GST Return Filing

The businesses registered under GST have to file returns monthly, quarterly and annualy based on the category of business through the Government of India's GST portal. They have to provide the details of the sales and purchases of goods and services along with the tax collected and paid.

Implementation of a comprehensive Income Tax system like GST in India will ensure that taxpayer services such as registration, returns, and compliance are transparent and straightforward. Individual taxpayers will be using 4 forms for filing their GST returns such as the return for supplies, return for purchases, monthly returns, and annual return. Small taxpayers who have opted for a composition scheme will have to file quarterly returns. All filing of returns will be done online.

What is GST Return?

GST return is an official document that furnishes all the purchases, sales, tax paid on purchases, and tax collected on sales-related details. The GST returns is required to be filed, following which the taxpayer has to pay off the tax liability.

Who should file GST Returns?

GST returns has to be filed by all the business entities who are registered under the GST system. The filing process has to be identified on the basis of the nature of the business.

The registered dealer who part of the following activities needs to file a GST return:

  1. Sales
  2. Purchase
  3. Output Goods and services tax (on Sales)
  4. Input Tax Credit with GST paid on the purchase

How to File GST Returns Online?

From manufacturers and suppliers to dealers and consumers, all taxpayers have to file their tax returns with the GST department every year. Under the new GST regime, filing tax returns has become automated. GST returns can be filed online using the software or apps provided by Goods and Service Tax Network (GSTN) which will auto-populate the details on each GSTR forms. Listed below are the steps for filing GST return online:

  • Step:1 Visit the GST portal (www.gst.gov.in).
  • Step:2 A 15-digit GST identification number will be issued based on your state code and PAN number.
  • Step:3 Upload invoices on the GST portal or the software. An invoice reference number will be issued against each invoice.
  • Step:4 After uploading invoices, outward return, inward return, and cumulative monthly return have to be filed online. If there are any errors, you have the option to correct it and refile the returns.
  • Step:5 File the outward supply returns in GSTR-1 form through the information section at the GST Common Portal (GSTN) on or before 10th of the following month.
  • Step:6 Details of outward supplies furnished by the supplier will be made available in GSTR-2A to the recipient.
  • Step:7 Recipient has to verify, validate, and modify the details of outward supplies, and also file details of credit or debit notes.
  • Step:8 Recipient has to furnish the details of inward supplies of taxable goods and services in GSTR-2 form.
  • Step:9 The supplier can either accept or reject the modifications of the details of inward supplies made available by the recipient in GSTR-1A.

Types of GST Returns under New GST Law

The list of all types of GST returns in India along with frequency and the due date for filing returns.

Return form Who should file the return and what should be filed? Frequency Due date for filing
GSTR-1 Registered taxable supplier should file details of outward supplies of taxable goods and services as effected. Monthly 11th of the subsequent month.
GSTR-2 Registered taxable recipient should file details of inward supplies of taxable goods and services claiming input tax credit. Monthly 15th of the subsequent month.
GSTR-3 Registered taxable person should file monthly return on the basis of finalization of details of outward supplies and inward supplies plus the payment of amount of tax. Monthly 20th of the subsequent month.
GSTR-4 Composition supplier should file quarterly return. Quarterly 18th of the month succeeding quarter.
GSTR-5 Return for non-resident taxable person. Monthly 20th of the subsequent month.
GSTR-6 Return for input service distributor. Monthly 13th of the subsequent month.
GSTR-7 Return for authorities carrying out tax deduction at source. Monthly 10th of the subsequent month.
GSTR-8 E-commerce operator or tax collector should file details of supplies effected and the amount of tax collected. Monthly 10th of the subsequent month.
GSTR-9 Registered taxable person should file annual return. Annual 31 December of the next fiscal year.
GSTR-10 Taxable person whose registration has been cancelled or surrendered should file final return. Once, after the registration of GST is cancelled Within 3 months of date of cancellation or date of cancellation order, whichever is later.
GSTR-11 Person having UIN claiming refund should file details of inward supplies. Monthly 28th of the month, following the month for which the statement was filed.

Various Kinds of GSTR Forms with Explanation

GST returns can be filed using different forms depending on the type of transaction and registration of the taxpayer. Return forms for normal taxpayers are:

GSTR 1

GSTR-1 form has to be filed by a registered taxable supplier with details of the outward supplies of goods and services. This form is filled by the supplier. The buyer has to confirm the auto-populated buy information on the form and make modifications if required. The form will contain the following details:

  • Business name, period for which the return is filed, Goods and Services Taxpayer Identification Number (GSTIN).
  • Invoices issued in the previous month and the corresponding taxes collected.
  • Advances received against a supply order that has to be delivered in the future.
  • Revision in outward sales invoices from the previous tax periods.

