How Does GST Return Filing Work For You?

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Return Filing

Online GST Return Filing – An Overview

As per the GST law, every individual/Company/LLP registered under the GST Act has to furnish the details of sales, purchases and the tax paid by filing for GST returns with the administrative authorities.

As a business person/ firm, one of your first priorities will be to do is GST return filing. Hence, knowing the ropes can help you make the process smoother and simpler. While filing a GST return, you are supposed to provide all the particulars related to your business activities, like the tax liability declarations, tax payments and also any other related information as per instructions provided by the government.

The GST return filing process has to be done electronically in the GST portal. A facility has to be offered for the manual process of GST return filing tasks. This facility helps the business taxpayer in India to prepare the return offline and then upload it on GSTN through the facilitation center. There are also various components of GST returns filing that you need to know about.

The GST return mainly includes purchases, output GST on the sales, input tax credits as per GST paid while making the purchases, and also includes the total sales. In order to file the GST return, the purchase invoices and GST compliant sales are needed.

All You Need to Know

What are GST returns?

Any person who applies for GST registration will also have to make a GST return filing. The GST return is basically a document which is needed as per the Indian tax authorities of law, to be filed. It will be used by the authorities of tax for the purpose of calculating the tax liability.

Who is eligible for GST returns?

Business owners and dealers who are registered under GST must file two monthly GST returns and one annual GST returns. The nature of the business also dictates the GST that is to be filed. GST returns are of various types and late filing of GST returns will result in a penalty of Rs.100 per day till the day the GST returns are filed. Once filing is done, any tax liability must be promptly paid to the government.

GST Input Tax Credit Reconciliation

GST or Goods and Services Tax is an indirect tax that depends on the value added at each stage of the supply chain of a particular service or goods until it reaches the customer or consumer. With GST, tax is imposed at various stages and to nullify the cascading effect, it is designed in a way that is meant to refund all parties that are involved in the various stages with the exception of the final consumer. This element that is employed to offset the tax liability is called an input tax credit.

An insight into the GST filing procedure in India

Any business person who has taken the registration, but has not crossed the limit of exemption will have to comply with the step-by-step GST billing process.The Government has given threshold limit for goods and services which will be based on aggregate turnover 40Lakhs in case of services and 20Lakhs in case of Goods, provided that where such person makes taxable supplies of goods or services or both from any of the special category States, he shall be liable to be registered if his aggregate turnover in a financial year exceeds ten lakh rupees.

Special category states include,

State of Jammu and Kashmir and States of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Himachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Sikkim and Uttarakhand.

Once the taxpayer crosses the limit of exemption, he/she will start filing for GST returns. Even in cases where no taxable supplies are received or made during a particular period, the taxpayer will have to file the NIL return. So, there is no way that you can avoid GST filing. If you miss out filing the return of one period, then you will not be able to file the next period’s return.

Let us simplify GST in this way- Any business will have to file monthly GST return twice and annual return once.This implies that as a total, you will have to file GST returns 26 times a year. The GST portal issues 4 different types of forms for filing the GST returns. They are:

  • Return for purchases
  • Return for supplies
  • Annual returns
  • Monthly returns

In case of small business taxpayers in India who have opted for a composition scheme, they just have to file GST returns on a quarterly basis. Return filing process can be done online.

Benefits of GST Return Filing

Elimination of the cascading effect

The introduction of GST into the Indian tax system has done away with several other taxes like central excise duty, service tax, customs duty and state level value added tax. Thus a single GST has eliminated the cascading effect of tax on tax .

Higher threshold benefits

Before GST was introduced, VAT or value added tax was applicable for any business that had an annual turnover of 20 lakhs. Services that saw a turnover of less than 10 lakhs did not have to pay service taxes.

Startup Benefits

Earlier startups with an annual turnover of 5 lakh had to pay VAT which would be very difficult for a business during the initial stages. But as GST has replaced VAT, businesses can set off the service tax on their sales.

E-commerce for quick supply of goods

Startups are making a strong presence online offering their services and products through their websites. Under VAT, there were many types of VAT laws, and the supply of goods through online, that is, E-commerce was never a well-defined one. For instance, if you need to deliver goods to various states, then you will have to file the VAT declaration first. After that, you will need to provide registration details about the trucks which deliver the goods. In many instances, goods end up being seized by the authorities due to lack of proper documents. GST has now removed all such confusing processes.

Regulations and accountability

The pre-GST period witnessed a disorganized tax filing system. Presently, all taxes are paid online and major hassles that were a part of tax filing have been eliminated in the process of introducing GST. This has resulted in industries becoming more accountable and tax filing laws are better regulated than before.

Understanding GST returns in detail


The GSTR-1 is a monthly return form filed by businesses to report the details of the outward supplies of all services and goods. Every GST-registered entity should file GSTR-1 except Input service distributor and Composition taxpayer. It must be filed even if there is no business activity. The due date for filing GSTR-1 is 10th of every month.

The GSTR 1 acts as the base on which all other form submissions can be made for the month.


GSTR-2A is the return of details of all the inward supplies of goods/services, that is, purchases made by registered suppliers. This form is filed by the 15th of every month. GSTR-2A is auto populated where the data will be fetched from the GSTR-1 filed by the supplier. It is a read-only return and cannot be edited.


GSTR-2 is the return filed to furnish the details of all the inward supplies of goods/services. This form can be edited but the filing has been suspended by the government.


