FAQs of GSTR-9C Offline Utility

General

1. What is Form GSTR-9C?

Form GSTR-9C is a reconciliation statement, duly verified and signed by Chartered Accountant/ Cost Accountant and this form is required to be furnished along with filing of annual return in Form GSTR-9 by the taxpayer whose aggregate turnover is above ₹2 Crore during a financial year.

2. Who needs to file Form GSTR-9C?

Normal taxpayers (including SEZ unit and developer) with aggregate turnover exceeding ₹2 Crore during the financial year are required to get their accounts audited by Chartered Accountant/Cost Accountant (after filing of their annual return in Form GSTR-9), to file their Form GSTR-9C.

This requirement is not applicable to Central Government or a State Government or a local authority, whose books of accounts are subject to audit by the Comptroller and Auditor-General of India or an auditor appointed for auditing the accounts of local authorities under any law for the time being in force.

3. What details are to be filed in Form GSTR-9C?

Details for following Part A & Part B Tables of Form GSTR-9C statement needs to be filled in.

  • Part A:

    • PT II —Reconciliation of Turnover Declared in Audited Annual Financial Statement with Turnover Declared in Annual Return (Form GSTR9).

      • Enter details in the following tables of PT II:

      • PT. II(5)- Reconciliation of Gross Turnover

      • PT. II(6)- Reasons for Un-reconciled difference in Annual Gross Turnover

      • PT. II(7)- Reconciliation of Taxable Turnover

      • PT. II(8)- Reasons for Un-Reconciled Difference in Taxable Turnover

    • PT III —Reconciliation of Tax Paid

      • Enter details in the following tables of PT III:

      • PT. III(9)- Reconciliation of Rate-wise Liability and Amount Payable Thereon

      • PT. III(10)- Reasons for Un-reconciled Payment of Tax

      • PT. III(11)- Additional Amount Payable but Not Paid (due to reasons specified under Tables 6,8 and 10 above)

    • PT IV —Reconciliation of Input Tax Credit (ITC)

      • Enter details in the following tables of PT IV:

      • PT. IV(12)- Reconciliation of Net Input Tax Credit (ITC)

      • PT. IV(13)- Reasons for Un-reconciled Difference in ITC

      • PT. IV(14)- Reconciliation of ITC Declared in Annual Return (GSTR9) with ITC Availed on Expenses as per Audited Annual Financial Statement or Books of Account

      • PT. IV(15)- Reasons for un - reconciled difference in ITC

      • PT. IV(16)- Tax Payable on Un-reconciled Difference in ITC (due to reasons specified in 13 and 15 above)

    • PT V — Auditor's Recommendation on Additional Liability Due to Non-reconciliation

  • PART – B: Certification

    • Part B (i): Certification in cases where the reconciliation statement (FORM GSTR-9C) is drawn up by the person who had conducted the audit

    • Part B (ii): Certification in cases where the reconciliation statement (FORM GSTR-9C) is drawn up by a person other than the person who had conducted the audit of the accounts

4. Will I be allowed to file Form GSTR-9C if I have not filed my annual return?

No, Form GSTR-9C can be filed only after filing the annual return Form GSTR-9.

Filing Form GSTR-9C

5. What are the pre-conditions for filing Form GSTR 9C?

  • User should be registered and should have a valid GSTIN.
  • User should have valid login credentials i.e., User ID and password
  • User has filed Form GSTR-9 for the relevant financial year.
  • The aggregate turnover of such registered person during the financial year exceeds two crore rupees.
  • He should have got his accounts audited as prescribed.

6. By when do I need to file Form GSTR-9C?

The due date for filing Form GSTR-9C for a particular financial year is 31st December of subsequent financial year or as extended by Government through notification.

7. When does GST Portal enable filing of Form GSTR 9C?

GST Portal enables GSTR-9C tile for filing only after successful filing of Form GSTR-9 for the financial year.

Note: Form GSTR-9C will be made available to all taxpayers who are required to file Form GSTR-9 during the financial year. GST Portal will not validate whether the turnover of taxpayer exceeds ₹2 Crore or not.

