GST Annual Return: A Complete Guide to GST Compliance.

Last Updated on December 4, 2021

GST Annual Return

What is GST annual return?

The GSTR 9 is a GST annual return form that must be filed once a year by business taxpayers with all combined information of SGST, CGST, and IGST as charged during the prior year.

In this blog, we summarise all of the information, laws, and regulations for filing GSTR 9 and 9c online, as well as a step-by-step compliance procedure. 

Reading this article, we will learn about how to file GST 9, types of GST return, annual return under GST, and Due Date for GST returns. But before getting into it, let’s understand GST and its benefits.

Table of Contents

What is GST?

The Goods and Services Tax (GST) is a tax on goods and services. It is an indirect tax that has mostly replaced many other indirect taxes in India, such as excise duty, VAT, and services tax. Government of India passed the Goods and Service Tax Act on March 29, 2017. It became operation on July 1, 2017.

What are the Advantages of GST?

GST is primarily technologically focused. All operations, such as GST registration, GST return filing, refund application, and response to the notice, are done online via the GST portal, which speeds up the process.

The cascading impact on the selling of goods and services has mostly been eliminated by the GST. Due to this, the cost of goods has decreased.

Compliance under Goods and Service Tax

The major compliance under GST are as follows.

1. E-way Bills

By introducing “E-way bills,” the GST created a centralized system of waybills. Government of India introduced this framework on April 1, 2018, for inter-state goods movement and on April 15, 2018, for synchronized intra-state goods movement.

Manufacturing companies, distributors, and carriers can quickly produce e-way bills for goods transported from their origin point to the destination point using the e-way bill system. Tax authorities win from this method as well, as this method reduces time spent at checkpoints and aids in facilitating tax avoidance.

2. E-invoicing

For companies with an annual gross turnover of more than Rs.500 crore in any previous financial year, the e-invoicing system became operational on October 1, 2020. (from 2017-18). The Government applied this framework to those with an annual gross income of over Rs.100 crore as of January 1, 2021.

Every B2B invoice must be assigned a unique invoice reference number (IRN) by posting it to the GSTN’s bill registration portal. Then, invoice is verified for accuracy and authenticity by the portal. It then gets authorization with the use of a digital signature and a QR code.

e-Invoicing enables invoice integration and reduces data entry errors. It aims to send invoice information directly from the IRP to the Goods and services tax and eway billing portals. As a result, it will remove the need for manual processing while filing GSTR-1 and generating e-way bills.

3. Annual Return under GST

A GST annual return is a report that a business taxpayer needs to file with the tax administration authorities that contains information about their earnings. Tax officials use this to figure out how much money they owe for taxes.

Depending on the type of company, all registered businesses must file monthly, quarterly, or annual GST returns. The GST site is where all of these online GST filings take place. 

Types of GST Annual Return

The various types of GST returns are as follows:

1. GSTR-1 

GSTR-1 is the return that companies must file to record all outward supplies of goods and services or sales transactions made within a tax period and report debit and credit notes released. Any changes to sales invoices should be recorded in the GSTR-1 return, even if they relate to previous tax periods.

2. GSTR-2A 

The GSTR-2A is a tax return that contains information about all inward supplies of products and services or purchases made from registered suppliers within a tax period. The data gets auto-populated using information from the supplier’s GSTR-1 returns. Companies can take no action with GSTR-2A, since it is a read-only return.

3. GSTR-2

The GSTR-2 return is for registering inbound supplies of goods and services or sales made within a tax cycle. The GSTR-2A auto-populates the information in the GSTR-2 return. Here, taxpayer can edit the GSTR-2 return, unlike the GSTR-2A.

All regular taxpayers GST registered are required to file GSTR-2. However, since the inception of GST, government has suspended the filing of this form.

4. GSTR-3

GSTR-3 is a monthly summary return that summarises information on all outward supplies made, inward supplies collected, and input tax credit claims, as well as information about tax liability and taxes paid. This return gets generated automatically based on the filed GSTR-1 and GSTR-2 returns. All regular taxpayers, registered under GST must file GSTR-3. However, similar to GSTR-2, GST autorities have suspended the filing of this form.

