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GST Return Filing


GST Return Filing: How to File GST Returns Online?

The implementation of GST return filing in India shall roll out by 2016, overhauling the entire indirect taxation regime. The proposed GST would subsume levies like excise, VAT, and service tax, as well as other local levies. GST filing shall make the process for starting and managing a business easy in India (Know more about GST benefits). Just like present service tax or VAT regulations, GST would also require the periodic filing of GST returns. In this article, we shall look at types of GST returns forms and how to file GST returns online.

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What are GST returns?

GST returns are electronic documents mandated for businesses registered under the Goods and Services Tax (GST) in India. These returns summarise your business activity for a specific period, detailing outward supplies (sales made), inward supplies (purchases made), tax collected on sales, tax paid on purchases (claimed as Input Tax Credit), and your resulting tax liability. Essentially, they provide the government with a comprehensive picture of your tax activities and determine the net tax you owe. Timely filing of GST returns is crucial to avoid penalties and interest charges.

Who should file GST Returns?

Businesses with an aggregate annual turnover of above Rs.5 crore and not opted for the Quarterly Return and Monthly Payments (QRMP) scheme must file one annual return and two monthly returns. And taxpayers whose annual turnover upto Rs.5 crore can choose to file their returns under the QRMP scheme. Remember, QRMP filers must file on a monthly basis, though they file quarterly.

Types of GST Return forms

Find the 13 types of GST returns forms, its description, filing frequency, and the details to be furnished,

GST return form Description Filing frequency Details to furnish
GSTR-1 Reports outward supplies (sales) made during a month. Monthly Invoice details, recipient information, HSN/SAC code, taxable value, tax rate, and total tax liability.
GSTR-3B Summarizes monthly outward & inward supplies, tax liability, and ITC claimed. Monthly (except GSTR-8 filers) Summary of outward supplies, inward supplies, tax liability (CGST, SGST, IGST), and ITC claimed.
GSTR-4 (Composition) Declares tax liability under the composition scheme for a quarter. Quarterly Details of outward supplies made under the composition scheme, tax liability at the composition rate, and tax paid during the quarter.
GSTR-5 Input Tax Credit (ITC) for purchases from unregistered dealers. Monthly (if ITC claimed on purchases from unregistered dealers) Details of purchases made from unregistered dealers, taxable value, tax rate, and ITC claimed.
GSTR-5A Details purchases reported in GSTR-5 by suppliers. Monthly (if you are a supplier who made sales to a taxpayer filing GSTR-5) Details of sales made to a taxpayer filing GSTR-5, including invoice details, taxable value, tax rate, and ITC claimed by the buyer.
GSTR-6 Input Tax Credit (ITC) on inward supplies received from overseas suppliers. Monthly (if ITC claimed on imports) Details of imports made, taxable value, tax rate (IGST), and ITC claimed.
GSTR-7 Reports inward supplies (purchases) made during a month and ITC claimed. Monthly (over ₹1.5 crore turnover) Invoice details, supplier information, HSN/SAC code, taxable value, tax rate, and ITC claimed.
GSTR-8 (E-commerce) Details supplies made on the platform, tax collected at source (TCS), and deposited TCS. Monthly Details of supplies made through the e-commerce platform, tax collected at source (TCS) on such supplies, and details of TCS deposited with the government.
GSTR-9 (Annual) Reconciles GSTR-3B info with financial statements for a year. Annual Reconciliation of information filed in GSTR-3B with your financial statements, including details of inward and outward supplies, tax liability, ITC claimed, and any adjustments required.
GSTR-10 (Final) Reports are the remaining period’s supplies and tax liability after registration cancellation or closure. Once Details of outward and inward supplies made during the remaining period after registration cancellation or business closure, along with the tax liability for that period.
GSTR-11 (UIN) Claims refund for inward supplies UIN holders receive (e.g., embassies). As applicable Details of inward supplies received and refund claimed by persons holding a Unique Identity Number (UIN), typically foreign diplomatic missions and embassies not liable to pay tax in India.
CMP-08 (Composition) Declares self-assessed tax for composition scheme for a quarter. Quarterly Taxable value of outward supplies made during the quarter and tax liability at the composition rate.
ITC-04 (Composition) Declares stock details upon exiting the composition scheme. Once (on exiting the composition scheme) Details of opening stock of inputs and finished goods held on the date of exiting the composition scheme.

How to file GST Returns?

The following are the general process to file GST returns online:

  1. Login to the GST Portal: Access the GST portal using your GSTIN and login credentials.
  2. Navigate to the “Returns” Section: Locate the “Services” tab and click on “Returns Dashboard.”
  3. Select the Return Period and Type: Choose the financial year and the specific return you want to file (e.g., GSTR-3B for a monthly return).
  4. Prepare Online or Upload Offline Data: The portal offers pre-filled information based on previous filings. You can edit or upload data from your accounting software.
  5. Review and Submit: Carefully review the entered details. Once satisfied, digitally sign and submit the return.
  6. Payment of Tax Liability (if applicable): If your return reflects tax liability, pay online using a challan or net banking option.

Consequence of not filing GST returns

Failure to comply with GST return filing regulations can lead to severe consequences:

  • Late Filing Penalties: Penalties are levied for delayed return filing, calculated as a percentage of tax liability or a fixed amount per day of delay.
  • Interest Charges: Interest is charged on overdue tax liability, adding to your financial burden.
  • Input Tax Credit Denial: Non-filing returns can result in denying ITC claims, impacting your business’s cash flow.
  • Suspension of GST Registration: In severe cases, persistent non-compliance can result in suspension of your GST registration, hindering your ability to conduct business.

Can GST Return be Revised?

There would be no procedure or revision of a GST Return. All unreported invoices of the previous tax period must be included in the returns for the current month, and interest, if any, would be applicable.


Understanding GST return filing is crucial for businesses registered under Goods and Services Tax (GST). This article has covered the basics, including what GST returns are, who needs to file them, the different return forms, and the step-by-step process for online filing. Remember, timely filing ensures you avoid penalties and interest charges. Refer to the GST portal or consult an IndiaFilings tax professional for detailed guidance on specific return formats and potential consequences of non-compliance.

To know more about GST in India, visit IndiaFilings or connect with a Chartered Accountant.