GST return filing

How to File GST Returns

How To File GST Returns?

The implementation of the Goods and Service Tax (GST) law was one of the biggest tax reforms in India. Implemented on the 1st of July, 2017, it is a tax that replaces all indirect taxes and is a single tax applied to the supply of goods and services. So, if you are a service provider, manufacturer, or trader, you must register and then do a GST return filing in the pre-determined format. This has to be done annually, quarterly, or monthly, depending on the business category. Read below to learn more about GST returns and how to file them online.

What Is GST Return Filing?

A GST return is an official document that has information about the sales, purchases, and taxes paid and received on sales and purchases. After Submitting the GST return filling document, the individual has to settle the tax. All businesses registered with GST must follow the GST return filing process. Also, it is compulsory for all businesses that have GST registration, irrespective of profit, sales, or business, to file the returns. Even a business that is dormant has to file GST returns. This will be on an annual, monthly, or quarterly basis, depending on the business category. Four forms need to be filed by a taxpayer filing for GST returns. These are annual returns, monthly returns, returns for supplies, and returns for purchases.

GST Return Filing: Eligibility Criteria

The GST return filing has to be done by:

  • An individual who has a GSTIN has to file GST returns.
  • A person with an annual turnover of more than Rs. 20 lakh must have GST registration and file returns compulsorily.
  • If the individual belongs to a special state, the annual turnover limit is RS 10 lakh.
  • If the business has a turnover of over Rs 5 crore and has yet to choose the QRMP scheme, it must file annual and two monthly returns. So, in all, 25 returns have to be filled out in a year.
  • If the taxpayer has up to Rs 5 crore in turnover, returns can be filed under the QRMP scheme, and the number of filings is nine every year, which includes an annual return. Along with it, a GST 3b Return filing is mandatory for all taxpayers registered under GST.
  • Separate returns or statements must be filed in exceptional cases like composition dealers, where the number of filings is five annually.

Different Types of Returns and Their Due Dates

There are as many as 13 types of GST returns. ITC-04, CMP-08, GSTR 1, 3B, 4, 5, 5A, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, and 11. Only some people have to do all the returns to be filed under GST, and the filing is based on the type of GST registration and the taxpayer. Those with more than Rs. 5 crore of turnover should also file a self-certified reconciliation statement in GSTR 9C. Along with filing GTS returns, Input tax credit GST paid statements like the GSTR 2A and 2B should be submitted. Small taxpayers under the QRMP scheme should furnish the IFF (Invoice Furnishing Facility) to show their sales for the first few months of the quarter. However, they must file GST return Form PMT-06 and pay monthly taxes.

GST Return Forms And Their Due Dates

  • GSTR1: A taxpayer registered under GST should file all the information about the outgoing supplies of all taxable services and goods. The frequency to file GSTR-1 is monthly; the due date is the 11th of each successive month.
  • GSTR 2: A taxable recipient claiming ITC (input tax credit) should file information on the incoming supplies of services and goods. The tax has to be paid monthly, and the due date is the 15th of each successive month.
  • GSTR 3: A taxable person with GST registration should file this return after adding the details of the inward and outward supplies and the tax payment amount. The due date for filing is the 20th of the subsequent month.
  • GSTR 4: This is a return for a taxpayer who has opted for the composition scheme of the CGST Act, Section 10. The return filing is quarterly, and the due date is the 30th of the month of the following financial year.
  • GSTR 5: It is a return for a non-resident taxable individual and has to be filed monthly. The due date is the 20th of the following month.
  • GSTR 6: It is a return for the distributor of input services to dispense ITC (input tax credit) to its branches. This has to be filed monthly on the 13th of the following month.
  • GSTR 7: It is a return for authorities with tax deductions at source. The filing frequency is monthly; the due date is the 10th of the succeeding month.
  • GSTR 8: Returns for a tax collector or e-commerce provider with details of the tax collected and supply details. The filing frequency is monthly, and the due date is the 10th of the following month.
  • GSTR 9: It is an annual return that has to be filed by the registered taxable individual. The due date for filing is the 31st of December of the following fiscal year.
  • GSTR 10 is a form for taxable individuals whose registration is surrendered or cancelled. The filing has to be done after the cancellation of GST registration and within three months of the cancellation date.
  • GSTR 11: Individuals with UIN claiming a refund should file information on inward supplies. The frequency is annual, and the GST return filing date is due every 28th of the month or the following month after the filing of the statement.

