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The introduction of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) in 2017 has made the indirect tax regime simpler. However, a multiplicity of rules and forms still make it complex for many. 

 

For instance, every GSTIN-registered taxpayer needs to file a GST return form. However, there are 22 types of GST return forms prescribed under GST Rules, 2017. One such form is GSTR-5A.

 

GSTR-5A is required to be filed by a non-resident Online Information and Database Access or Retrieval (OIDAR) services provider. These returns are to be filed for the services provided by OIDAR from outside of India to those in India.

OIDAR Meaning

In today’s times, various business services cut across national boundaries. The service providers use multiple modes to provide these services to the target audience. 

 

One such mode is the Internet. For instance, companies like Google and Amazon provide cloud computing services to users in India from their bases in the USA. All such services are commonly known as OIDAR or Online Information and Database Access or Retrieval. 

 

In simple terms, OIDAR means services provided by service providers outside India to Indians without any physical medium. 

 

These services have been brought under the purview of the GST rules. The provision aims to provide equal opportunity to domestic service providers in terms of cost and taxation.

GST on OIDAR Services

As per GST rules, OIDAR service providers are required to file returns through the GSTR-5A form. Note that these service providers need to file GST on OIDAR services provided to unregistered recipients in India. There are two types of service recipients for OIDAR services: 

1. Registered Person or Entity

As per the GST rules, the registered person or entity receiving OIDAR services has to file GST returns. It is called the reverse charge mechanism, wherein the service recipient is liable to pay the OIDAR GST to the government. 

2. An Unregistered Person, Government, or Local authority

On the other hand, when OIDAR services are received by an unregistered person, government, or local authority, the service provider is liable to file GST returns. 

 

This provision is applicable only when services received are employed for purposes other than business or commerce. In this case, the service providers are required to file GSTR-5A.

What is the Last Date to File GSTR-5A?

If you have to file GSTR 5A, the due date is 20th day of the succeeding month. Note that you are required to file GSTR-5A even if your business registered no transaction in the previous month.

 

However, if you fail to file GSTR-5A on or before the due date, you will be charged with a penalty. The following are the details about the late fee payable on missing the due date: 

  • ₹200 per day for normal return 

  • ₹100 per day for NIL return

Who is Eligible to File GSTR 5A?

Any non-resident Online Information and Database Access or Retrieval (OIDAR) service provider is eligible to file GSTR-5A. The only condition is that they must be providing services to an unregistered person, government, or local authority.

 

The GSTR-5A is required to be filed even if these service providers did not register any business transaction in the previous month. In such a case, they are liable to file a NIL return on their GSTR-5A form.

Filing Requirements for GSTR 5A

The GST Rules mandate that OIDAR service providers are liable to file returns through the GSTR-5A form every month. It stipulates the 20th day of every month as the due date for filing GSTR-5A for returns of the previous month.

For instance, if you are required to file GST returns for March 2023, you need to file GSTR-5A on or before April 20, 2023. However, when filing GSTR-5A, keep the following requirements in mind and adhere to these conditions: 

  • Even if your business does not register any business transaction in a particular month, you will be required to file Nil returns on GSTR-5A

  • It is compulsory for all non-resident OIDAR service providers providing services to an unregistered person, government, and local authority to file GSTR-5A

  • Income Tax Credit (ITC) is not available on GSTR-5A, and hence, the electronic cash ledger is not maintained for GSTR-5A

  • You can file the GSTR-5A only after paying the due taxes and other amounts payable

  • You cannot file GSTR-5A for the current tax period before filing the return for the previous tax period 

  • To file GSTR-5A, you are required to have a PAN-based digital signature along with User ID and password

 

The following is the format of the GSTR-5A format:

  • Table 1GSTIN of the Service Provider

  • Table 2: Legal Name of the Registered Person & Trade Name (if any)

  • Table 3: Name of the Authorised Representative in India (those filing the returns)

  • Table 4: Period (the month and year of filing the return)

  • Table 5: Details of the taxable outward supplies to the recipients in India. These include:

  1. Place of supply

  2. Tax rate

  3. Taxable value

  4. Integrated GST value

  5. Cess

  • Table 5A: Amendments to the taxable outward supplies to the non-taxable recipients in India for the previous taxation period

  • Table 6: Calculation of interest, penalty, or any other amount

  • Table 7: Tax Interest, Late Fee, and any other amount payable 

 

Once you have filed GSTR-5A on the Income Tax portal, an acknowledgement slip is generated, which you can keep for future reference. This acknowledgement slip is also sent to the taxpayer’s registered email.  

 

To conclude, GSTR-5A is required to be filed by all OIDAR service providers if they are providing services to unregistered persons and entities in India. Even if your business does not register any business transactions, you need to file NIL returns on the GSTR-5A form. 

 

As per the GST Rules, the 20th day of every month is stipulated as the due date for filing these returns. However, if you fail to file before the due date, you will have to pay late fees. You can find additional information on GST at Bajaj Markets.

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FAQs for GSTR-5A

What is the difference between GSTR 5 and GSTR 5A?

GSTR-5 is a tax return form filed by Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) detailing all their sales and purchases in the taxable period. On the other hand, GSTR-5A is a tax return to be filed by the non-resident OIDAR service provider for providing Internet-based services.

What is the late fee for GSTR 5A?

The late fee for missing GSTR 5A due date is ₹200 per day for normal returns and ₹100 per day for NIL returns.

Is registration necessary for these non-resident OIDAR service providers?

Yes, non-resident OIDAR needs GSTIN to file GST returns. To get a GSTIN, they need to be registered.

Does any sort of Input tax credit be availed in Form GSTR 5A?

No, as per GST rules, you cannot avail Input Tax Credit (ITC) on filing GSTR-5A.

Can you file GSTR-5A after making part payment of taxes?

No, you can file GSTR-5A after you have made a complete payment of taxes and the due amount.

Can you file GSTR-5A for the current period if no GST return has been filed for previous years?

No, you can only file the GSTR-5A for the current period if you have filed a GST return for the previous taxation period.

Are all the OIDAR service providers required to file GSTR 5A?

Yes, all the OIDAR service providers providing services to unregistered Indian users, governments, and local authorities must file GSTR-5A.

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