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Comparison Between GSTR 9 Annual & GSTR 9C Audit Return

It’s similar to school, where you have a few midterms before the final exams. The GST Act treats the return ecosystem similarly. You file a few specific returns before moving on to the annual return. GSTR 9 & 9C are the annual returns that mark the end of your GST compliance for the year. It has been observed throughout the industry that new and even existing taxpayers have very little knowledge when it comes to filing GSTR 9 & 9C on their own. This article will take you on an in-depth tour of how to approach and comply with GSTR 9 & 9C like a pro.

Say Hello To GSTR-9 & 9C

It is a logical norm that before you begin complying with a rule, regulation, or section, you should first understand why it exists. Let’s go over the fundamentals of GSTR 9 & 9C quickly so that we can smoothly transition into the compliance phase.

What are GSTR 9 and 9C?

GSTR 9 is an annual GST return. The GSTR 9 must be filed by a registered taxpayer once a year. It contains information on outward and inward supplies made/received during the relevant fiscal year under various tax heads, such as HSN, CGST, SGST, IGST, and SGST codes. It is a collection of all monthly/quarterly returns (GSTR-1, GSTR-2A, and GSTR-3B) filed during the calendar year. Despite its complexities, this return contributes to extensive data reconciliation for completely transparent disclosures.

GSTR 9C is an audit form that taxpayers with a turnover of more than Rs.2 crores must file annually. It is essentially a reconciliation statement between the taxpayer’s audited annual financial statements and the annual returns filed in GSTR 9.


GSTR-9C is reliant on the GSTR-9 Annual Return. As a result, the annual return must come first. Also, taxpayers should keep in mind that the return can only be filed once, and there are no provisions for revising it. Furthermore, the maximum penalty for failing to file the GSTR-9 return is 0.25% of total turnover in the respective state/union territory.

Who Is Required to File GSTR 9?

Following are the people who if fulfils the requirements have to file GSTR 9:

  • The person must be a registered taxpayer under the GST with a 15 digit PAN based GSTIN.
  • The aggregate turnover of the business should be greater than 20 lakh rupees.
  • This return applies to all registered tax payers under the GST excluding those who have a Unique Identification Number (UIN) and non-resident tax payers.
  • You need to capture the details of all your transactions at the invoice level for the entire year. This includes intra-state and inter-state transactions, B2B and B2C transactions, transactions associated with exempted items, non-GST supplies and stock transfers between your business locations that are located across different states.

Who Is Exempt from Filing GSTR 9 & 9C?

As previously stated, all regular taxpayers are required by the GST Act to file GSTR 9. However, there are some exceptions who may not be required to file GSTR 9. On the list are:

  1. Casual Taxable Individual
  2. Distributors of input services
  3. Non-resident taxable individuals
  4. Individuals who collect taxes under Section 52 of the GST Act
  5. Section 51 of the GST Act defines a person deducting taxes (TDS).
  6. Retrieval of Online Information and Database Access

In the case of GSTR-9C, in addition to the individuals listed above who are exempt from GSTR-9, Composition Dealers and registered taxpayers with an annual turnover of less than Rs 2 Crores for a given financial year are exempt from submitting the GSTR-9C reconciliation statement.


  • Composition Tax Payers registered under the Composition scheme will also not have to file GSTR 9 because they have to file GSTR 9A.
  • Any e-commerce (website or portal) who can collate TCS (Tax Collected at Source) because they have to file GSTR 9B

What is the GSTR 9 Due Date?

The deadline for filing GSTR-9 for a financial year is December 31st of the year following the relevant financial year. For example, the GSTR-9 due date for financial year 2021-22 is December 31, 2022.

What are the ramifications of failing to complete GSTR 9?

Filing GSTR 9 & 9C is a requirement, and failure to do so will result in penalties. As a result, the total liability is Rs 200 per day of noncompliance. This is limited to 0.25% of the taxpayer’s turnover in the applicable state or union territory. However, there is currently no late fee on IGST. This late fee includes 100 INR in CGST and 100 INR in SGST per day. The penalty will not be greater than the taxpayer’s quarterly turnover.

Things to Get in Place Before you File GSTR 9

  • A taxpayer must be registered as a normal taxpayer under GST for at least one day during the financial year.
  • The details provided by you in Form GSTR-3B for the relevant financial year will auto-fill the complete table number 9 – Details of Tax Paid as Declared in Returns Filed During the Financial Year.
  • Because GSTR-9 is a compilation of data in GSTR-1 and GSTR-3B, a taxpayer must have filed GSTR-1 and GSTR-3B for the financial year before filing the annual return.
  • Table 8A will be auto-filled based on the information auto-populated in GSTR-2A and is not editable.
  • Please keep in mind that table 6A will be auto-filled based on the GSTR-3B and is not editable.

The action of ‘accurate reconciliation of GSTR 1 to GSTR 3B & Accounting Books’ clearly plays a major role in the above list of prerequisites prescribed for filing GSTR 9. Finsights has made the reconciliation requirement very simple and quick. You will have no trouble completing the reconciliation step thanks to our automation system and highly dynamic app’s interface. Click Here

How to File GSTR 9?

