Till now, every assessee was required to file annual return in Form GSTR-9 along with duly audited reconciliation statement of sales, purchases and ITC in Form GSTR 9C by a practising chartered accountant or a cost accountant. However, w.e.f. 1.8.2021, the provisions for annual return and GST audit & reconciliation have been amended so much so that GST audit has been done away with.
The existing provision for annual return and audit are as follows:
Section 35 (5)
Every registered person whose turnover during a financial year exceeds the prescribed limit shall get his accounts audited by a chartered accountant or a cost accountant and shall submit a copy of the audited annual accounts, the reconciliation statement under sub-section (2) of section 44 and such other documents in such form and manner as may be prescribed.
Provided that nothing contained in this sub-section shall apply to any department of the Central Government or a State Government or a local authority, whose books of account are subject to audit by the Comptroller and Auditor-General of India or an auditor appointed for auditing the accounts of local authorities under any law for the time being in force.
(1) Every registered person, other than an Input Service Distributor, a person paying tax under section 51 or section 52, a casual taxable person and a non-resident taxable person, shall furnish an annual return for every financial year electronically in such form and manner as may be prescribed on or before the thirty-first day of December following the end of such financial year.
Provided that the Commissioner may, on the recommendations of the Council and for reasons to be recorded in writing, by notification, extend the time limit for furnishing the annual return for such class of registered persons as may be specified therein:
Provided further that any extension of time limit notified by the Commissioner of State tax or the Commissioner of Union territory tax shall be deemed to be notified by the Commissioner.
(2) Every registered person who is required to get his accounts audited in accordance with the provisions of sub-section (5) of section 35 shall furnish, electronically, the annual return under sub-section (1) along with a copy of the audited annual accounts and a reconciliation statement, reconciling the value of supplies declared in the return furnished for the financial year with the audited annual financial statement, and such other particulars as may be prescribed.
Explanation.- For the purposes of this section, it is hereby declared that the annual return for the period from the 1st July, 2017 to the 31st March, 2018 shall be furnished on or before the 7[31st January, 2020] and the annual return for the period from the 1st April, 2018 to the 31st March, 2019 shall be furnished on or before the 31st March, 2020.
Amendment made by Finance Act, 2021
Finance Act, 2021 has omitted the requirement of audit by a Chartered / Cost accountant for all taxpayers and only self certified Form 9C would be a sufficient compliance in case of specified taxpayers.
CBIC has issued new Notification Nos. 29, 30 & 31, all dated 30th July, 2021 notifying effective date of 01.08.2021 for section 110 and 111 of Finance Act, 2021. Other amendments include requirement of furnishing annual return in Form GSTR 9, 9A and 9B, exemption to taxpayers from filing annual return, change in Form GSTR 9C making it self-certifiable by taxable person and exemption from filing annual return for FY 2020-2021.
Not only this, the requirement to file annual return has been done away with in case of taxpayers with turnover of upto to Rs. 2 crore. However, if a taxpayer wants to file annual return, it will be optional for taxpayers to file or forgo the filing of annual return. Since no audit is required now, part B of the Form GSTR 9C has been omitted. With this, there will be more onus on the taxpayer itself for authentication of figures and compliances. This change shall be applicable for FY 2020-21 and onwards.
As on 01.08.2021
|Section 44 & Rule 80 Annual Return:|
|Form||Form 9||Form 9A||Form 9B||Form 9C|
|Which form to be used by whom
(Turnover Rs. 2 crore to Rs. 5 crore)
|Registered person (not exempt), ISD, casual taxable person, TCS/TDS person, non-residents||Composition Dealer||E-commerce collecting tax (TCS)||–|
|Exemption from filing annual return||Turnover upto Rs. 2 crore in FY||–||–||–|
|Filing of annual return between Rs. 2 crore – 5 crore||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Self certified reconciliation (if turnover is > Rs. 5 crore)||–||–||–||All eligible taxpayers|
|Last date for FY 2020-21||31.12.2021||31.12.2021||31.12.2021||31.12.2021|
|How||Electronically on Portal or notified facilitation centre||Electronically on Portal or notified facilitation centre||Electronically on Portal or notified facilitation centre||Electronically on Portal or notified facilitation centre|
Effective date for section 110 and 111 of Finance Act, 2021
These change are effective from 1.8.2021 and shall apply in relation to financial year 2020-21 and onwards.