As per section 44 of the CGST Act, 2017, every person who is registered under the GST Act was required to file an Annual Return in Form GSTR 9 irrespective of the amount of turnover during the year. However, for a registered person whose total turnover during the year does not exceed Rs. 2 crore, the filing of Form GSTR 9 is not mandatory (as per Notification No. 47/2019 – Central Tax and 77/2020 – Central Tax issued by the Central Board of Indirect Taxes & Customs).
Applicability Of GSTR – 9C
Every registered person, whose aggregate or total turnover exceeds the limit of Rs. 2 crores during the relevant financial year, shall mandatorily get his books audited by a competent person who is either a Cost Accountant (CMA) or a Chartered Accountant (CA). He must also file the reconciliation statement in Form GSTR-9C.
This limit is increased to Rs. 5 crores for the filing of GSTR-9C of Financial Year 2018-19 as stated in the notification by CBIC dated 23rd of March 2020.
Applicability of GSTR 9 & GSTR 9C for FY 2019-20
|1.||Turnover up to Rs. 2 crore||Optional||Optional|
|2.||Turnover more than Rs. 2 crores and up to Rs. 5 crore||Mandatory||Optional (benefit is given)|
|3.||Turnover of Rs. 5 crores or above||Mandatory||Mandatory|
- Aggregate Turnover includes the value of all taxable supplies (inter-state and intra-state), the value of exempt supplies, and the value of export supplies of all goods and services on an India basis.
- Financial year means the 12 months period beginning from April to March.
What Is GSTR-9C?
GSTR-9C is an annual reconciliation statement between:
- the Annual Returns filed in GSTR-9 for a financial year, and
- the Books of Accounts of the concerned taxpayer duly audited by a CA or CMA.
It is based on a concept similar to the Tax Audit Report required under the IT Act. It consists of the details of gross turnover, taxable turnover, tax paid, and Net Input Tax as per the taxpayer’s Books of Accounts. These are reconciled with the figures in the declared Annual Return (GSTR 9) for the FY.
Any discrepancies arising during this reconciliation process, that is, un-reconciled figures shall be reported accompanying the reasons for the same. For each GSTIN, a separate reconciliation statement (GSTR-9C) is shall be filed. Accordingly, if there are multiple registrations against a single PAN, multiple GSTR-9C statements are must be furnished.
GSTR-9C Due Date
- The due date for filing Form GSTR-9C as well as the due date for filing Annual Return (GSTR-9) is the same i.e., 31st December of the year after the relevant financial year for which the form is being filed. The Government may, by way of notification extend the due date, if required.
- The Government has extended the due date for filing the Form GSTR-9 and the Statement GSTR-9C for the Financial Year 2019-20 to March 31, 2021, because of the difficulties indicated by the taxpayers in meeting the time limit.
- However, for the Financial Year 2020-21, the due date for filing GSTR-9C is 31st December 2021.
Penalty Norms For Late Filing Or Non Filing Of GSTR-9C
- If a taxpayer fails to file both i.e., GSTR-9 (Annual Return) and GSTR-9C (Reconciliation Statement), then a fee of Rs. 200 per day during which the default continues (Rs. 100 under the Central GST law and Rs. 100 under the State / Union Territory GST law)is levied. This is subject to a maximum of 0.50% of turnover in the State/Union Territory (0.25% under the Central GST law and 0.25% under the SGST / UTGST Law).
- However, there is no specific penalty provision for late filing or non-filing of GSTR-9C. Hence, if the taxpayer files GSTR-9 within the due date but fails to file GSTR-9C within the same, a general penalty of Rs 50,000 ( Rs. 25000 under CGST and SGST/ UTGST, each) would be attracted.
GSTR-9C format is attached here.
The Form GSTR- 9C mostly has two parts which are discussed below in details:
Part A of GSTR-9C: Reconciliation Statement, and
Part B of GSTR-9C: Certification
Part-A: Reconciliation Statement
Part I: Basic Details
- Relevant Financial Year for which the statement is to be being filed,
- Goods and Service Tax Registration Number (GSTIN) of the registered person,
- Legal Name of the taxpayer,
- Trade Name of the registered person or business (if any), and
- If the taxpayer is required to get his books audited under any act apart from GST Act, details thereof.
