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Understanding GST Annual Return

The Goods and Services Tax was introduced with the aim of bringing India’s scattered and somewhat complicated tax structure under a single umbrella. GST came into effect on 1st July, 2017 and while there was much anticipation about the Act, it has in fact proven to be a binding force for the Indian tax structure. Since its introduction, the Government has made consistent efforts to reconcile the new additions and changes with the earlier regime. This also applies to the annual return in respect to GST and the reconciliation of the same with VAT or Income Tax Return Audit Report. In anticipation of the upcoming annual reconciliation, the Government has introduced and notified the GST twin compliance forms - GST Annual Return (Form GSTR-9) and GST Audit/Reconciliation and Certification (Form GSTR-9C) for the Financial Year 2017-18, both of which stands due on December 31st, 2018. Let’s briefly take a look at the Annual Return in depth to ensure a smoother workflow as well as to understand the importance of the form. The annual form was notified vide Notification No. 39/2018-CT dated 04.09.2018. As is stated in section 44(1) of CGST ACT, 2018: Every registered person, other than an Input Service Distributor, a person paying tax under section 51 or section 52, a casual taxable person and a non-resident taxable person, shall furnish an annual return for every financial year electronically in such form and manner as may be prescribed on or before the thirty-first day of December following the end of such financial year. Let’s take a look at who is required to file the GST Annual Return

  • Input Service Distributor
  • Person paying tax u/s 51 (TDS) and u/s 52 (TCS)
  • Casual Taxable Person
  • Non-Resident Taxable Person
Further with respect to Annual Return, certain categories of taxpayers will be liable to fill particular forms. For regular taxpayer paying taxes under normal scheme, the GSTR 9 needs to be filled. For taxpayers paying taxes under composition scheme, GSTR 9A and for Ecommerce Operator, GSTR 9B needs to be filled. The Annual Return under GST needs to be filled on or before December 31st, 2018 though as per speculation, this date can be extended. Should one file the annual return after the stipulated deadline, the law has prescribed the penalty for late filing to Rs. 100 per day per act up to a maximum of an amount calculated at a quarter percent of the taxpayer turnover in the state or union territory. The IGST Act does not prescribe any late fees or penalty and as is the understanding and interpretation of the law, it can be said that late fees shall be equal to Rs. 200 in total i.e. Rs. 100 under CGST Act and Rs. 100 under SGST Act for each day of default that prevails for not fulfilling the deadline. It is also important to note that the maximum fees that can be levied shall not exceed 0.25% of the total turnover in the respective state or union territory. As is with all return of the GST Act, the Annual Return also don’t come with a functionality to revise and therefore connote. The Annual Return is a comprehensive, summary for a particular year with no potential for revision. Perhaps this is the reason, the Annual Return is treated with much skepticism and it’s essential to take the help of experts for filing the return in a comprehensive manner leaving no room for error. If you’d like more details on filing of the GST Annual Return, you can get in touch with us and we promise to get back to you in the next 24 hours.

 

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