Key 8 suggestions on Annual Return Format – Form GSTR-9

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In terms of Section 44(1) of the CGST Act, 2017, every registered person, other than an Input Service Distributor, a person paying tax under Section 51 (TDS deductor) or Section 52 (TCS collector), a casual taxable person and a non-resident taxable person, shall furnish an Annual Return for every financial year on or before the 31st day of December following the end of such financial year. The Government vide Notification No. 39/2018 – Central Tax dated September 4, 2018 has notified the format of Annual Return Form GSTR-9 (for normal taxpayers) and Form GSTR-9A (for composition taxpayers).

Considering the complexity of Form GSTR-9 under the given time frame of  3 months for due date of 31st December, following are some suggestions which the Government may like to consider:

I   Table 5: Clarity on Meaning of terms ‘Exempted’, ‘NIL Rated’, ‘Non-GST supply’

Part D, E and F of Table 5 i.e. ‘Details of outward supplies on which tax is not payable as declared in returns filed during the FY’ requires separate disclosure as to the following:

Part of Table 5 of Form GSTR-9 Particulars
Part D Exempted outward supply
Part E Nil-Rated outward supply
Part F Non-GST outward supply


  • Exempt supplies already include Nil-rated supplies – Definition of ‘exempt supply’ under Section 2(47) of the CGST Act, 2017 is given as under:

“exempt supply” means supply of any goods or services or both which attracts nil rate of tax or which may be wholly exempt from tax under section 11, or under section 6 of the Integrated Goods and Services Tax Act, and includes non-taxable supply

Thus, when definition of exempt supply itself includes Nil rated supplies, separate mention of the same under Part E above will add to confusions.

  • Clarity on meaning of non-GST supply – As seen supra that definition of exempt supply includes non-taxable supply i.e. a supply of goods or services or both which is not leviable to tax under this Act [Section 2(78) of the CGST Act, 2017], hence, scope of non-GST supplies is not understood. This confusion persists in current format of GSTR-3B as well which requires separate reporting of non-GST outward supplies apart from exempted outward supply, which includes non-taxable supplies, Nil rated supplies and exempted supply. Thus, clarity on items included in non-GST supplies is required.

II  Table 6: No need for bifurcation of ITC into inputs, input services and capital goods

Table 6 of Form GSTR-9 while capturing details of ITC availed as declared in returns filed during the FY, also asks for details of such ITC on inward supplies bifurcated between credits availed on inputs, input services and capital goods which is not required in the present monthly return Form GSTR-3B.


  • Dispensing bifurcation of ITC for first year – Since there is no difference in treatment of ITC on goods and services, such bifurcation of total ITC on inward supplies between credits availed on inputs, input services and capital goods may be dispensed with for the first year as the assesses might not have maintained and/ or recorded such data due to non-requirement in Form GSTR-3B.

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