Part II: Reconciliation of the turnover mentioned in Annual Return (GSTR-9) with the turnover in the audited Annual Financial Statement
This part requires the following:
- Reconciliation of
- Gross Turnover (including export, as well as the exempted value of supply) as per audited books of the taxpayer, with
- Gross Turnover declared in GSTR-9
- Reconciliation of
- Taxable Turnover as per audited books of the taxpayer, with
- Taxable Turnover declared in GSTR-9
The difference, if any, as represented by unreconciled turnover shall be reported along with the reasons for such difference.
Part III: Reconciliation of tax paid
This part requires the reconciliation of
- Rate-wise details of the tax liability as given in the books of accounts of the taxpayer, with
- The amount of GST paid as declared in the Annual Return (GSTR-9).
The un-reconciled amount, if any, shall be reported along with the reasons for the same.
Further, the additional amount of liability due to the un-reconciled figure of the turnover and the un-reconciled figure of Tax Liability, for which reasons were mentioned under Table 6, 8, and 10 shall also be declared. The payment for such an additional amount shall be also be made.
Part IV: Reconciliation of ITC (Input Tax Credit)
This section (Table 12) requires the reconciliation of
- ITC availed as per the Audited Financial Statement for each State/ Union Territory, with
- the amount of credit claimed in Annual Return (GSTR-9).
The value of un-reconciled ITC, if any shall be reported along with the reasons behind the same in Table 13.
Further, Table 14 requires the details of Input Tax Credit availed on expenses as appears from audited Annual Financial Statement or books of account with the details of total and eligible ITC separately. The total value of the eligible credit availed is reconciled with credit claimed in GSTR-9. The reason for the un-reconciled amount shall also be given.
Part V: Auditor’s recommendation on additional Liability of the taxpayer due to non-reconciliation
- The Auditor is required to report the amount of additional liability, if any, due to the non-reconciliation and GST audit, for which payment is yet to be made by the taxpayer.
- The non-reconciliation can be on account of Turnover, ITC, interest, late fee, penalty, or any other reason. An option to settle the additional liability is available to the taxpayer at the end of the reconciliation statement, as put forward by the person conducting the audit.
- All the details given in Part A shall be verified by the Auditor and shall also be signed by the Auditor along with the membership number.
The certification for GSTR-9C may be provided by a person who has conducted the Audit. It may also be provided by any eligible person, other than the person conducting the audit of the books of accounts under the GSTIN.
There are two formats of certification given in Part-B of the Return. The format to be used shall depend on who is certifying the Return.
- Form-I: Certification when the reconciliation statement is drawn up by the person who has conducted the audit.
- Form-II: Certification when the reconciliation statement is drawn up by a person other than a person who has conducted the audit.
Steps To File GSTR 9C Using Offline Utility
GSTR-9C can be downloaded offline, filled up, and then uploaded on the portal. Steps for downloading GSTR-9C Offline Utility are given as,
- Step 1: Go to www.gst.gov.in i.e., GST Portal.
- Step 2: Click on the ‘Downloads’ Tab on the screen
- Step 3: Navigate to the ‘Offline Tools’ option and then select ‘GSTR-9C Offline Tool’.
- Step 4: Click on the ‘Download’ link on the GSTR-9C Offline Utility page.
- Step 5: A confirmation message will pop up. Click on ‘Proceed’.
- Step 6: The GSTR-9C Offline Utility will be downloaded in a zip file. Extract the files on the desired drive.
Note: The offline utility function of GSTR-9C requires Windows 7 and above operating system and Microsoft Excel 2007 and above. It is not compatible with mobile phones.
Once the GSTR-9C Statement is prepared using the GSTR-9C offline utility, a JSON File is generated and signed by the auditor using his/her digital signature. This signed JSON File is then sent to the taxpayer to be uploaded on his/ her GST Portal. Steps to upload the Form GSTR-9C on the GST Portal are given below,
- Step 1: Visit the GST Portal i.e., www.gst.gov.in, and log in using the credentials.
