Section 44 of CGST Act: Last Date Extended GST Annual Return Indirect Tax


Amended and updated notes on GST annual return i.e. section 44 of CGST Act, 2017. Detail discussion on provisions and rules related to annual return under Goods and Services Tax in India.

Chapter IX (Sections 3748) of the Central Goods and Services Tax Act, 2017 deals with the provisions related to returns. Section 44 of CGST 2017 provides for annual return.

Recently, we have discussed in detail section 43A (Procedure for furnishing return and availing input tax credit) of CGST Act 2017. Today, we learn the provisions of section 44 of Central GST Act 2017.

Section 44 of the Central Goods and Services Tax Act, 2017 has been notified by the Ministry of Finance vide Notification No. 9/2017-Central Tax, G.S.R. 658(E), dated 28.06.2017. This notification was come into force from 1st July, 2017 i.e. the commencement date of section 44 is 1-7-2017.

Updated Due Date (28.02.2021): Last date for filing GST Annual Return (GSTR-9 or 9A and GSTR-9C) is further extended to 31-March-2021 for Financial Year 2019-20 vide Notification No. 04/2021 G.S.R. 142(E) dated 28th February, 2021.

Notes on Section 44 – GST Annual Return

As per section sub-section (1) of section 44 of CGST Act
2017 read with sub-rule (1) of Rule 80 of the Central GST Rules 2017, every
person registered under GST shall file an annual return in FORM GSTR-9 for
every financial year on or before 31st December.

In accordance with the provisions of sub-section (2) of section 44 of CGST Act 2017 read with Rule 80(3) of GST Rules 2017, if your aggregate turnover exceed ₹2 Crore, you are required to get your accounts audited and submit a copy of the audited annual accounts and the reconciliation statement duly certified in FORM GSTR-9C.

Compulsory filing GSTR-9:

That means GSTR-9 is a GST annual return to be filed by every taxpayer registered under GST Act. Thus, you have to file your GSTR-9 on or before 31-Dec-2020 for FY 2018-19 and on or before 31-March-2021 for FY 2019-20.

Optional filing GSTR-9:

If your turnover is not more than ₹2 Crore, you may opt for not filing GSTR-9 annual return in respect of financial years 2017-18 and 2018-19. In other words, FORM GSTR-9 filing for businesses with turnover up to ₹2,00,00,000 made optional only for FY 2017-18 and FY 2018-19 vide Notification No. 47/2019-Central Tax dated 9th October, 2019.

However, if you have filed GSTR-9 even after due date it shall be deemed to be furnished on the due date.

Eligibility for Nil GSTR-9 Return:

You can file “NIL” GSTR-9 RETURN only if you have:

  1. Not made any outward supply (commonly known as sale); AND
  2. Not received any inward supplies (commonly known as purchase) of goods/services; AND
  3. No liability of any kind; AND
  4. Not claimed any Credit during the Financial Year; AND
  5. Not received any order creating demand; AND
  6. Not claimed any refund during the Financial Year.

GSTR-9 can be filed online. It can also be prepared on Offline Tool and then uploaded on the Portal and filed. Annual return in form GSTR-9 is required to be filed by every taxpayer registered as normal taxpayer during the relevant financial year.

All applicable statements in Forms GSTR-1 and returns in Form GSTR 3B of the financial year shall have been filed before filing GSTR-9. In case you are required to file GSTR-9C (Reconciliation statement and Certification); shall be enabled on the dashboard post filing of GSTR-9.

Prepare and submit Form GSTR-9 Online:

Following are the steps to be followed while preparing online GSTR-9 return:

  1. Click on ‘Prepare Online’;
  2. Select from the questionnaire page, whether you wish to file NIL Annual return;
  3. You may download the draft system generated GSTR-9, summary of GSTR-1 and summary of GSTR-3B from GSTR-9 dashboard for your reference;
  4. If number of records/lines are less than or equal to 500 records per table (Table 17 and Table 18), then you may use this facility;
  5. Fill in the details in different tables and click on ‘Compute Liabilities’; and
  6. Click on ‘Proceed to file’ and ‘File GSTR-9’ with DSC/EVC.
  7. Additional liability, if any declared in this return can be paid through Form GST DRC-03 by selecting ‘Annual Return’ from the drop down in the said form. Such liability can be paid only through cash.

Note:To file your annual return, filing of all GSTR-1 and GSTR-3B returns are mandatory. File your pending GSTR-1/3B return(s) and try again.

If number of records/lines either in Table-17 or Table-18 are more than 500 records per table, then you can prepare your return by using the offline utility only and the same can be subsequently uploaded on Common Portal.

Not Required to File GSTR-9:

Note that a person paying GST under composition scheme i.e. under section 10 (Composition levy) shall furnish the annual return in FORM GSTR-9A instead of GSTR-9. However, the following persons are not required to file annual return in Form GSTR-9:

  1. Input Service Distributor (GSTR-6)
  2. A person paying GST (TDS) under section 51 (GSTR-7)
  3. Electronic commerce operator paying GST (TCS) u/s 52 (GSTR-9B)
  4. A casual taxable person (CTP); and
  5. A non-resident taxable person (NRI)

Notice for not filing GSTR-9:

You may receive a notice electronically in FORM GSTR-3A if fails to furnish return under section 44 of CGST Act 2017.

Section 44 of Central GST – Annual return

Section 44 of CGST Act 2017 shall come into force on 01.07.2017 vide Notification No. 9/2017-Central Tax, G.S.R. 658(E), dated 28.06.2017. First and second proviso of section 44 was inserted by the Finance (No. 2) Act, 2019 w.e.f. 1-Jan-2020 vide 01/2020-Central Tax

Section 44(1): 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.

Provided that the Commissioner may, on the recommendations of the Council and for reasons to be recorded in writing, by notification, extend the time limit for furnishing the annual return for such class of registered persons as may be specified therein:

Provided further that any extension of time limit notified by the Commissioner of State tax or the Commissioner of Union territory tax shall be deemed to be notified by the Commissioner.

Section 44(2): Every registered person who is required to get his accounts audited in accordance with the provisions of sub-section (5) of section 35 shall furnish, electronically, the annual return under sub-section (1) along with a copy of the audited annual accounts and a reconciliation statement, reconciling the value of supplies declared in the return furnished for the financial year with the audited annual financial statement, and such other particulars as may be prescribed.



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