GSTR 9 Annual Return: Turnover Limit, Last Date, Late Fee and Rules

GSTR 9 Annual Return: Turnover Limit, Last Date, Late Fee and Rules: This is a yearly report that needs to be filed by most companies under the GST regime. GSTR 9 is a summary of the entire year’s activities vis-a-vis what taxpayer declared in the returns versus what is there in their financial books. There are specific norms which must be followed while filing it including different versions for some categories like special tax schemes or e-commerce; however certain officers auditing some Government departments or bodies controlled by specified officers need not file this return every year.

In this article, we will discuss everything about GSTR-9. We will cover what it contains, the guidelines to be followed, its due dates as well as punishment for non-filing. Additionally, we are going to explore subjects such as cancellation of registration and managing various GST registrations in different states among others.

What is GSTR-9?

  • This is known as the Annual Return. It is a summary of all the transactions made by a taxpayer about GST throughout a financial year. It contains information on sales, purchases, input tax credits and tax payments.
  • GSTR-9 helps in cross-verifying whether the taxes paid by a taxpayer match with what he/she has to pay for. It acts as a means of confirming and reconciling tax-related details for the year.


  • GSTR-9C is a Reconciliation Statement made to cross-verify the GSTR-9 with the taxpayer’s audited Financial Statements.
  • GSTR-9C ensures that taxpayer maintains financial records as per GST law. It gives more confidence by reconciling tax data with audited financials.
  • Self-certified return means that in GSTR 9C, the accuracy of given figures is verified by the taxpayer himself which further enhances trust in the compliance process.

Who Needs to File GSTR 9 and GSTR 9C (Annual Return)

Most registered businesses have to file an annual return called Form GSTR-9 (for regular taxpayers) or GSTR-9A (for composition taxpayers).

Aggregate Turnover GSTR-9 GSTR-9C GSTR-9A
Up to 2 Cr. Exempt NA Exempt
More than 2 Cr to 5 Cr Filing is Mandatory NA NA
More than 5 Cr. Filing is Mandatory  Filing is Mandatory

However, there are some exceptions like Input Service Distributors, specific taxpayers under different tax sections, casual taxable persons, non-resident taxable persons, and certain government departments whose audits are handled by specific authorities.

GSTR-9 Turnover Limit

Here’s a structured table of the requirements for filing GSTR-9, GSTR-9C, and CGSTR-9A based on Aggregate Turnover:

Aggregate Turnover GSTR-9 GSTR-9C GSTR-9A
Up to 2 Cr. Exempt NA Exempt
More than 2 Cr to 5 Cr Filing is Mandatory NA NA
More than 5 Cr. Filing is Mandatory  Filing is Mandatory

Based on Aggregate Turnover, businesses with turnover more than 2 Cr up to 5 Cr are mandated to file GSTR-9, while those exceeding 5 Cr have to file both GSTR-9 and GSTR-9C, while CGSTR-9A is exempt for all categories.

When to File GSTR 9?

GSTR 9 must be filed through the online portal by 31st December of the following financial year. There is also a different form for electronic commerce operators who collect tax at source which is called GSTR-9B.


The government can exempt certain categories of registered persons from filing an annual return. For example, small businesses with a turnover of up to Rs. 2 Crore were originally exempted from filing annual returns for the financial years 2017-18, 2018-19 and 2019-20. However, these small businesses were exempted by the Commissioner for subsequent years such as 2020-21, 2021-22 and possibly 2022-23 through various notifications.

Multi-State GST: GSTR-9 at Rs. 2 Crores+

Now, the question arises when should businesses with many registrations in different states file their GSTR-9 annual returns? Let’s take it one step at a time.

Definition of Aggregate Turnover:

Aggregate turnover refers to the total value of all taxable supplies (except specified goods), exempt supplies, exports and inter-state supplies made by a person having same PAN number throughout India but doesn’t include certain taxes.

Applicability of GST Annual Return for Multiple State Registrations:

If a person has taken registration under GST in more than one state and aggregate turnover exceeds Rs. 2 crores during any financial year then he/she is required to file an annual return known as GSTR-9.