- Step 2: Click on the ‘Services’ tab on the screen.
- Step 3: Navigate to the ‘Returns’ option and then click on ‘Annual Return’.
- Step 4: Select the relevant financial year from the drop-down list and then click ‘Search’.
- Step 5: Click on the ‘Prepare Offline’ option. ‘Offline upload and download for GSTR-9C’ page will appear.
- Step 6: Click on the ‘Choose File’ button. Browse and navigate to the signed JASON file to be uploaded.
- Step 7: Select the JSON File and click the ‘Open’ button. The upload section page is then displayed.
- Step 8: A text message appears stating that the JSON file has been correctly uploaded and you will be asked to wait while the GST Portal validated the uploaded data.
- Step 9: When the status shows ‘Processed’, you may proceed to file your Return. If the status shows ‘Processed with error’, download the error report to rectify the return and then repeat the process.
Note: Before generating JSON File, the ‘preview pdf file’ of the draft Form GSTR-9C shall be generated to view and verify the details. Also, the taxpayer may ask the auditor for the pdf file to verify the details before uploading.
The documents to be uploaded along with the Return are:
- Audited Balance Sheet of the taxpayer,
- Income and Expenditure Account/ Statement of Profit and Loss,
- Cash Flow Statement (if applicable), and
- Any other document, as applicable.
Steps To File GSTR-9C Using Online Method
Also, there is now available GSTR 9C online utility. Steps to start filing the GSTR-9C online are given below,
- Step 1: Visit the GST Portal i.e., www.gst.gov.in, and log in using the username and password.
- Step 2: Click on the ‘Services’ tab on the screen.
- Step 3: Navigate to the ‘Returns’ option and then click on ‘Annual Return’
- Step 4: Select the relevant financial year for which return is to be filed from the drop-down list and then click ‘Search’.
- Step 5: Click on the ‘Initiate filing’ option. Filing of GSTR-9C cannot be done until GSTR-9 has been filed already.
- Step 6: Attach the Balance Sheet, Statement of Profit and Loss, Cash Flow Statement, audited by the Chartered Accountant.
- Step 7: Go ahead to file GSTR-9C with the digital signature or EVC, as applicable.
Some important points to be noted:
- An Internal Auditor of a company cannot undertake a GST Audit of the same concern due to conflict of interest, as specified by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India.
- GSTR-9C must be filed separately for each GSTIN. Therefore, once the limit of Rs. 2 crores is exceeded on all India basis, separate GSTR-9C must be filed for each registration under the PAN.
- A GST Auditor need not be a GST Practitioner to conduct GST Audit. Any Chartered Accountant or Cost Accountant can conduct the Audit.
- GSTR-9C cannot be revised. Hence, it is very important to file the form with utmost care.
Significance Of GSTR 9C
GSTR-9C is a statement of reconciliation that must be certified by a Chartered Accountant or a Cost Accountant. The GST Auditor must sign the GSTR-9C statement digitally and report the discrepancies noticed during the reconciliation process conducted during the financial year. Any additional liabilities of the taxpayer arising out of the reconciliation exercise by the Auditor and during the conduct of the GST audit must be reported and certified in GSTR-9C. This Statement serves as a basis of verification for the GST Authorities. It helps measure the correctness of the GST returns filed by taxpayers during a given financial year.
Should GSTR 9 and GSTR 9C be filed separately?
Yes, they are required to be filed separately. First GSTR 9 has to be filed and then GSTR 9C.
Can GSTR 9C be revised?
Currently, there is no provision to revise GSTR 9C once being filed.
Can an internal auditor certify the Form GSTR 9C?
No, as per instructions given by ICAI, an internal auditor of an organization cannot certify GSTR 9C.
Should GSTR 9C be filed for every separate registration under the same PAN?
Yes, GSTR 9C must be filed GSTIN wise and not PAN-wise.
Should a Chartered Accountant be registered as a GST practitioner for certifying form GSTR 9C?
No, a Chartered Accountant need not be registered for certifying GSTR 9C.