8. What are the steps of filing Form GSTR-9C?

Following are the steps of filing Form GSTR-9C:

  1. Taxpayer performs the following steps:

    A. ON GST Portal: Login to the GST Portal to take following actions.

     a. Download Filed Form GSTR-9
    
     b. Download Form GSTR-9C Tables Derived from Form GSTR-9 and send to the
    

    Auditor

    B. OFF GST Portal: Sends the downloaded files to the Auditor, along with audited financial statements and other relevant documents

  2. Auditor performs the following steps:

    A. ON GST Portal:

     a. Download latest version of GSTR-9C Offline Tool from the GST portal
    
     b. Install emSigner
    

    B. OFF GST Portal: Prepare GSTR-9C statement offline using GSTR-9C Offline Tool by taking following actions.

     a. Open the GSTR-9C Offline Utility Excel Worksheet
    
     b. Add table-wise details in the Worksheet
    
     c. Generate Preview PDF file to view Draft Form GSTR-9C
    
     d. Generate JSON File and affix his/her digital signature (DSC)
    
     e. Send the signed JSON File to the Taxpayer
    

Downloading GSTR-9C Offline Tool

9. From where can I download and use the GSTR-9C Offline Utility in my system?

To download and open the GSTR-9C Offline Utility in your system from the GST Portal, perform following steps:

  1. Access the GST Portal: www.gst.gov.in.

  2. Go to Downloads > Offline Tools > GSTR-9C Offline Tool option and click on it.

  3. Unzip the downloaded Zip file which contain GSTR_9c_Offline_Utility.xls excel sheet.

  4. Open the GSTR_9c_Offline_Utility.xls excel sheet by double clicking on it.

  5. Read the ‘Read Me’ instructions on excel sheet and then fill the worksheet accordingly.

10. Do I need to login to GST Portal to download the GSTR-9C Offline Utility?

No. You can download the GSTR-9C Offline Utility under ‘Downloads’ section without logging in to the GST Portal.

11. What are the basic system requirements/configurations required to use GSTR-9C Offline Tool?

The offline functions work best on Windows 7 and above and MS EXCEL 2007 and above.

12. Is Offline utility mobile compatible?

As of now GSTR-9C Offline utility cannot be used on mobile. It can only be used on desktop/laptops.

Downloading Filed Form GSTR-9 and Form GSTR-9C Tables Derived from Form GSTR-9

13. How can I download filed Form GSTR-9 for preparing Form GSTR-9C?

To download filed Form GSTR-9, perform following steps:

  1. Access the www.gst.gov.in URL. The GST Home page is displayed.

  2. Login to the portal with valid credentials.

  3. Dashboard page is displayed. Click the Services > Returns > Annual Return command. Alternatively, you can also click the Annual Return link on the Dashboard.

  4. The File Annual Returns page is displayed. Select the Financial Year for which you want to file the return from the drop-down list.

  5. Click the SEARCH button.

  6. Annual Return Tiles are displayed. In the GSTR-9 tile, click the DOWNLOAD GSTR-9 button.

  7. “Offline Download for GSTR-9” page gets displayed containing three buttons. Download Form GSTR-9 data using the buttons on this page.

14. How can I download Form GSTR-9C Tables Derived from Form GSTR-9?

To download Form GSTR-9C Tables Derived from Form GSTR-9, perform following steps:

  1. Access the www.gst.gov.in URL. The GST Home page is displayed.

  2. Login to the portal with valid credentials.

  3. Dashboard page is displayed. Click the Services > Returns > Annual Return command. Alternatively, you can also click the Annual Return link on the Dashboard.

  4. The File Annual Returns page is displayed. Select the Financial Year for which you want to file the return from the drop-down list.

