Hon’ble Finance Minister, Smt. Nirmala Sitharam in her Budget Speech on 1st day of February 2021omitted  Section 35(5) and substituted Section 44 [by Section 101 & 102 of the Finance Act, 2021 respectively] of the CGST Act, 2017, so as to remove the mandatory requirement of furnishing a Reconciliation Statement (GSTR-9C) duly audited by a Practicing Chartered Accountants or Cost Accountants and to provide for filing of the Annual Return (GSTR-9) on self-certification basis with a reconciliation statement.

43RD GST COUNCIL MEET DATED MAY 28, 2021:  Amendments in sections 35 and 44 of CGST Act made through Finance Act, 2021 to be notified. With the view to ease the compliance requirement in furnishing reconciliation statements in FORM GSTR-9C, as previously i.e. before FY 2020-21 the same is to be done by Chartered Accountant or Cost Accountant now the taxpayers would be able to self-certify the reconciliation statement. And no requirements of any external certification. This change will apply for Annual Return for FY 2020-21.

The filing of annual return in FORM GSTR-9 / 9A for FY 2020-21 to be optional for taxpayers having aggregate annual turnover upto Rs 2 Crore. Also, the reconciliation statement in FORM GSTR-9C for the FY 2020-21 will be required to be filed by taxpayers with annual aggregate turnover above Rs 5 Crore allowing self-certification.

Even though now the Reconciliation Statement (GSTR-9C) can be filled with self-certification it is highly recommended getting GST Audit done by professional qualified person as the GST is not so simple to understand by normal taxpayer. It is novel Act and lot of development is going on regular basis, so the chance of mistake is always there. By the time it gets detected by the department auditor it’s too late and the taxpayer will end up by paying heavy interest & penalty.

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