Guide To GST Certification Course By ICAI

Do you feel that Goods and Services Tax (GST) is complex tax law? The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) offers GST Course for a detailed understanding of the law. Read below to find about the course.

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What comes to your mind when you come across the term GST? May be highly complicated tax law, or, a tax law that has benefits in long run. Maybe you think how is it different from the earlier tax laws and will it really help the businesses and individuals? Okay, so to make things straight, GST won’t disappear all the taxes. Nor will it have a substantial impact on your pocket at immediate effect. But it surely would be helpful in the long run.

 

Before GST, India had VAT (Value added tax) and many more indirect taxes. As a common man, we all were well acquainted with it, now the introduction of something new (in this case, GST) made everyone a bit weary. With the implementation of Goods and Services Tax (GST), arose a lot of questions and created quite some confusion. It was more important than the front liners, that is, the chartered accountants, authorities, and tax officials were well informed and have thorough knowledge about GST. To clear the doubts revolving around GST, a lot of institutes offer certification courses in GST. The GST certification course by ICAI, Institute of Chartered Accountants of India is one of them.

 

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Let us first broadly understand, the concept of GST and how it works. Further, let’s put some light on the ICAI course on GST certification.

What is GST?

Goods and Services Tax or GST is said to be the Government’s most ambitious indirect tax reform. The Goods and Services Tax Act was passed in Parliament on 29th March 2017. It came into effect on 1st July 2017. GST is said to be a comprehensive, multistage, destination-based tax.

 

GST is said to be a comprehensive law because it includes almost all the indirect taxes except a few. It is a multistage tax law as it is imposed on every step of the production process. It is called a destination-based law because it is collected from the point of consumption and not from the point of origin. GST is levied on every value addition stage, that is, on each stage from raw material till the product is converted into the final product for consumption.

 

The government collects GST depending on where the transaction takes place. For instance, if the supply of goods or services is done within the state, then it is an intra-state transaction. During the intra-state transaction, both CGST (Central Goods and Services Tax) as well as SGST (State Goods and Services Tax) are levied. Whereas, if the supply of goods or services is done between two states, then it is an inter-state transaction. During the inter-state transaction, only IGST (Integrated Goods and Services Tax) is charged.

 

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How GST works?

For better understanding, let us compare the tax calculation under GST with the earlier regime with the help of an example. Assuming tax rate at 10% in both the scenarios.

Tax calculation pre-GST regime

Stages Cost (Rs.) Tax @ 10% (Rs.) Final Amount (Rs.)
Stage 1: Manufacturing 1000 100 1100
Stage 2: Packaging (Rs. 200) 1300 (1100+200) 130 1430 (1300+130)
Stage 3: Advertising (Rs. 400) 1830 (1430+400) 183 2013 (1830+183)
Total 1830 413 2013

In the above scenario, the tax liability is passed at every stage. Thus, resulting in a tax-on-tax effect. It is also called cascading effects of the tax. It is due to this reason the value of goods keeps increasing at every level.

 

Stages Cost (Rs.) Tax @ 10% (Rs.) Tax liability to be deposited (Rs.) Final Amount (Rs.)
Stage 1: Manufacturing 1000 100 100 1100
Stage 2: Packaging (Rs. 200) 1200 120 20 1320
Stage 3: Advertising (Rs. 400) 1600 160 40 1760
Total 1600 160 1760

In GST, as you can see from the above example, the amount of the final product is way less compared to the earlier case. It abolishes the cascading effects of the tax.

 

From the above example, we can easily see that at every level tax is been paid. It is a burden not only for the consumer but also the manufacturer and the other parties involved. It is also more time-consuming, that is, the final product takes a relatively long time to reach the consumer.

 

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Who is a GST practitioner?

