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August 10, 2020

40 FAQs Do’s & Don’ts for filing Form GSTR-4 (Annual Return) Offline Utility

by shivam jaiswal in GST, GST Circular Notification

40 FAQs Do’s & Don’ts for filing Form GSTR-4 (Annual Return) Offline Utility

1. What is Form GSTR-4 (Annual Return) Offline Utility?

Answer: Form GSTR-4 (Annual Return) Offline utility is an Excel based tool to facilitate preparation of annual return creation in Form GSTR-4.

Form GSTR-4 (Annual Return) is an yearly return to be filed once, for each financial year, by the taxpayers who have opted for composition scheme during the financial year, or were in Composition scheme for any period, during the said financial year, from 1st April, 2019 onwards.

Such taxpayers are required to furnish details regarding summary of outward supplies, Inward supplies, import of services and supplies attracting reverse charge etc. in this form.

Once return is prepared using offline utility, it can be uploaded on GST Portal, by generating a JSON file.

2. Who needs to file Form GSTR-4 (Annual Return)?          

Answer: All taxpayers who have opted for composition scheme under GST, for any period during the financial year, need to file Form GSTR-4 (Annual Return). This will include a taxpayer –

  • who have opted for composition scheme since registration and have never opted out subsequently; or
  • who have opted in for composition scheme before starting of the financial year; or
  • who have opted in for composition but subsequently opted out any time during the year.

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3. Who doesn’t need to file Form GSTR-4 (Annual Return)?

Answer: Following persons are not required to file Form GSTR-4 (Annual Return):

i. Non-resident taxable person

ii. Regular taxpayer who have not opted in composition scheme for any period during the financial year

iii. OIDAR

iv. Input service distributor

v. Casual Taxable Person

vi. Person required to Deduct Tax at Source u/s 51

vii. Person required to Collect Tax at Source u/s 52

viii. UIN holder

4. What are the features of Form GSTR-4 (Annual Return) Offline Utility?

Answer: The Key Features of Form GSTR-4 (Annual Return) Offline Utility are given below:

In Form GSTR-4, details of Table 4A, 4B, 4C, 4D and Table 6 (row 12 to 16) can be prepared offline, with no connection to Internet.

In Form GSTR-4, details of Table 5 can be used to view auto-drafted details provided in filed Form CMP-08 for the financial year and Table 7 can be used to view TDS/TCS credit received during the year. These tables are non-editable.

Most of the data entry and business validations are inbuilt in the offline utility reducing chances of errors upon upload to GST Portal.

Payment of tax, interest or late fee can be made ONLY after logging to the GST Portal.

5. Can I file Form GSTR-4 (Annual Return) using Offline Utility?

Answer: No. You can prepare the above tables in Form GSTR-4 (Annual Return) using the offline utility and then create a JSON file to upload on the Portal. Filing can take place only online on the GST Portal.

6. What details in Form GSTR-4 (Annual Return) can be entered by taxpayer using the Offline Utility?

Answer: Details for following Tables of Form GSTR-4 (Annual Return) can be entered by taxpayer using the offline Tool:

Table 4A. B2B: To add details of inward supplies received from a registered supplier (other than reverse charge).

Table 4B. B2BRC: To add details of inward supplies received from a registered supplier (attracting taxability on reverse charge basis)

Table 4C. URP: To add details of inward supplies received from an unregistered supplier

Table 4D. IMPS: To add details of import of service

Table 6. Inward outward supplies: To enter tax rate wise details of outward supplies made during the financial year (in Row 12 to 16 )

Download Form GSTR-4 (Annual Return) Offline Utility

7. From where can I download Form GSTR-4 (Annual Return) Offline Utility in my system?

Answer: To download and open Form GSTR-4 (Annual Return) Offline Utility in your system from the GST Portal, perform following steps:

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

Go to Downloads > Offline Tools > GSTR-4 (Annual) offline tool option and click on it.

