Difference between Chartered Accountant & Tax Practitioner




What is the difference between a Chartered Accountant and a Tax Practitioner (advocate), they both are doing same work, I founded many Chartered Accountants having lack of knowledge than a tax practicing advocate/TAX CONSULTANT.

I will be appreciating if an expert can elaborate me the above.




There is no clear answer for what you are asking for every lawyer would not specialise in Income tax nor every Chartered accountant specialises in law and holding a CA or law degree dont give you authority /knowledge the laws are so vast that only people specialising in a particular stream would have through knowledge even then continious updation with the current changes and amendments to law would be required.

The CA course has two major papers in IT that are of the level that would not match with any other level of exams so the course by its level and toughness generally gives the exoertise to a CA to be able to interpret laws (IT laws).

Comparison between a tax lawyer and CA is a individual judgement and that too about some particular persons. You cannot give a generalised view that lawyers are better in tax or CA's are

Hope this clarifies!




Yes Sir, you are absolutely right, I just wanted to know the work profile of a CA and a Tax Lawyer, I mean till what extend they can work independently?


i am totally agreed with Mr. Mithilesh,

there may be some instances where Chartered Accountants would have lack of knowledge in the matter of taxation,finance, costing and company law; this may be due to their laxness(Carelessness) of updating themselves with the recent amendments.

in this world no one is perfect in every thing. there are many CA(s) who have immense command over the Income Tax Act. on the contrary, other tax consultants may have good knowledge of income tax Act, if they acquaint themselves with the recent amendments. one more thing as my friend mithilesh has rightly said that CA(s) have a good interpretations skills of Income Tax Act etc.

The Most important difference between these are, The Chartered Accountants Can Sing on Tax Audit Report and other related documents and his signature are valued, whereas under income tax, tax consultants do not have the authority to sign on the documents.

Chartered Accountants are the members of the Body constituted under an Act of the Parliament whereas, this is not in case of tax consultants.

there are many more difference but i can not express in words.


Thanks & regards. 





Although a tax advocate & CA can serve in taxation field there are some specific differences between both of them.

·         Chartered Accountant is a person who is specialized in taxation matters through passing exams conducted by Institution Chartered Accountants.

·         But with regard to knowledge, it depends on the person who acquires his knowledge through thorough studies of taxation related matters. It depends on the person. Not every Tax Advocate is intelligent than a Chartered Accountant or every CA may not be as intelligent as a Tax advocate. It totally depends on their personal caliber and efforts of gaining knowledge about subject of tax laws.

·         Companies either Private limited or Limited shall appoint a Chartered Account and must get their accounts audit by a Chartered Account.

·         But a Tax advocate is not authorized to do an audit of either a company [Limited or Pvt Limited] or under section 44 AB of IT Act where total turnover declared by an assessee is more than Rs.40 laksh [From Assessment year 2011-12 limited has been enhanced to Rs.60lakhs].

·         As the tax authorities do come under the meaning of quasi judicial authorities, a Tax advocate can appear on behalf of assessee under the provisions of Advocates Act.

·         A Tax consultant who is not an Advocate can also appear before Income Tax/Service Tax or VAT authorities as respective Acts/Law permits them to do so.

·         However a tax advocate can represent a case up till Honorable Supreme Court where a Chartered Accountant can appear on behalf of an assessee till IT applette tribunal. He cannot appear in High courts and further.

These are the main difference between a CA & a Tax Advocate.



I really appreciated for your valuable answers


Thank you....


A tax practitioner may be a Registered one or an unregistered practitioner. But a Chartered Accountant or Advocate will certainly possess an enrolment number.  A Tax Practitioner can get registration from the Income Tax Department as well as VAT Department. 

A registered Tax Practitioner, CA,or Advocate are responsible to their acts.  If any illegal activities are traced from them, they are liable  to answer to the Certificate-issuing authorities as well as the Judicial Authoriries. Criminal or Civil laws.  The wrong action of a Regd. Tax Practitioner, CA, or Advocate may invite action and lead to Cancellation of their Certificate etc.  But to an unregd. Tax Practioner or Consultant no such actions will be there.  However, Criminal or Civil law steps can be initiated against them for fradulant actions....


advocate - F.C.M.A LL.M

Dear Sirs,

A Chartered Accountant is defined as  "Accountant" in the subsection 2 of Section 288 of the Income-tax Act

The Income Tax Act,1961, contains a number of provisions, which require audit for tax purposes, i.e. section 12A, 33AB, 35E, 44AB, 80HH, 80HHA, 80HHD, 80HHE, 80I, 80IA, 142(2A) etc.

So mainly the CAs do the business of accounting, book keeping and Tax Audit. They are not however having any mandatory power for any advisory services.

But as they peep into books of accounts and make all sort of dressing to accounts to provide relief to their clients, they are considered to be most trustworthy to their clients due to obvious reasons.

Now, question remains as to why M.Com, ICWA, CS etc who are qualified enough to do the same job have so far not been authorised by Income Tax to be included under the defination of accountants. One must understand LLB do not provide training for accountancy or audit. But an advocate may interpret the law of Income tax but not trained to cast the Balance Sheet.

I do not remember although that there was a landmark case in Mumbai where an Advocate has filed a case against Income Tax Commissioner as he has rejected the Tax audit report on the plea that the tax report was signed by an advocate and not a CA. The advocate lost the case on the grounds stated above. But the result could have been different if the tax audit report would have been signed by a M.Com, ICWA or CS.

So my dear friend you can do consultancy on tax planning or even casting of balance sheet but can't do tax audit.

Hope you got the key !!!



Dear Sir,

This is a definite valuable answer, I really appreciate, could you provide me the case copy of

I do not remember although that there was a landmark case in Mumbai where an Advocate has filed a case against Income Tax Commissioner as he has rejected the Tax audit report on the plea that the tax report was signed by an advocate and not a CA. The advocate lost the case on the grounds stated above .

If you have the copy,







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