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Individuals, businesses, and services holders who have registered for GST have to go through GST Return Filing.

This is very important as officials are closely watching and can take legal action if not filed on time. GST return filing is quite easy and every bit of detail of return filing is given in the GST portal.

However, difficulties and confusion may arise while filing a GST return through the GST portal. In that case, go through this article till the end to know about GST return filing.

What is GST Return Filing?

A GST return filing is the procedure through which a business or service provider, fills the details of income through the GST portal.

By filing the details, the concerned authority processes the details and calculates the tax liability of the business. The tax liability should be paid before the due date to avoid penalty.

A GST registered dealer has to file a GST return which includes Purchases, Sales, input tax credit, and Output GST.

You need to keep the GST sales and purchase invoices handy to file the GST return through the GST portal of India.

GST return is designed so systematically that there is no chance of miss while filing a GST.

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    Who should file GST Return?

    Businesses and service providers with a turnover of Rs 20 Lakh or more per annum are eligible for a GST return. In some states, the threshold turnover has to be Rs 10 Lakh or more per annum.

    GST Return FilingThe North-eastern states, Jammu & Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh are the states where the threshold turnover is Rs 10 Lakh per annum.

    Anyone with a regular business has to file GST returns accordingly. On average a business has to file one annual return and two monthly returns.

    Special GST cases like that of composition GST payers have to file a different number of GST in a year than regular GST filers.

    Other than this, dealer, service providers, and businesses with the following types have to file a GST return:

    • Regular Businesses owners, dealers, and service providers
    • Composition GST registered businesses
    • Auto Drafted returns and Amendments
    • Tax Notice

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    Types of GST Return Filing

    There are various type GST returns filing, which is why you need to know the right GST return for your business.

    At present, there are 11 types of GST return forms which are described below. Each of them has a separate due date and thus, you will need the right form for your business.


    In the GSTR1 form, the taxpayer fills the details of dealings done with his goods and services.

    The due date for GSTR1 is the 10th of every month however GST network frequently changes the due date for filing GSTR1.

    GSTR1 form contains the following elements viz. GSTIN number, Name, Turnover (gross), a period of return filed, Outward supplies, taxable outward supplies to end customers, Amendments, Non-GST transactions, debit, and credit notes.


    GSTR-2A is quite similar to GSTR1 but auto-generated. The information you file in GSTR1 is auto-recorded and this makes an auto-generated return through GSTR-2A.

    GSTR auto-populates from the following type of GST returns:


    GSTR-2A is made available by the GST portal of India by the 11th Day of every month. Thus, you can validate the information and make changes accordingly.


    GSTR2 is not an auto generated return and thus is not similar to GSTR 2A. People often confuse GSTR2 with GSTR2A.

    GSTR2 deals with the GST returns filing of all inward supplies. In simple words GSTR2 deals with invoices of all the purchases done during the period for which GST return is being filed.

    The due date to file a GSTR2 is the 15th of every month.


    GSTR-1A is quite similar to GSTR-2A as this also auto-populates itself but with the details of GSTR2. Once you have filed GSTR2 by the 15th, only then GSTR1A is auto-generated.

    The supplier has the choice to accept or reject the amendments made by the buyer. The supplier revises the form again up to mutual consent


    GST-3 consists of the auto-generated data taken from GSTR-2 and GSTR-1 combined. The auto-generated data is then used to generate the input tax credit.

    This input tax credit will be the payable tax of your business for the period of filing a GST return.


    The GSTR-4A is for the composition Tax payers and is quite similar to GSTR-2A. Details of inward purchases filed by composition GST payers in GSTR-1 are auto-generated in GSTR-4A.

    The GSTR-4A form auto-populates itself quarterly and thus, is available for changes accordingly.


    The outward supplies are filled here in GSTR4 form. The auto generated data of GSTR-4A are processed here and Tax payers can make amendments to them.

    18th of every month is the due date and is filled quarterly.


    GSTR-5 form is for the NRI people or the Non Residential Indian people who have businesses set up in India for a short period and are liable to pay GST to the Government of India.

    The GSTR-5 form deals with taxable supplies and needs to furnish the details of imports, outwards supplies in the form.


    GSTR-6A is an auto-generated statement in a draft format where an Input Service provider furnishes details in GSTR1 for inward supplies.

