“On the recommendations of the GST Council, it has been decided to extend the due date for filing Annual Return (FORM GSTR-9/GSTR-9A) and Reconciliation Statement (FORM GSTR-9C) for Financial Year 2018-19 from 31st October 2020 to 31st December, 2020,” the Board said in a statement on Saturday.
The government has taken the decision on recommendations of the GST Council and representations from industry regarding the need to extend due dates on account of Covid-19 pandemic related lockdown and restrictions.
“Normal operation of businesses have still not been possible in several parts of the country. It has been requested that the due dates for the same be extended beyond 31st October 2020 to enable the businesses and auditors to comply in this regard,” CBIC said.
Filing of annual return (FORM GSTR-9/ GSTR-9A) for 2018-19 is optional for taxpayers who had aggregate turnover below Rs 2 crore and filing of reconciliation statement in FORM 9C for 2018-19 is also optional for the taxpayers having aggregate turnover upto Rs 5 crore.
Experts said the move will provide much-wanted relief to industry and tax practitioners. “With the pandemic continuing and employees having to take unplanned leaves, this extension would provide significant relief for both businesses and the chartered accountant community,” said Abhishek Jain, tax partner at EY.
“This extension would also have a ripple effect on annual compliances of FY 2019-20 as the last for the said compliances are also December 31, 2020,” said Rajat Mohan, senior partner at AMRG Associates.