GSTR 9 is a return form that provides a detailed summary of supplies and the applicable taxes on them. It also provides a valuable insight into – the amount of tax paid, input tax credit and refund claimed in a financial year when the annual return is filed. The document further contains details about the annual turnover and audit information. Ideally, such a form is to be filed by normal taxpayers who are registered under the Goods and Services Tax system.

As per GST norms, the last date for filing GSTR 9 is before 30th December of the subsequent year. For instance, if one pays GST for the year 2020, then he/she has to file it before 31st December 2021.

Types of GSTR 9

In a broader sense, GSTR 9 can be divided into four parts, namely –

  • GSTR 9 

This annual return has to be filed by those who are registered as normal taxpayers under GST and also file GSTR 1 and GSTR 3B.

  • GSTR 9A

Registered composite dealers file this particular return.

  • GSTR 9B

This particular form is filed by e-commerce operators who are entrusted with the task to collect tax at source. However, before filing GSTR 9B, they should have filed GSTR 8 for a given financial year.

  • GSTR 9C

It serves as an audit form and has to be filed by all taxpayers whose total annual income is more than Rs. 2 crore, and they further have to get their reports audited.

Components of GSTR 9

At a glance, the GSTR 9 format collects essential information about taxpayers’ inward and outward supplies, paid tax amount, ITC and several other factors that influence tax liability of any given year.

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GSTR 9 comprise 19 tables that are further grouped into 6 parts, as discussed below –

Part 1 – It comprises necessary details like GSTIN, financial year, legal and trade name.

Part 2 – It provides consolidated details of outward supplies and advances on which tax was paid during a given financial year. Taxpayers need to provide details of all outward supplies which does not attract taxation as per the filed returns during the given year.

Part 3 – This part is further divided into 3 components and contains details like input tax credit. The subsections comprise these following details –

  • 1st subsection – It encompasses details related to the input tax credit received and declared in the returns that were filed in the given financial year. Typically, such information is obtained from Form GSTR 3B.
  • 2nd subsection – Taxpayers have to provide details of an ineligible input tax credit, and input tax reversed declared in the returns filed in a given financial year.
  • 3rd subsection – This subsection contains details of an auto-populated input tax credit.

Part 4 – This part contains details of tax that has been paid in a financial year.

Part 5 – Taxpayers are required to provide information on amendments made for all the supplies of last financial year in tax returns between April and September of the prevailing fiscal year. Alternatively, it may contain details of the amendment for supplies of the last filing in annual returns of the previous fiscal year (whichever comes first).

Part 6 – Individuals have to provide details related to the demand, refund and supplies received from the deemed supply, composition taxpayer and goods that were sent on approval basis. This subsection also contains details like HSN summary of both inward and outward supplies and late fees if any.

Who should File GSTR 9?

These following taxpayers need to file GSTR 9 as per the current norms of the Goods and Service Tax rules in India –

  • Normal taxpayers who are registered under the GST regime and have a 15-digit PAN oriented GSTIN.
  • Taxpayers with a total turnover of more than Rs. 20 lakh.
  • Normal taxpayers who are no longer a beneficiary of the Composition Scheme.
  • SEZ developers or SEZ units.
  • OIDAR service providers.

Entities need to record the details of their transactions at the invoice level for a year. Ideally, such transactions include the inter-state and intra-state transactions, B2C and B2B transactions. Also, transactions related to exempted goods, non-GST compliant supplies and stock transfer between inter-state business locations are included.

One must note, there are a few GST-registered entities who are not required to file the GSTR 9. These include –

  • Casual taxpayers
  • Input service distributors
  • Non-resident taxpayers

Notably, casual taxpayers have to file the GSTR 9A instead of this form.

Implications of Not Filing GSTR 9

Taxpayers will be subject to late fee or penalty if they fail to file taxes before the due date –

Act  Late filing fee/day 
State Goods and Services Act, 2017 Rs. 100
State Goods and Services Act, 2017

Or Union Territory Goods and Services Act, 2017

Rs. 100
Total  Rs. 200

One must note that the total late filing fee for every annual GST return cannot exceed 0.25% of the total turnover.

