India is going through a taxation restructuring phase aimed at reducing tax evasion and making the whole tax framework simple and organized. It will also ensure that there is greater transparency with respect to taxes. The Central Government, in co-ordination with the state governments, implemented the Goods and Services Tax (GST) throughout the country on July 1, 2017.
What are GST Returns?
The Government of India implemented the GST across the nation in 2017 with the aim of checking tax evasion and giving it a more organized form. Further, it will also ensure greater transparency. GST is basically a single indirect tax levied on the delivery of goods and services. The input tax credits offered at each stage would be made available in the next value addition stage. Therefore, GST is termed as the tax applied on value addition at every stage. To be precise, the consumer only needs to pay the GST levied by the last supplier or dealer in the supply chain.
GST Returns are basically documents filled by taxpayers during a periodic cycle. Each individual registered with the GST portal needs to share his/her business information, including purchases, sales, tax paid, tax collected etc., by filing online GST return. It is important to know that returns filed without due tax payment will be considered invalid. As per the GST system, normal taxpayers are required to file three returns each month, along with one annual return. Moreover, taxpayers registered via different schemes are required to file different return forms under the GST.
Individual taxpayers are offered four forms to file their returns – return for purchases, return for supplies, annual return and monthly returns. Small taxpayers, who have selected the composition scheme, need to file quarterly returns. The return filings are managed online.
GST Return Login Portal
In order to submit GST returns, the business owner or other relevant person needs to log in to the GST portal using their login information.
- The login page is available on the GST Services login page https://services.gst.gov.in/services/login
- For those logging for the first time, key instructions are available on the GST Return Log In page itself. The following is the format of the page retrieved July 6, 2018.
- After logging into the GST portal using valid credentials, GST-registered tax payers can carry out a number of activities, including but not limited to GST returns filing, verification of GST paid, status of GST refunds and so on.
Types of GST Returns
Let us discuss the types of GST returns to be filed by various entities.
1. GST Returns to be filed by Normal Taxpayers
(a) GSTR 1
This return has to be filed by the tenth day of every month. It should include details of all outward goods supplied and services provided by the taxpayer in the previous month. This form will act as the reference for future flow and match for credit settlements. In case of inter-state business operations, IGST has to be filled, whereas in case of business operations within the state, both CGST and SGST have to be filled. In case of exempted sales, the details have to be mentioned in the form as well. Gross turnover in the last financial year has to be mentioned when filling the form for the first time. The data will be auto-populated in the form from the next year.
(b) GSTR 1A
This form is auto populated when GSTR 1 is filed on 15th of a month. It has all the requisite information pertaining to the business activities of the last month. The GSTR 1A allows registered taxpayers to update previously filled details in the GSTR 1. The GSTR 1A needs to be submitted between the 10th and 17th of month following the one in which the GSTR 1 was originally filed. The supplier of goods or services has the option to accept or reject the modifications made in the form by the recipient.
(c) GSTR 2
This return has to be filed by 15th of the month. The form contains all the information related to the inward supply of goods and services in the last month as approved by the beneficiary of services. A portion of the information mentioned under GSTR 2A is auto-populated in this form. Any further modification in invoices can be made in this form. TDS credit from specified entities is auto populated by details mentioned in GSTR-7. TDS credit from e-commerce operators is auto populated by the information provided in GSTR 8.
(d) GSTR 2A
GSTR 2A contains the information that the taxpayer has filled in GSTR 1 and this form is available from 11th to 15th of a month. Recipients can check and validate the information provided in the previous form. During this period, any information can be added, removed or modified as per the account books of the company.
(e) GSTR 3
GSTR 3 is prepared automatically by 20th of the month by the GST portal. It contains each and every detail related to outward and inward supplies of goods and services as mentioned in GSTR 1 and GSTR 2. GSTN determines the input tax credit availability or the amount of tax payable by the taxpayer after going through the details in the form.
(f) GSTR 9
GSTR 9 is the annual return form which is a compilation of 12 monthly GSTR 3 forms of the taxpayer. It has to be filed by 31st December of every financial year. This form also contains the details of imports, exports and the amount of tax paid by the applicant during the year. Those who fail to file returns on time would be served a notice through GSTR 3A.
Once GSTR 3 is accepted by authorities, tax payers get GST ITC-1 which is the input tax credit of the month. In order to avail the benefits of input tax credits, the details have to be confirmed within a stipulated time frame otherwise the input tax credit of the applicant would be rejected and the amount would be computed as the tax liability of the month.
2. GST Returns to be filed by composition Taxpayers
(a) GSTR 4
The GSTR 4 form is for GST payers who have signed up for the composition scheme. This return has to be filed quarterly and its due date is 18th of the next month. It includes key details such as the tax paid and total value of supplies/sales that have been made.
(b) GSTR 4A
This form is similar to the GSTR 2A as it contains the details of inward supplies that are reported by suppliers in GSTR 1 in a month. It is generated quarterly for composition scheme taxpayers. This return has to be filed by 18th of the next month.
