Since GST is a new taxation system in India there is a lot of confusion among taxpayers when it comes to GST Returns forms. Many medium to large scale traders have employed Chartered Accountants to help them in filing GST forms. But with a long list of return forms, the complicated structure of filing them and strict deadlines, the businessmen in India are feeling the heat.
Extension of deadlines for GSTR9 and GSTR9C
But the Indian government has come with a respite with simplifications in GSTR9 form on gstgov.in. Moreover, they have further relieved businessmen by extending the deadlines of GSTR9 and GSTR9C forms. While the deadlines of GST Annual returns form was previously 31st December of the Financial Year, a lot of businesses failed to file the form for the financial year 2017-18.
On 14 November 2019, CBIC extended the deadline for filing the GSTR9 and GSTR9C forms for Financial Year 2017-18 to 31st December 2019. They had also noted that filing two final return forms at the same time would get difficult especially for small scale businesses. So, they had extended the deadline for filing GSTR9 and GSTR9C forms from 31st December 2019 to 31st March 2020.
The government failed to provide enough information regarding deadlines and procedures resulting in poor implementation. The simplification of forms and extension of deadlines came as a much-needed boost to the poor implementation of GST at gstgov.in.
Simplifications in GSTR9 and GSTR9C forms
CBIC has made the filling of GSTR9 and GSTR9C forms on gstgov.in easy by making some of the fields optional. Significant changes include making it optional to fill in the details of sales and purchases done at HSN.
A businessman doesn’t need to fill in a breakup of ITC in the form. ITC is the Input Tax Credit that the businesses can claim over the purchase of capital goods, services and raw materials. The complete list of changes in filling the GSTR9 and GSTR9C form include:
- Every taxpayer now has the option of filling the net values of credit or debit notes as well as amendments in the same form. This was a rather tedious task when you had to report these details separately.
- A businessman doesn’t need to separately show the sale of every good or service exempted from GST separately. He can now report one compiled figure of such goods.
- You can now fill all the input tax credits in the ITC column rather than filling the input tax credit for the purchase of each good separately
- A taxpayer can now upload the details of ITC on gstgov.in by yourself without attesting it from a Chartered Accountant. This comes as a major boost for small scale traders who couldn’t afford to pay a Chartered Accountant.
CBIC has also made optional a few details that were previously mandatory to fill in GSTR9 and GSTR9C on gstgov.in. Following are the optional columns in November 2019 update of Goods and Services Annual Returns form:
- Input Tax Credit and its Reversal as availed in the previous Financial Year i.e. 2018-19 for those filing GSTR9 on gstgov.in for Financial Year 2020-21.
- The column of refunds that includes the refunds that were claimed, rejected pending or sanctioned in the current Financial year.
- The column of taxes paid, tax demands and pending taxes in the current financial year.
- The taxpayers who received supplies under Composition Scheme may now choose not to file those supplies.
- Goods or services that they had sent for approval or as a sample but didn’t come back.
- HSN-based summary of sale and purchase i.e. outward and inward supplies.
Tablewise changes in GSTR9
Table 4 and 5
You can now fill net credit and debit notes in the columns from 4B to 4E rather than filling them separately in 4I, 4J, 4K and 4L. Similarly, you can now file net credit or debit notes in 5A to 5F than filling separately in 5H, 5I, 5J and 5K columns. You don’t need to report all the exempted goods separately in 5D, 5E and 5F columns. You can fill a single summed up figure in the 5D column.
Table 6 and 7
You can now report Input Tax Credit directly in inputs row instead of filling breakup of ITC in capital goods, inputs and input service columns 6B, 6C, 6D and 6E. The taxpayers can now report the whole amount of reversal in a single column 7H instead of filling ITC reversals separately in 7A to 7E.
You can now upload the complete detail of Table 8A to Table 8D by a signed PDF without a separate certification of Chartered Accountant in GSTR9C form. All the details of GSTR2A will auto-fill the columns of Table 8A.
How does the Simplification in GSTR9 and GSTR9C Help Taxpayers?
CBIC extended the deadline for filing GSTR9 on gstgov.in 3 times before the 14th November update. They had to do it for the fourth time because there were quite a few technical glitches on the government end as reported by taxpayers. Since the taxpayers pointed at these glitches faulting the government’s, CBIC couldn’t deem them guilty.
There was a significant increase in taxpayers that filed the Annual Returns form on 31st December 2019 which testified the correct decision of CBIC. The taxpayers found it much easier to fill the forms after they were simplified. CBIC is looking at a better performance in filing returns on gstgov.in, on the 31st March 2020 deadline for the Financial Year 2018-19.
The businesses that still failed to meet the December deadline should look up to filing the form on the 31st March deadline for the next year. They need to reconcile quickly and can opt for GST Billing software to correct the mismatches in the auto-filled columns in GSTR2-A and Annual returns form. They also need to deposit any unpaid tax before the March deadline to avoid any legal issues.