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The deadline to file GSTR-9 has been extended a couple of times for various reasons such as complexities in the form and filing. For CAs and businesses both, the last couple of GSTR-9 filings have been tiresome and complicated, trying to understand the intricate GSTR-9 form, while tallying their monthly and quarterly filed-returns with their books of accounts. Here is a list of reasons that have led to the extensions.
Latest Updates on GSTR-9
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.
28th May 2021
As per 43rd GST Council meeting outcome, GSTR-9 shall continue to be optional for taxpayers with turnover up to Rs.2 crore, whereas GSTR-9C can be self-certified by taxpayers with turnover less than or equal to Rs.5 crore from FY 2020-21 onwards.
9th March 2021
The Form GSTR-9A has been disabled from FY 2019-20 onwards for composition taxpayers due to the introduction of GSTR-4 (Annual return). However, the GSTR-9A is optional and can be filed for FY 2017-18 and FY 2018-19.
28th February 2021
The due date to file GSTR-9 & GSTR-9C for the FY 2019-20 has been further extended up to 31st March 2021.
This is an area that has caused a lot of pain for taxpayers due to the mismatch between the input tax credit appearing in the auto-generated GSTR-2A return, and the input tax credit auto-filled in table 8A in the GSTR-9. Some reasons for the mismatch are-
Form GSTR-9 requires the bifurcation of all input tax credit availed from inputs, input services and capital goods. This, in turn, requires a complete and thorough analysis of the books of accounts of a taxpayer, in addition to verification by the concerned auditor. Not all taxpayers would have kept a record of this bifurcation leading to undue stress of obtaining these details now, to avoid incorrectly reporting the same.
Over the period of FY 17-18, while filing their GSTR-3B returns, taxpayers have claimed input tax credit as eligible under the CGST Act. However, there is a lot of input tax credit which is still not reflecting in the GSTR-2A of several taxpayers. The question that arises here is whether such input tax credit will be deemed ineligible, and would result in taxpayers receiving notices from the Tax Department, without a fair opportunity to prove the genuineness of such credit.
There is no separate field at present to report the input tax credit claimed in FY 18-19 on goods that were imported in the previous FY 17-18. While the government has clarified that such input tax credit shall be reported in table 6(E) of GSTR-9, this is for the entire credit availed between July 2017 and March 2019. Since the auditors need to prepare their reconciliation statement based on this information as well, it would have been easier for taxpayers to report this data separately and more accurately.
Table 6(B) requires the reporting of all inward supplies and input tax credit availed during the financial year, other than imports and inward supplies liable to reverse charge. Table 6(H) on the other hand, requires the reporting of input tax credit which had been availed, reversed and later reclaimed during the same financial year. This has led to the overlapping of figures between tables 6(B) and 6(H) of the GSTR-9. Although a government clarification has been issued to caution the taxpayers about what both the fields mean, more clarity is needed with examples/ redressal of the accounting challenges.
The clarification released by the CBIC on the disclosure of liability under RCM, due for FY 17-18, but paid in FY 18-19, has been unclear. This is because the press release on 4th June 2019 used the words ‘additional outward supply’, with no mention of RCM, while the Central Tax notification released on 28th June 2019 uses the words ‘additional liability’. While taxpayers are supposed to report the total of such undisclosed liability under table 4(G) of GSTR-9, the corresponding tax portion of such liability needs to be declared under ‘Tax Payable’ in table 9.
HSN summary details are required to be disclosed mandatorily by suppliers having a turnover above Rs.1.5 crore. This requirement is for both inward and outward supplies. This has caused unnecessary hassles for taxpayers who had not been maintaining this data in the past and will now need to spend a lot of additional time and effort in order to obtain and report these details.
Table 4(F) of the GSTR-9 is for disclosing all advances on which tax has been paid, but where invoices have not been issued. The clarification for filling up this table states that the source of information should be table 11(A) of the GSTR-1 returns. This holds good only at a monthly level because, at an annual level, adjustments made during the year need to be considered. This means data should also be sourced from table 11(B) of the GSTR-1 returns.
The process of uploading GSTR-9C is cumbersome and requires several technical steps which auditors are finding time-consuming and inconvenient. In addition to the process involved, there are other issues while filing GSTR-9C where the address details of the statutory auditor are not getting captured accurately, nor can the auditor enter his qualifications entirely due to word limitations.
In addition to the above, there are other issues taxpayers have been facing while filing their GSTR-9-