GST Returns

As a business owner and taxpayer, it is crucial to understand the significance of filing GST returns accurately and timely. The Goods and Services Tax (GST) return is a document that encompasses all the essential details of your business transactions, including sales, purchases, output tax collected, and input tax paid. By filing GST returns, you fulfill your obligation to report your income and pay the resulting tax liability to the government. In this article, we will explore the various types of GST returns and their due dates, providing you with valuable insights into the GST return filing process.


    Types of GST Returns and their Purposes

    Given below are the various different kinds of GST Returns and their purpose:

    Regular Businesses

    • GSTR-1: This return captures details of outward supplies made, including interstate and intrastate B2B and B2C sales, reverse charge purchases, and inter-state stock transfers during the tax period.
    • GSTR-3B: A temporary consolidated summary return for inward and outward supplies, providing a relaxation for businesses transitioning to GST. It simplifies tax payments for the initial months of July and August 2017.
    • GSTR-9: An annual consolidated tax return that reflects the taxpayer’s income and expenditure, regrouped according to the monthly returns filed during the financial year.
    • GSTR-9C: An audit form required for taxpayers whose annual turnover exceeds Rs. 2 crores, mandating them to get their annual reports audited.

    Businesses Registered under the Composition Scheme

    • GSTR-4: A quarterly return specifically designed for compounding vendors, reporting the total value of supplies made and tax paid at the compounding rate.
    • GSTR-9A: An annual composition return form filed by taxpayers enrolled in the composition scheme.

    Other Types of Business Owners and Dealers

    • GSTR-5: A variable return for non-resident foreign taxpayers, documenting details of goods and services sold, purchased, or imported on Indian soil.
    • GSTR-6: A monthly return for Input Service Distributors (ISDs), providing information on basic details, invoice-level supply details, and ITC (Input Tax Credit) distribution.
    • GSTR-7: A monthly return for TDS (Tax Deducted at Source) transactions, including supplier details, invoices subject to tax deduction, and information on other payments such as interests and penalties.
    • GSTR-8: A monthly return for e-commerce operators, encompassing details of supplies made through the e-commerce platform, tax collected at source, and tax payable.
    • GSTR-9B: An annual return form for e-commerce operators collecting tax at source.
    • GSTR-10: A final GST return filed while canceling GST registration, summarizing all supplies, liabilities, tax collected, and tax payable.
    • GSTR-11: A variable tax return for taxpayers with UIN (Unique Identification Number), providing details of purchases made by foreign embassies and diplomatic missions for self-consumption.

    Auto-drafted Returns

    • GSTR-2A: An auto-drafted tax return for purchases and inward supplies compiled by the GSTN (Goods and Services Tax Network) based on information from the GSTR-1 filed by suppliers.
    • GSTR-2B: An auto-drafted document serving as an Input Tax Credit (ITC) statement, facilitating return filing, reconciliation, and compliance.
    • GSTR-4A: A quarterly purchase-related tax return for composition dealers, automatically generated based on information from GSTR-1, GSTR-5, and GSTR-7 filed by suppliers.

    Does GST have to be paid monthly?

    Regular taxpayers, including those enrolled in the Quarterly Return Monthly Payment (QRMP) scheme, are obligated to pay GST on a monthly basis. This applies to businesses regardless of whether they opt for quarterly return filing. However, small taxpayers have the flexibility to choose the composition scheme if their annual aggregate turnover is within the prescribed limits of Rs. 1.5 crore for manufacturers/dealers and Rs. 50 lakh for pure service providers. Under the composition scheme, they can file a quarterly statement-cum-challan and pay taxes on a quarterly basis.

    Who Should File GST Returns?

    Goods and Services Tax (GST) has revolutionised India’s tax structure, streamlining various taxes into a unified system. For businesses operating under GST, filing returns is a critical aspect of compliance. In this informative guide, we explore the question of who should file GST returns and delve into the significance of this process for businesses.

    Who Should File GST Returns?

    Filing GST returns is mandatory for specific individuals and entities to ensure accurate tax reporting and payment. The following categories of individuals and businesses are required to file GST returns:

    • Registered Taxpayers: Any business or individual registered under GST must file returns regularly. This includes both normal taxpayers and those under the composition scheme.
    • Regular Taxpayers: Businesses with an annual turnover exceeding the prescribed threshold are classified as regular taxpayers and are obligated to file GST returns.
    • Composition Scheme Taxpayers: Businesses opting for the composition scheme, designed for small taxpayers, must file quarterly returns under GST.
    • Input Service Distributors: Entities registered as Input Service Distributors are required to file returns to declare the distribution of input tax credit among recipient units.
    • Non-Resident Taxable Persons: Non-resident individuals or businesses conducting taxable activities in India are obligated to file GST returns.
    • E-Commerce Operators: Online marketplaces or e-commerce operators facilitating the supply of goods or services are responsible for filing returns on behalf of their sellers.

