The Goods and Services Tax (GST) has significantly reformed the indirect tax system in India. It aims to adopt information technology to simplify compliance and reduce the need for interaction with the tax authorities. Self-assessment by the taxpayer forms the backbone of this tax system. To ensure the accuracy of the reported information, various returns have been introduced. The GSTR-9 annual return is one such return that is crucial for ensuring transparency and accountability in the GST system. Here we discuss the applicability and exemptions related to GSTR-9.
What is GSTR-9?
As per Section 44 of the CGST Act, all business entities registered under GST, except a few specified categories of persons, are required to file an annual return in Form GSTR-9 for every financial year, irrespective of their turnover during the return filing period. It is a comprehensive return that summarizes the details of outward and inward supplies made, input tax credit availed, and tax paid during a specific financial year.
Applicability of GSTR-9
In terms of Rule 80(1) of CGST rules, 2017, every registered person, other than those specified under the act, shall furnish an annual return under sub-section (1) of section 44 electronically in form GSTR-9 through the common portal, either directly or through a facilitation center notified under the act. That is, all taxpayers registered under GST must file the GSTR-9 annual return, including SEZ units, developers, and taxpayers who have transitioned from the composition scheme to the normal taxpayer scheme during the financial year.
Pre-requisites for filing GSTR-9
- The taxpayer must have active GSTIN during the relevant financial year as a normal, regular taxpayer, even if for a single day.
- The taxpayer must have filed all the applicable returns, like GSTR-1, GSTR-3B, etc., of the relevant financial year before filing the annual return.
Nil annual GSTR-9
NIL GSTR-9 for the financial year has to be filed in the following cases:
- The taxpayer has not made any outward supplies or sales and has
- The taxpayer has not received any goods or services (purchases).
- The taxpayer has no other liability to report.
- The taxpayer has not claimed any credit or refund.
- The taxpayer has not received any orders, creating demand and
- Is not liable to pay any late fees.
Exemptions for GSTR-9
The following taxpayers are exempt from filing GSTR-9:
- Taxpayers who have opted for the composition scheme
- Casual taxable persons
- Input service distributors
- Non-resident taxable persons
- Persons paying TDS under section 51 of the CGST Act
Important points regarding GSTR-9
- All taxpayers registered under GST in India are required to file GSTR-9 annually. It is a consolidated return that summarizes the details of all GST returns filed by the taxpayer during the financial year.
- It is a statutory return under GST laws in India. Non-filing and late filing could lead to penalties and other legal consequences for the taxpayer.
- The due date for filing GSTR-9 is December 31st of the year following the relevant financial year. If the taxpayers fail to file the returns on time, they may be liable to pay late fees, interest, and other penalties for non-compliance.
- GSTR-9 is an important return as it helps taxpayers maintain accurate records of their GST transactions and ensure compliance with the GST laws.
- It is a comprehensive summary of the taxpayer’s transactions and GST liability during the financial year that provides transparency in the taxpayer’s tax liabilities and accuracy in claiming the input tax credit.
- It is mandatory for taxpayers to file forms GSTR-1 and GSTR-3B for the financial year for which the form GSTR-9 has to be filed.
- It helps in reconciling the GST liability and input tax credit reported in the monthly and quarterly returns (GSTR-1, GSTR-2, and GSTR-3B) with the annual return. This is useful to identify and rectify any errors in the GST returns filed during the year.
- As per Section 35 of the CGST Act, every taxpayer registered under GST whose aggregate turnover exceeds 5 crore rupees in a fiscal year is subject to a GST audit. Then the taxpayer must file GSTR-9C.
- It helps the government monitor the transactions, assess the applicable tax liability, and ensure that the taxpayer has paid the correct tax under GST.
Also read: All About GSTR 9 Online Filing Process
Information required in GSTR-9 return
The GSTR-9 consists of six main parts. The following information is required in the return:
- Part 1: Basic details of the taxpayer, like legal name, trade name, etc. These details are auto-populated.
- Part 2: Details of inward and outward supplies declared during the financial year. These details are auto-populated by consolidating the summary of all GST returns filed in the previous financial year.
- Part 3: Details of ITC declared in returns filed during the financial year. These are summarized values auto-filled from all the GST returns filed in the previous financial year.
- Part 4: Details of tax paid as declared in returns filed during the financial year
- Part 5: Details of the transactions related to the previous financial year that have been modified from April to September of the next financial year or up to the date of filing the annual returns, whichever is earlier. Normally, the summary of amendments or omissions belonging to the previous financial year but reported in the current financial year would be segregated and declared here.
- Part 6: Other information consisting of details of:
- GST demands and refunds
- HSN-wise summary information of the quantity of goods supplied and received with their corresponding tax details against each HSN code
- Segregation of inward supplies received from different categories of taxpayers, like composition dealers, deemed supply, and goods supplied on an approved basis
- Late fees payable and paid details
GSTR-9 filing is compulsory for taxpayers who have registered and held the registration anytime during a specific financial year (FY). They are required to file the annual return for the said financial year with details of all business transactions corresponding to that FY. The return is a compilation of the information furnished by the taxpayers in their monthly and quarterly returns filed during the particular year. GSTR-9 is an important return as it helps the government keep track of the GST compliance of taxpayers, maintain accurate records of their GST transactions, and avoid penalties for non-compliance.
Frequently asked questions
Can the auto-populated entries in GSTR-9 be edited by the taxpayer?
Yes, the values in GSTR-9 can be edited, except for table 6A, which contains details of the total amount of input tax credit availed through GSTR-2B, table 8A, which contains details of ITC as per GSTR-2A, and table 9 with details of tax paid except the tax payable column.
Is a taxpayer whose registration has been cancelled required to file GSTR-9?
A taxpayer who is registered anytime in the preceding financial year is required to file GSTR-9 by December 31st of the following year.
Is there a turnover threshold limit for exemption in the GSTR-9 return filing?
As per Section 44(1) of the CGST Act, every registered person is required to file GSTR-9, irrespective of his turnover.
If a taxpayer has more than one GSTIN for the same PAN, does he have to file GSTR-9 for every GSTIN?
As per Section 24(5) of the CGST Act, each GSTIN is treated as a distinct person with respect to each registration. So GSTR-9 is required to be filed separately for each GSTIN.