It is a summarized monthly return of all the details of inward and outward supplies, input tax credits and the details of all the GST liabilities. It is a self-declaration form filed by all taxpayers for every tax period.

The due date for filing GSTR-3B return form is 20th normally. However, the date may be changed if there are any government notifications.


GSTR-4 is filed every year by all taxpayers under the GST composition scheme. Businesses should provide a summary of the outward supplies and all the taxes paid thereon, details of import of services and supplies that may attract reverse charge.

The due date for filing this form is the 30th of the month succeeding the financial year.


This form is filed by all non-resident taxpayers registered in India and carry out business operations in India. In the GSTR-5 return, businesses should furnish the details of all the inward and outward supplies and the tax liabilities. This form is to be submitted on a monthly basis and has to be filed by every month on the 20th.


Form GSTR-5A is furnished by service providers of Online Information and Database Access or Retrieval (OIDAR). It is filed to declare the services provided to unregistered entities or individuals, from a place outside India to a person in India. It is a monthly return filed by the 20th of every month.


GSTR-6A form is a system generated “draft” Statement of Inward Supplies for a Receiver Taxpayer. It is a read-only form.


The Input Service provider generates and files GSTR-6 only after all details furnished in GSTR 6A are accepted and verified. This is done on the 13th of every month.


GSTR-7 is filed by the entities who deduct tax at the time of making payment to the suppliers for purchase, that is, inward supplies received.

GSTR-7 form contains details of Tax deducted at source (TDS) under GST, the tax liability, and TDS refund.

GSTR7 must be filed on the 10th of the subsequent month.


GSTR 7A is better known as the TDS certificate which is generated as soon as the GSTR filing in done by the tax deductor in Form GSTR-7. The assessee uses it for keeping records.


The form GSTR-8 is filed by e-commerce businesses who collect tax at source (TCS) to furnish the details of the supplies made through the e-commerce platform.

It is filed on the 10th of every month.


The GSTR 9 form is filed annually by entities to furnish the details of all purchases, sales, input tax credit or refund claimed or demand created etc. GSTR-9 is filed by normal taxpayers, SEZ unit, SEZ developer, OIDAR service providers, and the taxpayers who have withdrawn from the composition scheme to normal taxpayers.

Annual return purposes. It has to be duly filled by all taxpayers by the coming financial year 31st. This mainly consists of all the details of the 12 GSTR3 filed during the financial year.


GSTR-9A is filed by entities who have opted for composition scheme any time during the financial year. The details furnished in GSTR-9A are inward and outward supplies, taxes paid, demand created, refund, input tax credit availed or reversed.

Online GST Return Filing Procedures – A detailed filing process

In total, there are 3 steps to be followed in the GST return filing work for every Indian Business Taxpayer.


All registered taxpayers can follow the filing format and upload their annual return invoice on the GST portal. To do that, you will have to maintain electronically all the records of the invoice. We help you with filing process in the GST portal by setting up simplified versions of excel templates. It will aid you in maintaining the records with ease.


We collect all the information and documents needed to start preparing for your GST returns first. Vakilsearch will maintain the invoice records of registered taxpayers and by month end, you can easily file the GST returns using our exclusive team of experts. Once you do the online filing process in GST portal, from then on, our expert affiliate will remind you about the filing date so that you won’t forget the date and end up paying tax penalties.


  • The first step before filing your GST will be to review the GST filing before submission. We, at Vakilsearch, give you an opportunity to do the same.
  • The second step is your approval.
  • After your approval, we will be filing your online returns
  • Our GST experts will file the GSTR returns using a challan. The ARN number generated will be shared with you.
  • Once the process is completed successfully, we will mail you an acknowledgement about the same to the registered email id provided by you.

GST return filing dates you have to remember

In the GST return filing procedure, there are some dates every business taxpayer will have to keep in mind. You can get the due dates extended by the issue of notifications or orders. We are here with a complete list of GST return filing dates you should never miss!

Know your monthly return GST


The GSTR 1 due dates are usually on a quarterly arrangement when the aggregator turnover becomes less than 1.5 Crores. The outward supply details have to be filed every month before 10th

For turnovers up to Rs.1.5 Crores, the quarterly filing dates are as follows:

Time PeriodThe Dates Due
January – March30 April 2018
April -June 201831 July 2018
July -September 201831 October 2018

Turnovers more than Rs. 1.5 Crore / Turnover less than 1.5 Crore, still opted for filing monthly

PeriodDue Dates
April 20181 May 2018
May 201810 June 2018
June 201810 July 2018
July 201810th August 2018
August 201810th September 2018
September 201810th October 2018

Late Fees/Penalty For Failing To Filing The Return On Time

In case the taxpayer fails to complete GST Return filing, file the returns within the time limits, then he/she will be asked to pay a penalty which is also known as the late fee. The late fee will be Rs.20 per day if it is NIL return or only purchases and Rs 50 will be levied if we fail to furnish the sales. Thus, it will come around Rs.25 under the CGST and again Rs.25 under the SGST. The total amount to be paid will be Rs.50 per day. The maximum penalty can be Rs.5000.The IGST do not levy any late fees.

GST Return late filing

Under the GST rules, the filing of returns is mandatory. You are expected to file a Nil return in case no transaction has been made.

  • In case you have not yet filed the previous quarter/month return, then you will not be able to do the return filing process.
  • In case of any delay in GST return, you will have to face serious penalties and fines.
  • The GSTR 1 late filing penalty will be added in the GSTR-3B ledger of liability as soon as a delay occurs.