Chartered accountants should prepare their clients to remit whatever is due to the government and dispel the impression that their job is to teach them how to evade taxes, Chairman of Empowered Committee of State Finance Ministers, K M Mani said today.
"... rightly or wrongly there is a misunderstanding among people that the function of the chartered accountant is to teach his client how to escape the tax.
"My humble request is that you should teach and prepare your client to remit whatever his due is to the government. That should be your long-run duty," he said.
The Kerala Finance Minister was speaking at the National Conference on GST and Indirect Taxes organised by the Indirect Taxes Committee of ICAI.
Mani said ICAI strives for inculcating highest ethical standards amongst its members and assist them in upholding the values that the accounting profession stands for.
However, he said there is a perception among the public, or to be specific in the tax administration, that chartered accountants are "misguiding" business enterprises in the "guise of tax planning or succumbing to the greed" of the enterprises while performing their professional duties.
"I strongly believe that such perceptions have no basis and are misleading. But, even if a small section are of that category, the ICAI should kill the demon at the budding stage itself.
"The ICAI should send a clear message that such unethical practices shall not be tolerated and will crush anything and anybody resorting to such practices," he said.
Mani further said that ICAI has a major role to play in the indirect tax reforms happening in the country.
"Your reach and connect with the trading bodies, enterprises is very wide and far. Your help is very much essential to create right environment for smooth introduction of GST in the country," he added.