    Why is Filing GST Returns Important?

    Filing GST returns serves several crucial purposes, making it an essential aspect of compliance for businesses:

    • Accurate Tax Reporting: GST returns allow businesses to report their input and output tax accurately, ensuring proper calculation of tax liabilities.
    • Input Tax Credit Claim: Timely and accurate return filing enables businesses to claim input tax credit, reducing their overall tax liability.
    • Transparency and Accountability: GST returns promote transparency and accountability in the taxation process, preventing tax evasion and ensuring fair practices.
    • GST Refund Claims: Businesses eligible for GST refunds, such as exporters, need to file returns to claim their rightful refunds.
    • Avoid Penalties: Failure to file GST returns within the specified deadlines can result in penalties and late fees, adversely affecting the financial health of businesses.
    • GST Compliance Rating: Regular and accurate return filing contributes to a higher GST compliance rating, which can enhance a business’s reputation and credibility.

    Filing GST returns is a mandatory and integral part of the GST framework, ensuring accurate tax reporting, input tax credit claim, and overall compliance. Various categories of individuals and businesses, including registered taxpayers, composition scheme participants, and e-commerce operators, must adhere to the return filing requirements. By understanding the significance of timely return filing, businesses can avoid penalties, claim refunds, and contribute to a transparent and efficient taxation system. As the GST landscape evolves, staying informed and proactive in return filing remains essential for maintaining a strong financial footing in the dynamic business environment.

    How Many Returns Are There Under GST?

    The Goods and Services Tax (GST) introduced a unified tax structure in India, transforming the way businesses manage their taxes. One crucial aspect of GST compliance is filing returns. However, understanding the number of returns required under GST can be a bit perplexing. In this informative guide, we unravel the complexities and provide a clear overview of how many returns businesses need to file under the GST regime.

    Why is Filing GST Returns Important?

    Filing GST returns serves several crucial purposes, making it an essential aspect of compliance for businesses:

    Number of GST Returns to Be Filed

    The number of GST returns that a business is required to file depends on various factors, including the nature of the business, type of registration, and turnover. Here’s a breakdown of the different types of GST returns:

    • GSTR-1 (Outward Supplies): Businesses need to file GSTR-1 to report details of their outward supplies of goods and services. This return is filed monthly, except for small taxpayers who have the option to file it quarterly.
    • GSTR-2A (Auto-Drafted Return): GSTR-2A is an auto-generated return based on the details filed by the supplier in their GSTR-1. Businesses need to review and reconcile this return with their own records.
    • GSTR-3B (Summary Return): GSTR-3B is a summary return where businesses need to report their total outward supplies, input tax credit, and calculate the net tax liability. This return is filed monthly.
    • GSTR-4 (Composition Scheme): Small businesses opting for the composition scheme need to file GSTR-4 on a quarterly basis. It includes details of supplies, tax payable, and payment of tax.
    • GSTR-5 (Non-Resident Taxpayers): Non-resident taxpayers need to file GSTR-5 to report their inward and outward supplies during their period of activity in India.
    • GSTR-6 (Input Service Distributors): Input Service Distributors need to file GSTR-6 to report the details of input tax credit distribution to recipient units.
    • GSTR-7 (TDS Deductors): Businesses deducting Tax Deducted at Source (TDS) need to file GSTR-7 to provide details of TDS deducted and deposited.
    • GSTR-8 (E-commerce Operators): E-commerce operators are required to file GSTR-8 to report the supplies made through their platform and collect tax at source.
    • GSTR-9 (Annual Return): All regular taxpayers need to file GSTR-9, an annual return, providing a comprehensive summary of their annual activities and reconciling the information filed in other returns.

    The number of GST returns that a business needs to file varies based on its nature and registration type. Understanding these different types of returns and their respective due dates is crucial for maintaining GST compliance. By staying informed about the specific returns applicable to your business and adhering to the filing deadlines, you can navigate the GST landscape successfully and contribute to a transparent and efficient tax system. As the GST framework continues to evolve, a proactive approach to return filing remains essential for ensuring smooth business operations and compliance.

    Late Fees for Not Filing GST Return on Time

    The Goods and Services Tax (GST) has redefined India’s taxation landscape, bringing with it a comprehensive framework to streamline taxes. One crucial aspect of GST compliance is timely return filing. Failure to file GST returns on time can result in late fees and penalties. In this informative guide, we delve into the intricacies of late fees for not filing GST returns promptly, providing essential insights for businesses to avoid unnecessary financial setbacks.

