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

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.

FY 2017-18 – The Due Date to file GSTR 9 Annual Return for FY 17-18 was 31st December 2018. However, after multiple extensions, the final deadline was 3rd Feb, 5th Feb, and 7th Feb in a staggered manner for different groups of states.

UPDATE
FY 2018-19 – The Due Date to file GSTR 9 Annual Return for FY 17-18 was 31st December 2018. However, the deadline was further extended to 30th June 2020. As per the latest notification of CBIC dated 5th May 2020, after multiple extension, GST Council extended the deadline to 30th September 2020.

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.

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.

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.

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 9A and GSTR 9 Annual Return

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

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

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.

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.

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.

GST Annual Return for Composition Taxpayers : GSTR-9A

What is GSTR-9A?

GSTR-9A is the Annual Return that a composition taxpayer under GST needs to file once for each financial year. It comprises of details of sales, purchases, taxes paid, demand created, refund claimed and the input tax credit availed or reversed on opting out or opting in for Composition Scheme.

Who should file GSTR-9A?

  • The taxpayers registered under the Composition Scheme
  • Taxpayers who have shifted from Composition scheme to Regular scheme any time during the financial year
  • Taxpayers who have shifted from Regular scheme to Composition scheme any time during the financial year

The following taxpayers should not file GSTR-9A:

  • Taxpayers registered under regular scheme who did not opt for composition scheme during the financial year
  • NRTP i.e. Non-Resident Taxable Persons
  • ISD i.e. Input Service Distributor
  • CTP i.e. Casual Taxable Person
  • TDS Deductor i.e. persons required to deduct tax at source
  • E-Commerce Operator or TCS Collector i.e. persons required to collect tax at source

When should I file GSTR-9A under GST?

Due Date to file the return is 31st December of the next financial year. However, the GST council extended the due date of FY 2017-18.

Due Date to file GSTR-9A for FY 17-18
is 30th June 2019
Due Date to file GSTR-9A for FY 17-18
is 30th June 2019

How much is the Late Fee for filing return after the due date?

If the taxpayer does not file the return on or before the due date, he is liable to pay a Late Fee of INR 200 (CGST INR 100 and SGST INR 100) for each day of delay. The Late Fee is calculated from the date after the due date up to the date of filing of the return.

What information is required to be reported under GSTR-9A?

Following basic details of the taxpayer are auto-populated:

  • Financial Year – Enter the financial year for which the taxpayer files the return
  • GSTIN i.e. GST Identification Number of the taxpayer
  • Legal Name and Trade Name of the business

Following details are auto-filled based on the GSTR-4 filed during the financial year:

Other required information:

  • Details of tax paid during the financial year
  • The details of demands paid and refunds claimed during the financial year
  • The details of input tax credit availed or reversed due to opting in or out of composition schem

FAQs

Do I need to file GSTR-9A if my registration has been cancelled in the financial year?

A taxpayer who has an Active GSTIN during the financial year even for a single day must file the annual return on GST Portal. Thus, even if the registration is cancelled, the taxpayer must file annual return i.e. GSTR-9 or GSTR-9A

Can I file Nil GSTR-9A?

A taxpayer can file Nil GSTR-9A if:
1. There are no outward supplies i.e. sales
2. There are no inward supplies i.e. purchases
3. The taxpayer does not claim any refund
4. The taxpayer does not claim any input tax credit
5. There is no liability to be reported
6. There is no outstanding demand
7. No late fee payable

Types of GST Annual Return

Annual Return is the GST Return that every registered taxpayer should file electronically on the GST Portal for each financial year. However, the following persons are not required to file an annual return:

  • ISD i.e. Input Service Distributor
  • CTP i.e. Casual Taxable Person
  • NRTP i.e. Non-Resident Taxable Person
  • TDS Deductors
TCS Collector - The provisions of TCS under GST became applicable from 1st October 2018. Thus, E-Commerce Operators i.e. TCS Collectors are not required to file the annual return for FY 2017-18.
Tip
TCS Collector - The provisions of TCS under GST became applicable from 1st October 2018. Thus, E-Commerce Operators i.e. TCS Collectors are not required to file the annual return for FY 2017-18.

Types of Annual Return under GST

  • GSTR-9 – Annual Return for Regular Taxpayers, SEZ Units and SEZ Developers
  • GSTR-9C – It is not an annual return. It is a reconciliation statement that reconciles the data as per the books of accounts and the data reported in annual return. The taxpayers to whom GST Audit is applicable should file GSTR-9C along with GSTR-9

Due Dates for Annual Returns under GST

As per the GST Act, the due date to file Annual Return is 31st December of next financial year.
For FY 17-18, the original due date was 31st December 2018. However, the GST Council extended the date.

