GSTR-9 – Annual Return Filing, Format, Eligibility, Due Date – Detailed Explanation

What is GSTR-9 Annual Return Filing?

GSTR-9, which stands for Goods and Services Tax Return, is basically an annual return form that is mandated to be filed by registered taxpayers at least once every fiscal year. This regulation under the GST Act, 2017 is levied by the government of India to individuals and businesses who are suppliers of goods/commodities and/or services.

The GSTR-9 form contains details of the supplies made and received during the year.

GSTR-9 Form Format – What Details are Required

Generally, the GSTR-9 Form for annual return filing which is required to be filled by the taxpayer contains necessary details stated as under:

* Details of advances, inward and outward and supplies made during the financial year on which tax is payable
* Details of outward supplies made during the financial year on which tax is not payable
* Details of ITC availed during the financial year
* Details of ITC reversed and ineligible ITC for the financial year
* Other ITC related information
* Details of tax paid as declared in returns filed during the financial year
* Details of the previous financial year’s transactions reported in the next financial year
* Differential tax paid on account of declaration in tables 10 and 11, respectively
* Particulars of Demands and Refunds
* Supplies received from composition taxpayers, deemed supply by job worker and goods that are sent on the basis of approval
* HSN wise summary of outward supplies
* HSN wise summary of inward supplies

In addition to the above details, which are manually filled by the taxpayer, there are other details as well, which are auto-populated from the GSTR-1 Form and GSTR-3B Form, respectively. The details that are automatically populated in the GSTR-9 Annual Return Form include:

* Details of advances,inward and outward supplies that are made during the financial year on which tax is payable
* Details of outward supplies that are made during the financial year on which tax is not payable
* Total amount of input tax credit which are availed from the GSTR-3B Form
* Input tax credit received from ISD
* Transition credit through TRAN-I (including revisions, if any)
* Transition credit through TRAN-II
* Details of tax paid as declared in returns filed during the financial year

Criteria for GSTR-9 Annual Return From Filing

Like many other important form filing, there are pre-requisites which must be met in order for taxpayers to successfully file their GSTR-9 annual return form. The most important ones are as follows:

(i) Before filing the GSTR-9 annual return form, the taxpayer must have filed all applicable returns, which includes Form GSTR-1 and Form GSTR-3B with regards to the relevant financial year.

(ii) The taxpayer is required to have an active Goods and Services Tax Identification Number (GSTIN) for the given financial year.

As per the regulations laid down under the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Act,2017, it is mandated that all registered taxable persons are required to file GSTR-9 for the relevant financial year.

The non-applicability of GSTR-9 Form are inclusive of:

* A taxpayer who opts for GST composition scheme
* Non-resident taxable person
* Casual taxable person
* Input Service Distributor
* Person paying TDS under Section 51

GSTR-9 Annual Return Filing Deadline

The due date of filing the GSTR-9 annual return is on or before 31st December of the subsequent financial year. However, this date may be extended by the government of India and is notified to the taxpayers from time to time.

There is also a penalty for the late filing of GSTR-9 annual return. As per the regulations under GST, the late fee levied to taxpayers for not filing their GSTR-9 annual return form on time is Rs. 200, which further gets incremented on a per day delay and is subject to a maximum limit of an amount at 0.25 percent of the total turnover in the respective State or Union Territory (UT). Thus, every increment of 0.25% would mean a penalty of Rs. 100, both under the Central Goods and Services Tax (CGST) Act and State Goods and Services Tax (SGST) Act, respectively.

GSTR-9A Form for Annual Return Filing

GSTR-9A Form is generally required to be filed by taxpayers who are registered under the GST composition scheme. Similar to GSTR-9 Form, the GSTR-9A Form, too, is filed once for each financial year by the registered taxpayers.

GSTR-9A Form Format – What Details are Required
Generally, the GSTR-9 Form for annual return filing which is required to be filled by the taxpayer contains necessary details stated as under:

* Details of Outward supplies made during the financial year
* Details of inward supplies on which tax is payable on reverse charge basis (net of debit/credit notes) for the financial year
* Details of other inward supplies for the financial year
* Details of tax paid as declared in returns filed during the financial year
* Particulars of the transactions for the previous FY declared in returns of April to September of current FY or up to date of filing of annual return of previous FY whichever is earlier
* Differential tax paid on account of declaration made in 10, 11, 12 & 13
* Other information -Particulars of Demands and Refunds
* Details of credit reversed or availed

In addition to the above details, which are manually filled by the taxpayer, there are other details as well, which are auto-populated from the GSTR-1 Form and GSTR-3B Form, respectively. The details that are automatically populated in the GSTR-9 Annual Return Form include:

* Details of Outward supplies on which tax is payable as declared in returns filed during the financial year
* Details of inward supplies on which tax is payable on reverse charge basis (net of debit/credit notes) declared in returns filed during the financial year
* Details of other inward supplies as declared in returns filed during the financial year
* Details of tax paid as declared in returns filed during the financial year.

