Financial affairs

Fair play: A tax auditor should be scrupulously honest and keep all information strictly confidential

The lowdown

Tax auditor is the person permitted to carry out tax audit specified under section 44AB of the Income Tax Act, 1961, to ensure that the accounts of the taxpayer reflect true and fair picture of income. Tax auditors play a very vital role in the life of organisation. Their main objective is to compute the taxable income according to the law and to maintain transparency in the financial statements filed by a person with the income tax department. He/she should have thorough knowledge of accounting and auditing. Sound knowledge of taxation laws and laws governing the business of the client, updated with the recent developments in the laws are some of the pre-requisites to be a tax auditor

The daily schedule of a tax auditor depends on the engagements on the to-do list of each individual day
10.30am: Reach office/income tax office
11am to 1pm: Daily checklist and team briefing or attending tax work
1pm to 2pm: Review customer feedback and take action
2pm to 7pm: Meetings with clients and office work
9pm: Done for the day

The payoff
The pay-off of a tax auditor depends on the nature of work, scale of operations and complexities involved in the business or profession of a particular client. It also depends on the quantum of work in each tax audit and total number of tax audits done. Minimum recommended fees as per the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) is Rs. 18,750 per audit

* He/she must be well versed in the fundamental principles and theory of all branches of accounting and auditing
* Should be straightforward, scrupulously honest and tactful
* Should keep all information strictly confidential

Getting there
To become a tax auditor, a person has to complete the chartered accountancy course conducted by ICAI. This involves passing relevant examinations and undergoing training as specified under Section 4 of the Chartered Accountants Act, 1949. Further, the member of institute must hold full-time certificate of practice

Institutes and URLs
The only institute in India which offers the chartered accountancy course is:
* Institute of Chartered Accountants of India 

Pros and cons
* A lot of hard work is required. But after becoming a CA many other opportunities are available
* You have to ensure that the finances are reflected fairly

The scope for tax auditors is likely to grow in times to come and they will continue to render their services to the nation -- Amarjit Chopra, council member, ICAI, Delhi


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