One of the forms taxpayers need to keep track of is annual returns (GSTR-9) under Goods and Services Tax (GST) system. This form is required to be filed once every year by registered taxpayers such as businesses. The due date for filing GSTR-9 for FY 2019 is set as June 30, 2019. While the Government is going to be extra vigilant to flag defaulting filers, taxpayers need to be cautious to avoid making any errors, as there is no way to amend the GSTR-9 return once filed. Below are some of the common mistakes that taxpayers can avoid while filing their GSTR-9 return:
The government has already clarified that no further extensions will be given. Taxpayers should take note of this and file the GST returns well before the deadline as this could save not only interest and penalties, but also avoid a demand notice for non- filing of GST returns.
Taxpayers should ensure that all monthly and quarterly filed returns match with the information reported in the GSTR-9. Mismatch of information could be one of the primary causes of getting a demand notice at a later date from the GST department. While the due date for making amendments to data of FY 2017 – 18 has passed, taxpayers can still disclose any additional tax liability in the GSTR-9 return. The same can be paid in form DRC-03.
GST was introduced in India in July 2017, which means the first year of filing the annual return form GSTR-9 will only be for 9 months and not for the entire year. Taxpayers need to be extremely careful while reporting transactions for FY 2017 – 18 as only data for the 9 month period i.e. July 2017 to March 2018 needs to be reported.
GST returns are filed on the basis of a GSTIN held by a business. Businesses having operations in multiple States / UTs need to file a separate GSTR-9 annual return for each state / UT, and not for the entire company / business as a whole.
Before filing the annual return, it is the duty of the taxpayer to reconcile, verify and report only accurate information. In addition to this, the taxpayer should ensure that there is substantial documentary proof of all data that is reported in the return, in order to avoid unnecessary hassles at a later date.
The annual GST return calls for the bifurcation of data across various fields such as input tax credit, HSN codes, demands and refunds, to name a few. This level of detail was not required at the time of filing the monthly or quarterly GST returns. Hence, a lot of digging into the books of accounts will be necessary to find and report this data accurately in the GSTR-9 return.
This is a new requirement applicable under GST which was not applicable under the previous indirect tax laws. A business whose turnover exceeds INR 2 crore rupees is required to get their books of accounts audited by either a Chartered Accountant or a Cost Accountant, and a reconciliation statement between the audited financial statements and the annual return needs to furnished thereof in form GSTR-9C. The due date to furnish GSTR-9C is also June 30, 2019.
Taxpayers registered under GST have to compulsorily file an annual return for the period up till which their registration is cancelled. Even in cases where there have been no transactions during the year, a nil return needs to be filed.
Hence, regular filing of returns under GST Act is very essential as the GST taxpayers are provided GST compliance rating based on their regularity for compliance with the provisions of the GST laws.