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Businesses can now self-certify GST returns, instead of mandatory CA audit
August, 02nd 2021

GST taxpayers with a turnover of over Rs 5 crore can now self-certify their annual return, instead of a mandatory audit certification by chartered accountants, the CBIC has said.

Under the Goods and Services Tax (GST), filing of annual return -- GSTR-9/9A -- for 2020-21 is mandatory for all registered businesses, barring those with an aggregate annual turnover of up to Rs 2 crore.

Besides, taxpayers with a turnover of over Rs 5 crore have to submit a reconciliation statement in form GSTR-9C. This statement was required to be certified after an audit by a chartered accountant.

Through a notification, the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) amended GST rules and provided that taxpayers with aggregate turnover during a financial year exceeding Rs 5 crore would furnish a self-certified reconciliation statement along with the annual return, instead of a CA certified statement.

"Every registered person, other than those referred to in the second proviso to section 44, an Input Service Distributor, a person paying tax under section 51 or section 52, a casual taxable person and a non-resident taxable person, whose aggregate turnover during a financial year exceeds Rs 5 crore, shall also furnish a self-certified reconciliation statement as specified under section 44 in GSTR-9C along with the annual return on or before December 31 following the end of such financial year," the CBIC said.

AMRG & Associates Senior Partner Rajat Mohan said GST audits by professionally qualified chartered accountants have been removed by the government, now annual tax filing and reconciliation statements would be self-certified by taxpayers only.

"This will give compliance level relief to thousands of taxpayers, however would parallelly increase the risk of intentional and unintentional misstatements in the annual filings aggravating the departmental scrutiny," Mohan added.

Singhania GST Consultancy Partner Aditya Singhania said Finance Act, 2021 incorporated an amendment in section 35(5) and 44 of CGST Act, 2017 to do away with filing of Reconciliation Statement in GSTR 9C certified by CA/CWA.

"To give effect to the said amendment, notification has been issued with effect from August 1, 2021, to discontinue the mandatory certification. In simple words, GSTR 9C existing currently is removed and has been made a part of GST Annual Return GSTR 9," Singhania added.

This amendment will put a responsibility on taxpayers to furnish true and correct details in Annual Return, he added.

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