As per New Direct Tax Code 2013, Accountant Means
"a chartered accountant within the meaning of the Chartered Accountants Act, 1949 and who holds a valid certificate of practice under sub-section (1) of section 6 of that Act, and shall include-
(i) a company secretary within the meaning of the Company Secretaries Act, 1980 ;
(ii) a cost accountant within the meaning of the Cost and Works Accountants Act, 1959 ; or
(iii) any person having such qualifications as the Board may prescribe, for the purposes specified in this behalf"
The above definition and allowing CS & CWAs to conduct Tax Audits has created nightmare and a concern for CA profession, and the response of which can be seen even on social media.
A user on social media says:
"I respect all professionals so kindly don't take me wrong and I am not judging or challenging anybody's professional knowledge or skills. My only question is that the way a CA is rigorously taught income tax and accountancy, does the same way is followed in the course of CS, CWA. If yes, then surely CAs monoply wud break and if no then what is the point of allowing other professionals to conduct an assignment of which they don't have indepth knowledge???"
Even Meme like this can also be seen on Social Media:
ICAI expresses its concern on the proposed definition of “Accountant” in DTC, 2013 - (17-04-2014)
As the members are aware, the Direct Taxes Code, 2013 has proposed to widen the scope of the definition “Accountant” to include other professionals as well. It is a fact that various provisions in the Income-tax Act, 1961 under which chartered accountants have been given the responsibilities to undertake audit and certification of accounts of various entities have the emphasis on “audit” of the relevant accounts which is the exclusive domain of Chartered Accountants.
The Council of ICAI is aware that the proposed change is a cause of major concern to the entire profession. In this regard, ICAI has through a representation to Ministry of Finance, placed on record its concern not only for the profession, but for the country as a whole since issuance of audit certificates by persons having limited knowledge of audit of accounts will not only be professionally incorrect and but will raise many concerns including causing huge revenue leakages.
A meeting in this regard was held with Mr. Rajiv Takru, Revenue Secretary and Mr. R.K.Tewari, Chairman, CBDT on 16.4.2014, wherein CA. K. Raghu, President, ICAI and CA. Manoj Fadnis, Vice President, ICAI emphasized on the fact that there is a very significant difference in the area of expertise of other professionals vis-a-vis Chartered Accountants.
Members be assured that the Council of ICAI is equally concerned and will not leave any stone unturned to save the profession and the nation.
Secretary, Direct Taxes Committee