  5. Click the SEARCH button.

  6. Annual Return Tiles are displayed. In the GSTR-9C tile, click the INITIATE FILING button.

  7. The GSTR-9C page is displayed. Click the DOWNLOAD GSTR-9C TABLES DERIVED FROM GSTR-9(PDF) button.

  8. System-generated PDF gets downloaded into your machine.

15. What fields would be present/pre-filled in in Form GSTR-9C Tables Derived from Form GSTR-9?

Form GSTR-9C Tables Derived from Form GSTR-9 will contain following pre-filled in fields:

  • Turnover as declared in Annual return (Form GSTR-9)

  • Taxable turnover as per liability declared in Annual Return (Form GSTR-9)

  • Total amount of tax paid as declared in Annual Return (Form GSTR- 9)

  • ITC claimed in Annual Return (Form GSTR-9)

16. Can I send the system-generated PDFs (Filed Form GSTR-9 and Form GSTR-9C Tables Derived from Form GSTR-9) to the Auditor from the GST Portal?

No, you cannot send the system-generated PDFs to the Auditor from the GST Portal. You can email or send them offline via USB/storage device or by printing and sending the hard copy or by any other means suitable.

Preparing Form GSTR-9C Statement Using Offline Tool

17. What buttons are available in Home tab and what is their function?

Following buttons are present in Home tab of the offline utility:

  1. Open GSTR-9C JSON file downloaded from GST Portal: To import JSON file (downloaded from “GENERATE JSON FILE TO DOWNLOAD” button in the “Download” section and containing Form GSTR-9C details that have been successfully uploaded on the GST Portal earlier) into the Offline Tool. Upon successful import of file, the details get populated to respective tables of Excel workbook.

  2. Open GSTR-9C JSON Error File Downloaded from GST Portal: To import JSON file (downloaded from the ‘Processed with error’ link generated in “Upload” section and containing Form GSTR-9C details that have not been successfully uploaded on the GST Portal earlier) into the Offline Tool. Upon successful import of the file details ‘processed with error’ records get populated to respective tables of Excel workbook. The GST portal errors are marked as red and can be seen by hovering over the red marked fields.

  3. Generate JSON File to Upload GSTR-9C details on GST Portal: To generate JSON file to be uploaded on GST portal and containing Form GSTR-9C details prepared offline.

  4. Generate Preview PDF file to view Draft GSTR-9C form: To preview in PDF format, Form GSTR-9C details that have been prepared offline.

  5. “Proceed to fill Part-A” button will take you to PT II (5) tab.

  6. “Proceed to fill Part-B” button will take you to Part B (i) tab if you had selected “Yes” in the “Is the person making reconciliation statement (FORM GSTR-9C) is same person who had conducted the audit of mentioned GSTIN” field and otherwise if you had selected “No”, it will take you to Part B (ii) tab.

18. Do I need to login to GST Portal to upload the generated JSON file using GSTR-9C Offline Utility?

  • Yes. Taxpayer must login in to the GST Portal to upload the generated JSON file using GSTR9C Offline Utility.

  • Log in to GST portal  Annual return  Select Financial year and click on Search  Click on ‘Prepare Offline’ option in GSTR-9C tile  Go to ‘upload’ tab.

19. How would Form GSTR 9C be verified and signed by Chartered Accountant/ Cost Accountant?

Once the Chartered Accountant/Cost Accountant fills up, validates and previews the required details in the GSTR-9C Offline Utility and clicks the Generate JSON File to Upload GSTR-9C details on GST Portal button, popup window appears to save the generated JSON file. When he/she selects the desired location to save the file and clicks “Save”, emSigner window automatically opens in a separate Internet Explorer browser window—if he/she has installed emSigner in the machine—using which he/she can sign the file by affixing his/her digital signature on it.

Note: Make sure, in PT V tab of the Worksheet, you have entered the same PAN with which you had registered your DSC. Otherwise, you won’t be able to e-sign using your DSC while generating JSON file.

20. Do I need to send the signed JSON File to the Taxpayer via GST Portal?

No, you cannot send the signed JSON File to the Taxpayer via GST Portal. You can email or send them offline via USB/storage device or by printing and sending the hard copy or by any other means suitable.

Uploading Signed GSTR-9C JSON File

21. Auditor has sent me the signed JSON File for upload. Can I review it and make changes to it?

  • No, you should not make any changes in the JSON file generated by the Auditor. During upload, GST System validates that no changes have been made by taxpayer in JSON signed by auditor. If you make any changes, the System will process your data with error and generate an error file. On importing this error report in the utility, a popup will be displayed asking you to get this JSON file re-signed by the Auditor as the Auditor’s sign is invalid.

