Taxable persons and entities under GST are required to file various GST returns. Under GST, return filing is a very important activity that serves as the link between the taxpayer and the government. In the GST return, the taxpayer is required to furnish details like the particulars of business activity, declaration of tax liability, payment of taxes and other information as requested by the government. All returns in GST are required to be filed electronically and facility is to be provided for manual filing of GST returns, wherein the return can be prepared offline and uploaded on the GSTN by the taxpayer or a facilitation center.
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Registered persons who are taxable under GST are required to file GST returns. Therefore, any registered person who has obtained registration but has not crossed the exemption limit (i.e., Rs.20 lakhs across India, except for Northeastern and Hill states wherein its Rs.10 lakhs) will not be required to file GST return until they cross the exemption limit. However, once the exemption limit is crossed and the taxpayer begins filing GST returns, even if there is no taxable supplied made or received during a period, the taxpayer is required to file a NIL return. Hence, not filing GST return is not an option and without filing the return of a period, next return cannot be filed.
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GSTR-1 or return of outward supply must be filed by GST registered taxpayers before the 10th of every month. In the GSTR-1 or return of outward supply details like item wise detail of goods and services supplied with HSN or SAC codes, supply with respect to all B2B transactions, details of all inter-state supplies of B2C transactions above Rs.2.5 lakhs and all other invoices of less than Rs.2.50 lakhs with state wise summary details of all B2C transactions must be submitted. GSTR-1 should also contain details like zero-rated supplies, return of goods received in pursuance of an inward supply, exports, debit notes, credit notes and supplementary invoices.
GSTR-2 or return of inward supply must be filed by GST registered taxpayers before the 15th of every month. In the GSTR-2 or return of inward supply, taxpayers are required to verify, modify or provide details of all supplied received during the period. Since, details of all inward supplies would have been filed by all taxpayers on the 10th of each month, most details in GSTR-2 would be auto-populated by the system. In addition, taxpayers are also required to declare details of all tax to be paid on reverse charge basis, import of goods or services, debit and credit notes and supplies received from persons not registered under GST and composition suppliers.
GSTR-3 or monthly GST return must be filed by GST registered taxpayers before the 20th of every month. In the GSTR-3 or monthly GST return, taxpayers are required to verify, and provide details of inward/outward supplies, input tax credit availed, tax payable, tax paid and other details as required. Majority of the information in the monthly GST return would be auto populated from the GSTR-1 and GSTR-2 return filed by the taxpayer on the 10th and 15th of each month. Only details to be provided by the taxpayer in GSTR-3 would be information relating to payment of tax and other information not previously provided in GSTR-1 and GSTR-2.
GSTR-4 or annual GST return must be filed by GST registered taxpayers before the 31st December of the end of the financial year, in respect of which its filed. Annual GST return would be a detailed return which contains all the information filed by the taxpayer during the financial year, including income and expenditures under various heads, monthly tax payment reconciliation, refund details and pending arrears. In addition to the information submitted in the return, the taxpayer could also be required to furnish audited financial statements, reconciliation statements and other documents as required for the GST regulator from time to time.