Unzip the downloaded Zip file which contains GSTR_4_Annual_Offline_Utility.xls excel sheet.

Open the GSTR_4_Offline_Utility.xls excel sheet by double clicking on it.

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

Note: Downloading Form GSTR-4 (Annual Return) Offline utility is a one-time activity. However, the utility may get updated in future. So, always use the latest version available on the GST Portal.

8. Do I need to login to GST Portal to download the Form GSTR-4 (Annual Return) Offline Utility?

Answer: No. You can download the Form GSTR-4 (Annual Return) Offline Utility under ‘Downloads’ section without logging in to the GST Portal.

9. What are the basic system requirements/configurations required to use Form GSTR-4 (Annual Return) Offline Tool?

Answer: The offline tool functions best on Windows 7 and above and MS EXCEL 2007 and above.

10. Is Offline utility mobile compatible?

Answer: Designed and Developed by GSTN As of now Form GSTR-4 (Annual Return) Offline utility cannot be used on mobile. It can only be used on desktop/laptops.

Download the Generated JSON File

11. Why do I need to download the generated JSON file from the GST Portal?

Answer: You can download the generated JSON file from the GST Portal to:

view details provided in filed Form CMP-08 in the relevant FY.

view details related to TDS/TCS credit received and accepted during the year.

edit Form GSTR-4 data already filled on GST Portal.

edit details already uploaded through offline tool on GST Portal.

12. How can I download the JSON file from the GST Portal?

Answer: Login to the portal with valid credentials. Navigate to Services > Returns > Annual Return > Select the Financial Year > SEARCH > UPLOAD/DOWNLOAD JSON > GENERATE JSON FILE TO DOWNLOAD button to download the JSON file from the GST Portal.

13. Do I need to login to GST Portal to download the generated JSON file using Form GSTR-4 (Annual Return) Offline Utility?

Answer: Yes. You must login in to the GST Portal to download the generated JSON file using Form GSTR-4 (Annual Return) Offline Utility. However, this step is optional.

14. Is it mandatory to enter details in all worksheets (tables)?

Answer: It is not mandatory to fill up data in all worksheets/tables. The worksheet for which no details are required to be reported can be left blank.

Worksheet Tabs in Form GSTR-4 (Annual Return) Offline Utility

15. How many worksheet-tabs are there in Form GSTR-4 (Annual Return) Offline Utility?

Answer: There are 8 worksheet-tabs in Form GSTR-4 (Annual Return) Offline Utility. These are:

Designed and Developed by GSTN

1. Read Me

2. Home

3. 4A. B2B

4. 4B. B2BRC

5. 4C. URP

6. 4D. IMPS

7. 5. CMP-08

8. 6. Inward outward supplies

9. 7. TDS TCS Credit received

16. What is the use of Read Me worksheet-tab?

Answer: The Read Me sheet contains Introduction and help instructions for you to read and use them to easily fill up data in Form GSTR-4 (Annual Return) Offline Utility.

17. What is “Go Home” button?

Answer: On click of ‘Go Home’, offline utility navigates to the Home sheet directly.

18. What is the use of Home worksheet-tab?

Answer: The Home sheet is the main page of the utility. It is used to perform following functions:

1. Enter mandatory details— GSTIN and Financial Year — Without entering these details, you will not be able to validate the data which you have entered in various worksheets and also you will not be able to import the JSON file into the offline utility.

2. Import and open JSON File downloaded from GST portal using Open Downloaded GSTR-4 JSON File button. (User has to first import the JSON file from portal for auto-computed values). However, this step is optional and user can skip this step and still generate JSON for upload.

3. Enter details in worksheet-tab

4. Generate JSON file, for upload of Form GSTR-4 (Annual Return) details prepared offline on GST portal, using Generate JSON File to upload button.