When Filing Becomes Mandatory:

Filing becomes mandatory if total turnover from all registered locations crosses Rs. 2 crores. This also includes filing Nil returns for such GSTINs (GST Identification Numbers) which had no transaction during the year.

Calculation at PAN Level:

It calculates combined turnover across all registered places connected to same PAN. Therefore, even if there are no transactions at some places but overall turnover from these locations is more than Rs. 2 crores then annual return must be filed.

In brief, if anybody holds several GST registrations across various states and cumulatively they exceed INR  2 crores rupees, it becomes obligatory for them to furnish an annual return notwithstanding having done zero transactions on those places throughout the year.


Let us assume that a company – XYZ Pvt. Ltd. is registered under GST in three different states – Punjab, Haryana and Maharashtra. Each state has its own GSTIN (GST Identification Number). Here are the turnovers from each state for a financial year.

  • Punjab: 1 crore rupees
  • Haryana: 80 lakhs rupees
  • Maharashtra: 50 lakhs rupees

Now let’s find out the aggregate turnover for XYZ Pvt. Ltd. taking into account all three states:

Total Turnover = Punjab Turnover + Haryana Turnover + Maharashtra Turnover
Total Turnover = Rs. 1 crore + Rs. 80 lakhs + Rs. 50 lakhs
Total Turnover = Rs. 2.3 crores

In this scenario,

Number of GST Registrations: This company has registered itself with GST department in Punjab, Haryana and Maharashtra.

Aggregate Turnover: All three states have contributed to making its turnover reach up to INR 2,30,00,000 or 2.3 cr.

Applicability of GSTR-9: Considering the total (or ‘aggregate’) turnover across all the registered states which exceeded INR 2 crores (or Rupees 2 crores) during a given financial year ending on 31st March then yes; accordingly it becomes mandatory for such taxpayer like XYZ Pvt Ltd who falls under this category should file their annual returns called GSTR-9 before due date i.e., December 31st of next succeeding financial year .

Even if there were no transactions in Haryana or Maharashtra during the year or they fell below the taxable threshold but still combined turnover from all these states will decide whether one needs to file his/her/its/their return(s) or not provided sum exceeds prescribed limit i.e., Rupee two crore(s) then he/she/it/they must file it otherwise he/she/it/they can skip it. Therefore, The company needs to file GSTR-9 for each state.

GSTR 9 or 9C in Case of Cancellation of GST Registration

GST Registration Cancellation:

A business that cancels its registration under the Goods and Services Tax Act does not relieve it of its duties for the period prior to such cancellation.

Responsibility for Pre-Cancellation Period:

Even if a company cancels its GSTIN, it still has to comply with the law and fulfil all obligations prescribed in this regard before or up to the day of cancellation.

GSTR-9 Filing Requirement after Cancellation:

Notwithstanding a mid-year withdrawal, it is clarified that an entity must still furnish annual return (GSTR-9) for that financial year.

In short, when a business cancels its registration under GST during any part of a financial year then they should furnish their Annual Return GSTR-9/9C for that year also ensuring compliance with GST rules till date prior to such cancellation.

Consequences of Non-filing or Late Filing of FORM GSTR-9

Consequences Description
Notice Issuance for Non-filing Tax authorities can issue FORM GSTR-3A within 15 days to compel required GSTR-9/9C filing.
Late Filing Penalties Late fees were initially set at Rs. 100/day, maxing at 0.25% of turnover, exempted partially for some per CBIC 2023 notification. For turnover ≤ Rs. 5 cr: Rs. 25/day capped at 0.02%. Turnover > Rs. 5 cr ≤ Rs. 20 cr: Rs. 50/day capped at 0.02%. There is no late fee for Nil GSTR-9.
General Penalty Provision Section 125 of the CGST Act allows penalties up to Rs. 25,000 each in CGST & SGST for non-filing contraventions without separately specified penalties.

