Article explains What is an Annual return in GST, Who should file the annual return under GST, Due date, late fees and penalty for GSTR 9and GSTR 9C, Details required to be filed in GSTR-9, What is GST Audit, Turnover Based Audit, Eligibility to perform GST audit, GST Auditor, Documents Required for GST Audit and Due date for GST Annual Return and penalty for late filing of GSTR 9 and GSTR 9C.

What is an Annual return in GST?

Every registered taxpayer must file annual return under GSTR-9. This consists of details regarding outward and inward supplies made or received during the previous year. It is also the consolidation of monthly and quarterly returns in that assessment year.

Who should file the annual return (GSTR-9) under GST?

Every person who is registered under GST must file their GSTR-9 except-

In addition to the above provisions, the government has made GSTR 9 and GSTR 9A for FY 2017-18 & 2018-19 optional for the taxpayers whose turnover is less than Rs. 2 crores. This means those having turnover up to Rs 2 crores aren’t required to file any annual returns for FY 2017-18 & 2018-19. However, those with turnover over crores are required to file GSTR 9 as well as GSTR 9C.

 GSTR 9- Due date, late fees and penalty

The late fees for not giving the annual return by the due date is Rs. 200 per day. This implies that the person has to pay Rs. 100 under the CGST Act and Rs. 100 under the SGST Act as a penalty in case of delay. The penalty is subjected to a minimum of 0.25% of taxpayer’s turnover in the relevant state. There are no fees on IGST yet.

The due date to file GST annual return every year is 31 August. But this year, the government extended the return filing date to 31 December 2019, and 31 March 2020 for the Financial year 2017-18 and 2018-19 respectively. Further, the due date for GSTR 9 and 9C for FY is extended to 31st January 2020.

Details required to be filed in Form GSTR-9

The firm is divided into 6 parts and 19 sections. The details for the form can be filled out from the previously filed returns and books of accounts. The following details are required to be disclosed in the form-

  • Disclosure for annual sales, dividing it in the bases of tax payable or not.
  • The annual value of inward supply and ITC availed is to be disclosed on the purchase side.
  • The purchases have to be classified as inputs, input services, and capital goods. The ineligible ITC needs to be reversed.

The government has provided for certain relaxation in filing the annual returns & audit for FY 2017-18 & 2018-19. These could be summarized as below:

What is GST Audit?

A GST audit involves the examination of records, returns and other documents maintained by a GST registered person. By audit, we can ensure the appropriateness of the turnover declared, tax paid, refund claimed, ITC availed and other compliance met under the GST Act.

Under GST the taxpayer has to himself self-assess the tax liability, pay taxes and file returns. Therefore, to ensure the measure of correctness of the self–assessment done by a taxpayer, the audit mechanism is a must.

GST Audit is a Turnover Based Audit

If the turnover of a registered taxpayer is Rs. 2 crores at any time during the financial year, he is required to get his accounts audited by a Chartered Accountant or Cost Accountant.

The turnover calculation should be PAN based. This implies that if the turnover is more than 2 crores, all the business entities registered under GST for that PAN will be required a GST audit for that financial year.

If an organization has multiple branched registered under GST in different states, then the aggregate turnover needs to be calculated to find the threshold limit.

If the threshold limit exceeds Rs. 2 crores, then every branch is liable for the GST audit whether it individually reached the threshold limit or not.

If branches have different auditors, then as per law, the responsibility of a joint auditor applies for reporting GST audit observations and regulations.

Eligibility to perform GST audit

An audit can only be performed by a Chartered Accountant or a Cost Accountant keeping in view the following points-

  • An internal auditor cannot be appointed as a GST auditor.
  • Any GST practitioner cannot perform a GST audit. It must be only performed by a Chartered Accountant or a Cost Accountant.

GST Auditor

A GST auditor is to be appointed by a proprietor, Board of Directors (in case of a company) or a partner at the beginning of a financial year.

The work of an auditor is to report any tax liability pending for payments, and his observations made on the GST audit. The taxpayer can settle taxes as recommended by the audition in form DRC-03

Documents Required for GST Audit

The documents to be furnished by the taxpayer are listed below:

  • Audited Financial Statements (PAN-based)
  • Annual Return (through GSTR-9)
  • Certified reconciliation statements in the form of GSTR-9C.

Due date and penalty for Late Filing of GST Audit Report

The audit report is to be submitted before 31st December of the subsequent fiscal year.

However, presently the extended date for filing of GST Audit Report is 31st December 2019 and 31st March 2020 for the financial year 2017-18 and 2018-19 respectively. Further, the due date for GSTR 9 and 9C for FY is extended to 31st January 2020.

The penalty for not submitting the audit report is not covered under the specific provision. Thus, the general penalty of Rs. 25000 applies.

Disclaimer: The above post is only for the purpose of academic discussion and should not be construed as any legal opinion in any matter whatsoever.

(The author is a CA in practice at Delhi and can be contacted at: E-mail: abhinandansethia90@gmail.com, Mobile: +91-9811741451)

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