After the implementation of the GST law, a lot of doubts were raised in the minds of taxpayers regarding registration, filing of returns, and other aspects. To ease this the Government introduced the concept of GST Practitioner. A GST practitioner is a person who is approved by the Central or the State Government to perform activities relating to GST on behalf of the taxpayer. A GST practitioner should be registered on the Goods and Service Tax Network (GSTN) portal. He must hold a certificate.

To be qualified as a GST practitioner, a person must

  • A retired officer of the Commercial Tax Department of any State Government or the Central Board of Excise and Customs, Department of Revenue, Government of India, who, during his service must have worked in a post not lower in rank than that of a Group-B gazetted officer for not less than two years; or
  • Has been enrolled as a sales tax practitioner or tax return preparer under the existing law for not less than five years;
  • Has the following degree or qualification:
    • A graduate or postgraduate degree or its equivalent examination having a degree in Commerce, Law, Banking, Management
    • A degree examination of any Foreign University recognized by any Indian University or
    • Any other examination notified by the Government
    • Has passed any of the following examinations, the final examination of Chartered Accountants, Cost Accountants, Company Secretaries of India.

 

About the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI)

The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) was set up on 1 July 1949. It was established under the Chartered Accountants Act, 1949 by the Parliament. ICAI is a regulatory body for the Chartered Accountancy profession in India. ICAI is the second largest professional Accounting and Finance body in the world.

 

As per Wikipedia, the government also takes the suggestions of ICAI. The expert advice from ICAI is considered favorably by the government. ICAI also presented an approach paper to the Ministry of Finance regarding the issues in implementing Goods and Service Tax in India. In response to this, the Ministry of Finance has suggested that ICAI take a lead and help the government in implementing Goods and Services Tax (GST).

 

About GST certification course by ICAI

As mentioned earlier, GST was implemented by the Government on 1st July 2017. After its implementation, it created a kind of uncertainty, confusion, and incomplete knowledge amongst businesses, CA practitioners as well as other individuals. It was needed that in the initial stage, the members of ICAI (that is, the chartered accountants) were provided with the correct and in-depth knowledge about the newly imposed law. For this, the GST Certification course by ICAI was introduced.

What is the objective of the certification course?

The course aims to facilitate two main objectives for its members:

  1. To provide updated, detailed, and systematic knowledge about GST
  2. To enable decision-making by enhancing analytical and problem-solving skills.

Who can pursue this course?

Only the members of ICAI (that is, Chartered Accountants) are eligible to pursue the GST certification course by ICAI. A non-CA does not qualify to pursue a GST certification course by ICAI. If a member who hasn’t received his/her membership number but has passed CA Final is also eligible for the course. The participant has to, however, submit his membership number before the conclusion of the course.

Course duration and timings

GST certification course by ICAI is a 10-days course. It is available in 2 options.

  • Option 1: Weekend batch (Saturdays & Sundays)
  • Option 2: Weekday Batch (Monday to Friday for 2 weeks)

Timings for both batches are from 9:30 AM to 5:30 PM. The session timing ranges between 60 mins to 180 mins depending on the topics covered. The hosting branch or region provides the exact details of the availability of the course. The interested participant should get in touch with the ICAI of their region for complete details.

Batch details

Batches for the GST certification course by ICAI have a minimum strength of 30 and a maximum strength of 100 participants. Batch strength may vary depending on the capacity of the venue. In case the batch is full, the participants will not be able to view the drop-down for batch selection. Also, the payment link will not appear on the website.

Are Continuing Professional Education (CPE) hours granted after completion of the GST course?

CPE or Continuing Professional Education is a requirement for a Certified Chartered Accountant to maintain their skills and competency for their profession. After the completion of 10 days of the GST course, a maximum of 25 hours of CPE would be given to the candidate. The 25 hours CPE is given on a proportionate basis depending on the number of lectures attended. These CPE hours will be granted within 1 month of the completion of the course. 5 hours of additional CPE would be given after the assessment test.