5. Import and open Error JSON File downloaded from GST portal using Open Downloaded Error JSON File button.

19. What is the use of ‘4A. B2B’ worksheet-tab?

Answer: The 4A. B2B sheet contains Table 4A. It is used to perform following 3 functions:

1. Enter tax rate wise consolidated details of inward supplies received from a registered supplier (other than reverse charge).

2. Validate the entered details using the Validate Sheet button.

3. Navigate to the Home page by clicking on the Go Home button or navigate to the next sheet.

20. What is the use of ‘4B. B2BRC’ worksheet-tab?

Answer: The 4A. B2BRC sheet contains Table 4B. It is used to perform following 3 functions:

1. Enter tax rate wise consolidated details of inward supplies received from a registered supplier (reverse charge).

2. Validate the entered details using the Validate Sheet button.

3. Navigate to the Home page by clicking on the Go Home button or navigate to the next sheet.

21. What is the use of ‘4C. URP’ worksheet-tab?

Answer: The 4C. URP sheet contains Table 4C. It is used to perform following 3 functions:

1. Enter tax rate wise consolidated details of inward supplies received from an unregistered supplier.

2. Validate the entered details using the Validate Sheet button.

3. Navigate to the Home page by clicking on the Go Home button or navigate to the next sheet.

22. What is the use of ‘4D. IMPS’ worksheet-tab?

Answer: The 4D. IMPS sheet contains Table 4D. It is used to perform following 3 functions:

1. Enter tax rate wise consolidated details of import of service.

2. Validate the entered details using the Validate Sheet button.

3. Navigate to the Home page by clicking on the Go Home button or navigate to the next sheet.

23. What is the use of ‘5. CMP-08’ worksheet-tab?

Answer: The 5. CMP-08 sheet contains Table 5. It is used to view auto-drafted details provided in filed Form CMP-08 for the financial year. Data can be imported and auto populated in this Table from the ‘Open Downloaded GSTR-4 JSON File’, if the same has been downloaded from GST portal into the Offline Tool. Otherwise, these details will be populated in this Table after upload of JSON file on GST portal.

24. What is the use of ‘6. Inward outward supplies’ worksheet-tab?

Answer: The 6. Inward Outward Supplies sheet contains Table 6. It is used to perform following 3 functions:

1. Enter the tax rate wise details of outward supplies during the financial year.(in Row 12 to 16)

2. In this table, the details of inward supplies shall be auto-drafted from table 4B, 4C and 4D for each tax rate wise on click of ‘Compute’ button.( in Row 1 to 11)

3. Validate the entered details using the Validate Sheet button.

4. Navigate to the Home page by clicking on the Go Home button or navigate to the next sheet.

25. What is the use of ‘7. TDS TCS Credit Received’ worksheet-tab?

Answer: The 7. TDS TCS Credit Received sheet contains Table7. It is used to view details related to TDS/TCS credit received during the year. Data can be imported and auto populated in this Table from the ‘Open Downloaded GSTR-4 JSON File’, if the same has been downloaded from GST portal into the Offline Tool. Otherwise, these details will be populated in this Table after upload of JSON file on GST portal.

Entering & validating Details in Offline Utility

26. How can I prepare details in Offline Utility?

Answer:

 Download the GSTR-4 (Annual) Offline tool from GST Portal under Downloads section and open it on your system.

Enter edit/view the details in table no. 4 and table 6 (row 12 to 16)

Generate the JSON file for upload.

27. Can I generate the JSON file from the offline tool without first importing and opening the JSON file into the offline tool?

Answer: Yes, you can generate the JSON file from the offline tool without first importing and opening the JSON file into the offline tool.

28. Can the offline utility populate name of the taxpayer based on GSTIN in “Home” Sheet?

Answer: No, the offline utility cannot populate name of the taxpayer based on GSTIN, as details will not be there to fetch name of the taxpayer in Excel/offline utility. GSTIN is to be manually entered. However, it can validate structure of GSTIN when GSTIN is entered in “Home” sheet of Offline utility.

