The Finance Ministry has extended the last date for filing annual GST (Goods & Services Tax) returns for FY20 to March 31, 2021.

Earlier, the due date was December 31. There have been demands to extend the date for two reasons: first, the pandemic and second, the due date for annual returns for FY19 is December 31.

There are mainly two annual returns GSTR 9 and 9C. GSTR-9 is the annual return to be filed by every GST registered taxpayer irrespective of their turnover. GSTR-9C is the reconciliation statement to be submitted by those GST registered taxpayers to whom GST audit applies, that is those taxpayers whose turnover exceeds ₹2 crore.

It may be noted that filing of Annual Return (FORM GSTR-9/ GSTR-9A) for 2018-19 is optional for taxpayers who had aggregate turnover below ₹2 crore. The filing of reconciliation statement in FORM 9C for 2018-19 is also optional for the taxpayers having aggregate turnover upto ₹5 crore.

The late fees for not filing the GSTR 9 within the due date is ₹100 per day, per act. That means late fees of ₹100 under CGST & ₹100 under SGST will be applicable in case of delay. Thus, the total liability is ₹200 per day of default. This is subject to a maximum of 0.25 per cent of the taxpayer’s turnover in the relevant state or union territory. However, there is no late fee on IGST yet.