Step 1: Log in and go to the GSTR-9 page

  1. a) Log in to the GST Portal, navigate to the ‘Returns Dashboard,’ and then select ‘Annual Return.’
  2. b) On the ‘File Annual Returns’ page, select the ‘Financial Year’.
  3. c) An important message will appear outlining the steps to be taken for the GSTR-9 Online/Offline filing. Select ‘Online Preparation.’

Step 2: Fill out a questionnaire 

  1. Choose between a NIL return and an annual data return. By clicking ‘Yes’ or ‘No,’ you can indicate whether you want to file a Nil return for the financial year. 

Select ‘Yes’ only if all of the following criteria are met.

  1. There is no external supply.
  2. There has been no receipt of goods or services.
  3. There are no other liabilities to report.
  4. I have not claimed any credit.
  5. No refund was requested.
  6. There was no demand order received.
  7. There is no need to pay late fees.
If you select ‘Yes’ to file NIL returns, then click ‘Next’ to Compute Liabilities and submit a NIL GSTR-9. If you select ‘No’ to NIL returns and then click ‘Next,’ a page titled ‘GSTR-9 Annual Return for Normal Taxpayers’ will appear. It will contain various tiles that must be filled out with information

b) To download, click on all three tabs:

The summaries that can be downloaded will assist taxpayers with the details that must be provided in the various tiles of GSTR-9.
  • System Computed Summary for GSTR-9
  • Summary of GSTR-1
  • Summary of GSTR-3B 

Step 3: Fill out the necessary information in the various tables for the financial year.

GSTR-9 consists of six sections and nineteen parts. In general, this form requests annual sales disclosure, categorising them as taxed or not. The annual value of inward supplies and ITC received must be disclosed on the purchase side. In addition, these purchases must be labelled as inputs, input services, or capital goods. Information about ITCs that must be reversed due to ineligibility must be entered. Some important tables that must be filled out with accurate information are listed below for your convenience:
  •  Table 4(N): Details of advances, inward and outward supplies made during the financial year on which tax is payable.
  • Table (5M): Details of outward supplies made during the financial year on which tax is not payable
  • Table 6(O): ITC availed details during the financial year
  • Table 7(I): Details of ITC reversed and Ineligible ITC for the financial year
  • Table 8(A): Other ITC related information 
  • Table 9: Details of tax paid as declared in returns filed during the financial year
  • Table 10 & 11: Differential tax paid on account of declaration
  • Table 12 & 13: Details of the previous Financial Year’s transactions reported in the next Financial Year
  • Table 15: Particulars of Demands and Refunds
  • Table 16: Supplies received from Composition taxpayers, deemed supply by job worker and goods sent on approval basis
  • Table 17: HSN wise summary of Outward Supplies
  • Table 18: HSN wise summary of Inward Supplies

Latest Updates:

The Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) has issued a notification allowing ITC claims and invoice amendments until November 30, 2022. The GST portal has begun accepting amendments for the financial year 2021-22 in the October 2022 return period as of last week. 

Simply explaining, earlier the entries which were allowed to be submitted from April to September and the return filing was done in October is now extended likewise

  • Entries to be submitted of a period from April to October
  • Return filing to be carried out before or on 30th November.

Step 4: View draft GSTR-9 in either Excel or PDF format.

A taxpayer can view a PDF/Excel preview of the form.  For a PDF preview, 
  1. Click on the GSTR-9 dashboard
  2. Click Preview GSTR-9 (PDF).
For an Excel preview,
  1. On the GSTR-9 dashboard, choose Preview GSTR-9 (Excel).
  2. A draft of the document will be downloaded, and a link will be displayed.
  3. Click the link to download a zip file from which the summary GSTR-9 excel file can be extracted.

Step 5: Determine liabilities and late fees.

When you click compute liabilities, the GST portal will process all of the information in the various tables. It also computes late fees if a return is not filed on time. After some time, a confirmation message will appear, allowing you to proceed with the filing.  The taxpayer can make the payment using funds from the electronic cash ledger. If there are insufficient funds in the cash ledger, an additional payment can be made via Netbanking, over the counter, or NEFT/RTGS by generating an additional payment challan. GSTR-9 cannot be filed until the late fee, if applicable, has been paid.

Step 6: File GSTR 9

  1. Check the declaration box, then click the ‘Authorised Signatory’ button.
  2. Select ‘File GSTR-9.’A page for Submitting Application will appear, with two filing options.
  • File with DSC: The taxpayer must search for and choose the certificate. Sign and send.
  • File with EVC: A one-time password (OTP) will be sent to the registered email address and mobile phone number. Check the OTP. When validation is successful, the status of the return is changed to ‘Filed.’

Actions After Filing GSTR 9

An ARN will be generated once the Annual Return is filed. For the successful filing of the return, the taxpayer receives a confirmation message via SMS and email. After receiving this message you can probably consider that your GSTR 9 along with GSTR 9C (if applicable) is filed.


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