Due Date to file GSTR-9, GSTR-9A, GSTR-9C for FY 2017-18
30th June 2019
Due Date to file GSTR-9, GSTR-9A, GSTR-9C for FY 2017-18
30th June 2019

FAQs

What is the difference between GSTR-9 and GSTR-9C?

1. GSTR-9 is the annual return which should be filed by every registered taxpayer under GST irrespective of the turnover.
2. GSTR-9C is the reconciliation statement which should be filed by registered taxpayers to whom GST Audit is applicable. When the turnover of a registered taxpayer exceeds Rs.2 Cr during the financial year, they should file GSTR-9C along with GSTR-9.

I shifted from the Composition Scheme to the Regular Scheme. Should I file GSTR-9 or GSTR-9A?

A taxpayer who has shifted from Composition Scheme to Regular Scheme or vice-versa must file both GSTR-9 and GSTR-9A. He should file GSTR-9A for the period during which he was registered as Composite Dealer and GSTR-9 for the period during which he was registered as Regular Dealer.
Example
If a taxpayer was registered under Composition Scheme from 1st July 2017 to 30th September 2017 and shifted to Regular Scheme from 1st October 2017 to 31st March 2018, he should file the following returns for FY 2017-18:
1. GSTR-9A from July 2017 to September 2017
2. GSTR-9 from October 2017 to March 2018

When does the statutory requirement to file GST return triggers?

 When a person becomes liable to register or gets voluntarily registered, then the person applies for the registration within the prescribed time-frame. After obtaining the GSTIN (15 Digit – Goods and Services Identification Number), the person becomes responsible to file GST returns as per the rule. Even the person who obtains the registration voluntarily under GST is also required to file Returns as per the GST Rule.

What are the advantages of registering under the Composition Scheme in GST?

Registration under the Composition Scheme in GST has its own set of advantages and drawbacks. Based on the situation of the business, the advantages and disadvantages must be carefully assessed to decide whether to opt for composition scheme on GST Portal or not.

Advantages of GST Composition Scheme

  • Less Record Keeping
    Composite Dealer need not maintain detailed records and accounts. The taxpayer can focus on running a business effectively rather than worrying about accounting and record keeping.
  • Less Returns
    While other taxpayers need to file monthly returns, a composite dealer needs to make quarterly payment of tax in Form CMP-08 and file an annual return GSTR-4 for a financial year. Thus, the compliance burden is lesser.
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  • Limited Tax Liability
    The tax rate under Composition Scheme is 1%, 2%, 5% or 6% of the turnover which is negligible in comparison to regular dealers who generally pay GST at 5%, 12%, 18% or 28%. However, the regular dealers can claim the Input Tax Credit of GST paid on purchases.
  • High Liquidity
    A composite dealer has to pay tax at a lesser rate than regular dealers. The payment of tax is to be done every quarter. Thus, there would be an easy flow of funds with high liquidity in the business.
  • Competitive Advantage
    Under the composition scheme, the dealer cannot collect tax from its customers. Thus, they can sell goods at a lesser price than the competitors who charge GST from the customers.

FAQs

When to file return under composition scheme in GST?

FY 2019-20 onwards, a Composite Dealer should file GSTR-4 on an annual basis on or before 30th April from the end of the financial year. They should now pay tax on a quarterly basis under Form GST CMP-08. Earlier up to FY 2018-19, GSTR-4 was filed quarterly or before the 18th of the month from the end of a quarter.

What is the eligibility category for opting for composition levy?

The Composition Scheme is a scheme for payment of GST available to small taxpayers whose aggregate turnover in the preceding financial year did not cross the following threshold limit:
a. Sale of Goods and Restaurant Services – Rs. 1.5 Cr for normal category state
b. Sale of Goods and Restaurant Services – Rs. 75 lacs for special category state
c. Sale of Other Services – Rs. 50 lacs

Which are the Special Category States in which the turnover limit for Composition Levy for Central tax and State tax purpose shall be Rs.75 lacs? 

In the case of the following States, the limit of turnover is Rs. 75 lakhs:
1. Arunachal Pradesh
2. Assam
3. Manipur
4. Meghalaya
5. Mizoram
6. Nagaland
7. Sikkim
8. Tripura
9. Himachal Pradesh
10. Uttarakhand
11. Jammu & Kashmir

Is it mandatory for a Composition Dealer to maintain detailed records?

No, it is not mandatory for a registered Composition dealer to maintain detailed records as needed by a normal taxpayer.