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Goods and Services Tax (GST) was introduced in the year 2017 with the objective of simplifying the collection of indirect taxes in the country. Under the new GST regime, all registered businesses are required to file monthly/quarterly and annual returns. A GST return is basically a document detailing the total income, sales, expenses, and purchases of a GST-registered trader.

Who Should File a GST Return?

There are a total of 13 returns prescribed in the GST Act; however, not every business owner is required to file all types of returns. The number and the type of returns that a business owner is required to file depends upon the nature of the business and its annual turnover. For example, a business owner with an annual aggregate turnover of more than ₹5 crore is required to file two monthly returns and one annual return, i.e. a total of 25 GST returns in a year. On the other hand, a trader with a yearly turnover of ₹1.5 crore or less who has opted for the composition scheme is required to file just one GST return in a financial year.

You may refer to the table below for details on the various types of GST returns and which category of businesses are eligible to file which type of returns:

GST Return Type

Who Should File the Return?

GSTR-1

All regular, GST-registered businesses

GSTR-3B

All regular, GST-registered businesses

GSTR- 4

Dealers who have opted for the composition scheme

GSTR-5

Non-resident foreigners with businesses in India

GSTR-5A

Non-resident OIDAR (Online Information and Database Access) service providers

GSTR-6

Input Service Distributors (ISD)

GSTR-7

Businesses who deduct TDS

GSTR-8

E-commerce operators

GSTR-9

All regular, GST-registered businesses

GSTR-9C

All regular, GST-registered businesses

GSTR-10

Businesses whose GST registration was cancelled or surrendered

GSTR-11

Every registered business with a UIN

 

Types of GST Returns

The following table illustrates the various types of GST returns along with their due dates and the frequency of filing:

Type of GST Return

Details

Frequency of Filing

Due Date

GSTR-1

Details of the outward supplies of all the taxable goods and services.

  • Monthly

  • Quarterly (if opted under the QRMP scheme)

  • 11th of the following month

  • 13th of the month succeeding the quarter (for quarterly filing)

GSTR-3B

Details of all the outward supplies and the input tax credit claimed along with the tax amount paid.

  • Monthly

  • Quarterly (if opted under the QRMP scheme)

  • 20th of the following month

  • 22nd or 24th of the month succeeding the quarter (for quarterly filing)

GSTR-4

GST return for the businesses who have opted for the composition scheme.

  • Annually

  • 30th of the month succeeding the given financial year

GSTR-5

GST return filed by non-resident taxable persons.

  • Monthly

  • 20th of the following month

GSTR-5A

GST return filed by non-resident OIDAR service providers.

  • Monthly

  • 20th of the following month

GSTR-6

GST return filed by input tax distributor for the distribution of the input tax credit to its branches.

  • Monthly

  • 13th of the following month

GSTR-7

GST return filed by registered businesses who deduct TDS.

  • Monthly

  • 10th of the following month

GSTR-8

GST return filed by e-commerce operators detailing the supplies affected and the amount of tax collected at source.

  • Monthly

  • 10th of the following month

GSTR-9

Annual return filed by all regular GST-registered businesses.

  • Annually

  • 31st December of the next financial year

GSTR 9C

Self-certified annual audit.

  • Annually

  • 31st December of the next financial year

GSTR-10

Final GST return filed by a business whose GST registration has been cancelled.

  • When the registration is cancelled

  • Within 3 months of cancellation of registration

GSTR-11

Details of inward supplies provided by persons with a UIN.

  • Monthly

  • 28th of the following month

 

How to File GST Returns Online?

You can easily file your GST returns online on the GST portal. All you must do is follow the steps below:

 

  • Step 1: Visit the official GST portal at www.gst.gov.in and log in with your credentials.

  • Step 2: Next, click on the “Services” button and go to the “Returns Dashboard” and enter the financial year and the return filing period in the designated space.

  • Step 3: Select the type of return you wish to file and click on “Prepare Online”.

  • Step 4: Enter all the relevant details, including the amount and the late fee (if applicable), and click on “Save”. You will be able to see a success message on your screen.

  • Step 5: Now, click on the “Submit” button at the bottom of the page to complete the return filing process.

  • Step 6: Once the status of your return changes to “Submitted”, click on “Payment of Tax”.

  • Step 7: Select the “Check Balance” option to view the cash and credit balance so that you know these details before actually paying the tax.

  • Step 8: You now need to enter the amount of credit you wish to use from the total available credit in your account for clearing your tax liability. Next, click on “Offset Liability” to make the payment. Click on “Ok” once you see a confirmation on your screen.

  • Step 9: Finally, check the tick-box next to the declaration and choose an authorised signatory from the drop-down list. Click on “File Form with DSC” or “File Form with EVC” and click on “Proceed” to make the GST payment.

How to File GST Returns with GSTN?

