With less than a month left for the deadline to file the annual GST returns and audit reports, businesses are still awaiting the online utility on the GST portal as well as more clarity on various provisions and are hoping to get an extension in the due date. Almost all registered taxpayers under the GST are required to file annual returns by December 31 in GSTR-9. Further, businesses with an annual turnover of over ₹2 crore pan India also need to file an audit report under GSTR-9C by the end of this month.
Trade and industry is seeking an extension till March 31, 2019, hoping that apart from the online utility, the government will also clarify on various requirements in the forms.
One of the biggest challenges in the GSTR-9 annual returns is the requirement for HSN-wise information of the goods supplied and purchased. However, experts say that the HSN code for inward supplies was not captured for GSTR-3B returns and now businesses will have to review all their past purchases and monthly returns to file this. Another problem is the bifurcation of input tax credit availed such as inputs, input service and capital goods, which again did not have to be done in the GSTR-3B returns. Experts say that for small businesses, the lack of clarity and requirement to review all past purchases would require more time.
“Industry requires clarity on a number of issues including HSN code for inward supplies, availing of input tax credit and rectification of mistakes. Further, the utility for filing these forms is also not available on the GST portal till now. In such a situation, the government should consider clarifying these issues and also extending the due date to March 31, 2019,” said Bimal Jain, Executive Director, A2Z Taxcorp.
Similarly, the GST audit report will require virtually a reconciliation of the entire financials such as balance sheet and P&L with the GST return on a State-wide basis. “For large companies, with registration across the country or even in say 30 States and UTs would be a mammoth task,” said a tax expert, who did not wish to be named, adding that the forms were notified as late as September, giving little time to taxpayers to understand the requirements.