Another Relief for Taxpayers: Annual GST Return Filing Deadline Extended

Last Updated at: Feb 03, 2021
annual GST returns
A PIL has been filed recently before the Gujarat High Court seeking extension for filling GSTR-9 and GSTR-9C for financial year 2018-19 till March 2021. The PIL also seeks extension for 2019-20 returns till 30th June 2021. The PIL sought the extension stating that tax consultants could not perform the task of filing Returns due to the COVID-19 situation.


On 30 December 2020, the government announced the extension of the deadline for filing the annual GST returns by two more months. This is no less than a ‘bonanza’ for the taxpayers who faced hardships because of the COVID-19 disruption. Now, taxpayers can file their GST return for the financial year 2019-20 by 28 February 2021. So, if you have not been able to file your annual GST returns and were probably staring at penalties; you can heave a much-needed sigh of relief now! 

The CBIC (Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs) has said that the extension has been provided after considering several representations received from the industry in this regard. Business entities can now file their annual GST returns using Form GSTR-9 on or before this new deadline. They can also file the reconciliation statement (in Form GSTR-9 C) by this new due date. 

The industry experts have already welcomed these new relief measures. They have said that these latest extensions would further ease the compliance burden of the taxpayers troubled by the COVID-19 disruption. This extension would also provide more time to tax practitioners to overcome the challenges of analyzing and filing these new returns.  

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What Is the GSTR-9 Annual Return?

All taxpayers registered under the GST regime need to file the GSTR-9 return annually. It should include details of all the inward and outward supplies of goods and services received/made by a taxpayer during the relevant year. It is basically a consolidation of the quarterly or monthly returns (GSTR 2A, GSTR 1 and GSTR 3B) filed throughout the year.

The GSTR-9 should be filed for different tax heads such as SGST, IGST, CGST   and HSN Codes. Failure to file the GSTR-9 return within the due date would attract a late fee of Rs 100, per day, per head/act. This means that if you fail to file the GSTR-9 return before the due date and both SGST and CGST are applicable to you, you would invite a late fee of Rs 100 each under SGST and CGST, per day. However, the maximum late fee charged is 0.25% of the annual turnover of a taxpayer in the relevant UT or state. 

Also, Form GSTR-9C includes a statement of reconciliations. This should match with the details of the GSTR-9 return and also with the audited annual financial statements of the business.