  • Thus, it is recommended that one should not tamper with the signed JSON File that has been sent for upload. Instead you can ask the Auditor to send you the Preview PDF File generated from the Offline Tool so that you can review it and look at the details entered by the Auditor in Form GSTR-9C. In case of any discrepancy, ask the Auditor to make corrections, sign and resend the updated JSON file to you for upload.

22. What can I do in case of any error shown by system on uploading the Signed JSON File?

Download the JSON error file and send it to the Auditor offline for corrections. Auditor would make corrections, sign and resend the updated JSON for upload.

23. I (as Auditor) have received JSON Error File from the Taxpayer. What do I do now?

Open the JSON Error File, received by the taxpayer, in the offline tool by clicking on “Open GSTR9C JSON Error File Downloaded from GST Portal button”. Correct errors as per details mentioned in “GST Portal Validation errors”, validate, sign and resend the updated JSON to the taxpayer for upload.

24. I have uploaded the Signed JSON File sent by the Auditor and it was processed successfully without error. Now, Auditor needs to edit or add more details in the successfully processed data. Can this be done?

-Yes, you can make changes to the process data as long as you have not filed Form GSTR-9C. Once filed, Form GSTR-9C cannot be revised.

  • Thus, before filing, in case Auditor wants to add or edit data in the file that has been successfully processed without error, you need to download Processed GSTR-9C JSON File from GST Portal and send it to the Auditor offline for corrections. Auditor would make corrections, sign and resend the updated JSON for upload to you.

25. I am uploading a revised GSTR-9C JSON File sent by the Auditor. What will happen to details of the previous upload?

If some details exist from previous upload, it will be updated with latest uploaded details. All new entries will be added as new entries.

Initiate Filing of Form GSTR-9C

26. How can I File Form GSTR 9C?

Chartered Accountant/ Cost Accountant after verification and signing will pass on the signed JSON file to taxpayer for uploading on the GST Portal. It is to be uploaded on the GST portal by the taxpayer, after verification, along with a copy of the documents like Balance Sheet, Income and Expenditure Account/ Profit and Loss Account and any other documents.

27. What can I do if Auditor has made recommendation on additional liability to be discharged by me?

  • On the GSTR-9C page, you are given an option to navigate to Form DRC-03 for making payment towards additional liability.

  • Or, from the Dashboard page, you can use the following navigation to access Form DRC-03: Services > User Services > My Applications > Application Type - Intimation of Voluntary Payment - DRC – 03 > NEW APPLICATION

28. What is the Upload format to be used for documents to be uploaded during filing of Form GSTR 9C?

Upload format allowed for documents—Balance Sheet, Profit and Loss Account/ Income and Expenditure Account, etc.— to be uploaded during filing of Form GSTR 9C is PDF only.

29. Is there any limit on the size of documents required to be uploaded?

Limit of upload for following documents under each section shall be 2 files and each file size should not exceed 5 MB:

  • Balance Sheet

  • Profit and Loss Account/Income and Expenditure Account

  • Other document 1, if any

  • Other document 2, if any

30. Do I need to click on ‘SAVE’ button in ‘Upload Relevant Documents’ section after every upload?

Yes. You need to click on ‘SAVE’ button after the status is ‘Processed’. ‘SAVE’ button will be enabled only after successful upload of mandatory documents (Balance sheet and Profit & loss statement/Income & expenditure statement etc.).

31. What will happen if I click on ‘PROCEED TO FILE’ without clicking on ‘SAVE’ button.

Error message will be displayed if you click on ‘PROCEED TO FILE’ button without clicking on ‘SAVE’ button.

32. When proceed to file button will be enabled?

‘PROCEED TO FILE’ button will be enabled only after successful upload of following:

  1. Signed JSON file

  2. Balance sheet in PDF/JPEG format

  3. Profit & Loss statement/ Income & Expenditure statement in PDF/JPEG format

33. Can I add/delete the uploaded PDF/JPEG file after clicking on ‘PROCEED TO FILE’ or ‘FILE GSTR-9C’ button?

Yes. You can add/delete PDF/JPEG file till successful filing of Form GSTR-9C. If you have deleted/added any documents, then you have to click on SAVE and proceed to file the Form.