Criteria for GSTR-9A Annual Return Form Filing

In this case as well, there are certain pre-requisites for filing the GSTR-9A Form. These are as follows:

(i) The taxpayer must be registered already in the relevant financial year and should have also opted for the GST composition scheme, for even a single day during the financial year

(ii) The taxpayer has filed all applicable returns, which are GSTR-4 Form, quarterly return of the relevant financial year, prior to filing the annual return

With regards to the applicability of GSTR-9A Form, all the registered taxable persons who have opted for the GST composition scheme must file GSTR-9A.

The non-applicability of GSTR-9A Form are:

* Regular taxpayer who has not opted in the composition scheme under GST for any period during the financial year
* Non-resident taxable persons
* Casual taxable persons
* Input service distributor
* Persons required to deduct tax at Source u/s 51
* Persons required to collect tax at Source u/s 52

GSTR-9A Form Filing Due Date

The due date of filing the GSTR-9A Form is on or before 31st December of the subsequent financial year. However, there is a possibility that the date may be extended by the government of India and the same is notified to the taxpayers from time to time.

Similar to GSTR-9, there is a penalty for the late filing of GSTR-9A annual return as well. As per the regulations under GST, the late fee levied to taxpayers for not filing their GSTR-9A annual return form on time is Rs. 200, which further gets incremented on a per-day delay and is subject to a maximum limit of an amount at 0.25 percent of the total turnover in the respective State or Union Territory (UT). Thus, every increment of 0.25% would mean a penalty of Rs. 100, both under the Central Goods and Services Tax (CGST) Act and State Goods and Services Tax (SGST) Act, respectively.

GSTR-9C Form for Annual Return Filing

Basically, GSTR-9C is a return that is required to be filed by those taxpayers whose annual turnover exceeds Rs. 2 crores during the financial year.

Legal Provisions of GST Audit

(a) As per the legal provisions stated in Section 35(5), “Every registered person whose turnover during a financial year exceeds the prescribed limit shall get his accounts audited by a chartered accountant or a cost accountant and shall submit a copy of the audited annual accounts, the reconciliation statement under sub-section (2) of Section 44 and such other documents in such form and manner as may be prescribed.”

(b) In terms of Section 44(2) “Every registered person who is required to get his accounts audited in accordance with the provisions of sub-section (5) of Section 35 shall furnish, electronically, the annual return under sub-section (1) along with a copy of the audited annual accounts and a reconciliation statement, reconciling the value of supplies declared in the return furnished for the financial year with the audited annual financial statement, and such other particulars as may be prescribed.”

(c) In terms of Rule 80(3) of the CGST Rules, “Every registered person whose aggregate turnover during a financial year exceeds two crore rupees shall get his accounts audited as specified under sub-section (5) of Section 35 and he shall furnish a copy of the audited annual accounts and a reconciliation statement, duly certified, in GSTR-9C, electronically through the common portal either directly or through a Facilitation Centre notified by the Commissioner.”

According to Section 35(5) read with Section 44(2) of the CGST Act, the following documents are required to be furnished electronically by the assessee upon conclusion of the audit:

(i) Annual Return

(ii) Copy of the audited annual accounts

(iii) Reconciliation statement, reconciling the value of supplies declared in the return furnished for the financial year with the audited annual financial statement in FORM GSTR-9C, duly certified

(iv) Such other particulars, as may be prescribed

The following are the important steps which is required to be taken by Auditor for GST Audit:

(i) Inform the concerned assessee about the applicability of the GST audit

(ii) Understand the nature of business, the products or services, requirements of records to be maintained, and advice the auditee to maintain accounts and records so required

(iii) Confirm the eligibility to be the GST auditor under the related legislation

(iv) Preparation of the detailed audit program and list of records to be verified

However, the consequences of failure to submit the annual return and not getting the accounts audited are that there is no specific penalty prescribed in the GST Law for not getting the accounts audited by a Chartered Accountant or a Cost Accountant. Therefore, as per Section 125 of the CGST Act, he/she shall be subjected to a penalty of up to Rs. 25,000.



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