10 lakh have to be e-filed, and this would be facilitated through around 20,000 centres, involving around 40,000-45,000 chartered accountants. CAs would charge Rs600 for data entry and Rs200 for filing of returns. The initiative, Chopra said, will also bring in more transparency and accountability among tax payers and CAs alike.
"We will make sure that whatever data are entered in the e-files are accurate. The CAs will have to face disciplinary action for any wrongdoings," Chopra said, adding only those members will be allowed to participate who have not been held guilty of professional misconduct during the three years prior to the application.