(c) GSTR 9A
GSTR 9A is the annual return form for composition taxpayers that has to be filled by 31st December of the upcoming financial year.
3. GST Returns to be filed by Foreign Non-Resident Taxpayer
(a) GSTR 5
This form contains all details such as imports, outward supplies, input tax credits, tax paid and other related information pertaining to every month. The return has to be filed on or before 20th of the next month. In case of the expiry of registration or its cancellation, this form has to be filled within 7 days of the expiry.
4. GST Returns to be filed by an Input Service Distributor
GSTR 6 is to be filed by 13th of every month by organizations operating as input service distributors. The returns form includes details of purchases/inward supplies as well as input tax credit information distribution made to different organization branches.
5. GST Returns to be filed by a Tax Deductor
(a) GSTR 7
GSTR 7 contains the details of tax deductions made during the month when a registered individual/business makes payments to vendor or suppliers in lieu of receipt of inward supplies. The return has to be filed by 10th of the month.
6. GST Returns to be filed by an E-Commerce Portal
(a) GSTR 8
This form contains the income and GST data of goods supplied by e-Commerce portal operators in India. GSTR 8 will have to be filed by 10th of each month. This filing mandatorily includes details of supplies made to customers by both registered taxable persons as well as unregistered taxpayers.
GST Return Due Dates
Depending on the GST form to be filed by a taxpayer, the GST return due dates vary. The following are the applicable GST return due dates for different GST Return forms.
|Type of Taxpayer||GST Return Form|
GST Return Due Dates
|Normal Taxpayers||GSTR 1||10th of the next month|
|GSTR 2||15th of the next month|
|GSTR 1A||15th of the next month|
|GSTR 2A||15th of the next month|
|GSTR 3||20th of the next month|
|GSTR 9||31st Dec of the coming financial year|
|Composition Taxpayers||GSTR 4||18th of the next month of the quarter|
|GSTR 4A||18th of the next month of the quarter|
|GSTR 9A||31st Dec of the coming financial year|
|Foreign Non-Resident Taxpayers||GSTR 5||20th of the next month|
|Input Service Distributors||GSTR 6||13th of the next month|
|Tax Deductors||GSTR 7||10th of the next month|
|E-Commerce Portals||GSTR 8||10th of the next month|
Filing GST Returns Online
Ranging from manufacturers and suppliers to traders and consumers, every taxpayer needs to file his/her individual tax returns. The process of filing tax returns is now automated. You can manage GST return online with the help of software or applications delivered by Goods and Service Tax Network (GSTN). Below mentioned are steps for online filing of GST returns:
- Visit GST portal www.gst.gov.in
- Once you open the website, a GST identification number (15-digit) would be issued on the basis of your PAN and state code.
- Candidates can upload invoices on this GST portal. A reference number for the invoice will also get issued.
- Once the invoices are uploaded, the filing of inward return, outward return and cumulative monthly return needs to be managed online. In case of any errors, the candidate can make a correction and refile the returns.
- Outward supply returns are filed in GSTR-1 form using the information section available at the GST Common Portal till the 10th of the subsequent month.
- Specifics of outward supplies provided by the supplier would be made available to the recipient via GSTR-2A.
- The recipient needs to verify, authenticate and modify the specifics of outward supplies, in addition to the filing of details linked to debit or credit notes.
- The recipient needs to provide the details associated with inward supplies of chargeable goods & services through the GSTR-2 form.
- Supplier holds the option to either receive or reject the alterations of the specifics linked to inward supplies which are made accessible by the recipient through GSTR-1A.
Late fees for GST Return filing
Effective March 7, 2018, the CBEC has reduced the amount of late fee paid for delay in filing GSTR-5A. Now, the late fees to be paid by taxpayers is Rs. 200 per day – Rs. 100 for CGST and Rs. 100 for SGST. The maximum cap is subjected to Rs. 5,000 for late filing of return.
Late fee for delayed filing of return in Form GSTR-3B for the months of July, 2017 to September, 2017 was waived. The amount of late fee already paid but subsequently waived off shall be re-credited to the Electronic Cash Ledger of registered person under “Tax” head instead of “Fee” head.
In addition, the GST Council reduced the fees for filing GSTR-3B returns after their due dates. They are:
- 50 per day for delay in normal cases
- 20 per day for delay for taxpayers having nil tax liability for the month
Late Fees for GST Return as per GST Act
- All returns except Annual Returns:Rs. 200 per day (Rs. 100 CGST + Rs. 100 SGST) of default up to a maximum of Rs 5,000.
- Annual Returns:Rs. 200 per day (Rs. 100 CGST + Rs. 100 SGST) of default up to a maximum of 0.25% of Turnover.
GST Return through Software
There is no government approved software for filing GST return. Various companies have made their customised softwares for filing GST return for taxpayer. Some of them include Deloitte India GST, One Solution, Zoho Books and GEN-GST.