34. Can I preview Form GSTR 9C details before filing?

Yes, you can preview Form GSTR 9C details before filing using the PREVIEW DRAFT GSTR9C(PDF) button.

35. When ‘FILE GSTR-9C’ button will be enabled?

‘FILE GSTR-9C’ button will be enabled after Ready to file message is displayed on the top of the GSTR-9C page as a result of clicking the ‘PROCEED TO FILE’ button. You will be able to click the ‘FILE GSTR-9C’ after you have entered details in the “Verification” section.

Viewing and Tracking Status of Form GSTR-9C

36. Can taxpayers track the status of Form GSTR-9C?

Yes, taxpayers can track the status of Form GSTR-9C after logging on to the GST Portal with their valid credentials.

  • Before filing: Navigate to Services > Returns > Track return status option.

  • After filing: Navigate to Services > Returns > View e-filed returns option.

37. Can Auditors track the status of Form GSTR-9C filed by the Taxpayer on the GST Portal?

No, Auditors cannot track the status of Form GSTR-9C filed by the Taxpayer on the GST Portal.

38. Can I save and download the filed Form GSTR 9C?

Yes, you can save/ download the filed form for future reference. ARN and Date of ARN will also be shown on summary downloaded after filing the form.

39. Can I revise Form GSTR-9C or make any changes in it after filing?

Form GSTR-9C once filed cannot be revised. However, changes can be made till filing of return.

40. Can I download the reconciliation statement in excel format before/after filing of GSTR-9C?

Yes. You can download the reconciliation statement details in excel format.

41. Can I download the uploaded PDF/JPEG (Balance sheet, profit & loss statement etc.) and JSON file after successful filing?

Yes. You can download the GSTR-9C JSON/PDF/Excel files by clicking on ‘DOWNLOAD GSTR-9C’ button in GSTR-9C tile on the “Annual Returns” page. To download PDF/JPEG uploaded by taxpayer on the “GSTR-9C page”, click ‘View GSTR-9C’ button in GSTR-9C tile.

Common Issues Faced and Resolutions

S.NO. IIssue Faced While Using GSTR-9C Offline UtilitySuggested Action To Be Taken For Issue Resolution
1If you receive message "Compile Error” while submitting GSTR-9C.You are advised to use Microsoft excel version higher than 2007 while preparing Form GSTR 9C.
2Error message "File generation is in progress" is being received while using GSTR 9 C Offline utility.

Users are trying to download the JSON which they import in offline utility to get auto populated GSTR9 data.

To download the extract, please follow the below steps:

1 )Please click on ‘Initiate-Filling’ button on GSTR-9C tile.

2) The GSTR-9C page is displayed.

3) Click the ‘Download GSTR-9C TABLES DERIVED FROM GSTR-9(PDF)’ button.

Auditor needs to enter the values manually in GSTR9C offline utility, generate a JSON file and forward it to the taxpayer with his signatures through an email.

3Users are trying to download GSTR 9 data in JSON file from Portal for auto-populating GSTR 9 data in GSTR 9C offline Tool. In such a case error message "File generation is in progress" is being received while using GSTR 9 C Offline utility.GSTR 9C offline Tool is not designed to be auto-populated. The data can only be entered manually in the Tool.

To prepare GSTR 9C, follow the below steps:

1) Please click on `Initiate-Filling` button on GSTR-9C tile.

2) The GSTR-9C page is displayed.

3) Click the `Download GSTR-9C TABLES DERIVED FROM GSTR-9(PDF)` button.

This PDF file is to be sent to the Auditor. The Auditor needs to enter the values manually in GSTR9C offline utility.

4User is getting the error "Auditors sign is invalid ".To avoid the error user must ensure the following:

I. DSC related:

a) Signature must be in format PKCS7.

b) Signature should not be corrupted.

c) DSC should be valid.

II. Internet explorer settings and may tempered with wsweb.html file.

Please do below settings:

1) Close all the application on the system

2) Open Internet Explorer

3) Go to Tool-->Internet Option-->Security-->Custom level,

4) You find two option

  • a) "Automatic prompting for Activex control" please click on Enable
  • b) "Download unsigned Activex Control" click on Prompt then click on OK.
  • 5)Now download the Notepad++ from google and follow the following process.