Topics covered

GST certification course by ICAI offers an extensive, detailed, and in-depth coverage of GST law and application. Some of the topics which the course includes are definition and concept under GST, levy, time of supply, returns, payment, refund, ethical practice, exemption list of goods and services, and many others. ICAI provides recorded videos on a few topics. These videos are provided after completion of a minimum of 10 batches or 3 months whichever is earlier.

Assessment test for certification

To appear for an assessment test for GST certification, the participant must have attended 8 out of the 10 lectures of the course. Assessment tests are conducted twice yearly in August and February. Participants who have enrolled for batches between February to August will be eligible for the August test; and the rest, the examination will be held in February. The test has objective type of questions.

Faculty for the course

The faculty of the GST certification course by ICAI comprises individuals who are highly qualified and experienced. The faculty is a combination of practicing Chartered Accountants and advocates. It also includes experts in the field of indirect taxes and academicians. All of them have practical and in-depth knowledge about the law.

Fees

Fees for the GST certification course by ICAI is Rs. 14,000 + GST for Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Chennai, Ahmedabad, Pune, and Jaipur. For the rest of the cities, the fee is Rs. 12,600 + GST. These fees are non-refundable in case any member couldn’t attend the course. However, a fee refund will be eligible only if the batch is canceled. Registration and payment for the course can only be done through online mode. Offline mode of payment is not allowed. In case after registration and online payment, the payment status shows incomplete you can write to [email protected]. You will have to mention your name, membership no., payment details preferably a screenshot. Your status shall be updated.

Registration process

For registration of the GST certification course, follow the steps below: 

!. Visit the link https://idtc.icai.org/cc/student/ and click the Registration tab.

2. You will get a pop-up window about ‘How to register. Read the instructions carefully and close this window.

3. Fill in the registration details. The details include your membership number, date of birth, branch, batch, venue, and dates. Then proceed.

4. The next step is to fill in the user details. You need to fill in your username, email id, mobile number, and password. Make sure the email id you provide is correct as the activation link will be sent to your registered email id. Once you submit these details, you will get a message ‘Registration successful. Check your email.’

5. In your inbox, you would receive an activation link. Click on that link. Copy your activation code in the box provided and submit. You will be automatically logged in for the first time.

6. Whenever you want to log in next, just visit the website mentioned in Step 1 and click on Login. Enter your username and password and log in successfully.

7. After login, go to Student Dashboard and select the Registration menu to fill the registration form.

8. Now open ‘Certification Course on GST Registration’. On this page, you will find 4 tabs.

  • Status & Batch
  • Member Data
  • Upload photo and signature
  • Check all the details that you have entered in the earlier tabs and select the checkbox to confirm. Then click ‘Online Payment’.

9. The next step is to make a payment. Select the payment method, enter all the details, and complete the payment process.

10. After your payment is successful, you have to download or print the registration form. The registration and payment process is now complete.

GST Certificate

Once the member completes the course and clears the examination, he/ she will be awarded the certificate. ICAI clearly mentions that the GST Certification course is a Certificate that is awarded to the clearing members and is not any other additional qualification. The members are thus informed not to use this certificate as a qualification along with their name.

How can GST certification course benefit you?

The GST certification course by ICAI was introduced to make its members aware of the GST law. Since its introduction, the course has benefited its enrolled members and helped them in dealing with the GST aspect in a better way. To mention a few benefits about the course:

  • Whether it is a service sector or a manufacturing industry, almost every organization has to maintain a proper book of accounts. For that, they require chartered accountants. Having detailed knowledge about GST is surely an advantage.
  • The course helps in increasing the knowledge of the members.
  • The course has an exhaustive 10 days schedule thus, it gives a detailed and practical approach to the learners.
  • With an experienced faculty, the members can clear their doubts and gain a fresh perspective too.
  • The classroom environment offers better learning.
  • Even though ICAI mentions that the certification cannot be used as an additional qualification, it definitely gives an added advantage to your resume. Having an add-on certificate is useful in the initial as well as during the later stage of your career.

