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GST Return – Types of GST Returns

GST Return

GST Return – Types of GST Returns

The Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime has been a significant overhaul of India’s indirect tax system. It has simplified taxation and made compliance more accessible for businesses across the country. One of the crucial aspects of GST compliance is GST return filing. In this article, we will explore what GST returns are, who should file them, the types of GST returns, and the due dates for filing them. Additionally, we will discuss the Composition Scheme, an alternative for small businesses.

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What is a GST Return?

A GST return is a comprehensive document that encapsulates the entirety of a GST-registered taxpayer’s financial transactions, encompassing both income and expenses. It is obligatory for every GSTIN holder to furnish this document to the tax administrative authorities. The primary purpose of this document is to enable tax authorities to compute the taxpayer’s net tax liability accurately.

Under the GST framework, a registered dealer must submit GST returns, which essentially cover the following key aspects:

  • Purchases: A detailed account of all purchases made by the taxpayer.
  • Sales: An exhaustive record of all sales transactions conducted by the taxpayer.
  • Output GST (On Sales): Documentation of the GST applicable on the taxpayer’s sales.
  • Input Tax Credit (GST Paid on Purchases): An account of the GST payments made on purchases, which can be offset against the output GST liability.

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Who Should File GST Returns?

Any business or individual registered under GST is obligated to file GST returns. Registration under GST is mandatory for businesses whose aggregate turnover exceeds the prescribed threshold limit. The threshold limit may vary for different categories of taxpayers, such as regular taxpayers and composition scheme dealers.

How Many Returns are there under GST?

There are a total of 13 returns under the Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime. These returns serve to capture different aspects of a taxpayer’s financial transactions and obligations within the GST framework. However, it’s important to note that not all of these returns apply to every taxpayer. The applicability of these returns depends on the type of taxpayer and the nature of their GST registration.

Here is an overview of the 13 GST returns:

  • GSTR-1: This return is for reporting outward supplies or sales.
  • GSTR-3B: A summary return that includes details of both outward and inward supplies, along with the payment of taxes.
  • GSTR-4: Designed for taxpayers under the Composition Scheme, it provides a summary of their turnover and tax liability.
  • GSTR-5: Filed by non-resident foreign taxpayers engaged in taxable activities in India.
  • GSTR-5A: Filed by online information and database access or retrieval (OIDAR) service providers.
  • GSTR-6: For Input Service Distributors to report the distribution of input tax credit (ITC) among their units.
  • GSTR-7: For taxpayers required to deduct Tax Deducted at Source (TDS) under GST.
  • GSTR-8: Filed by e-commerce operators to report supplies made through their platform.
  • GSTR-9: An annual return that provides a consolidated summary of all monthly/quarterly returns filed during the financial year.
  • GSTR-10: A final return filed when a taxpayer’s GST registration is canceled or surrendered.
  • GSTR-11: Filed by persons having Unique Identity Number (UIN) to claim a refund of taxes paid on their purchases.
  • CMP-08: A quarterly return for taxpayers under the Composition Scheme to report their tax liability.
  • ITC-04: Filed by taxpayers who are manufacturers to report the details of goods sent to a job worker and received back.

In addition to these GST returns, there are also statements of input tax credit available to taxpayers, namely:

  • GSTR-2A (dynamic): Provides a dynamic view of inward supplies as reported by the suppliers.
  • GSTR-2B (static): Offers a static view of inward supplies based on the supplier’s return.

For small taxpayers registered under the Quarterly Return Monthly Payment (QRMP) scheme, there is an Invoice Furnishing Facility (IFF) available. It allows them to report their Business-to-business (B2B) sales for the first two months of the quarter. These taxpayers must still make monthly tax payments using Form PMT-06.

GSTR-1 (Outward Supplies Return)

GSTR-1 is the return that businesses are required to furnish to report all details of outward supplies of goods and services. This includes invoices and debit-credit notes issued for sales transactions during a tax period. All normal taxpayers registered under GST, including casual taxable persons, must file GSTR-1.

Filing Frequency

  • Monthly: By the 11th of every month for businesses with an annual aggregate turnover exceeding Rs. 5 crore or those not under the QRMP scheme.
  • Quarterly: By the 13th of the month following each quarter for businesses under the QRMP scheme.

