Every GST registered Taxpayer who has opted for the Composition Scheme is required to file an Annual Return. Composition Scheme filers can file their GST Annual Return in Form GSTR-9A. The GST Network has released an offline excel utility to assist the Taxpayers in the preparation of their GSTR-9A. In this article, we will cover the various steps for preparation and filing of GSTR-9A using the Offline Utility Tool:
The Offline utility is available on the GST portal. On the portal, users can select ‘Downloads’ 🡪 ‘Offline Utility’ 🡪 ‘GSTR-9A’ to download the file.
Click on ‘Download’ and extract the excel utility tool from the ZIP file downloaded.
The Offline Utility tool for GSTR-9A is divided into various tabs, and each tab is explained as follows:
Tab 1: ReadMe
The ‘ReadMe’ tab contains various useful details which explain the cases where GSTR-9A is required to be filed. The details of all the tabs in the Utility Tool are also available here.
Tab 2: Home
The ‘Home’ tab requires the Taxpayer to enter their GSTIN and the Financial Year.
Additionally, this tab also includes macros to import details through JSON files, export the GSTR-9A prepared using the utility tool into the JSON format, and review of errors noted while uploading the JSON files. Details of these macros are available below in this article.
Tab 3: Pt II
The ‘Pt II’ tab consists of three tables:
Table 6: Details of Outward supplies made during the financial year
Table 7: Details of inward supplies on which tax is payable on reverse charge basis (net of debit/credit notes) for the financial year
Table 8: Details of other inward supplies for the financial year
Tab 4: Pt III
The ‘Pt III’ tab consists of one table:
Table 9: Details of tax paid as declared in returns filed during the financial year
Tab 5: Pt IV
The ‘Pt IV’ tab consists of two tables:
Table 10-13: Particulars of the transactions for the previous FY declared in returns of April to September of current FY or up to date of filing of annual return of previous FY whichever is earlier
Table 14: Differential tax paid on account of declaration made in 10,11,12 & 13 above
Tab 6: Pt V
The ‘Pt V’ tab consists of two tables:
Table 15: Particulars of Demands and Refunds
In this table, the Taxpayer must enter the:
- Total refund claimed
- Total refund sanctioned
- Total refund rejected
- Total refund pending
- Total demand of taxes
- Total taxes paid in lieu of demand in point (e) above
- Total demand pending to be paid in lieu of demand in point (e) above
Table 16: Details of credit reversed or availed
In this table, the Taxpayer must enter the:
- GST credit reversed on opting into the composition scheme.
- GST credit availed on opting out of the composition scheme.
In the above tables, only the columns marked in yellow can be edited. All other columns and fields are non-editable and/or are auto-calculated. The details in the editable columns can be imported from the GST portal (‘Import JSON file’).
The amount of Central Tax must be equal to the State/UT Tax. In case these do not match then a validation error will appear when the Taxpayer tries to validate the tabs.
This offline utility has the feature of importing and exporting JSON files from/to the GST portal.
a. Importing JSON file:
Every composition Taxpayer must file their quarterly returns in Form GSTR-4 on the GST portal. More details on GSTR-4 can be found here.
Taxpayers can download a compilation of GSTR-4 data for any financial year in a JSON format. The steps are as follows:
- Log in to the GST portal.
- In the Returns Dashboard, select ‘Annual Return’
- Select the Financial Year and click on ‘Search’
- In the GSTR-9A tile, select ‘Prepare Offline’
A page showing the options ‘Offline Upload’ and ‘Download’ (for GSTR-9A) will appear.
- Select the ‘Download’ tab and click on ‘Generate JSON File to Download’.
In the GSTR-9A utility tool, select ‘Open Downloaded GSTR-9A JSON file’ in the ‘Home’ tab and import the downloaded JSON file. The cumulative totals of turnover, taxes paid, etc. which were available on the GST portal will now be auto-populated in the respective sections of the Offline Utility Tool. Taxpayers can verify the details imported and edit the details, where required.
b. Exporting JSON file:
After populating all the applicable fields and validating each tab in the Offline Utility Tool, the next step is to upload the file on the GST portal and complete the filing of GSTR-9A. The steps are as follows:
- Select ‘Generate JSON file to upload’ in the ‘Home’ tab. Post this; a JSON file will be exported capturing all the details entered in the Offline Utility Tool.
- Repeat steps 1 to 4, as mentioned above (Importing JSON file).
- Select the ‘Upload’ tab and click on ‘Choose file’ and select the exported JSON file.
- After uploading the JSON file, a message appears that the upload was successful. It may take up to 15 minutes to validate the file.
- A history of all uploads is also displayed on this page along with the Date and Time Stamp, Reference ID, Status (In-Progress, Error Occurred, Processed with Error, Processed), and Error Report, if any.
Errors in the JSON file will prevent the successful uploading/processing of the file on the GST portal. In case any errors are noted, the following steps are to be followed:
- Generate the error report from the ‘Error Report’ Column (As mentioned in step 5 above).
- Import the error report into the Offline Excel Utility by selecting ‘Open Downloaded Error JSON Files’ in the ‘Home’ tab.
- After the file is successfully imported, all errors will be highlighted in red in the utility, and the error message will appear when the cursor hovers over these cells.
- Taxpayers should rectify these errors and re-perform the steps from step 3 mentioned above (Exporting JSON file) until the file is successfully processed.
After the JSON file is successfully uploaded and processed, it is time to file the GSTR-9A. The steps are as follows:
- Log in to the GST portal.
- In the Returns Dashboard, select ‘Annual Return’.
- Select the Financial Year and click on ‘Search’.
- In the GSTR-9A tile, select ‘Prepare Online’.
- The Financial Year for filing the GSTR-9A will be auto-populated, and the Taxpayers must manually enter the turnover details of the preceding financial year and click on ‘Save’.
- The details of table 6 to table 16 will automatically appear based on the JSON file uploaded. Table 17 will be greyed out at this stage.
- Select the tile ‘Compute Liabilities’. In case there is any late fee to be paid, this will be computed and will be visible in Table 17.
- Select the tile ‘Proceed to File’. In case there is any late fee to be paid, the amounts will be computed, and details of the cash ledger are presented. In case the cash ledger has insufficient balance to clear the dues, then the Taxpayer can select the tile ‘Create Challan’ and make the payment.
- After the payment is made, the cash ledger balance is updated, and the ‘Additional Cash Required’ column on the page will display ‘0.00’.
Taxpayers are advised to export the GSTR-9A in PDF or Excel format and recheck all the details entered.
- After verification, the Taxpayer can select the declaration checkbox, select the authorised signatory, and then select the tile ‘File GSTR-9A’.
- The Taxpayer is prompted to select whether the GSTR-9A will be e-verified through DSC or EVC. The Taxpayer should select the appropriate mode and complete the e-verification.
- Once the e-verification is successful, an acknowledgement is generated and sent to the registered email ID of the Taxpayer.
Note: GSTR-9A cannot be revised after the same is filed online.