Annual GST Return: Things to do before filing GSTR-9

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By Sakshi Shah on March 29, 2019

Annual Return i.e. GSTR-9 or GSTR-9A is the GST Return that a taxpayer should file for a financial year. It is a compilation of data for the financial year based on the data reported in the returns filed by the taxpayer. The Due Date to file Annual Return for FY 17-18 was 31st December 2018. However, the GST Council extended the deadline to 30th June 2019.

GSTR-9 is now available on the GST Portal. Most of the data is auto-populated based on the returns i.e. GSTR-3B and GSTR-1 filed by the taxpayer during the financial year. Another section of the return comprises of Input Tax Credit auto-populated from GSTR-2A available in the taxpayer’s account.

GST Annual Return for Regular Taxpayers: GSTR-9

Before filing GSTR-9, the taxpayer should consider the following things:

1. Reconciliation of GSTR-3B v/s GSTR-2A

In the taxpayer’s account on the GST Portal, you can download the report showing a comparison of ITC claimed and liability declared. Using the data in this report, the taxpayer can compare the input tax credit reported in GSTR-3B with the input tax credit reflected in GSTR-2A.

What is GSTR-3B under GST?

Scenario 1: ITC in GSTR-3B < ITC in GSTR-2A

This means that the taxpayer has missed to claim the input tax credit on a purchase invoice which the seller has reported in his sales return i.e. GSTR-1. In this case, the taxpayer should claim the input tax credit while filing GSTR-3B of March 2019 or any month before March 2019.

Scenario 2: ITC in GSTR-3B > ITC in GSTR-2A

This means either of the following:

  • The taxpayer has incorrectly claimed excess ITC. In this case, such ITC should be reversed and if the tax has been paid using ITC, the taxpayer should pay tax along with interest.
  • The taxpayer has claimed ITC on the basis of a valid GST Invoice but the seller has not reported such invoice in his sales return i.e. GSTR-1. In this case, the taxpayer should ask his seller to report the invoice in the next sales return. However, if the seller does not agree the taxpayer can claim the ITC since he holds a valid invoice which can be submitted as a valid proof if any notice is issued by the GST department.

2. Reconciliation of GSTR-3B v/s GSTR-1

In the taxpayer’s account on the GST Portal, you can download the report showing a comparison of ITC claimed and liability declared. Using the data in this report, the taxpayer can compare the sales reported in GSTR-3B with the sales reported in GSTR-1.

What is GSTR-1 under GST?

Scenario 1: Sales in GSTR-1 < ITC in GSTR-3B

This means either of the following:

  • The taxpayer has missed out to report one or more of the sales invoice in GSTR-1. In this case, he should report such sales invoice in the next GSTR-1. However, it should be reported before filing GSTR-9 so that the changes are updated under GSTR-9.
  • The taxpayer has paid excess GST while filing GSTR-3B. In this case, he can make an application for a refund from his account on the GST Portal.

Scenario 2: Sales in GSTR-1 > ITC in GSTR-3B

This means either of the following:

  • The taxpayer has mistakenly reported excess sales in GSTR-1. In this case, he can report entry of Amendment Invoice in the GSTR-1 of the next filing period.
  • The taxpayer has paid less tax than what was required to be paid on actual sales. In this case, tax along with interest should be paid on the amount of excess sales reported in GSTR-1.

3. Prepare GSTR-9 and GSTR-9A

If a taxpayer has shifted from Regular Scheme to Composition Scheme or vice-versa during the Financial Year, he must file 2 Annual Returns.

  • GSTR-9 for the period in which he was registered under the Regular Scheme
  • GSTR-9A for the period in which he was registered under the Composition Scheme
GST Annual Return for Composition Taxpayers: GSTR-9A

4. GST Audit Information

If the aggregate turnover of a business exceeds Rs.2 Cr during the financial year, it must undergo GST Audit. Such business should file GSTR-9C in addition to GSTR-9.

GSTR-9C is a reconciliation statement between data as per GST Returns filed and the book of accounts maintained. Thus, the data should be correctly reconciled and necessary changes should be updated before filing the annual return.

FAQs

1. Can I file GSTR-9 if I have not filed GSTR-1 or GSTR-3B during the financial year?

No. If you’re a regular dealer, you cannot file your Annual Return i.e. GSTR-9 if you have not filed all the GSTR-1 and GSTR-3B during the financial year.
If you’re a composite dealer, you cannot file your Annual Return i.e. GSTR-9A if you have not filed all the GSTR-4 during the financial year.

2. Should I file GSTR-9 if my registration was cancelled during the financial year?

It is mandatory to file annual return i.e. GSTR-9 or GSTR-9A if the taxpayer had an active GST registration even for a single day during the financial year. Thus, even if the registration is cancelled, you must file the annual return for the financial year in which you had an active registration.

3. Can I claim Input Tax Credit if my supplier has not filed GSTR-1?

Yes. The taxpayer can claim the input tax credit on a purchase invoice if he has a valid GST Invoice. If the seller has not filed GSTR-1 at all or not reported the invoice in GSTR-1, the input tax credit would not be reflected under GSTR-2A in the buyer’s account on GST Portal. In this case, the GST department would issue a notice for the mismatch. The taxpayer can then submit the GST invoice as a valid proof of purchase.