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What is GST annual return?

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What is GST annual return?

The filing date of the annual statements and the GST audit for 2017-18 has been again extended, this time for three months, from 31 August to 30 November, due to technical problems and problems facing reconciliation.

According to tax experts, Excel Utility, which is used to send and upload returns, was not ready until two days ago. Others said they found it difficult to file GSTR-9C, the conciliation statement to be filed by taxpayers who must file the GST audit.

“The problem is that when you upload the form, the system requests validation. For validation, you must generate XML, which you might not be able to generate. If the XML file is generated, the system will display errors,” says Rajat Mohan, Partner, AMRG, and Associates. He, however, says that the problem is mainly because most taxpayers use hacked and duplicate software. “If you have original software on your system, you may not face these issues,” he says, adding that taxpayers can use ASP and GSP services to easily file returns.

While technical failure is one of the reasons, the biggest problem seems to be the reconciliation of returns with financial statements, that is what GSTR-9C is all about.

In 2017-18, taxpayers continued to file returns despite changes in laws and tax rates. Then there were errors and differences with the financial statements. As part of the annual GST statement and GST audit, taxpayers have to reconcile those statements with financial statements and when reconciled, there are differences. Therefore, reconciliations are taking a long time as taxpayers fear that if they report differences, then there will be questions from the tax department.

Some experts also regret the fact that the government is asking for too much detail in GST’s annual statements. The goal, it seems, is to investigate all taxpayers, some experts say.

Pune-based public accountant Pritam Mature said filing both the annual statement and the GST audit is a long process. “Both GSTR 9 and GSTR 9C have 10 pages each. The annual GST return form has 19 boards and 350 boxes to drill. They ask for HSN-level details of all purchases in returns,” Mature says, explaining the difficulties taxpayers face.

As part of the GST Annual Declaration and The GST Audit, two GSTR 9 and GSTR 9C forms must be submitted. GSTR 9 is a consolidation of all filings, while GSTR 9C is a reconciliation of the financial statements with the filings.

While annual statements and 2017-18 audit reports would now be filed only before November 30, the deadline for filing annual statements and GST audits for 2018-19 is December 31, 2019. There are other deadlines to meet and other things to meet to be done The new return system will be implemented from October, electronic invoicing will start from January 2020, and an audit must also be performed by GST officials.

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