Steps to File GST Returns

Before filing your GST returns, you should register under GST, after which you will get a 15-digit identification number. Once you have this, you can file your GST return online by visiting the GST portal.

  • On the GST portal, click on the Services tab.
  • Under this tab, you should select the ‘Returns Dashboard’ and choose the financial year and the filing period from the drop-down.
  • Click on the return you must file and select the ‘Prepare Online’ option.
  • Fill in all the values, including the relevant late fee and the amount.
  • After filling in all the required details, Click the ‘Save’ button to see a message that states ' Successfully Saved ' on the screen.
  • Now select the ‘Submit’ button at the bottom and click on ‘Payment of Tax.’
  • To know the credit and cash balance before tax payment, check the balance using ‘Check Balance.’ If credit is available, you should state the credit amount to use from the balance. Click on Offer Liability, and that makes the payment.
  • Finally, click on the declaration box and find the authorised signatory from the list of drop-downs. Select the ‘File Form with EVC’ or ‘File Form with DSC’ and proceed.
  • Make the payment for the applicable GST. The GST return filing status is available for viewing instantly after filing.

One can also avail of GST return filing services if filing returns for an individual is challenging. The GST return filing charges vary based on the service plan availed.

Penalties and Late Fees

If the GST return filing due date is missed, the taxpayer has to pay a late fee and interest. The interest is 18% p.a. and is calculated on the outstanding tax amount that has to be paid. The time duration is from the payment date to the next filing date. A penalty for not filing a GST return on time of Rs 100 per Act per day is charged, so Rs 100 under SGST and Rs 100 under CGST. The total is Rs 200 per day and can go up to a maximum of Rs 5000.

Apart from penalties for not paying GST return filing fees, there are other offences for which a penalty will be added. These include:

  • Non-compliance: A taxpayer must pay for a certain term, and no subsequent returns can be filed. So, to avoid the cascading effect and payment of heavy penalties and fines, it is best to file GST returns when they are due.
  • 21 Offences with no intention of tax evasion or fraud: If an offender has made a short payment or is not paying due taxes, then a 10% penalty of the tax amount has to be paid.
  • 21 Offences with the intention of tax evasion or fraud: The offender has to pay a penalty equal to the tax liability.

Even those businesses that have not done any transactions must do a GST nil return filing. To prevent late fees and penalties, it is best to have easy access to upcoming due dates to file GST returns.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the filing period for GST returns?

The GST return filing period can be monthly, quarterly, or annual. The filing period depends on the taxpayer type and the business type.

What is GSTR 1 to GSTR 9?

GSTR 1 is a return form for outward supplies of services or goods and has to be filed by a registered person as a monthly return. Whereas GSTR 9 is an annual return and has to be filed on the 30th of December of the next fiscal year.

What are the four types of GST?

The Integrated Goods and Services Tax, State Goods and Services Tax, IGST, SGST, Union Territory Goods and Services Act (UTGST), and Central Goods and Services Tax (CGST) are the four GST types.

Who can file GST?

All business dealers and owners registered under GST must file GST returns as per the business type or transactions. Even dormant businesses have to file NIL GST returns.

Is GST refundable?

Yes. GST is refundable and can be claimed online using the registered GST identification number within two years from the date of relevance.

Is CA required for GST filing?

No. A CA is not required for GST filing. The earlier requirement for a GST audit and certification by a CA is removed. Taxpayers with more than Rs. 5 crore in turnover should file GSTR 9C and do a self-certification.