The government has issued Notifications to give effect to certain key amendments pertaining to GSTR-9 and GSTR-9C, which were introduced in the Union Budget 2021 based on the recommendations of the GST Council.

Rationalization in the applicability of GSTR-9 and GSTR-9C

  • Taxpayers with aggregate turnover up to INR 20 million in FY 2020-21 will be exempt from filing GSTR-9 (annual return) for the said financial year. [Notification No. 31/2021 - Central Tax dated 30 July 2021]
  • Taxpayers with aggregate turnover exceeding INR 50 million for any financial year will be required to file GSTR-9C (reconciliation statement). [Notification No. 30/2021 - Central Tax dated 30 July 2021]
  • The requirement for GSTR-9C to be certified by a Chartered Accountant/Cost Accountant has been dispensed. Now, taxpayers will have to submit a self-certified GSTR-9C. [Notification No. 29/2021 - Central Tax dated 30 July 2021]

Other key aspects -  [Notification No. 30/2021 - Central Tax dated 30 July 2021]

  • There are no major changes in format/disclosures of GSTR-9 and GSTR-9C for FY 2020-21 (except removal of CA/CMA certification requirement in GSTR-9C).
  • In GSTR-9, table 15 (Particulars of Demands and Refunds), table 16 (supplies received from composition taxpayers, deemed supply under section 143 and goods sent on approval basis), table 17 (HSN Wise Summary of outward supplies), and table 18 (HSN Wise Summary of Inward supplies) would continue to remain optional for FY 2020-21.
  • In tables 6B to 6E of GSTR-9, the input tax credit (ITC) pertaining to inputs and input services can continue to be disclosed in 'Inputs.' The ITC regarding capital goods would have to be disclosed separately for FY 2020-21 as well.

Our Comments

The notifications have given effect to the decisions announced earlier by the GST Council for rationalization of compliance burden on taxpayers. However, it should be noted that there is no further simplification in the formats of GSTR-9 and GSTR-9C. Therefore, although businesses can now self-certify GSTR-9C, care must be taken to ensure the correctness of the figures with appropriate backup workings, as the same can form the basis to initiate departmental audits and inquires, which could potentially lead to litigation. Further, the GSTR-9/GSTR-9C for FY 2020-21 needs to be filed by 31 December 2021.

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