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Guide to GSTR-9 Annual Return: Comprehensive Overview

What is the GSTR-9 Annual Return?

The GSTR-9 is an annual return that must be filed by taxpayers registered under the Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime in India. This return consolidates the details of all the monthly or quarterly returns filed during the year. It serves as a comprehensive summary of the outward and inward supplies made or received during the financial year under different tax heads such as Central GST (CGST), State GST (SGST), and Integrated GST (IGST).

Applicability and Eligibility

  • Who needs to file: Every registered taxpayer under GST, including those registered under the composition scheme, needs to file the GSTR-9, except for the following:
    • Input Service Distributors (ISD)
    • Casual Taxable Persons
    • Non-resident Taxable Persons
    • Persons paying TDS under section 51 of the CGST Act
  • Turnover Limit: For the financial year 2020-21 onwards, businesses with an aggregate turnover of up to Rs. 2 crore are exempt from filing the GSTR-9.

GSTR-9 Turnover Limit

The turnover limit for mandatory filing of GSTR-9 has been set at Rs. 2 crore. Taxpayers with an aggregate turnover below this threshold are exempt from filing the GSTR-9 for the relevant financial year.

GSTR-9 Due Date

The due date for filing GSTR-9 is typically 31st December of the subsequent financial year. For example, for the financial year 2022-23, the due date would be 31st December 2023. However, this deadline can be extended by the government, which is often the case to allow taxpayers ample time to comply with the requirements.

Format and Details Required in GSTR-9

GSTR-9 is divided into six parts, each requiring specific details:

  1. Basic Details (Part I):
    • GSTIN
    • Legal Name
    • Trade Name (if any)
    • Period for which the return is being filed
  2. Details of Outward and Inward Supplies (Part II):
    • Consolidated summary of outward supplies declared in returns filed during the financial year
    • Details of advances, inward supplies on which tax is payable, and outward supplies
  3. Details of ITC (Input Tax Credit) as declared in returns filed during the financial year (Part III):
    • ITC availed and reversed
    • ITC on inward supplies
    • Details of ITC on inward supplies from composition dealers, deemed supply, goods sent on approval, etc.
  4. Details of Tax Paid as declared in returns filed during the financial year (Part IV):
    • Details of taxes paid under various heads – IGST, CGST, SGST, and Cess
    • Details of interest, late fee, penalty, and other amounts paid and payable
  5. Particulars of the transactions for the previous FY declared in returns of April to September of the current FY or up to the date of filing of annual return of previous FY, whichever is earlier (Part V):
    • Information on amendments and corrections pertaining to the previous year
    • Details of previous year’s transactions reported in the current financial year
  6. Other Information (Part VI):
    • Demands and refunds
    • HSN-wise summary of outward and inward supplies
    • Late fees payable and paid
    • Segregation of inward supplies received from different categories of taxpayers

Late Fee and Penalty for Not Filing GSTR-9

Failure to file GSTR-9 by the due date attracts a late fee of:

  • Rs. 200 per day (Rs. 100 CGST + Rs. 100 SGST) subject to a maximum of 0.25% of the taxpayer’s turnover in the relevant state or union territory.

GST Amnesty Scheme for GSTR-9

The GST Amnesty Scheme is periodically announced by the government to provide relief to taxpayers who have not filed their returns on time. Under this scheme, reduced late fees and penalties may be offered to encourage compliance and facilitate the filing of pending returns. Details and conditions of the scheme can vary each time it is announced.

Why Should You File Your GST Annual Return through Clear GST?

Filing your GST Annual Return through Clear GST (formerly ClearTax) offers several advantages:

  • Ease of Use: Clear GST provides a user-friendly interface that simplifies the process of filing returns.
  • Accuracy: Automated error-checking ensures accurate data entry and reduces the risk of mistakes.
  • Time-Saving: Import data directly from your accounting software, minimizing manual data entry.
  • Expert Support: Access to professional guidance and support to resolve any queries or issues.

How to File GSTR-9

Filing GSTR-9 involves several steps:

  1. Log in to the GST Portal: Use your GSTIN and password to log in.
  2. Navigate to GSTR-9: Select ‘Annual Return’ under the ‘Services’ tab.
  3. Select the Financial Year: Choose the relevant financial year for which you want to file the return.
  4. Download System-Generated GSTR-9: Review the system-generated GSTR-9 summary for accuracy.
  5. Enter Details: Fill in the required details in different sections as per your records.
  6. Preview and Validate: Verify the entered details and preview the return.
  7. Submit: Once satisfied, submit the return.
  8. File with DSC/EVC: File the return using Digital Signature Certificate (DSC) or Electronic Verification Code (EVC).
  9. Confirmation: After filing, a confirmation message and ARN (Acknowledgement Reference Number) will be generated.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. Who is exempt from filing GSTR-9?

Entities such as Input Service Distributors, Casual Taxable Persons, Non-resident Taxable Persons, and those paying TDS under section 51 of the CGST Act are exempt from filing GSTR-9.

2. Can I revise GSTR-9 after filing?

No, GSTR-9 cannot be revised once it is filed. Therefore, it is crucial to ensure all details are accurate before submission.

3. What is the penalty for late filing of GSTR-9?

A late fee of Rs. 200 per day (Rs. 100 CGST + Rs. 100 SGST) is levied, subject to a maximum of 0.25% of the turnover in the relevant state or union territory.

4. Is there a turnover threshold for GSTR-9 exemption?

Yes, businesses with an aggregate turnover of up to Rs. 2 crore are exempt from filing GSTR-9.

5. What if I miss the GSTR-9 filing deadline?

Failing to file by the due date will result in a late fee and possibly interest on any outstanding tax liability.

6. Can I file GSTR-9 myself, or do I need professional help?

Taxpayers can file GSTR-9 themselves using the GST portal. However, professional help from platforms like Clear GST can simplify the process and ensure accuracy.

Filing the GSTR-9 annual return is a critical compliance requirement for GST-registered taxpayers. By adhering to the guidelines and leveraging professional tools, taxpayers can ensure accurate and timely submission, avoiding penalties and ensuring smooth business operations.


Guide to GSTR-9 Annual Return: Comprehensive Overview

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