How to File Form GSTR-9C on the GST Portal?

Updated on: Feb 23rd, 2023 - 1:11:52 PM

9 min read

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Taxpayers with an aggregate annual turnover exceeding Rs.5 crore in the previous financial year must file GSTR-9C via self-certification. Prior to the amendment, taxpayers with an aggregate annual turnover exceeding Rs.2 crore in the previous financial year were required to file GSTR-9C after getting their accounts audited and certified by a CA/CMA. 

Latest Updates

18th February 2023
49th GST Council meeting updates-
1. Council recommended the late fee rationalisation for delayed GSTR-9 filing from FY 2022-23 onwards as follows: 
   (a) Registered persons with Annual Aggregate Turnover (AATO) up to Rs.5 cr is reduced to Rs. 25 per day subject to a maximum of 0.02% of turnover.
   (b) Registered persons with AATO of more than Rs.5 cr to 20 cr is reduced to Rs 50 per day subject to a maximum of 0.02% of turnover.
2. The Council recommended an amnesty scheme for pending GSTR-9 returns. This scheme comes with a conditional waiver/ reduction of late fees.

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.

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.

Pre-requisites to prepare and file GSTR-9C

To file the GSTR-9C form, there are a few pre-conditions that have to be fulfilled-

  • The taxpayer must have a valid GSTIN and must be registered under GST.
  • The login credentials of the taxpayer (Username and password) must be valid.
  • The taxpayer should have filed Form GSTR-9 (Annual Return) for that financial year.
  • The taxpayer’s business must have an aggregate turnover exceeding Rs.5 crore.

Steps to generate form GSTR-9C JSON file from the offline utility?

The taxpayer will have to perform steps both offline as well as on the GST portal-

Step 1: Log in to the GST portal and download the GSTR-9 form.

Step 2: Next, download the GSTR-9C tables derived from GSTR-9.

Step 3: The GSTR-9C Offline Tool must also be downloaded. This may be done from the downloads tab by selecting “Offline Tools”, and then selecting “GSTR-9C Offline Tool”.

Step 4: With the help of the GSTR-9C Offline Tool, the following steps may be done to prepare the GSTR-9C:-

  1. Open the GSTR Offline Utility Worksheet and then feed in the relevant data into the tables on the worksheet.
  2. To then view the draft version of Form GSTR-9C, the preview PDF file has to be generated.
  3. Once this is done, the JSON file can be generated.

How to upload the GSTR-9C JSON file on the GST portal?

In order to upload the JSON file that was generated-

Step 1: The taxpayer will need to login to the GST portal using the GSTR-9C Offline Utility. 
Step 2: Once the login is successful, the taxpayer will then have to go to “Annual Return”, select the appropriate financial year and then click on search. Once the page loads, select the option “Prepare Offline” and then click on the “Upload” button available.

Step 3: Where any edits/changes are required to be made to the GSTR-9C form, those changes may be made so long as the “Proceed to File” button is not selected. The edits may be made, after which the JSON file may be regenerated and then uploaded via the GSTR-9C Offline Utility once again.

If the JSON file displays errors during the upload, the taxpayer can download the Error Report, make the necessary corrections and then upload the updated JSON file.

Steps to initiate the filing of form GSTR-9C on the GST portal

Step 1: Once the generated JSON file is uploaded on the GST portal, the user may then proceed towards adding the financial statements such as the balance sheet, profit and loss statement and other necessary documents after the necessary verification.

Step 2: The documents to be uploaded must be uploaded in PDF format. The file size limit is 5 MB per file and a maximum of 2 files can be uploaded in each section.

Step 3: At the time of uploading the necessary documents, the “SAVE” button must be clicked on after the upload of each document which shows the status as “Processed”. If the “SAVE” button is not clicked with each upload, an error message will be displayed if the user clicks on “PROCEED TO FILE”.

Step 4: The “PROCEED TO FILE” button will be enabled only once the following documents are
successfully uploaded-

  • Generated JSON file
  • Balance Sheet in the PDF format
  • Profit and Loss Account in the PDF Format

Step 5: The user can choose to view the draft of the GSTR-9C by clicking on the “PREVIEW DRAFT GSTR-9C (PREVIEW)” button.

Step 6: Clicking on the “PROCEED TO FILE” button will then take the user to the Verification page where the details have to be confirmed. Once the verification details are confirmed, the “FILE GSTR-9C” button will be enabled, indicating that it is the final step where the form is ready to be filed once the user clicks on it.

Step 7: Once it is successfully filed, the user can always track it by going to the “Services”
tab on the GST Portal and selecting “Returns” from the dropdown list and then selecting
the “View Filed Returns” option.

If you are facing any errors while generating or uploading a GSTR-9C JSON file or filing GSTR-9C, please refer to our article on ‘List of JSON errors in GSTR-9C filing & Solutions’ to get the solutions for the same.

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