29. Can I enter negative or decimal amounts in the offline utility?

Answer: Yes, you can enter any negative value and decimal values in the offline utility, wherever applicable.

30. What is meant by Add or Delete option under Action column?

Answer: You need to select Add or Delete option for each row with data to be added or deleted on the GST Portal.

31. What is “Validate Sheet” button?

Answer: After entering the data in each sheet, you must click on ‘Validate Sheet’ button to validate the records. If there are any errors, then those errors will be displayed in ‘Sheet validation errors’ column. You must correct these errors before you move to next sheet or generate JSON file to upload.

32. Can the offline utility validate all details entered in it?

Answer: No, the offline utility will not be able to validate all the details as it would have no connection with GST portal at the time of data entry. Only limited validations would be available in the offline utility tool, namely: GSTIN structure, type of tax etc.

33. After clicking “Validate Sheet” button, I can see cells highlighted in red and “Sheet Validation” column only shows “Error in row”. How can I know details about the error?

Answer: Point your mouse-cursor on each of the red-highlighted cells to read the error description of each cell. A yellow description box will appear. Correct the errors as mentioned in the description box.

Alternatively, click Review > Show All Comments link in the ribbon-tab of the excel to view all the comments together.

34. When will I be able to validate all details entered in the offline utility?

Answer: Most of the validations are made available in the offline tool itself on click of “validate sheet” button. The validations that have dependency of online connectivity like GSTIN validation, tax rates, POS etc. would be done at the time of upload of JSON File created using offline tool.

Upload the Generated JSON File

35. Do I need to login to GST Portal to upload the generated JSON file using Form GSTR-4 (Annual Return) Offline Utility?

Answer: Yes. You must login in to the GST Portal to upload the generated JSON file using Form GSTR-4 (Annual Return) Offline Utility.

36. I am uploading Form GSTR-4 (Annual Return) JSON File again, after making changes. What will happen to details of the previous upload?

Answer: In case, some details exist from previous upload, it will be updated with latest uploaded details. These details will be updated GSTIN wise for Table 4A and 4B and PAN wise for Table 4C.

37. Can I generate the JSON file from the offline utility without entering any details in any sheet?

Answer: No. You can’t generate nil JSON file.

Download Error JSON File

38. What will the error report contain?

Answer: Error Report will contain only those entries that failed validation checks on the GST portal. The successfully-validated entries can be previewed online.

39. Does the downloaded Error JSON File contain all the entries I have uploaded on the GST Portal?

Answer: No, the downloaded Error JSON File contains records which have failed validation during upload on the GST portal.

40. I’ve uploaded Form GSTR-4 (Annual Return) JSON File and it was processed without error. Do I need to download the generated file?

Answer: No, it is not necessary for you to download the Form GSTR-4 (Annual Return) JSON File processed without error. You can download it only if you want to view or update the details added previously.

Downloaded JSON file will contain the revised/updated details which you have previously uploaded on the GST Portal through offline/online mode.

Do’s & Don’ts

41. Is there a list of key Dos and Don’ts we need to keep in mind while making entries in the utility?

Answer: Yes. Please refer to the following list of Dos and Don’ts for your easy reference:

Before Generating JSON File…

Do’sDon’ts
Enter a valid GSTIN very carefully. Verify GSTIN from the GST portal: Home > Search Taxpayer > Search by GSTIN/UIN, and make sure the GSTIN registration was active during the year.Don’t type the alphabet ‘O’ in place of the number ‘0’.
You can use the Copy/Paste (Ctrl+C/Ctrl+V) keyboard functions while entering data in the utility.Don’t use the Cut (Ctrl+X) keyboard function while entering data in the utility.
——-Don’t forget to click Validate Sheet button after making changes in any of the sheets.
You may change the file name and location of the generated JSON file.Don’t change the extension (.json) of the generated JSON file.

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