Non-filing Notice:

When a registered person does not file his / her GSTR-9/9C return then the tax department can send a notice (FORM GSTR-3A) to him within 15 days requiring him to furnish those returns.

Late Filing Penalties:

Late fees are charged for not filing the annual return (GSTR-9/9C) in time. It will be Rs. 100 per day of delay subject to maximum of an amount calculated at the rate of 0.25% of turnover in the State or Union territory. In the year 2023, CBIC notification has granted some relief on late fees for certain classes of taxpayers.

In detail:

Late fee is Rs. 25 per day subject to a maximum amount not exceeding 0.02% of turnover where aggregate turnover is upto Rupees five crore.

For those with an aggregate turnover more than Rupees five crore but not beyond Rupees twenty crores, late fee shall be fifty rupees per day and such fee must not exceed 0.02% of their turnover.

General Penalty Provision:

Section 125 under CGST Act provides that if any contravention has taken place against any provision contained therein or relevant rules framed then a penalty up to twenty-five thousand rupee each under CGST & SGST can be imposed separately after having satisfied its contravention by an authority empowered by law but where no separate penalty prescribed this section shall also apply as regards non- filing OF GSTR – 9/9C forms.

To sum up it all: Not submitting or submitting late GSTR-9/9C may lead to notices being issued, late filing fees getting imposed and even general penalties as provided under GST law; however there could be some exemptions or reduced penalties depending upon taxpayer’s aggregate turnover which were announced by CBIC in few cases too.

Important Points for GSTR – 9 (GST Annual Returns)

Cancelled GSTIN and Annual Return – If registration of any person is cancelled during the year and his turnover was more than 2 crores then he has to file Annual Return, if not already filed any final return before the date but completed cancellation of registration before March 31st of that financial year.

Composition Scheme Change Needs Two Forms – In case a registered person switches to composition scheme or from composition scheme, he shall file both Form GSTR-9 and GSTR-9A for respective periods.

Revisions not allowed in Form GSTR-9 – Once Form GSTR-9 has been filed no changes can be made again so it should be ensured that it is accurate.

Significance of Declaration in Annual Return – The details disclosed in the annual return are very crucial because any false information provided therein is an offence under GST law which attracts penalty also such documents being relied upon by tax authorities during scrutiny may result into legal proceedings if found non-compliant with statutory requirements.

Payment of Identified Liability from Annual Return – If any liability is identified while filing Annual GST Return, same can be paid to government by using Form GST DRC-03 but only through available amount in GST Cash Ledger.

Importance of Form GSTR-9 and Managing GST Records.

  • Different Forms for Different Things: GSTR-9 is basically like one big summary of your whole year of being in business. There’s also two other forms – GSTR-1 and GSTR-3B. So basically what happens is this: GSTR-1 talks about what you sold (your outward supplies) in smaller periods; then GSTR-3B summarizes everything you sold and bought (your inward and outward supplies) in those same periods along with the taxes you paid on them.
  • Getting Everything to Match Up: In an ideal world, what comes out on your GSTR-1/3B should match up exactly with what’s supposed to come out according to your maintained records as per law NEED TO USE PERIODS HERE IF YOU DON’T WANT TO SOUND REPETITIVE… But, sometimes these figures don’t tally – mainly because either you haven’t given enough money to the government or else you have given too much.
  • Why Don’t They Always Agree? Sometimes the way businesses keep their books might not completely match up with how things need to be done under the GST laws; this can result in some discrepancies between numbers shown on different forms.
  • Here’s How You Fix It: If any additional tax remains unpaid after one year through the annual return, it must be declared there and paid along. However, if tax has been paid in excess, one may claim for refund using Form GST RFD-01 also via the same annual return but not change tax credits already filed. Also worth noting is that there are different forms like form gst drc 03 which can be used to correct details concerning tax credits in other returns but not on this years…
  • Why Records Are Crucial: Remembering all of these things are important because when kept correctly according to law they become evidence showing that certain transactions actually took place within a business.

So make sure you keep your records straight, use the right forms when needed, and cross check all reports to avoid any tax-related issues!

Categories GST

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