    Understanding Late Fees for Delayed GST Return Filing

    Timely GST return filing is crucial to maintain compliance and contribute to the efficient functioning of the taxation system. The late fees for delayed return filing are designed to incentivize businesses to adhere to the prescribed deadlines.

    Late Fee Structure

    • For GSTR-1 (Outward Supplies) and GSTR-5 (Non-Resident Taxpayers): A late fee of Rs. 50 per day (Rs. 25 for CGST and Rs. 25 for SGST) is applicable for each day of delay. The maximum late fee is capped at Rs. 5,000.
    • For GSTR-3B (Summary Return): Late fee structure for GSTR-3B is Rs. 20 per day (Rs. 10 for CGST and Rs. 10 for SGST) in case of NIL returns and Rs. 50 per day (Rs. 25 for CGST and Rs. 25 for SGST) for other cases.
    • No Late Fee for IGST: It’s important to note that late fee provisions apply to CGST and SGST only. There is no late fee on Integrated GST (IGST) for delayed return filing.

    Penalty for Tax Liability Declaration

    Apart from late fees, businesses with tax liability also face penalties for not declaring their liabilities in GSTR-3B on time. A penalty of 10% of the tax due or Rs. 10,000 (whichever is higher) is applicable.

    Impact on Input Tax Credit: Delayed return filing can also affect the eligibility to claim Input Tax Credit (ITC). If returns are not filed, the recipient may face issues in availing ITC on the corresponding outward supplies.

    Optimising Timely GST Return Filing

    To avoid late fees and penalties for delayed GST return filing, businesses can adopt the following strategies:

    • Calendar Reminders: Set up reminders for return filing deadlines to ensure timely compliance.
    • Automated Software: Utilise GST-compliant accounting software that helps track deadlines and simplifies the return filing process.
    • Professional Assistance: Seek guidance from tax professionals or consultants to ensure accurate and timely return filing.

    Late fees for not filing GST returns on time serve as a reminder of the importance of adhering to prescribed deadlines. By understanding the late fee structure and its implications, businesses can ensure timely compliance, maintain eligibility for Input Tax Credit, and avoid unnecessary financial burdens. As the GST landscape evolves, a proactive approach to return filing remains vital for successful tax management and sustaining a healthy financial position.

    The Goods and Services Tax (GST) has revolutionised India’s tax structure, introducing a unified tax regime that has streamlined taxation processes. A critical component of GST compliance is the accurate and timely filing of GST returns. In this informative guide, we delve into the step-by-step process of how GST returns are filed and submitted, providing businesses with a clear understanding of this essential aspect of taxation.

    How Are GST Returns Filed or Submitted?

    Filing GST returns involves a systematic process that requires careful adherence to guidelines and deadlines. Here’s a comprehensive overview of how GST returns are filed and submitted:

    • Choose the Appropriate Form: Depending on your business type, activity, and registration status, select the relevant GST return form from the list of available forms, such as GSTR-1, GSTR-3B, GSTR-4, and more.
    • Maintain Accurate Records: Ensure that you have comprehensive records of all your transactions, including sales, purchases, input tax credit, and output tax liability.
    • Log In to the GST Portal: Access the official GST portal ( using your registered credentials, including the GSTIN (Goods and Services Tax Identification Number) and password.
    • Select the Appropriate Return Form: Choose the specific return form that corresponds to the type of information you need to report for the designated tax period.
    • Complete the Return Form: Fill in the required details accurately in the online return form. This includes providing information about your sales, purchases, and any other relevant transactions.
    • Validate the Form: After completing the form, validate it to ensure that all mandatory fields are filled correctly and no errors are present.
    • Preview the Form: Before final submission, preview the form to verify the accuracy of the entered information.
    • Submit the Form: Once you are confident that the form is accurate and complete, submit it on the GST portal. You will receive an acknowledgment reference number as confirmation of the submission.
    • Payment of Tax Liability: If you have any tax liability after adjusting input tax credit, pay the tax amount online through the available payment methods on the GST portal.
    • File GSTR-3B (Monthly Summary Return): For most businesses, GSTR-3B is the monthly summary return that needs to be filed. This return summarises the outward and inward supplies, input tax credit, and tax liability.
    • Reconciliation of ITC: Reconcile the auto-drafted ITC in GSTR-2A with your actual records to ensure accurate credit utilisation.

    Filing GST returns is a systematic process that involves accurately recording and reporting your business transactions. By following the step-by-step procedure outlined above and adhering to the GST portal’s guidelines, businesses can ensure timely and accurate return filing. As the GST framework evolves, staying informed and proactive in return filing remains pivotal for maintaining compliance, optimising tax management, and contributing to a transparent and efficient taxation system.

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