5. GSTR-4 

A taxpayers, who is using the GST Composition Scheme are required to submit GSTR-4 return.

6. GSTR-5 

GSTR-5 is the return that non-resident foreign taxpayers registered for GST and conduct business in India must file. The return includes information about all outbound goods, inbound supplies, credit/debit notes, tax liability, and taxes paid. Companies need to file monthly return.

7. GSTR-6 

GSTR-6 is a monthly return that an Input Service Distributor(ISD) must submit. It outlines the ISD’s receipt and distribution of input tax credits. It will also provide a list of all documents provided to distribute input credit and how businesses spread them.

8. GSTR-7 

GSTR-7 is a monthly return that must be submitted by anyone who is supposed to deduct TDS (tax deducted at source) as part of the GST system. TDS deducted, TDS liability payable & charged, and TDS refund claimed, if any, will all be listed on GSTR 7.

9. GSTR-8

It is a monthly return that must be submitted by e-commerce operators who are eligible to collect tax at source under the GST (TCS). GSTR-8 will report all items sold via the E-commerce portal, as well as the TCS received.

10. GSTR-9

GSTR 9 is an annual return that GST-registered taxpayers must file once a year. It contains information on outbound and inbound supplies made/received during the relevant financial year under various tax heads, such as CGST, SGST, IGST, and HSN codes.

It is a compilation of all monthly/quarterly returns (GSTR-1, GSTR-2A, GSTR-3B) filed during that calendar year. This return facilitates comprehensive data reconciliation for complete open disclosures. 

11. GSTR-9C

GSTR-9C is a reconciliation document that must be filed by all GST-registered taxpayers, whose annual revenue exceeds Rs. 2 crore. A Chartered Accountant or Auditor must audit the registered person’s books of accounts. The reconciliation statement is the correlation between the taxpayer’s audited financial statements and the filed annual GSTR-9 return.

12. GSTR-10 

A business owner whose GST registration got terminated or has been withdrawn must file GSTR-10. This return is also known as a final return. The business owner must file GSTR-10 return within three months from termination date or closure order, whichever is earlier.

13. GSTR-11 

GSTR-11 is the return that individuals who have been given a Unique Identity Number (UIN) must file to receive GST reimbursement for products and services, purchased in India. UIN is a classification, created for international diplomatic missions and embassies that are not taxable in India to receive a tax refund.

Now we know the types of GST return, let us now look at GST annual return due dates for FY-2021.

Due Date for GST Return and other Compliances.

The following table shows the GST Return filing due date.

Type of Returns Under GSTPeriodDue Date 
GSTR-7 And GSTR-8February 202110th March 2021
GSTR-1February 202111th March 2021
GSTR-6 And B2B Outward SuppliesFebruary 202113th March 2021
PF and ESIFebruary 202115th March 2021
GSTR-5, GSTR-5A,GSTR-3BFebruary 202120th March 2021
PMT-06February 202125th March 2021
RFD-11FY 2021-2231st March 2021
CMP-09FY 2021-2231st March 2021
GSTR-9 and GSTR-9CFY 2019-2031st March 2021

How to file GSTR-9

Filing GSTR-9 is very easy if you use GSTR-9 filling software. It Automatically fills tables 1-14 of GSTR-9 form with precision. And moreover, you get 19 points on the essential checklist to recognize mismatches across the form. Let us now look at the steps to file gstr-9.

Steps to file GSTR-9

  1. To file Form GSTR-9, go over to Services
  2. Then Returns 
  3. And lastly at Annual Return.

Prerequisites for filing GSTR-9

  • Every day, a taxpayer must have an operational GSTIN during the financial accounting year.
  • Before filing the Annual Report, the taxpayer must submit all applicable returns for the financial accounting year, namely Form GSTR-1 and Form GSTR-3B.

Companies can file Nil GSTR-9 form if,

  • Not generated any sale and not purchased any goods/services.
  • No other liability for reporting.
  • And not obtained any input credit and not tried claiming any refund.
  • And not collected any order generating demand and there is no delayed fee to pay, etc.


To conclude, Goods and Service tax is the tax that speeds up the taxation process. A business must file annual gst return to stay gst compliant and avoid any penalty by authorities.

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About the Author: Ahraaz Makhdoomi