A Guide to GSTR-9


    GSTR-9 is an annual return that needs to be filed by registered taxpayers in India under the Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime. It is a detailed return that provides a summary of all the transactions made during the financial year, including both inward and outward supplies, input tax credit availed, and tax paid. Filing GSTR-9 is a crucial requirement for maintaining compliance with GST regulations and avoiding penalties. However, the process of filing GSTR-9 can be complex and time-consuming, especially for first-time filers. This guide to GSTR-9 aims to provide a comprehensive overview of the form and help taxpayers understand the process of filing it correctly and on time.

    What is GSTR-9?

    A registered taxpayer must submit the GSTR 9 yearly as a statement or document. This record will include all purchases made and receipts made during the entire year under the various tax headings (CGST, SGST, and IGST), as well as details on turnover and audits for those purchases.

    The government has implemented a GSTR-9C audit form, which taxpayers must submit annually with a turnover of more than Rs. 2 crores. It is a fundamental reconciliation between the taxpayer’s audited yearly financial statements and the annual returns filed in GSTR 9.

    What is the Due Date for Filing GSTR9?

    GSTR-9 for the fiscal year 2018–2019 must be filed by November 30, 2019, per the 37th GST Council Meeting. This return must be submitted by the deadline on the 31st of December of the following year, the deadline.

    Who Needs to File GSTR-9?

    GSTR-9 must be filed by all taxpayers who have registered for GST. However, the following individuals are exempt from filing GSTR-9:

    Format for GSTR-9

    The GSTR-9 format consists of 6 sections where the information about supplies made or received must be recorded. The information necessary for the GSTR-9 format’s six parts is only at the consolidated level.

    The six sections of the GSTR-9 format, as announced by the CBIC, are as follows:

    1. The first section entails the basic details of taxpayers. 
    2. The second section contains details of outward and inward supplies declared during the financial year.
    3. Part three of GSTR-9 entails details of ITC as declared in returns filed during the financial year. 
    4. Part four of the GSTR-9 entails details of tax paid as declared in returns filed during the financial year. 
    5. Part five contains the information about transactions from the prior fiscal year (FY) that were disclosed in reports from April to September of the current FY or up until the filing of the annual return from the prior FY, whichever came first.
    6. Part 6 entails other information such as demands and refunds, HSN summary, Late fee supplies received from composition taxpayers, deemed supplies, etc. 

    Prerequisites to file GSTR-9?

    The following are the prerequisites while filing a GSTR-9 form: 

    How to File GSTR-9?

    The following is a step-by-step guide on how to file a GSTR-9 form:

    Step 1: Login and navigate to GSTR-9 on the GST portal. Go to ‘Returns’ and click on ‘Annual Returns’.

    Select the Financial Year on the ‘File Annual Returns’ Page.

    An important notice will appear, including instructions for submitting GSTR-9 online or offline. Then select “Prepare Online.”

    Step 2: Answer a list of questions to choose between a NIL Return or an Annual return. Choose whether you want to file for a NIL Return or an Annual Return by clicking on ‘Yes’ or ‘No.’ If you select ‘yes,’ make sure all of the following criteria are met:

    If you want to submit NIL returns, click “Next” to compute liabilities and submit a NIL GSTR-9.

    If you select “No” to NIL returns, then click “Next,”. You should see the page “GSTR-9 Annual Return for Normal Taxpayers”. It will have a number of tiles where you need to enter pertinent information.

    Click on any of the 3 tabs to download the relevant summary documents:

    The summary that will be downloaded will aid taxpayers in providing the information required in various GSTR-9 tiles.

    Step 3: Enter the required details in the various tables provided for the financial year.

    Table 4: Details of advances, inward and outward supplies made during the financial year on which tax is payable.

    Once you click on the tile, the details will be auto-populated based on information provided in GSTR-1 and GSTR-3B.

    Note that if there is a variation of more than 20% (increase or decrease) in the details you have entered compared to the details that were auto-populated, you will see a prompt asking you to confirm if you want to proceed despite there being a deviation. Don’t be confused by the phrasing of the message, which makes it sound like the details entered are more or less than 20% of the auto-populated ones. However, it means that there is a variation of more than 20%.

    Click ‘Yes’ to proceed.

    A confirmation message reading “Save request is accepted successfully” will appear.

    Return to the “GSTR-9 Dashboard” page. It will be updated on the 4N tile. Similarly, complete the necessary fields in the other tables listed below, then follow the same procedures to save the data:

    Table 5(M): Details of the outward supply made during the financial year on which the tax is not payable. 

    Table 6(O): ITC availed details during the financial year.

    Table 7(I): Details of ITC Reversed and Ineligible ITC for the financial year.

    Table 8(A): Other ITC related information.

    Table 9: Details of tax paid as declared in the returns filed during the financial year.

    Table 10,11,12,13: Details of the previous Financial Year’s transactions reported in the next financial year.

    Tables 10 and 11: Differential tax paid on account of declaration.

    Table 15: Particulars of demands and refunds.

    Table 16: Supplies received from Composition taxpayers, deemed supply by job workers, and goods sent on an approval basis.

    Table 17: HSN-wise summary of outward supplies.

    Table 18: HSN-wise summary of inward supplies. 

    Step 4: Preview draft GSTR-9 in excel or PDF format.

    For a preview in PDF format: On the GSTR-9 dashboard, click on Preview GSTR-9 (PDF).

    The taxpayer will download a draft, and after reviewing it, if any changes are felt necessary, they can be made by editing GSTR-9 online, which will then regenerate the document.

    For a preview in excel format: On the GSTR-9 dashboard, select Preview GSTR-9 (Excel).

    A URL will be shown, along with a downloaded draft. You can extract the summary GSTR-9 excel file from the zip file you obtain by clicking the link. If, after seeing the draft, the taxpayer decides that any modifications are necessary, they can make them online in GSTR-9 and regenerate the draft.

    Step 5: Compute liabilities and late fees. 

    The GST portal will process all the information from the different tables after clicking “compute liabilities.” If a return filing deadline is missed, it also determines late fees. A confirmation notice will appear, allowing you to continue filing. The taxpayer can use the available funds in the electronic cash ledger to make payments. If the cash ledger runs low on funds, an additional payment can be made using Netbanking, in person, or NEFT/RTGS by generating an additional payment challan.

    Step 6: Proceed to file GSTR-9.

    Select the “Authorised Signatory” option after checking the declaration box.

    Then click on “File GSTR-9.” There will be two alternatives for filing on a page for submitting applications: 

    File with DSC: The taxpayer must search for and choose the certificate. Sign and submit.

    File with EVC: The registered email address and mobile number will receive an OTP. Verify the OTP. When validation is successful, the status of the return becomes “Filed.”


    GSTR-9 is a comprehensive document that summarises all the GST transactions undertaken by a registered taxpayer for a particular financial year. It provides a consolidated view of all inward and outward supplies, ITC availed and utilised, and taxes paid.Return filing can be a complicated process. For fast and convenient return filing, check out BUSY GST Accounting Software. BUSY lets you upload your GST Returns to the Portal in one click for easy return filing.

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