GSTR-1 has to be filed by 10th of the following month.

GSTR 2

GSTR-2 form has to be filed by a registered taxable recipient with details of the inward supplies of goods and services. The form will contain the following details:

  • Business name, a period for which the return is filed, Goods and Services Tax Identification Number (GSTIN).
  • Invoices issued in the previous month and the corresponding taxes collected.
  • Advances received against a supply order that has to be delivered in the future.
  • Revision in outward sales invoices from the previous tax periods.

GSTR-2 has to be filed by 15th of the following month.

GSTR 3

GSTR-3 form has to be filed by a registered taxpayer with details that are automatically populated by from GSTR-1 and GSTR-2 returns forms. The taxpayer has to verify and make modifications, if any. GSTR-3 return form will contain the following details:

  • Details about Input Tax Credit, liability, and cash ledger.
  • Details of tax paid under CGST, SGST, and IGST.
  • Claim a refund of excess payment or request to carry forward the credit.

GSTR-3 has to be filed by 20th of the following month.

GSTR 4

GSTR-4 form has to be filed by taxpayers who have opted for the Composition Scheme. Taxpayers with small business or a turnover of up to Rs.75 lakh can opt for the Composition Scheme wherein he or she have to pay tax at a fixed rate based on the type of business. Taxpayers under this scheme will not have input tax credit facility. GSTR-4 quarterly return form will contain the following details:

  • The total value of consolidated supply made during the period of return.
  • Details of tax paid.
  • Invoice-level purchase information.

GSTR-4 has to be filed by 18th of the following month.

GSTR 5

GSTR-5 form has to be filed by all registered non-resident taxpayers. This form will contain the following:

  • Name and address of the taxpayer, GSTIN, and period of return.
  • Details of outward supplies and inward supplies.
  • Details of goods imported, any amendments in goods imported during the previous tax periods.
  • Import of services, amendments in import of services
  • Details of credit or debit notes, closing stock of goods, and refund claimed from cash ledger.

GSTR-5 has to be filed by 20th of the following month.

GSTR 6

GSTR-6 form has to be filed by all taxpayers who are registered as an Input Service Distributor. This form will contain the following:

  • Name and address of the taxpayer, GSTIN, and period of return.
  • Details of input credit distributed.
  • Supplies received from registered persons.
  • The amount of input credit availed under the current tax period.
  • Details of inward supplies will be auto-populated from GSTR-1 and GSTR-5 return forms.
  • Details of the receiver of input credit corresponding to his or her GSTIN.
  • Details of credit or debit notes.
  • Input tax credit received, input tax credit reverted, and input tax credit distributed as SGST, CGST, and IGST.

GSTR-6 has to be filed by 13th of the following month.

GSTR 7

GSTR-7 form has to be filed by all registered taxpayers who are required to deduct tax at source under the GST rule. This form will contain the following:

  • Name and address of the taxpayer, GSTIN, and period of return.
  • TDS details and amendments in invoice amount, TDS amount or contract details.
  • TDS liability will be auto-populated. Details of fees for late filing of return and interest on delayed payment of TDS.
  • Refund received from Electronic Cash Ledger will be auto-populated.

GSTR-7 has to be filed by 10th of the following month.

GSTR 8

GSTR-8 form has to be filed by all e-Commerce operators who are required to collect tax at source under the GST rule. This form will contain details of supplies effected and the amount of tax collected under Sub-section (1) of Section 43C of Model GST Law. Other details include:

  • Name and address of the taxpayer, GSTIN, and period of return.
  • Details of supplies made to registered taxable person and amendments, if any.
  • Details of supplies made to unregistered persons.
  • Details of Tax Collected at Source.
  • TDS liability will be auto-populated. Details of fees for late filing of return and interest on delayed payment of TDS.

GSTR-8 has to be filed by 10th of the following month.

GSTR 9

GSTR-9 form is filed by normal taxpayers with details of all income and expenditure for the year. This detail will be regrouped in accordance with the monthly returns. The taxpayer will have the opportunity to make modifications in the information provided if required. GSTR-9 has to be filed by 31st December of the following financial year along with the audited copies of the annual accounts.

GSTR 10

GSTR-10 form has to be filed by any taxpayer who opts for cancellation of GST registration. This form will contain the following:

  • Application Reference Number (ARN).
  • Date of cancellation of GST registration.
  • Unique ID of cancellation order.
  • Date of cancellation order.
  • Details of closing stock including amount of tax payable on closing stock.

GSTR-10 final return form has to be filed within 3 months of the date of cancellation or date of cancellation order, whichever is later.

GSTR 11

GSTR-11 form has to be filed by everyone who has been issued a Unique Identity Number (UIN) and claims a refund of the taxes paid on inward supplies. This form will contain the following details:

  • Name of the government entity, UIN, and period of return.
  • All inward purchases from GST registered supplier will be auto-populated.