GSTR-2A (Dynamic View-Only Return):

GSTR-2A is a dynamic view-only return designed for recipients or buyers of goods and services. It contains details of all inward supplies (purchases) from GST-registered suppliers during a tax period. Data in GSTR-2A is auto-populated based on suppliers’ GSTR-1 returns and data from the Invoice Furnishing Facility (IFF) for QRMP taxpayers.

GSTR-2B (Static View-Only Return):

GSTR-2B is a static view-only return introduced in August 2020. It offers constant ITC data from GSTR-1 filings for the previous month. It aids buyers in reconciling their ITC claims for each tax period. GSTR-2B provides guidance on actions to be taken for each reported invoice, such as reversal, ineligibility, or subject to reverse charge.

GSTR-2 (Suspended Return):

GSTR-2, which allows editing, is currently a suspended GST return intended for registered buyers to report their inward supplies of goods and services (purchases) during a tax period. The data in GSTR-2 was supposed to be auto-populated from GSTR-2A, but filing has been suspended since September 2017.

GSTR-3 (Suspended Return):

GSTR-3, another suspended GST return, was a monthly summary return for normal taxpayers. It provided summarized details of outward supplies, inward supplies, input tax credit claimed, tax liability, and taxes paid. GSTR-3 was auto-generated based on GSTR-1 and GSTR-2 returns but has been suspended since September 2017.

GSTR-3B (Summary Return):

GSTR-3B is a monthly self-declaration return for normal taxpayers. It contains summarized details of outward supplies, input tax credit claimed, and tax liability. Reconciliation of sales and input tax credit details with GSTR-1 and GSTR-2B is essential before filing GSTR-3B.

Filing Frequency

  • Monthly: By the 20th of the following month for taxpayers with an annual turnover exceeding Rs. 5 crore.
  • Quarterly: 22nd  of the month following the quarter for ‘X’ category states and 24th of the month following the quarter for ‘Y’ category states for taxpayers with an aggregate turnover equal to or below Rs. 5 crore who remain opted into the QRMP scheme.

GSTR-4 (Composition Scheme Return)

GSTR-4 is an annual return for taxpayers under the Composition Scheme. It must be filed by 30th April of the year following the relevant financial year. GSTR-4 replaced the earlier quarterly filing requirement. Now, taxpayers file a simple challan in Form CMP-08 by the 18th of the month succeeding each quarter.

The Composition Scheme allows businesses dealing in goods with a turnover of up to Rs. 1.5 crores to pay taxes at a fixed rate on declared turnover. Service providers can avail of a similar scheme if their turnover is up to Rs. 50 lakh.

GSTR-5 (Non-Resident Foreign Taxpayer Return)

GSTR-5 is filed by non-resident foreign taxpayers registered under GST who conduct business transactions in India. This return includes details of outward supplies, inward supplies, credit/debit notes, tax liability, and taxes paid. It is due on the 20th of every month.

GSTR-5A (OIDAR Services Return)

GSTR-5A is a summary return for Online Information and Database Access or Retrieval Service (OIDAR) providers under GST. It is due on the 20th of every month.

GSTR-6 (Input Service Distributor Return)

GSTR-6 is a monthly return filed by Input Service Distributors (ISD) to report input tax credit (ITC) received and distributed. It also includes details of documents issued for ITC distribution and the manner of distribution. The due date for filing GSTR-6 is the 13th of each month.

GSTR-7 (TDS Return)

GSTR-7 is filed on a monthly basis by entities required to deduct Tax Deducted at Source (TDS) under GST. It contains details of TDS deducted, TDS liability payable and paid, and TDS refunds claimed. The due date for filing GSTR-7 is the 10th of each month.

GSTR-8 (E-commerce Operator Return)

GSTR-8 is a monthly return filed by e-commerce operators registered under GST who are required to collect tax at source (TCS). It includes details of supplies made through the e-commerce platform and the TCS collected. The due date for GSTR-8 is the 10th of each month.

