The Goods and Services Tax (GST) was implemented in India on 1st July 2017, with the aim of simplifying the tax structure and creating a unified market across the country. With the introduction of this new tax regime, it was crucial to establish a robust system for filing returns and ensuring compliance.
Under the GST regime, businesses are required to file various returns depending on their turnover and nature of business. Two returns that are commonly filed by most businesses are GSTR-9 and GSTR-9C. While both of these returns are aimed at reconciling the data provided in the regular monthly or quarterly returns, they serve different purposes and have distinct requirements.
GSTR-9 is an annual return that needs to be filed by registered taxpayers who are not eligible for the composition scheme or those who are not required to file GSTR-9A or GSTR-9B. This return is essentially a consolidation of all the monthly or quarterly returns filed during the financial year. It provides a summary of all the inward and outward supplies, input tax credit availed or reversed, and taxes paid during the year.
In simpler terms, GSTR-9 provides a detailed account of the business's financial activities throughout the year. It includes information about supplies made within the state, supplies made outside the state, and supplies made to consumers who are not registered under GST. It also includes details of exempted, nil-rated, and non-GST supplies. Additionally, it captures information about the amount of tax paid, any additional liability, and the total refund claimed during the year.
On the other hand, GSTR-9C is a reconciliation statement and audit report that needs to be furnished by registered taxpayers whose annual turnover exceeds Rs. 2 crore. This return is required to be certified by a chartered accountant or a cost accountant. GSTR-9C aims to ensure the accuracy and reliability of the data provided in GSTR-9.
GSTR-9C consists of two parts - reconciliation statement and certification. The reconciliation statement is used to reconcile the data provided in the GSTR-9 return with the audited annual financial statements of the business. It includes details such as the turnover as per audited financials, turnover as per the GST returns, and the reasons for any discrepancies.
The certification part of GSTR-9C involves the certification of the reconciliation statement and other financial statements by a chartered accountant or a cost accountant. The certifier is responsible for ensuring the correctness of the information provided in the return and confirming that the business has complied with all the provisions of GST.
In essence, GSTR-9C acts as a double-check mechanism to ensure that the data provided by the taxpayer in GSTR-9 is accurate and complies with the GST law. It helps in minimizing errors and detecting any discrepancies in the financial information provided by the taxpayer.
While GSTR-9 focuses on providing a consolidated view of the financial activities of the business, GSTR-9C goes a step further by adding an additional layer of scrutiny and verification. It ensures that the financial statements prepared by the business are reliable and can be trusted by the government and other stakeholders.
It is important to note that GSTR-9 and GSTR-9C are subject to different due dates. GSTR-9 is required to be filed by 31st December of the subsequent financial year, providing taxpayers with ample time to compile and consolidate their financial data. On the other hand, GSTR-9C is required to be filed by 31st December, followed by the certification by the chartered accountant or cost accountant.
In conclusion, GSTR-9 and GSTR-9C serve different purposes under the GST regime. While GSTR-9 provides a summary of the financial activities of the business throughout the year, GSTR-9C acts as a reconciliation statement and audit report to ensure the accuracy and reliability of the data in GSTR-9. It is important for businesses to understand the differences between these two returns and comply with the filing requirements to avoid penalties and ensure transparency in their financial reporting under the GST regime.