About E-Learning Course on GST by ICAI

Apart from the GST Certification course, ICAI also provides a Virtual E-Learning course on GST. The GST & Indirect Taxes Committee took this initiative to update and equip the knowledge of members on GST. Highlights of the E-Learning course on GST are as follows:

  • The E-Learning course on GST is a 40 hours duration course
  • The E-Learning course on GST can be attended by members as well as non-members.
  • The members will be granted 10 hours of structured CPE on completion of the E-Learning course on GST.
  • No certification will be granted on completion of the E-Learning course on GST.
  • The E-Learning course on GST is free of cost.
  • Study material or background material is available on https://idtc.icai.org/publications.php
  • To attend an E-Learning course on GST, you will have to log in either through SSP login for DLH or directly at https://learning.icai.org/iDH/icai/.
  • You need to have an Active SSP credential to login into the Digital Learning Hub.
  • Steps to attend the live session from the ICAI homepage
  1.  Access the ICAI homepage
  2. Go to the ‘Digital Learning Hub’ tab on the ICAI website
  3. Login with your login id and password
  4. Once you log in, go to ‘My Products’ and click on ‘E-Learning on GST’
  5. Click on the launch button corresponding to’ Structured_IDTC_E-Learning on GST -Batch- ‘
  6. To view the session, click on ‘Module’ in the Table of Contents
  • You have to compulsorily appear for 5 MCQ Assessments which are available at the end of each 2-3 modules.

Comparison between GST Certification course and E-Learning course on GST both offered by ICAI

 

  GST Certification Course E-Learning Course on GST
Participants Only members can pursue Members, as well as non-members, can pursue
Mode of teaching Personal/ face to face Virtual (Online)
Duration 10 days (approx. 80 hours) 40 hours
Certification provided Yes No
Fee Yes, chargeable No, free of cost
Assessment test Not compulsory, however after assessment, additional 5 hours of CPE is granted Compulsory
CPE hours granted 25 hours + 5 hours after assessment 10 hours after compulsory assessment

 

 

GST certification courses by various institutes

Many institutes, the government as well as private offer GST certification courses. Unlike the GST certification course by ICAI, these institutes offer the course not only to Chartered Accountants but also to individuals from varied professional backgrounds. A list of a few of the institutes that offer GST certification courses is mentioned below.

  • Certificate Course on GST by The Institute of Cost Accountants of India (ICMAI)
  • Certificate Course on GST by The Institute of Company Secretaries of India (ICSI)
  • Certified GST Professional Course by National Institute of Financial Markets (NIFM)
  • Certificate Program on GST by BSE Institute Limited
  • Training Programme on GST by National Institute for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (NIMSME)
  • GST Certification Program by Udemy

Conclusion

GST has simplified the taxation system of our country. As we understand that GST abolished the taxes that are levied on multiple stages, the calculation of taxes has become easier. The manufacturers as well as the customers are now aware of the amount of tax that they are charged and the basis of the tax. From the tax official and authorities’ point of view too GST has shown a way for hassle-less tax handling.

As per the Indian retail industry, the total tax component is around 30% of the product cost. GST has subsequently resulted in a lower overall tax amount. The result is thus passed on to the consumer which ultimately pays less on GST levied goods or services. The production and growth of retail and other industries have seen growth due to the reduced burden of taxes.

If I may ask, how do you determine which institute is best for taking up a certification course? The probable answer would be based on multiple aspects. Amongst many things, it would be that the institute should be a reputed one. Also, the course faculty should be top-notch. The curriculum too should be practical and detailed. For some, the timings and fee structure would also matter. GST certification course by ICAI checks all the above boxes and even more. So, if you wish to broaden your learning horizon relating to GST and are a member of ICAI, the GST certification course by ICAI should be on top of your checklist.

 

Author:
A financial enthusiast with post graduation in financial planning, I have developed an interest in content writing over a period of time. With a never stop learning approach and a passion for writing, I am currently acting as an intern with IIM Skills.

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