ICAI replies to not allowing CA to practise law in India

Posted on    30 November 2015

The Principal Chief Commissioner
Income Tax,

Sub: Only enrolled Advocates are licensed to practice Law in India- Not to allow Chartered Accountants/ Non- Advocates for practice of law in the course of proceedings before revenue authorities falling under the jurisdiction of Principal Commissioner of Income Tax and Commission of Income Tax, Amritsar, Jammu etc.

Dear Sir,

Recently, it has come to our knowledge that a proposal not allowing Chartered Accountants/ Non- Advocates for practice of law in the course of proceedings before revenue authorities falling in your jurisdiction is under consideration.

In this regard, although, comments have not been called for from the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India New Delhi, yet being the statutory body and regulator as well, we wish to bring the following facts for your consideration. The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India, is a statutory body established by an Act of Parliament namely ‘The Chartered Accountants Act, 1949’ for regulating the profession of Chartered Accountants. We further, wish to inform you that a significant majority of our membership is in the practice with a good deal of specialisation in the traditional areas of direct/ indirect taxes and in emergent specialism inter alia, in financial services, information technology, insurance sector, joint ventures, mutual funds, exchange risk management, risk and assurance services, environment / energy/quality audits, investment counselling, corporate structuring and foreign collaborations etc.

The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India is also engaged in the Nation building by contributing to Central and various State Governments and other regulators viz, the Ministry of Corporate Affairs, Trade Policy division of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Central Board of Direct Taxes, Reserve Bank of India, Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority, Comptroller and Auditor General of India, Securities Exchange Board of India etc. to name a few, on the relevant matter of importance to the profession and having bearing to the public interest.

The education and training programme of the Institute to the qualification of Chartered Accountancy is adequately designed to ensure that our members have in depth knowledge/ experience of accounting, taxation, financing and audit etc. The Institute spares no efforts in keeping pace with the current accounting and auditing practices prevalent throughout the world. An individual who qualifies as a Chartered Accountant has to mandatorily undergo rigorous practical training and has to keep his knowledge updated in the matter relating to accountancy, audit, taxation and corporate laws etc. The area of training covers accountancy, auditing, taxation, company law and other laws. The level of knowledge prescribed in the various subjects covered by the syllabus of the Chartered Accountancy course is ‘expert knowledge’.

That Taxation including Indirect Taxes is one of the core-competence areas of Chartered Accountants. In India, Chartered Accountants have expertise in accounting, auditing and taxation, since these subjects are dealt with in great depth in the CA curriculum. Further, Taxation constitutes a significant area of practice of CAs. It is due to this reason the Institute has three separate dedicated committees on taxation, namely, Direct Taxes Committee, Indirect Taxes Committee and Committee on International Taxation. These committees are amongst the most important committees of the Institute and they act as a liaison between the Revenue and the tax payers. The Committees comprise of chartered accountant members of the Central Council, as well as other co-opted members, who are experts in the field of Taxation from across the country. Therefore, it is clear that a chartered accountant, on passing his final examination and completing his articled training, is an expert in taxation, accountancy, auditing, company law and other laws etc., and he is accordingly fully qualified to practice in these fields. Chartered Accountants are thus well trained in various laws which are applied while conducting cases before various tribunals and other similar authorities.

Please refer to the attached file for more details

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