Based on the above mentioned details, the tax refund will be made. GSTR-11 form has to be filed on 28th of the month, following the month for which supply was received.

How to File GST Returns with GSTN?

The Goods and Service Tax Network will store information of all GST registered sellers and buyers, combine the submitted details, and maintain registers for future reference. Companies have to file 3 monthly returns every 3 months and one annual return in a financial year (37 returns in total). GSTN has launched a simple excel based template to make the filing of returns easier for businesses. This excel workbook can be downloaded from the GST common portal free of charge. Taxpayers can use this template to collate invoice data regularly. The details of inward and outward supplies can be uploaded on the GST portal on or before the due date. The data preparation can be done offline. Only while uploading the prepared file on the GST portal will the taxpayer need the Internet.

How to check GST Returns Status?

The official GST Login Portal allows you to check the status of your GST Returns. There are 3 different methods for the same. The methods are as follows:

  • Tracking the status using the ‘Return Filing Period’ option
  • Tracking the status using the ‘ARN’ option
  • Tracking the status using the ‘Status’ option

Tracking the status using the ‘Return Filing Period’ option

  • Step 1: Use your credentials to log in to the online GST portal at https://www.gst.gov.in/.
  • Step 2: Click on the ‘Services’ tab from the top menu.
  • Step 3: Navigate to ‘Track Return Status’ under the ‘Returns’ option.
  • Step 4: Select the ’Return Filing Period’ option.
  • Step 5: In the next page, select the financial year and the return filing period from the respective drop-down boxes.
  • Step 6: Click on the ‘Search’ button and the status of the GST Return will be displayed on your screen.

Tracking the status using the ‘ARN’ option

  • Step 1: Use your credentials to log in to the online GST portal at https://www.gst.gov.in/.
  • Step 2: Click on the ‘Services’ tab from the top menu.
  • Step 3: Navigate to ‘Track Return Status’ under the ‘Returns’ option.
  • Step 4: Select the ’ARN’ option.
  • Step 5: Enter the ARN in the field provided.
  • Step 6: Click on the ‘Search’ button and the status of the GST Return will be displayed on your screen

Tracking the status using the ‘Status’ option

  • Step 1: Use your credentials to log in to the online GST portal at https://www.gst.gov.in/.
  • Step 2: Click on the ‘Services’ tab from the top menu.
  • Step 3: Navigate to ‘Track Return Status’ under the ‘Returns’ option.
  • Step 4: Select the ’Status’ option.
  • Step 5: Select the Status of Return that you are looking for from the drop-down box.
  • Step 6: Click on the ‘Search’ button and the status of the GST Return will be displayed on your screen.

How to Download GST Returns?

You can download your GST Returns from the official GST Portal. You can follow the steps mentioned below to download your GST Returns:

  • Step 1: Use your credentials to log in to the online GST portal at https://www.gst.gov.in/.
  • Step 2: Click on the ‘Services’ tab from the top menu.
  • Step 3: Navigate to ‘Returns Dashboard’ under the ‘Returns’ option.
  • Step 4: In the next page, select the financial year and the return filing period from the respective drop-down boxes.
  • Step 5: Click on the ‘Search’ button and select the GTR that you want to download.
  • Step 6: Click on the ‘Prepare Offline’ button under the selected GSTR.
  • Step 7: Navigate to the ‘Download’ option and click on ‘Generate File’.
  • Step 8: In general, the request for the generation of the file takes around 20 minutes.
  • Step 9: Once the file is generated, a download link will be generated. Click on the ‘Click Here’ option to download the ZIP file containing your GST Returns.

Penalty for late filing of GST Returns

A penalty will be levied on the taxpayer in case he/she fails to file the returns on time. This penalty is called the late fee. As per the GST Law, the late fee is Rs.100 for each day for each Central Goods and Services Tax (CGST) and State Goods and Services Tax (SGST). Thus, the total fine amount will be Rs.200 per day. However, this rate is subject to changes which will be announced through notifications. The maximum amount of fine that can be levied is Rs.5,000. Integrated GST or IGST does not attract any late fee in case the return filing is delayed. The taxpayer will also be required to pay an interest at the rate of 18% p.a. in addition to the late fee. This interest has to be calculated by the taxpayer on the amount of tax that is to be paid. The time period will be calculated from the day following the filing deadline till the date when the actual payment is made.

GST Returns FAQs

1. For taxpayers who files returns on a quarterly basis, what are the types of regular returns that should be used?

For taxpayers who have an aggregate turnover of up to Rs.5 crore in the previous year, the regular returns that are to be used are either Sugam, Sahaj, or normal (quarterly) returns.

