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Your A to Z guide to filing for GST Returns

Your A to Z guide to filing for GST Returns

. 5 min read

What is GST, and what is GSTR?

For the 3rd largest economy in the world, our tax system was all sorts of jumbled up. Before the GST reform in India, it was nearly impossible to tell apart the many different indirect taxes levied on the supply of goods and services. This used to become ever more confusing whenever an inter-state supply chain would be involved. GST came about as a centraliser for all types of taxes, in which its primary goal was to eliminate the indirect taxes from Indian Taxing System.

To find an objective solution to this, the government devised the GST system. GST or Goods and Service Tax is the only indirect tax to be paid on the sale of goods or services. There are three different variants of the Goods and Service Tax levied in India on the basis of the geographic nature of the transaction.

IGST or Integrated Goods and Service tax is levied by the central government when the supply of goods or services is across different states.

CGST and SGST are Central Goods and Service tax and State Goods and Service Tax respectively that are levied by the central and the state government on intrastate supply of goods or services.

Taxpayers are required to fill in many forms to help maintain a smooth and efficient tax collection process. These are called Goods and Service Tax Returns or GSTR. GST Returns are the income tax forms to be filled with the Income Tax Department in order to calculate tax liability.

Different Types of GSTR

Indian taxpayers are required to file certain returns to the government mandatorily. Given below is the list of the various returns as currently prescribed under the Goods and Services Tax law.

GSTR 1

This is a monthly tax return that must be filled by the 11th of the next month. This form records details of any and all outward supplies of taxable goods and services.

If the taxpayer opts so, this form can also be filled on a quarterly basis by the end of the month following the quarter.

GSTR 3B

GSTR 3B is a combination of GSTR 2 and GSTR 3 that were suspended in September 2017. This GST filing is a monthly record of outwards supplies of goods and services along with input tax credit by which the payment of tax is affected. It has to be filled by the 20th of next month for all taxpayers although it has been staggered since January 2020.

GSTR 4

This is an annually or quarterly filed GST return for a taxpayer registered under the composition scheme under Section 10 of the CGST Act. This return must be filed by the 30th of the month following the financial year.

GSTR 5

This is a monthly GST filing for an NRI foreign taxable person. It must be filled by the 20th of the following month.

GSTR 6

This is a monthly GST filing for an Input Service Distributor to divide the input tax credit among its branches. It has to be filled by the 13th of the succeeding month.

GSTR 7

This monthly filled GST filling has to be filled by governmental authorities deducting tax at source. It has to be filled by the 10th of the following month.

GSTR  8

This is a monthly filled detail consisting of information about supplies made by E-commerce sellers and the amount of tax collected. It has to be filled by the 10th of next month.

GSTR 9

This is the annual GST details of average taxpayers. It has to be mandatorily filled by the 31st December of the next financial year.

GSTR 9A

This is the annual GST filing for a taxpayer registered under the composition scheme. It must be filled by 31st of December of the succeeding financial year.

GSTR 9C

This is the certified reconciliation statement to be filled by the 31st December of the following year. It must be filled on an annual basis.

GSTR 10

This is the final GST filing. It has to be filled by a taxpayer once the GST registration has been cancelled. It has to be filled only once in a taxpayer's life, within three months of surrendering the GST registration.

GSTR 11

This GST filling needs to be filled by a person with a Unique Identification Number (UIN) who wants to claim a refund. This is a monthly filled GST bill, that needs to be submitted by the 28th of the month after the month for which the statement has been filled.

Image Source: Indiafilings.com

How to file GST Online?

Recently, GSTR filling has become automated. GST filing online can be carried out with the help of software and apps provided by the GST Network (GSTN) which will automatically fill in the GST details on each and every form.

The steps to do so are as follows:

  1. Open the GST portal (www.gst.gov.in)
  2. Obtain your 15 digits long GST Identification Number or the GSTIN.
  3. Upload invoices on the GST site, and obtain the invoice reference number matching each invoice.
  4. Fill the outward returns, inward returns and the total monthly returns on the GST site carefully.
  5. Check for errors before filing for specific returns.
  6. File for returns now.

If you’ve followed these steps thoroughly, you will have no difficulty in filing your GST returns online.

Also read:
Key Benefits of Registering Under GST
The Key Advantages and Disadvantages of GST

FAQs

Q. What is the late penalty on GST returns?

A. If the GST Returns are not filled by the due date, the taxpayer incurs a penalty of 100 rupees per day per act. This is accompanied by an 18% interest to be levied per annum on the outstanding tax amount. However, there is no penalty for late payments of IGST.

Q. Who is a regular taxpayer under GST?

A. A regular taxpayer under the GST scheme is one who owns a business in one of the states or union territories of India, that deals with the supply of goods and services.

Q. Who is a composition Taxpayer under GST?

A. Small and medium businesses with a turnover of 1.5 Crore Rupees or less qualify to register under the composition scheme. This scheme was made to provide relief to smaller enterprises in order to encourage more and more entrepreneurial growth.