(1) Below are the accounting bodies of various country’s world over on date, In spite of this, they have separate bodies/legislation for regulation of tax professionals. Reason being, situation similar to that of latest Supreme Court verdict in the case of Bar Council of India Vs A.K.Balaji about practice of law by only Advocates/Attorneys arisen. More over each professional body mentioned below possess members in the range of 1,00,000 to 5,00,000. In fact, in all below mentioned country’s, population is less & existing members are sufficient to meet the requirement of their economy. Indian position is different, India is highly populated, existing 65,570 practicing Chartered Accountants unevenly spread throughout India does not meet the requirement of our country. On date, majority of them have crossed the age of 50 years. And hence, India needs Tax Practitioners Bill to generate tax professionals to support voluntary compliance for widening genuine tax base of assesses.
AICPA (USA), ACCA (UK), CICA(Canada), CGA (Canada), CICMA(Nigeria), CIMA(UK),CIPFA (UK), CPA (Australia), GCPAS (Germany), ICIA(Canada), HKICP (Hong Kong), ICAA (Australia), ICAEW (UK), ICAI (Ireland), ICAI (Financials-India), ICAI (Cost & Management-India) ICAS (UK), ICMAP (Pakistan), IFA (UK), MIA(Malaysia), NZICA (New Zealand), PICPA (Philippines), SAICA (South Africa), MIA(Malta)
(2) Our esteemed Central Govt. should come out with subordinate legislation; introduce Tax Practitioners Bill covering all tax law professionals in India also. Such Tax Practitioners Bill should be introduced with “preamble” stating that “Majority of person practicing tax law in India are Non-Advocates, in order to protect them & also in the interest of Govt. revenue, this Tax Practitioners Bill has been introduced”. Then such Tax Practitioners Law can not be struck down in view of SC verdict in the case of Bar Council of India Vs A.K.Balaji. Treasury Department Circular No.230 for regulations governing practice before the Internal Revenue Service in USA and Tax Agent Service Act of Australia are very good examples for kind consideration of Ministry of Finance, Govt. of India to have similar Tax Practitioners Law in India also, to widen genuine tax base of assesses.
(3) Opinion No.50 Dt.12.03.2013 issued by Committee on the Unauthorized Practice of Law appointed by Supreme Court of New Jersey states that “A non-lawyer who holds a power of attorney may not engage in the practice of law”. US Treasury Circular No.230 is the Tax Practitioners Law, regulating all Tax Professionals in United States of America. Limited appearance of persons other than Attorney’s/Advocates before Internal Revenue Service of Income-Tax Authorities in USA provided in Clause No.10.3 read with exception Clause No.10.32 of US Treasury Circular No.230. Exception Clause No.10.32 reads as under :-
“Nothing in the regulations in this part may be construed as authorizing persons not members of the bar to practice law”
(4) Due to 46 Plus Mandatory CA Certificates in Income-Tax Act, Non-CA Tax Professionals can not exercise the authority granted in statute fully & independently. This position of Non-CA Tax Professionals is comparable to decree of court which can not be executed. Here, crux of the matter is CAs enjoy both the power of certification & representation, but Non-CAs are authorized only to represent the assesses. Therefore, the policy decision of learned officials in Ministry of Finance, Govt. of India to expand the definition of “Accountant” to include related professionals in DTC-2013 is highly appreciated. But, in order to give full effect for the same, Tax Practitioners Bill with above mentioned exception clause required for India to enable other than Advocates to practice taxation law. On date, appearance clause under all Indian taxation statute has been subject to review of apex court & hence require deletion. Other than Advocates should appear before tax authorities under CPC/Evidence Act only, against summons issued (comparable to court proceedings). If such appearance clause still retained in statute book of Indian taxation laws, situation may arise that order of assessing authority passed against the representation of other than Advocates become in-fructuous, bad in law, null & void. Further, such orders can not be enforced/appealed.
(5) Among Legal Practitioners, Cost & Management Accountants, Company Secretaries, Chartered Accountants and Income-Tax Practitioners, who wants to practice tax law in India, should mandatory seek registration under Tax Practitioners Law, whatever their parent body say is immaterial & Tax Practitioners Law should recognizes the qualifications acquired by all five class of tax professionals mentioned above. Population wise India is a large country, Govt. can not relay on one professional body for seeking voluntary compliance under Indian taxation laws. Tax Practitioners Bill is well suited to India, required for India & need of the hour. I hope Finance Ministry will consider this suggestion of mine working in the interest of all tax professionals and Govt. revenue since from 2001.
Tags :Income Tax