Procedure of e-Filing of Tax Audit Reports for AY 2018-19 FY 2017-18: Filing of Income-tax Returns and Tax Audit Reports electronically has fairly stabilized now. Regulations and tax compliances are changing every day, making e-Filing more challenging. These changes have increased the reporting requirements and have made it imperative for tax auditors to be more vigilant.
The procedure of e-Filing of Tax Audit Report, prima facie, may seem lengthy/cumbersome at first, but when auditor becomes conversant with it, it can hardly take 10 / 15 minutes to complete the entire process due to back-end support from software
Procedure of e-Filing of Tax Audit Reports
The procedure of e-Filing of Tax Audit Reports can be broadly divided in 5 steps as given below:
1) Creating the Account of Chartered Accountant :
The first step to start e-Filing is to create the account of ‘Chartered Accountant’ on e-Filing portal. This is a special login especially designed for ‘Chartered Accountants’. Chartered Accountants may be having their personal login on E filing site to file their own Income-tax Return. However, for e-Filing of audit reports, separate login as ‘Chartered Accountant’ is required. Procedure for the same is as follows –
- Open the webpage: ‘www.incometaxindiaefiling.gov.in’.
- Click on tab ‘Register Yourself’
- Select the Category: ‘Tax Professional – Chartered Accountant’
- Enter the required data such as ICAI Membership number, date of enrolment, Surname, PAN and Date of Birth
- Click ‘Continue’
- Enter Password, Contact Details and Postal Address. Attach your DSC e-filing website accepts password only if it is minimum 8 digits in length and contains at least one small alphabet, one capital alphabet and one special character in it. Chartered Accountants should maintain utmost secrecy of e filing password, since if this password is compromised or shared with a person who can access the digital signature of the member also, he can upload any return in the name of the member and it will be very difficult for the member to prove his innocence at a later date.
- Click ‘Continue’
- One Time Password (OTP) shall be sent on your Mobile No. and E-Mail ID.
- Enter the OTP’s received.
- After getting ‘successful’ status, the registration process is completed and CA will get user ID (User ID for Members will start with ARCA followed by 6 digit membership no. For Eg. If membership Number of CA is 112233, his user ID will be ‘ARCA112233’)
Though creating an account is one time procedure, it should be noted that if the digital signature expires, then new digital signature should be registered on this portal to enable it to be used for e-Filing of Audit Reports
2) Creation of log in by the assessee / auditee :
Assessee / Auditee needs to get registered with Income-tax e-Filing site by following regular practice using his PAN No, Date of Birth, Date of Incorporation etc. (Procedure is same as done while creating new login for E-filing of ITR’s). If assessee is already having his login on e-Filing site, go directly to Step 3.
3) Acceptance of Auditor by the Assessee/ Auditee :
After the account has been created, auditee has to accept the Auditor to fill the required Forms for specific assessment years. Procedure for the same is as follows –
- Auditee has to open his login on e-Filing website.
- Go to: My account – Add CA
- Enter the Membership No of Chartered Accountant, Form Name and Assessment Year.
- Click ‘Submit’
This procedure needs to be repeated every assessment year by the auditee. Moreover this procedure needs to be repeated for every form in one assessment year. i.e. if more than one forms / reports needs to uploaded by CA/ Auditor for one assessment year, Assessee needs to add CA for every report / form each year.
4) Downloading and Filling Excel Utility of required Forms :
Excel Utility of all the forms is available on the E Filing Website. After downloading and completing online form 3CD, XML file is to be generated for e-filing. As an ideal practice, Auditee has to fill the form 3CD and give it to his Auditor for uploading. Click here to download all income tax forms
5) Uploading the form by Chartered Accountant :
Now auditor has to scrutinize and verify the Form 3CD filled by the auditee. Auditor then has to prepare form 3CA / 3CB (as applicable) which needs to be attached to the form 3CD. After ensuring that Form 3CD is correct in every respect, Auditor has to validate it and generate the XML.
Procedure for e-filing is as follows
- Open the Login of Chartered Accountant
- Go to: E File – Upload Form
- Enter PAN of Assessee and PAN of Chartered Accountant
- Select Form name and Assessment Year. If procedure mention in Stage 2 is not completed, form will not upload at this stage.
- Attach XML File of Form 3CA-3CD/3CB-3CD. On e-filing portal, along with Audit Report, Auditor also needs to submit Balance Sheet and Profit and Loss Account. These statements either in PDF form or TIFF form are accepted by the site. (Refer FAQ’s for more details).
- After above attachments are made auditor needs to sign them digitally.
- Then click on submit. After successful upload form will be sent to workflow of assessee for his approval.
Forms signed by the Auditor and their current status (such as pending for approval, approved, rejected etc.) can be viewed by the auditor from his log in under the tab : My Account – View Forms.
6) Acceptance of the form by the auditee:
Form once uploaded by Auditor will automatically reflect in work list of auditee. Procedure for acceptance of Tax Audit Report will be as follows:
- Log in to e-filing website
- Click on ‘Work List’
- Go to ‘View Forms’
- Select the required ‘Tax Audit Report’
- Assessee can verify the form and approve the form using his DSC.
- In case, Form 3CD is rejected by assessee, move back to step 4.
Once auditee accepts the form, form is successfully submitted and auditee gets Acknowledgement number. E Filing Procedure completes at this stage and no further action needs to be taken.
If the form is rejected by the auditee, auditor has to again fill the form, upload it and again it will be reflected in work list of auditee for his approval. Unless the form is accepted by the auditee, it will not be submitted and hence this process needs to be repeated till the auditee accepts the form. It is worth noting that if Tax Audit Report is uploaded by auditor, but not accepted by assessee, it will still be treated as tax audit report not filed.