In order to understand the gamut of the GST Annual return and its requirement, it would be relevant for us to understand the legal provisions relevant for GST Annual Return. Two important provisions which are relevant and important in this context are Section 44(1) of CGST Act, 2017 and Rule 80(1) of the CGST Rules, 2017.

Section 44(1) requires that every registered person, other than an Input Service Distributor, a person paying tax under section 51 or section 52, a casual taxable person and a non-resident taxable person, shall furnish an annual return for every financial year electronically in such form and manner as may be prescribed on or before the thirty-first day of December following the end of such financial year. However, the due date for filing of annual return for the period 1st July, 2017 to 31st March, 2018 has first been extended to 31st March, 2019 and then to June 30, 2019 vide Removal of Difficulty Order No.01/2018-Central Tax dated 11th December, 2018 and 03/2018-Central Tax dated 31st December, 2018 respectively.

In terms of Rule 80(1) of the CGST Rules, 2017 “Every registered person, other than an Input Service Distributor, a person paying tax under section 51 or section 52, a casual taxable person and a non-resident taxable person, shall furnish an annual return as specified under sub-section (1) of section 44 electronically in FORM GSTR-9 through the common portal either directly or through a Facilitation Centre notified by the Commissioner:

Provided that a person paying tax under section 10 shall furnish the annual return in FORM GSTR-9A.
The government vide Notification No. 39/2018 on 4th September 2018 notified the Annual return form GSTR 9/9A, which has been further amended by Notification No. 74/2018 – Central Tax dated 31st December, 2018.

In terms of Rule 80(2), every electronic commerce operator required to collect tax at source under section 52 shall furnish annual statement in Form GSTR-9B.

Points to Note on Annual Returns

  1. Nil Annual Return- A person registered under GST but having no transactions during the year is also required to file a Nil Annual Return. A person whose registration has been cancelled during the year is also required to file the Annual returns unless final return has been filed and cancellation completed before 31st March, 2018.
  2. A Registered person who has opted in or opted out of composition is required to file both GSTR 9 & GSTR 9A for the relevant periods.
  3. GSTR-9 does not allow for any revision after filing.
  4. It is mandatory to file FORM GSTR-1 and FORM GSTR-3B for the FY 2017-18 before filing this return.
  5. The exceptions to filing of the Annual return applies to the following category of registered persons:
    • Input Service Distributor
    • Tax deductor u/s 51
    • Tax collector u/s 52
    • Casual Taxable Person
    • Non-Resident Taxable Person
    • any department of the Central Government or a State Government or a local authority, whose books of account are subject to audit by the Comptroller and Auditor-General of India or an auditor appointed for auditing the accounts of local authorities under any law for the time being in force.
  6. The declaration of the information in the Annual returns has multiple implications. Any incorrect information can attract tax demands, interest and penalties on the same, leave alone the long-term litigation that follow years later.
  7. Liability identified during filing Annual Return can be deposited with Government using DRC-03 Form.
Handbook on GST Annual Return Index
S. No. Title
Page No.
Introduction to GST Annual Return
Analysis of GSTR 9
Part I: Basic Details (Table 1-3B)
Part II; Details of Outward and inward supplies made during the financial year (Table 4-5)
Part III: Details of ITC for the financial year (Table 6-8)
Part IV; Details of tax paid as declared in returns filed during the financial year (Table 9)
Part V: Particulars of the transactions for the previous FY declared in returns of April to September of current FY or upto date of filing of annual return of previous FY whichever is earlier (Table 10-13)
Part VI: Other Information (Table 15-19)
Analysis of GSTR 9A
Appendix 1: Form GSTR 9
Appendix 2: Form GSTR 9A


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