GST returns – Taxpayer’s guide under goods and services tax law

In simple terms, return means a statement of information furnished to the government by the taxpayer at periodical intervals to comply with the law. In Income tax, individuals, partnership firms, private and public limited companies and other taxpayers are required to file their income tax return or ITR on or before the due dates of filing for the income that they incurred for the whole previous year. In addition to annual IT return, a taxpayer under the income tax act,1961 is also required to file various other returns as required. Similarly, goods and services tax law require taxpayers to file various GST returns based on certain factors.

In this article, we will let you know about GST returns, the purpose of filing and time limit within which it should be filed. Here is a list of GST returns that are applicable to different types of taxpayers supplying goods and services in India.

GST ReturnsPeriodicityWho has to fileDue date of filing
(Statement of outward supplies of goods or services or both)
MonthlyRegistered person with annual aggregate turnover of greater than Rs 1.5 Crore has to file it monthly.

11th of the following month.
Previously it was the 10th of the following month. Government has changed it to 11th with effect from october 2018.
(Statement of outward supplies of goods or services or both)
QuarterlyAll other registered person has to file it quarterly. However, you also have option to choose monthly filing.Last date of the month subsequent to the relevant quarter.
monthlyRegistered persons other than ISD, person liable to deduct tax at source and person liable to collect tax at source20th/22nd/24th of the next month. Tax also has to be paid on or before the 20th/22nd/24th of the next month.
GSTR-4quarterlyAll composition scheme persons10th of the month succeeding the relevant quarter
GSTR-5monthlyNon-resident taxpayers20th of the month succeeding the tax period or within 7 days after expiry of registration, whichever is earlier.
GSTR-5AMonthlyA person supplying OIDAR service from a place outside india to a non-taxable online recipient.20th of the next month
GSTR-6MonthlyInput service distributor13th of the next month
GSTR-7MonthlyTax deductor10th of the next month
GSTR-8Monthly E-commerce operator10th of the next month
GSTR-9AnnualRegistered person other than ISD,casual taxpayer, non-resident taxpayer and TDS/TCS taxpayers31st december of the next financial year
GSTR-9AAnnual Taxable person opting for composition levy31st december of next financial year.
GSTR-9C(Annual GST return along with copy of audit report and reconciliation statement)AnnualRegistered persons having aggregate turnover of more than Rs 2 Crores31st December of the next financial year. For financial year 2017-18, date of filing has been extended up to 30th November.
GSTR-10Taxable person who is required to furnish a GST return u/s 39(1) and whose registration has been surrendered or cancelledWithin 3 months of the date of cancellation or date of order of cancellation, whichever is later.
GSTR-11monthlyPerson who have been issued a UIN (Unique Identity Number)28th of the next month

Instead of GSTR-3 (currently suspended), the government has prescribed GSTR-3B to be filed on a monthly basis by every taxpayer including composition taxpayers.

Government has decided to bare e-way bill generation for transporting consignment if the supplier or recipient of the cargo has not furnished GST returns for two consecutive tax period.

This means, if you are a composition scheme taxpayer, then e-way bill can not be generated if GST returns has not been furnished for two consecutive quarters. In case of registered persons other than a composition scheme taxpayer, government will bare e-way bill generation only if GST returns has not been furnished for a consecutive period of 2 months.

Important notes on GST returns

  • All statements are to be filed electronically through common portal. Manual filing is not allowed.
  • GSTR filing is mandatory even if there is no business transaction during the tax period. In such case, you have to file nil GST return.
  • You will not be allowed to file a return for a month/quarter if you have not filed previous month’s/quarter’s GST returns.
  • GSTR-1 has to be first filed for all outward supplies within 10 days from the close of the relevant month.
  • Details of inwards supplies has to be submitted within 15 days from the close of the month. Currently filing of GSTR-2 for inwards supplies is suspended.
  • Matching has to be done based on the auto populated credits in GSTR-2A as per the provisions of section 42 and 43 of CGST Act.
  • Monthly summary return in form GSTR-3B is required to be filed by the 20th of the following month U/S 39 of CGST Act. Currently, GSTR-3 has been suspended, hence its not required to be filed.
  • U/S 44 of CGST Act, annual return has to be filed by 31st December following the close of financial year. Its not applicable to few registered persons.
  • GST returns filed u/s 39 will not be considered as valid unless dues shown in the return are paid in full.input credits filed by supplier.
  • Failure in filing GST returns will attract heavy late fees, interest and penalty. Therefore, all taxpayers are suggested to file their GST returns before time in order to avoid late fees, fines and penalties.

is a fellow member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India. He lives in Bhubaneswar, India. He writes about personal finance, income tax, goods and services tax (GST), company law and other topics on finance. Follow him on facebook or instagram or twitter.