With the increased complexity and ever changing tax laws, it's common to get expert-assisted tax compliance services from online portals like EZTax and other independent tax consultants who work as sole professionals.
Understand who is a tax consultant, what qualifications they should have, the benefits of working with one, and what to look out for when working with one.
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A tax consultant is a tax professional who helps clients with filing taxes, optimising their taxes, and planning their taxes. This document explains what a tax consultant is and what you should remember when dealing with one.
According to the department of finance, there is no specific definition of who can be a tax consultant, but it can be safely interpreted using Section 288 of the Income Tax Act of 1961 and Rule 51 of the Income Tax Rules, 1962, which state that "the person who has acquired a degree in commerce or law from recognised universities" (in India) can act as a tax consultant and/or an authorised representative for a taxpayer.
A tax return preparer (TRP) who can act as a tax consultant to prepare IT returns and support notice handling, for example, must have a bachelor's degree from a recognised university in India with a specialisation in the following.
Based on the above, a person with a degree in any of the aforementioned specialisations could work as a tax consultant, and no certification is needed from CBDT or a Commissioner of Income Tax. While a degree is just part of it, it is important to have wide work exposure to understand various laws so that you can get the right advice.
Not every professional, who possess a certificate or who passes an exam will meet your requirements, so it is critical to select the right brand of portal to keep an eye on them.
A taxpayer can use a tax consultant for any assistance related to taxes in India. Below are some of the key activities he may perform to help you.
Businesses whose total sales, turnover, or gross receipts exceeded Rs. 10 crores during the previous year, Professionals whose gross receipts exceeded Rs. 50 lakhs during the previous year Budget 2023 increased this to Rs. 75 lakhs for fiscal years 2023-24.
Refer to the Tax Audit criteria, applicability, and calculator for a comprehensive assessment.
Even if you hire a tax service with expert help, it is still your job to make sure that your taxes are correct and that you report all of your income correctly.
These are some important considerations and measures to take.
It's best to use the taxpayer's own phone number and email address for tax-related matters, since taxes are very private and unauthorised access to them could lead to a huge loss of money and information.