Steps to File GSTR 9 – Online Mode

Before proceeding with GSTR 9 filing, a taxpayer has to sign and authenticate the returns either using an Aadhaar-based signature verification system or through a digital signature certificate.

By following these steps, taxpayers can file GSTR 9 online –

Step 1 – Login into GST portal with the help of credentials.

Step 2 – Navigate to “Services” and then to “Returns”.

Step 3 – Click on Annual Return.

Step 4 – Once redirected to the ‘File Annual Returns’ select the relevant ‘Financial Year.’

Step 5 – Click on the ‘Search’ button.

Step 6 – Make sure to go through the ‘Important Message’ and then proceed to click on ‘Prepare Online’ tile.

Step 7 – Depending on the intent, select – ‘Yes’ to file ‘Nil Return’ or select ‘No’ and then click ‘Next’.

Step 8 – After selecting ‘Yes’ to file nil return, click on ‘Next’. Subsequently, Compute liabilities and then proceed to file the Digital Signature Certificate/ Electronic Verification Code.

Alternatively, on selecting ‘No’, you will be redirected to the ‘Annual Return for Normal Taxpayer’ page.

Step 9 – Click on each of the displayed sections and fill up the requisite details.

Step 10 – To view the GSTR 9 summary in Excel or PDF format, click on the ‘Preview button’.

Step 11 – To calculate the late fee, click on ‘Compute Liabilities’. Once a message pops on the page, click on the refresh button. Subsequently, a tile reading – ‘Late fee payable and paid’ will be displayed. Along with it, information like available cash balance will be shown in the ‘Electronic Cash Ledger Balance’.

Step 12 – In case the cash balance is less than the tax liability, the details will appear in the column ‘Additional Cash Required’.

Step 13 – Click on ‘Create Challan’ for an auto-populated challan to appear.

Step 14 – Select a suitable payment mode and then click on ‘Generate challan’.

Step 15 – Once the challan is generated, the user has to click on ‘Preview Draft GSTR 9 (PDF)’ to download the form.

Step 16 – Check the declaration box, the authorised signatory and then proceed to click on ‘File GSTR 9’ button.

Step 17 – Proceed to click on ‘Yes’ when a warning page appears.

Steps to Checks GSTR 9 Status 

One can easily check the GSTR 9 filing status, by following these steps –

Step 1 – Use credentials to log in to the GST portal.

Step 2 – Navigate to ‘Services’.

Step 3 – Click on ‘Returns’ and then on ‘Track Return Status’.

Step 4 – Check GSTR status with the help of the return filing period or ARN.

Alternatively, users can track GSTR status by simply selecting a status type from the drop-down. Usually, there are four types of return status, namely – filed-valid, filed-invalid, to be filed and submitted but not filed.

Difference between GSTR 9 and GSTR 9A

This table below emphasises the differences between GSTR 9 and GSTR 9A in brief –

Parameters  GSTR 9 GSTR 9A
Who should file it? Taxpayers who come under the purview of GST have to file GSTR 9. All composition taxpayers who are registered with GST.
Need for audit  There is no requirement for getting accounts audited. There is no such requirement for getting accounts audited.

Notably, GST registered taxpayers who generate a turnover of more than Rs. 5 crore in a given fiscal year are required to file GSTR 9C. They also need to get their accounts audited by either a Cost Accountant or a Chartered Accountant.

Things to Remember While Filing GSTR 9

One should keep in mind these prerequisites before GSTR 9 filing –

  • Individuals should have been registered as a normal taxpayer under GST for a minimum of one day in a given financial year.
  • The table 6A is auto-filled on the basis of GSTR 3B and is not editable.
  • Taxpayers should file GSTR 1 and GSTR 3B for a given fiscal year before they proceed to file the GSTR 9 annual return. It is because GSTR 9 is a compiled data that is filed in GSTR 1 and GSTR 3B.

Taxpayers should note that before filing GSTR return, it is essential to become familiar with the prerequisites of GSTR 9 in detail. They also need to be alert of the last date of filing and the accompanying implications of missing it.