  • a) Install the Notepad++,
  • b) Go to the utility folder right click on "wsweb.html"---> click on "Edit with Notepad++"
  • c) Click after "" tag, give a space after "" tag and then press the backspace.
  • 6) Save the file using "ctrl+S" key and close the file and stop the Emsigner Service if started.

    7) Now start Emsigner again

    8) Open the utility and try to generate the JSON file again

    9) Internet explorer pop-up will come, inside that one more pop-up will ask for "Allow Blocked content",

    10) After that "Initiate signing" and "Open Emsigner" button will work.

    Notes:

    1) Following are the pre-requisites for filing FORM GSTR-9C :-

    a. Prior filing of Annual Return Form GSTR-9 is mandatory.

    b. Form GSTR-9C has to be prepared by the Auditor by filling up data in the Offline Tool available on the GST portal.

    Note: Any observations/ comments must be entered in excel tool directly and must not be copy/pasted from anywhere else.

    2) Following steps must be taken to file Form GSTR-9C :-

    Steps for Filing Form GSTR 9CActions to be done on GST Portal/Offline or through email communication with Auditor
    i. Taxpayer should compile details & Data and send the same to Auditor.
    A. The Form GSTR-9 that has already been filed on GST portal (gst.gov.in) should be downloaded (in PDF format).ON GST Portal
    B. Taxpayer should download GSTR-9C Tables by clicking on “initiate filing” available under the tab of GSTR 9C. The tables

    (derived from Form GSTR-9) contain following pre-filled fields (as filed in Annual return):

    i. Turnover

    ii. Taxable turnover

    iii. Total amount of tax paid

    iv. ITC

    ON GST Portal
    C. The above mentioned PDF files of GSTR 9 and tables of GSTR 9C should be sent to the Auditor for Preparing GSTR-9C Statement.Through email/offline
    ii. Auditor Prepares GSTR-9C Statement Using GSTR-9C Offline Utility.
    D. Download GSTR-9C Offline Utility from GST portal in “Downloads”.ON GST Portal
    E. Install emSigner after downloading the latest version from GST Portal.ON GST Portal
    F. Open the GSTR-9C Offline Utility Excel Worksheet.Offline
    G. Add table-wise details in the Worksheet.Offline
    H. Generate Preview PDF file to view Draft Form GSTR-9COffline
    I. Generate JSON File andOffline
    J. Auditor needs to affix his/her DSC.Offline
    K. Auditor needs to send the Signed JSON File to the Taxpayer.Can use email or offline storage devices such as USB etc. to exchange files with each other.
    iii. Taxpayer Uploads GSTR-9C Statement (prepared by Auditor)
    L. Click “initiate filing” and upload other relevant documents and by clicking on “prepare offline” Upload the Signed JSON File on GST Portal and Save form. ON GST Portal
    M. Sign the Form and complete filing of Form GSTR-9C. ON GST Portal

    3) Important points to note, on the GST Portal, with regard to filing FORM GSTR-9C :-

    a. The Initiate-Filing tab is to be used first to Download relevant GSTR 9C Tables (PDF) derived from GSTR 9 and then taxpayer is required to send the PDF file to Auditor (for reference for preparing Form GSTR 9C).

    b. For preparing Form GSTR-9C by the auditor, JSON file is not required to be downloaded from the portal by the taxpayer. Please do not try to download JSON file, if you have not uploaded such file prepared by your Auditor.

    c. After receipt of JSON file (Reconciliation statement as prepared & signed by Auditor) :

    • Prepare Offline tab is to be used to upload ‘JSON File’ (Reconciliation statement as prepared & signed by Auditor) on GST Portal. This tab is to be used to download error JSON file, if any.

    • The Initiate-Filing tab is to be used to upload Balance Sheet, P & L Account etc. in PDF/JPEG format.

    • PROCEED TO FILE tab will be enabled only after successful uploading of Reconciliation statement (Signed JSON file) & audited annual accounts.