CBEC calls names of CAs not cooperating with the Department in in filing GST TRAN-1 data

CBEC calls names of CAs not cooperating with the Department in filing GST TRAN-1 data. Is it true that the Government/Bureaucracy considers CAs as Govt. Servant? 

CAs not cooperating with the Department

Overly frustrated with the non co-operating  clients not turning up in due time with proper data and documents, now Taxman may be knocking at their doors asking for reasons for allegedly not co-operating with assesses in filing  GST TRAN-1 data.

A letter dated 5th December, 2017, purportedly issued by Shri John  Joseph, Special Secretary & Member, CBEC (hereinafter “the Bureaucrat”) raises some serious concern for the professionals.

As per the said letter, one of the standard excuse raised by the assessees before the respective GST officials is that they have directed their chartered accountant (CA) but the work is getting delayed due to the CA being out of station.

Interestingly, the said letter goes on to opine that the chartered accountants may not be going on leave for a long in the month of December due to their occupation in filing Income Tax Returns. Therefore it asks officials to contact CAs to collect the data.

The letter travels even farther and asks for submission of the name of the chartered accountants who not cooperating with the Department along with the name of companies being handled by them.

First of all, December is no more a sacred tax month. And to this extent, the Bureaucrat seems to be flawed in his observation. Secondly, the use of the term “CA’s who not cooperating with the Department” is something that sounds amiss. The real intention for the choice of such word though rests with the Bureaucrat, however it could not be more emphasised that CAs are neither the agent of the Government or Government servant drawing salary from the exchequer.

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As said, the actual background of asking the names of CA along with his companies lies with the Bureaucrat and it could be for getting connecting with the CAs for knowing the real issue and resolving the hold.

But equally, it could not be denied that CAs are being viewed as  the one “not cooperating with the Department” for which I would say, CAs, to a large extent are themselves responsible for creating such impressions.

Whether it is Income Tax or GST, by repeatedly making representations and asking for extension , I think, CAs have themselves created an impression that they are Government Servant and not professionals whose role is limited to facilitating the initiatives of the Government and the responsibility or the compliance part is the sole responsibility of the assesses only. More importantly, the responsibility for providing hassle free platform and technical support is that of the Government only.

It is high time that all professionals should realise this fact else, days are not far when they will be caught between ever “non-co-operating assessee” and the Bureaucracy.

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