ICAI’s Handbook/ Guide on GST Annual Return (Form GSTR 9/ 9A/ 9B)

ICAI has released first edition (May 2019) of Handbook/ Guide on GST Annual Return which contains the detailed analysis of Form GSTR 9 and GSTR 9A in a comprehensive manner for each table of these forms. It may be noted that Form GSTR 9B is yet to be notified and hence analysis thereof is not covered in this Guide. An attempt has been made by the ICAI to guide about each and every information sought in these forms of GST Annual Return.

ICAI’s Handbook/ Guide on GST Annual Return in Form GSTR 9/ 9A (May 2019 Edition)

GST annual return filing is mandatory for all entities having GST registration, irrespective of turnover during the financial year. Hence, even businesses that have obtained GST registration and having even NIL turnover must file annual return. GST registration holder who has obtained the registration anytime before 1st April 2018 are required to file GST annual return for the financial year 2017-18 on or before 30th June 2019 in form GSTR 9 notified by the CBIC which contains VI Parts and 19 Tables and similarly GSTR-9A for composition dealer.

The submission and processing of return is an important link between the taxpayers and tax administration. Section 44 of the Central Goods & Services Tax (CGST) Act, 2017 stipulates that every registered person shall furnish an annual return for each financial year. Annual return is a consolidation of returns filed i.e. GSTR 1 and GSTR 3B, by the taxpayer for the financial year. It will contain details of inward and outward supply along with tax payments with an option to report additional liability, if any.

Every registered taxpayer under GST, now are required to file Annual Return for the period 1st July, 2017 to 31st March, 2018 by 30th June, 2019 in Form GSTR 9/ 9A depending on whether they are regular dealers or composition dealers.

S. No. Particulars
1 Introduction to GST Annual Return
2 Analysis of GSTR 9
Part I: Basic Details (Table 1-3B)
Part  II;  Details  of  Outward  and  inward  supplies  made  during  the financial year (Table 4-5)
Part III: Details of ITC for the financial year (Table 6-8)
Part  IV;  Details  of  tax  paid  as  declared  in  returns  filed  during  the financial year (Table 9)
Part V: Particulars of the transactions for the previous FY declared in returns  of  April  to  September  of  current  FY  or  upto  date  of  filing  of annual return of previous FY whichever is earlier (Table 10-13)
Part VI: Other Information (Table 15-19)
3 Analysis of GSTR 9A
Appendix 1: Form GSTR 9
Appendix 2: Form GSTR 9A

Provisions on GST Annual Return under the GST Laws

In order to understand the gamut of the GST Annual return and its requirement, it would be relevant to understand the legal provisions on Annual GST Returns under the GST Laws. Two important provisions which are relevant and important in this context are Section 44(1) of CGST Act, 2017 and Rule 80(1) of the CGST Rules, 2017.

Section 44(1) requires that 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. However, the due date for filing of annual return for the period 1st July, 2017 to 31st March, 2018 has first been extended to 31st March, 2019 and then to June 30, 2019 vide Removal of Difficulty Order No.01/2018-Central Tax dated 11th December, 2018 and 03/2018-Central Tax dated 31st December, 2018 respectively.

In terms of Rule 80(1) of the CGST Rules, 2017 “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 as specified under sub-section (1) of section 44 electronically in FORM GSTR-9 through the common portal either directly or through a Facilitation Centre notified by the Commissioner. Further, a person paying composition tax under section 10 shall furnish the annual return in FORM GSTR-9A. Also in terms of Rule 80(2), every electronic commerce operator required to collect tax at source under section 52 shall furnish annual statement in Form GSTR-9B.

Points to be noted while filing the GST Annual Returns

1. Nil Annual Return- A person registered under GST but having no transactions during the year is also required to file a Nil Annual Return. A person whose registration has been cancelled during the year is also required to file the Annual returns unless final return has been filed and cancellation completed before 31st March, 2018.

2. A Registered person who has opted in or opted out of composition is required to file both GSTR 9 & GSTR 9A for the relevant periods.

3. GSTR-9 does not allow for any revision after filing.

4. It is mandatory to file FORM GSTR-1 and FORM GSTR-3B for the FY 2017-18 before filing this return.

5. The exceptions to filing of the Annual return applies to the following category of registered persons:

i) Input Service Distributor;

ii) Tax deductor u/s 51;

iii) Tax collector u/s 52;

iv) Casual Taxable Person;

v) Non-Resident Taxable Person;

vi) 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.

6. The declaration of the information in the Annual returns has multiple implications. Any incorrect information can attract tax demands, interest and penalties on the same, leave alone the long-term litigations that follow years later.

7. Liability identified during filing Annual Return can be deposited with Government using DRC-03 Form.

Related Posts:

ICAI’s Technical Guide on Annual GST Audit (Form GSTR 9C)

ICAI’s 53 FAQs on Annual GST Return Form GSTR-9


  1. Bhavesh Kansara
  2. Johnson Abraham

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