The Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) in a notification has now informed that Goods and Services Tax (GST) taxpayers with a turnover of over Rs 5 crore can now self-certify their annual return. According to the notification, the taxpayers in the mentioned bracket does not need a mandatory audit certification by chartered accountants. Earlier, the Centre had said that it was mandatory for all registered businesses, with an aggregate annual turnover of over Rs 5 crore to submit a reconciliation statement in form GSTR-9C, certified after an audit by a chartered accountant.
Now, through the latest notification, the CBIC has 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.
Reaffirming the decision, AMRG & Associates Senior Partner Rajat Mohan said that the GST audits by professionally qualified chartered accountants have been removed by the government. He also informed that annual tax filing and reconciliation statements now would be self-certified by taxpayers.
"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 also confirmed the same. Singhania said that the Finance Act, 2021 incorporated an amendment in sections 35(5) and 44 of CGST Act, 2017 to cancel the need to file a 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. He also said that the new amendment will put a responsibility on taxpayers to furnish true and correct details while filing annual returns.