The much awaited Annual return (GSTR-9) was notified by CBIC vide Notification No. 39/2018 – Central Tax dated 04th September 2018 (though not available for filing on the portal till date) and Notification No. 49/2018- Central Tax dated 13.09.2018 notified Annual Reconciliation Statement (GSTR-9C) and as expected both forms are of no use to the trade and industry already burdened with the heavy compliances under the Act.
A return which was sought to help the traders in reconciling the date of the returns already filed with the Financial Statements does not allow any reconciliation. In this article we will discuss various aspects of this so called Annual Return.
Section 44 of the GST Act provides that every registered person except
(a) Input Service Distributor
(b) TDS/TCS Deductor
(c) Casual Taxable Person
(d) Non-resident Taxable Person
shall furnish annual return for every financial year before 31st December following the end of such financial year.
Sub Section (2) of Section 44 provides that 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 shall accompany the annual return furnished under sub-section (1) by every registered person whose turnover during a financial year exceeds 2 Crore rupees (Section 35(5) read with Rule-80(3)).
Section 47 of the Act provides for the late fees of not filing the GSTR 9 within the due date which is Rs.100/day per Act i.e Rs.200/- per day upto a maximum of 0.25% of the taxpayer turnover in the state or union territory.
Another important aspect which needs attentions is that unlike Section 38 & 39 Section 44 does not provide for the extension of the time for filing Annual Return. So the government will either have to take the recourse of Section 172 or will have waive the late fees leviable under Section 47.
The Annual Return form GSTR-9 contains total 6 parts spread out in 19 Tables detailed below:
Part-I: Basic information of Tax payer in Tables 1 to 3
Part-II: Details of outward & inward supplies in Tables 4 & 5
Part-III: Details of Input tax credit in Tables 6 to 8
Part-IV: Details of Tax paid in Table 9
Part-V: Details of transactions of 2017-18 reported during April-18 to Sep-18 in Tables 10 to 14
Part-VI: Other information in Tables 15 to 19
An important thing to keep in mind is that the form only asks for the details already declared in the returns filed so that means no new information can be furnished here.
Table 4 & 5 of the form requires the details of the outward supplies already declared in the returns (GSTR-1 & GSTR-3B) filed during the financial year. No amendment/ No correction to the figures already submitted are allowed in the Annual return. If only a consolidate figure was required the government could have done it by their own and there was no requirement for this form.
The irony is that a return whose purpose was to reconcile the date of the returns already filed with the Financial Statements does not allow any reconciliation. There are cases where there are differences in the sales shown in the returns with the actual sales in financial statements or there are cases where there differences in the GSTR-1 & GSTR-3B data filed now how will that be reconciled is a question without an answer.
Unlike VAT-20 (Annual Statement under Punjab VAT Act, 2005) No Tax liability can be paid, No ITC can be claimed or No reversal of ITC can be made in the Annual Return (GSTR-9) making it a return of no use to the dealers.
Table 6 of the form asks for another useless requirement of bifurcating Input Tax claimed in 3B into three heads viz. Inputs, Capital Goods, Input Services whereas there was no such requirement in GSTR-3B return. It also expects the dealers to bifurcate the ITC claimed under Section 9(3) & 9(4) in the same categories of Inputs, Capital Goods, Input Services. Now making these bifurcations will be a tedious job as the same was not required earlier.
Table 7 of the Annual Return GSTR-9 requires the dealer to enter the details of the reversal made under Rule 37, 39, 42, 43 & Section 17(5) which filing his GSTR-3B returns. However any dealer who now wants to make the reversals or want to declare the same who had not done it in 3B return cannot do so.
Another important issue which will lead to lot of hue and cry among the trade industry is the Table No.8 of the GSTR-9 return which takes the values of GSTR-2A as the base for allowing the ITC to the dealers. So suppose a dealer has claimed ITC in his 3B return which is more than the one reflecting in the GSTR-2A the form will show negative figure in column No. 8D. Now will the system allow the filing of form with the negative figure can only be figured out once the utility comes out and if it won’t it will be impossible to file the Annual Return. Strangely the government is comparing the ITC claimed by the dealers with GSTR-2A form rather than with the GSTR-2 return which was never the intension of the law.
Interestingly Table 15 requires a dealer to bifurcate the refund applied by a dealer into Refund sanctioned, Refund rejected and Refund pending and also ask for the details of Total Tax Demands, Tax Demand Paid & Demands pending. In the times where the orders of refund/ tax Demands are not getting uploaded on the portal it will be cumbersome for the dealer to gather these figures.
Table 16B of the form requires the dealer to enter details of the deemed supply under Section 143. As most of the dealers have not filed ITC-04 form as there being extension of the date in filing ITC-04 till 31.12.2018 for the period July’ 17 to Sept’18 how will a person calculate deemed supply under Section 143(3) the government only knows.
Table 17 of the Form requires dealers to upload HSN wise summary not only of the outward supplies but also of the inward supplies received.
In the end it can only be said that the forms issued without any preparation or without adhering to the requirements of trade and industry will not serve any purpose and will further push the Act away from becoming a Good & Simple Tax.