2. For what reasons can we file Form RET-1 through the SMS mode?

Form RET-1 can be filed through SMS in the case of Nil returns, where supplies have not been made or received.

3. If documents are left pending by recipients, can amendments be made in the documents by the supplier?

Suppliers can only make amendments in the documents if the document has been rejected by the recipient, and not if they have been left pending.

4. Can the period of filing of returns be changed by the taxpayer?

Yes, the period of filing can be changed by the taxpayer once. This can only be done at the time that the first return of the financial year is filed.

5. In form ANX-1, if the document details are entered into the wrong table, can it be corrected

The facility to shift such documents to the correct table is available but is provided only once the documents are rejected by the recipient.

News About GST Returns

  • From Next Year Non-filers of One Monthly GST Return Will be Banned from Submitting GSTR-1

    Businesses that fail to file a summary return or pay monthly GST will be unable to file a GSTR-1 sales return for the following month beginning 1 January 2022. The GST Council met in Lucknow on 17 September 2021 and resolved on a slew of steps to simplify compliance, including requiring firms to use Aadhaar authentication when filing refund claims. These steps will aid in preventing revenue leakage from the Goods and Services Tax (GST), which went into effect on 1 July 2017. With effect from 1 January 2022, the Council agreed to alter Rule 59(6) of the Central GST Rules to specify that a registered person will not be allowed to file Form GSTR-1 if they have not filed the previous month's return in Form GSTR-3B.

    20 September 2021

  • New filing guidelines for GSTR-1

    There are new rules being issued for the Goods and Services Tax (GST) networks effective from September 2021. With regard to filing of the GSTR-1, all the information should now be submitted in accordance with Rule-59(6) of the Central GST Rule. Also, filling up t GSTR-3B form.

    2 September 2021

  • From 1 September 2021 Non-filers of GST Returns will be Unable to File GSTR-1

    Businesses that have not completed GSTR-3B returns for the preceding two months would not be allowed to file details of outward supplies in GSTR-1 from 1 September 2021, according to the Goods and Service Tax Network (GSTN), which oversees the entire IT system of the GST site. Businesses must register GSTR-1 by the 11th day of the next month, while filing GSTR-3B can be done in stages between the 20th and the 24th day of the following month. The GSTR-3B form, in particular, is used by businesses to pay their monthly taxes.

    30 August 2021

  • GST return deadlines extended

    The Indian Government has decided to extend the deadlines for compliances related to routine Goods and Services Tax. The Government has also reduced the interest charged on delayed tax payments and also waived off the late fee for taxpayers. However, these concessions will be granted for a limited time window of a fortnight to a month, effective 1 May.

    The Finance Ministry said these decisions were taken keeping in mind the challenges faced by taxpayers in meeting GST compliances due to the rise in COVID-19 cases in the country and the financial implications caused due to it.

    The Ministry has lowered the rate to zero or 9% for different categories of taxpayers. Traders registered under the Composition Scheme will not be required to pay interest for 15 days after the normal due dates for tax payments, 9% for the next 15 days and 18%, thereafter.

    03 May 2021

  • Businesses can verify monthly GST returns via EVC until 31 May 2021

    The government has announced that businesses can verify their monthly GST returns via an electronic verification code until 31 May. At the moment, businesses need to digitally sign the GSTR-3B form in order to file the monthly return and pay the taxes. However, due to the lockdown, the offices have been shut and businesses have been unable to generate a digital signature. The move will benefit taxpayers as they cannot visit offices to get the digital signatures.

    28 April 2021

  • CBIC issues deadline for GST filing

    An alert has been issued by The Central Board of Indirect Taxes & Customs (CBIC) for different categories of tax filing, which has not been done for the month of February 2021, to be completed by the last date of 10 March 2021. There will be a penalty or late fee if the taxes are not filed before this date. E-Commerce Operators who are mandated to collect Tax at Source under GST will have to file their GSTR-8 Return by this date. GST Taxpayers who are mandated to deduct Tax at Source have to file their GSTR-7 Return before this date. Registered manufacturers of goods are also mandated to file the Central Excise Return this date.

    10 March 2021

  • Last date for annual GST filing extended

    The government of India has extended the date for the filing the goods and service tax (GST) return. Now you can reconcile your statements for FY20 by March-end. The date was earlier 28 February.

    01 March 2021

  • Government extends the deadline for annual GST returns filing to 28th Feb, 2021

    The Government of India has extended the last date for the filing of annual returns of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) for the year 2019-20. The deadline has been extended by 2 months.

    The extension has been offered after the businesses and tax consultants raised demands for the same in regard to the complexities for the compliance and barriers which have been raised due to the COID-19 pandemic situation. The previous deadline was 31 December 2020 which has now been revised to 28th February, 2021.

    4 January 2021

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