In Union budget 2021, Smt Nirmala Sitharaman, the Finance Minister of India, in her speech, stated that section 35(5) of the CGST Act, 2017 has omitted i.e the mandatory requirement to furnish Reconciliation Statement (GSTR-9C) duly audited by the Practicing Chartered Accountant or Cost Accountant and the applicability of GST audit will not be required further and only GST Annual Return (GSTR-9) with Self certification basis will be acceptable.
This section 35(5) is substituted by a new section namely section 44, it is stated that Every Registered person other than Input Service Distributor and the person liable to pay tax under section 51 or 52, a Casual taxable person and Non Resident taxable person shall furnish annual return (GSTR-9) which may include the reconciliation statement on self-certification basis by the person.
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However, CBIC clarifies that for financial year 2019-20, existing GST audit provisions shall continue. Since, these proposals of amendment in section 35 & 44 of CGST Act, 2017 (GST Audit) will come into effect from a date to be notified later. Therefore, GST Audit will be applicable for the financial year 2019-20. GST audit due date has been extended from 31st December 2020 to 28th February 2021 for financial year 2019-20.
Although GST audit has been scrapped but now the reconciliation statement which was the audit statement in the previous provision is still active and has been merged with Annual return.
Also read: GSTR-9C Applicability, Due Date, Late Fees and Penalties.
Hence, it can be concluded that even though GST audit has been scrapped but still the GST filing and GST annual return is not so simple that the tax payer can file them by themselves.
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