Extend GSTR-9 filing for FY 2018-19: ICAI appeals to the GST Council
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The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) has urged the GST Council to consider yet another extension in the deadline to file GST annual returns for FY 2018-19. It has requested for the last date to be pushed by three more months until 31st December 2020.

After many extensions, the annual return for FY 2018-19 is due by 30th September 2020. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the ICAI wrote a letter to the GST Council, stating that a majority of the offices operate only partially.

“We request… to provide suitable relaxation to the registered persons and extend due dates of filing GSTR-9 and GSTR-9C forms for the financial year 2018-19 by three months till 31st December 2020. It would provide much-needed relief to the trade, in addressing challenges arising out of coronavirus…” the ICAI said in its letter to the GST Council, as quoted by the Livemint publication.

In May 2020, the government had extended the last date for filing annual GST returns for the 2018-19 fiscal year by three months until September 2020. It must be noted that 31st December of the year following the relevant financial year is the deadline for filing GST annual return under the GST law. If the GST Council considers ICAI’s request to extend the due date for FY 2018-19 up to 31st December 2020, then that will be sharing the deadline with the GST annual return filing for FY 2019-20. 

Also Read: The Centre clarifies about honouring the GST Compensation Dues

Companies operating in various industries are struggling to run and revive their business. Hence, compliance must be relaxed for these industries to come back on track. The month of September is crucial under the GST law. It is the last month of the year following the relevant financial year where taxpayers must reconcile their books with the GSTR-1, GSTR-2A and GSTR-3B for the financial year that ended on 31st March. Any Input Tax Credit (ITC) is missed out for claims, or any invoices or debit-credit notes have been omitted from reporting should be amended and declared in the returns filed for September 2020. 

The introduction of GSTR-2B and changes in the applicability of CGST Rule 36(4) to restrict provisional ITC at 10% in recent times makes GST data reconciliation a tedious task for businesses this year. A lot of return filing deadlines were extended from March to June. Accordingly, there is also a need to push the September deadline by a few months. In such an event, the GST annual return deadline for FY 2019-20, which is 31st December should also be extended by a month or two.

Form GSTR-9 is an annual return that taxpayers who are enrolled under the Goods and Services Tax (GST) must file every year. It consists of consolidated information about the sales, purchases and taxes payable versus paid or refunded that is split under various heads such as CGST, SGST, IGST and cess. Form GSTR-9C is a reconciliation statement between GSTR-9 and the audited yearly financial statements. CA and CMA are the professionals who can be appointed for GST audit as stipulated by the GST law.

The GST Council is set to next gather for the 42nd meeting via video conferencing to be held on 5th October 2020. Before this meeting, it will most likely be taking a call on extending the GSTR-9 and GSTR-9C deadline for FY 2018-19.

For any clarifications/feedback on the topic, please contact the writer at annapoorna.m@cleartax.in

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