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Different types of JSON errors while filing GSTR-9C

By Annapoorna

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Updated on: Dec 19th, 2023

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8 min read

All registered taxpayers under GST need to file their annual return in Form GSTR-9C. However, taxpayers are facing problems while filling this form. 

Latest Updates on GSTR-9C

5th July 2022 
The CBIC has exempted GST-registered taxpayers with annual aggregate turnover up to Rs.2 crore in FY 21-22 from filing Form GSTR-9. 

29th December 2021
The due date to file GSTR-9 & self-certified GSTR-9C for the FY 2020-21 has been extended up to 28th February 2022. 

31st July 2021
The CBIC has exempted GST-registered taxpayers with annual aggregate turnover up to Rs.2 crore in FY 20-21 from filing Form GSTR-9. 

30th July 2021
The CBIC has notified changes to Sections 35(5) and 44 of the CGST Act. The requirement to get a GST audit and certification done by a CA/CMA now stands removed. Taxpayers with a turnover exceeding Rs.5 crore in the previous financial year are required to file Form GSTR-9C on a self-certification basis. This change is applicable from FY 20-21 onwards. Further, Form GSTR-9C will be modified to support self-certification by the taxpayer.

List of JSON errors in GSTR-9C filing & Solutions

List of JSON errors while generating and uploading JSON file of GSTR-9C and the solutions for such errors:  

Sr. No.ErrorSolution
Errors while generating a JSON file
1Sheet Validation ErrorSelect the option ‘Validate Sheet’ for every part in GSTR-9C
2OLE Application1. Exit from all your excel or word files from your system and emsigner.
2. Go to windows > Search for internet option > Security > Custom level > ‘Automatic prompting for Activex control’, make it to ‘Enable’ and download unsigned ‘Activex Control’.
3. Click on ‘Prompt’ then click on ‘OK’. Download the Notepad++ > Go to the utility folder > Right-click on “wsweb.html”—>.
4. Select ‘Edit with Notepad++’ > Select ‘’  tag, give a space after ‘’ tag and then press the backspace button.
5. Save the file before closing it.
6. Restart the system to give the effect of the new settings.
7. Open emsigner again > Open the utility and try to create the JSON file again.
3‘File Generation in progress’ error while downloading GSTR-9C JSON file from GST portalThis error occurs when you try to download the JSON file without uploading any JSON on the GST portal.

1. Click the ‘Upload’ tab under GSTR-9C in the portal.
2. Update the data in GSTR-9C offline tool; then generate and save the JSON file.
3. Upload the saved JSON file on the GST portal.
4. Once the status changed to processed, you can download the JSON file.  
4Unable to generate or sign the JSON file in the GSTR-9C offline utility1. Open the location where JSON file is downloaded.
2. Right click on wsweb.html file and select ‘Edit with Notepad++’ option.
3. Add a space anywhere in the file and remove the same.
4. The above action give you a updated file.
5.  Generate the JSON file again once the changes to the HTML file are saved.
Errors while uploading a JSON file
1Error Occurred1. It is a system error. Try to reload the file 2-3 times. 
2. If the error re-occurs,  prepare the offline utility again and then upload it.
2Received but Pending1. It is a system error. Try to reload the file 2-3 times. 
2. If the error re-occurs,  prepare the offline utility again and then upload it.
3Processed with Error1. Request and download the error report from the GST portal.
2. Open the error file in GSTR-9C offline utility.
3. Go through each worksheet and check the ‘Portal validation error’ column for errors.
4. Login to the GST portal and go to GSTR-9C dashboard.
5. Download the PDF file consisting GSTR-9C tables derived from GSTR-9.
6. Now, cross verify the figures in GSTR-9C error file with PDF.
7. Resolve the error and re-generate the JSON file.
8. Upload the JSON.
4“Compile error” appears while submitting the GSTR-9CUse Microsoft excel with a version of higher than 2007 to prepare GSTR-9C
5Run time error while opening JSON file in GSTR-9 offline utility1. Open the location where JSON file is downloaded.
2. Right click on wsweb.html file and select ‘Edit with Notepad++’ option.
3. Add a space anywhere in the file and remove the same.
4. The above action give you a updated file.
5. Generate the JSON file again once the changes to the HTML file are saved.
6"File generation is in progress" is the error that appears for the GSTR-9C offline utilityThis is displayed when the users are downloading JSON which is used to import in offline utility to obtain the auto-filled GSTR-9 data.

Please follow the instructions below to obtain the extract:
1. On the GSTR-9C tile, click the ‘Initiate-Filling' button.
2. The GSTR-9C page appears on the screen.
3. Select the ‘DOWNLOAD GSTR-9C TABLES DERIVED FROM GSTR-9 PDF'  button.The values must be manually entered in GSTR-9C offline.
4. Now, create a JSON file and send it to the taxpayer via an email with his signatures.
 
7Users are attempting to download GSTR 9 data from the GST portal as a JSON file in order to auto-populate GSTR 9 data in the GSTR 9C offline tool.

When using the GSTR-9C Offline tool, the error message "File generation is in progress" appears.
GSTR 9C offline Tool is not made to be auto-populated.The data can only be filled in manually in the tool.
 

What to do if a user gets an error ‘sign is invalid’?

Carry out the following actions under settings to resolve the error:

  • Open the location where JSON file is downloaded.
  • Right click on wsweb.html file and select ‘Edit with Notepad++’ option.
  • Add a space anywhere in the file and remove the same.
  • The above action give you a updated version of the file.
  • Generate the JSON file again once the changes to the HTML file are saved.
  • Now, browser will display the window to initiate the signing process.

How to avoid the JSON errors in GSTR-9C filing?

To avoid these issues including JSON errors, there are certain prerequisites before filing the return:

  • Use JAVA version 8 and above
  • Use Excel 2007 and above
  • Use Excel-Macro enabled
  • Use Internet Explorer 11 or Edge

Also, while downloading/unzipping GSTR-9C, the user should keep all the folder files including the WS Web file in one folder. The following information reported in GSTR-9C should be the same as in GSTR-9, otherwise, it may cause an error:

  • Turnover
  • Taxable turnover
  • Total amount paid
  • ITC claimed

While filing GSTR-9C, taxpayers face issues in uploading their balance sheet and profit and loss account. This is because the files contain keywords such as balance sheet, profit and loss account, etc., which are usually categorised as sensitive information and thus the office firewall denies uploading such files. 

The taxpayers should use an open network such as the internet to upload the files successfully. Sometimes, the Digital Signature Certificate (DSC) does not get displayed even after attaching it to the system. To make the DSC available, the DSC owner has to type ‘https://127.0.0.1:1585′ in the address bar of the browser and click on ‘Proceed to safety’.

Further, when taxpayers might not be able to sign the GSTR-9C using emsigner. To avoid this issue, the taxpayers should close all other emsigners and download them from the GST portal and then click on the option of ‘Run as administrator’.
 

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About the Author

I preach the words, “Learning never exhausts the mind.” An aspiring CA and a passionate content writer having 4+ years of hands-on experience in deciphering jargon in Indian GST, Income Tax, off late also into the much larger Indian finance ecosystem, I love curating content in various forms to the interest of tax professionals, and enterprises, both big and small. While not writing, you can catch me singing Shāstriya Sangeetha and tuning my violin ;). Read more

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Quick Summary

GSTR-9C updates, error solutions, exemptions, and offline utility issues are discussed. Recommendations include prerequisites to avoid JSON errors. Suggestions also cover issues with balance sheet upload, DSC display, and emsigner errors.

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