Central GST Trade Advisory August, 2019
As you all must be aware, the due-date to file the Annual Return and Reconciliation Statement i.e. 31st August, 2019 is fast approaching. As this is the first time Annual Return is being filed, the duedate had already been extended many times before by the government to give sufficient time to get accustomed and familiar with the Return. Various representations had been received to make the Return filing simpler and easier. The GST Council and the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) have already taken steps to solve majority of the issues and detailed advisories have been issued in this regard.
To further simplify the things for you, the bullet points regarding the Annual Return and Reconciliation Statement for information of all of you are summarized below:
1) Payment of any unpaid tax: Section 73 of the CGST Act provides a unique opportunity of selfcorrection to all taxpayers i.e. if a taxpayer has not paid, short paid or has erroneously obtained/been granted refund or has wrongly availed or utilized input tax credit then before the service of a notice by any tax authority, the taxpayer may pay the amount of tax with interest. In such cases, no penalty shall be leviable on such tax payer. Therefore, in cases where some information has not been furnished in the statement of outward supplies in FORM GSTR-1 or in the regular returns in FORM GSTR-3B, such taxpayers may pay the tax with interest through FORM GST DRC-03 at any time. In fact, the annual return provides an additional opportunity for such taxpayers to declare the summary of supply against which payment of tax is made.
2) Primary data source for declaration in annual return: Time and again taxpayers have been requesting as to what should be the primary source of data for filing of the annual return and the reconciliation statement. There has been some confusion over using FORM GSTR-1, FORM GSTR-3B or books of accounts as the primary source of information. It is important to note that both FORM GSTR-1 and FORM GSTR-3B serve different purposes. While, FORM GSTR-1 is an account of details of outward supplies, FORM GSTR-3B is where the summaries of all transactions are declared and payments are made. Ideally, information in FORM GSTR-1, FORM GSTR-3B and books of accounts should be synchronous and the values should match across different forms and the books of accounts. If the same does not match, there can be broadly two scenarios, either tax was not paid to the Government or tax was paid in excess. In the first case, the same shall be declared in the annual return and tax should be paid and in the latter all information may be declared in the annual return and refund (if eligible) may be applied through FORM GST RFD-01A. Further, no input tax credit can be reversed or availed through the annual return. If taxpayers find themselves liable for reversing any input tax credit, they may do the same through FORM GST DRC-03 separately.
3) Premise of Table 8D of Annual Return: There appears to be some confusion regarding declaration of input tax credit in Table 8 of the annual return. The input tax credit which is declared / computed in Table 8D is basically credit that was available to a taxpayer in his FORM GSTR-2A but was not availed by him between July, 2017 to March, 2019. The deadline has already passed and the taxpayer cannot avail such credit now. There is no question of lapsing of any such credit, since this credit never entered the electronic credit ledger of any taxpayer. Therefore, taxpayers need not be concerned about the values reflected in this table. This is merely an information that the Government needs for settlement purposes. Figures in Table 8A of FORM GSTR-9 are autopopulated only for those FORM GSTR-1 which were furnished by the corresponding suppliers by the due date. Thus, ITC on supplies made during the financial year 2017-18, if reported beyond the said date by the corresponding supplier, will not get auto-populated in said Table 8A. It may also be noted that FORM GSTR-2A continues to be auto-populated on the basis of the corresponding FORM GSTR-1 furnished by suppliers even after the due date. In such cases there would be a mismatch between the updated FORM GSTR-2A and the auto-populated information in Table 8A. It is important to note that Table 8A of the annual returns is auto-populated from FORM GSTR-2A as on 1st May, 2019.
4) Premise of Table 8J of Annual Return: In the press release on annual return issued earlier on 4th June 2019, it has already been clarified that all credit of IGST paid at the time of imports between July 2017 to March 2019 may be declared in Table 6E. If the same is done properly by a taxpayer, then Table 8I and 8J shall contain information on credit which was available to the taxpayer and the taxpayer chose not to avail the same. The deadline has already passed and the taxpayer cannot avail such credit now. There is no question of lapsing of any such credit, since this credit never entered the electronic credit ledger of any taxpayer. Therefore, taxpayers need not be concerned about the values reflected in this table. This is information that the Government needs for settlement purposes.
5) Difficulty in reporting of information not reported in regular returns: There have been a number of representations regarding non-availability of information in Table16A or 18 of Annual return in FORM GSTR-9. It has been observed that smaller taxpayers are facing a lot of challenge in reporting information that was not being explicitly reported in their regular statement/returns (FORM GSTR-1 and FORM GSTR-3B). Therefore, taxpayers are advised to declare all such data / details (which are not part of their regular statement/returns) to the best of their knowledge and records. This data is only for information purposes and reasonable/explainable variations in the information reported in these tables will not be viewed adversely.
6) Information in Table 5D (Exempted), Table 5E (Nil Rated) and Table 5F (Non-GST Supply): It has been represented by various trade bodies/associations that there appears to be some confusion over what values are to be entered in Table 5D,5E and 5F of FORM GSTR-9. Since, there is some overlap between supplies that are classifiable as exempted and nil rated and since there is no tax payable on such supplies, if there is a reasonable/explainable overlap of information reported across these tables, such overlap will not be viewed adversely. The other concern raised by taxpayers is the inclusion of no supply in the category of Non-GST supplies in Table 5F. For the purposes of reporting, non-GST supplies includes supply of alcoholic liquor for human consumption, motor spirit (commonly known as petrol), high speed diesel, aviation turbine fuel, petroleum crude and natural gas and transactions specified in Schedule III of the CGST Act.