GSTR-9 (Annual Return):

GSTR-9 is the annual return to be filed by taxpayers registered under GST. It is due by 31st December of the year following the relevant financial year. GSTR-9 consolidates details of all outward supplies, inward supplies, taxes paid, and taxes payable under different tax heads (CGST, SGST, and IGST).

Exceptions to GSTR-9 filing include taxpayers under the composition scheme, casual taxable persons, input service distributors, non-resident taxable persons, and persons paying TDS under section 51 of the CGST Act.

GSTR-9C (Reconciliation Statement)

GSTR-9C is a self-certified reconciliation statement that must be filed by every registered person under GST whose turnover during a financial year exceeds Rs. 5 crore. The deadline for filing GSTR-9C is the same as the due date for GSTR-9, i.e., 31st December of the year following the relevant financial year. Multiple GSTR-9C forms can be filed under one PAN, as it is filed for each GSTIN.

GSTR-10 (Final Return):

GSTR-10, known as the final return, must be filed by a taxable person whose GST registration has been canceled or surrendered. This return should be filed within three months from the date of cancellation or the cancellation order, whichever is earlier.

GSTR-11 (UIN Holder Return)

GSTR-11 is the return filed by persons issued a Unique Identity Number (UIN) to claim refunds on goods and services purchased in India. UINs are provided to foreign diplomatic missions and embassies not liable to tax in India. GSTR-11 contains details of inward supplies received and refund claimed.

Due dates for various types of GST returns

GST Return Type of Taxpayer Due Date
GSTR-1 Regular Taxpayer Monthly: 10th of the following month  Quarterly: 13th of the month following the end of the quarter
GSTR-2A (Auto-generated) All Taxpayers Auto-generated, used for reconciliation
GSTR-3B Regular Taxpayer Monthly: 20th of the following month
GSTR-4 Composition Scheme Dealer Quarterly: 18th of the month following the end of the quarter
GSTR-5 Non-Resident Foreign Taxpayer 20th of the month following the tax period
GSTR-6 Input Service Distributor 13th of the following month
GSTR-7 Tax Deducted at Source (TDS) 10th of the following month
GSTR-8 E-commerce Operator 10th of the following month
GSTR-9 Regular Taxpayer (Annual) 31st December of the next financial year
GSTR-9C Regular Taxpayer (Annual) Same as GSTR-9, along with GSTR-9

Late filing of GST returns

Late filing of GST returns can have serious consequences, including financial penalties and interest charges. It is essential for businesses to adhere to the prescribed due dates to avoid these adverse effects. Here are some key points to understand about late filing of GST returns:

Mandatory Return Filing

Under the Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime, return filing is mandatory, even if there are no transactions to report. This means that all registered taxpayers must file GST returns regularly, as specified by the government.

Cascading Effect of Late Filing

Late filing of GST returns can have a cascading effect. You cannot file the return for the current period if the return for the previous month or quarter has not been filed. This can result in a backlog of pending returns, making it difficult to comply with GST regulations.

Late Filing Fee

The late filing fee for GSTR-1, for example, is populated in the liability ledger of GSTR-3B filed immediately after the delay. This means that if you delay filing GSTR-1, the late fee will reflect in your GSTR-3B, leading to additional financial liabilities.

Interest on Outstanding Tax

If you have outstanding tax liabilities, interest is charged at a rate of 18% per annum. Interest is calculated by the taxpayer on the amount of outstanding tax to be paid. It is calculated from the day after the due date until the actual date of payment.

Late Fee Charges

The late fee for late filing of GST returns is specified under the Central Goods and Services Tax (CGST) Act and the State Goods and Services Tax (SGST) Act. As per these acts, the late fee is Rs. 100 per day per Act, which means it’s Rs. 200/day (Rs. 100 under CGST and Rs. 100 under SGST). However, there is a maximum limit of Rs. 5,000 per Act. This means that if you delay filing a return for an extended period, the late fee can accumulate up to the maximum limit.

Late Fees for GSTR-9/9C

For annual returns like GSTR-9 and GSTR-9C, the late fee is capped at 0.25% of the turnover in the state or Union Territory. This is subject to any relief schemes or changes in late fees provided by the government.

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