The Goods and Service Tax Network (GSTN) stores information about all GST-registered sellers and buyers to ensure a streamlined and simple process. The data is then combined and maintained for future reference. Business entities can simply download the excel workbook that is available on the common GST portal free of charge. The template can be used to collate all the necessary information offline. Once done, the file must be uploaded to the GST portal.

How to Download GST Returns?

You can download the GST Return filing form from the official GST portal by following the steps given below:

 

  • Step 1: Log in to the GST portal, i.e. www.gst.gov.in.

  • Step 2: Click on the “Services” tab in the top menu.

  • Step 3: Next, click on the “Returns Dashboard” under the “Returns” option.

  • Step 4: Select the financial year and the return filing period from the respective drop-down boxes on the next page.

  • Step 5: Click on the “Search” tab before selecting the GSTR that you wish to download.

  • Step 6: Click on the “Prepare Offline” button under the selected GSTR.

  • Step 7: Next, click on the “Generate File” option under “Download”.

  • Step 8: A download link will be generated once your file is prepared. Click on the “Click Here” button and download the ZIP file to view your GST Returns.

Types of GST Return Filing Status

When you check the status of your GST return on the official GST portal, you may come across any of the four following statuses for your GST return:

 

  • To Be Filed: This status indicates that the return is due but has not been filed yet.

  • Submitted but Not Filed: This status means that your return has been filed and validated, but the same has not been updated in the GST records.

  • Filed-Valid: This status indicates that the return has been filed successfully and the tax has also been paid as per the filing.

  • Filed-Invalid: It means that the return has been filed but the tax has either not been paid or there is a shortfall in the amount paid.

How to Check GST Return Filing Status?

You can check the status of the GST return that you have filed in any of the following three ways:

Tracking GST Return Status Using the Return Filing Period

  • Step 1: Visit the official GST portal and login with your credentials.

  • Step 2: Select the “Services” tab from the top menu.

  • Step 3: Click on “Track Return Status” under the “Returns” option.

  • Step 4: Now, click on the “Return Filing Period” option.

  • Step 5:Select the financial year and the return filing period from the respective dropdown menus.

  • Step 6: Finally, click on “Search” and the GST return status shall be displayed on your screen.

Tracking GST Return Status Using the ARN Option

  • Step 1: Visit the official GST portal and log in with your credentials.

  • Step 2: Select the “Services” tab from the top menu.

  • Step 3: Click on “Track Return Status” under the ‘Returns’ option.

  • Step 4: Now, select the ARN option and enter your ARN in the designated field.

  • Step 5: Click on “Search” and you will be able to see the status of your GST return on the screen.

Tracking GST Return Status Using the "Status Option"

  • Step 1: Visit the official GST portal and log in with your credentials.

  • Step 2: Select the “Services” tab from the top menu.

  • Step 3: Click on “Track Return Status” under the “Returns” option.

  • Step 4: Now, select the “Status” option and select the GST return for which you wish to check the status.

  • Step 5: Click on “Search” and you should be able to see the status of your return on the screen.

Penalty for Late Filing of GST Returns

In case a business owner fails to file their GST returns on time, they are liable to pay two types of penalties:

  • Late Fee: A late fee of ₹100 per day is charged after the due date on late filing of CGST and SGST each (total of ₹200 per day), subject to a maximum late fee of ₹5,000.

  • Interest: The taxpayer is also liable to pay an interest at 18% per annum on the total amount of tax to be paid. This interest rate is applicable from the due date of filing the return till the payment is made.

Lates GST Return News

The deadline to file your annual GST return has been extended until March 31 

The last date for filing yearly GST tax returns for the fiscal year 2019-20 has been stretched to 31st March, 2021 by the government. GST is an indirect tax in India that substituted a number of indirect taxes such as excise duty, services tax, and VAT.

GSTR 9C refers to a yearly audit form for every tax paying citizen with taxable income above Rs. 2 Crores in a fiscal year. The individual shall also complete the reconciliation statement and the audit certification. The government has advanced two months to the deadline for filing annual GST or goods and services tax returns for the fiscal year 2019-20.

- March 2, 2021

FAQs on GST Returns

✔️Is filing a GST return mandatory?

Yes, it is mandatory for every GST-registered business owner to file GST returns as applicable to their business type and size.

✔️How many GST returns are to be filed in a year?

The number of GST returns to be filed depends upon the nature and the size of the business. A regular GST-registered business with an annual turnover greater than ₹5 crore is required to file 25 GST returns in a year. Businesses with turnover up to ₹5 crore can opt for the QRMP (Quarterly Return Filing and Monthly Payment of Taxes) scheme. In that case, only 9 returns are to be filed in a year. Businesses with turnover up to ₹1.5 crore can also opt for the composition scheme under which they are required to file just one return in the entire financial year.

✔️Can the taxpayer change the period of filing the return?

Yes, apart from the mandatory annual return, you can choose to file your GST returns either monthly or quarterly. However, if you have opted for the composition scheme, you need to file only one return - GSTR-4 - in a financial year.