    The GSTR-6A auto-generates the details from the form GSTR1


    Every ISD has to file the GSTR 6 which contains details of Input Tax Credit received. It also contains the documents which are necessary for the distribution of ITC and Input Tax credit.

    An ISD has to file a GSTR-6 form even if there is no return.


    If you are a taxpayer who does TDS or Tax Deduction at Source under GST scheme then you have to fill up GSTR-7 form.

    The details of TDS deducted, payable tax, and tax credit can be found in this form.


    GSTR-7A is an auto-generated form for GSTR-7 and is a TDS certificate. GSTR7A auto-generates details when a person who requires TDS files GSTR-7.

    You can download the TDS certificate from the GST portal for assessment and record-keeping.


    An E-commerce platform that requires Tax collected at source (TCS) has to file a GSTR-8 return. This form contains the tax collected and supplies effected through E-commerce platforms.


    All taxpayers who are registered under GST have to file GSTR-9 which is the annual return form.

    It contains details of supplies and tax deductions throughout the financial year. It is the compilation of all forms with monthly and quarterly returns.


    The composition Scheme holders under GSTN will fill up the GSTR-9A form annually. It has all the details of quarterly returns filed by composition tax payers.


    This is a monthly self-declaration of a Tax Payer or a registered dealer that the tax payer pays during July and March.

    For each GSTIN you have, a separate GSTR-3B return has to be filed. No revision is possible in this form and the last date of filing the GSTR3B form is the last date of payment of tax liability.

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    How to file a GST Return Online?

    Filing a GST Return Online is a very easy process. Follow the steps given below to file a GSTR form:

    1st Step – Register yourself for a GSTIN number on the GST portal. You will get a 15-digit GSTIN (identification number). The GSTIN will be based on your PAN card and State code.

    2nd Step – Visit the GST portal of India and search for the Services Tab.

    3rd Step – Find the Returns Dashboard. There you need to select the details of the financial year and period of return filing from the drop-down menu.

    4th Step – Next, you need to select the type of return you want to furnish and then click on the button that says Prepare Online

    5th Step – Fill up with all the details while you are filing the desired GST form.

    6th Step – Once you have furnished the details of your return on the form, click on Save.

    7th Step – On saving you will get a success message on your screen after which you have to click on submit to file the return

    8th Step – Once you have submitted the return successfully, you can go to the Payment of Tax tab where you can check your available balance. The balance will be in the form of credit and cash balance.

    9th Step – By typing the amount you want to pay in the space provided, you can clear your liabilities as such.

    10th Step – Once you are all set you need to click on Offset Liability to make a payment.

    11th Step – You will get a confirmation message every time you file a GST.

    GST Return Filing – Conclusion

    GSTR filing is strictly necessary if you are a GST account holder and is liable to Pay Tax under any GST scheme.

    GSTR Network keeps a close watch on every people liable to pay tax and filed under the criminal act if you don’t pay the liable GST return.

    Moreover, if you pay the liable tax after the stipulated time GSTN will levy a penalty to you.

    GST Return Filing FAQs

    Ques – Is it mandatory to file GST return every month?

    Answer – Yes, it is a mandatory condition for every registered person paying GST to file an electronic return every month without fail.

    Ques – Who is eligible to file GST annual return?

    Answer – The business and service providers who hold an annual turnover of Rs 20 lakhs or more are eligible for the GST return. Given the government guidelines the turnover is Rs 10 lacs per annum in few states.

    Ques – What is the turnover limit for filing GSTR 9?

    Answer – For filing GSTR 9, the registered person must have a turnover of Rs 2 crore or above.

    Ques – What happens if GST annual return is not filed?

    Answer – It is a mandatory condition for any business holder to duly register for GST annual return, however in case of delay the person might have to face certain penalties. A delay in the annual return of GST carries a late fee of INR 200 per day.  While leaving the usual penalty aside the government might charge the business holder to pay his 0.25% of the total turnover as penalty.

    Ques – What are the steps to file GST return?

    Answer – The entire procedure has now become online, the individual has to start by first registering themselves for GSIT number on the GST portal.  Once the 15 digit GSITN number is received they can login to GSIT portal and fill the desired GST form and complete their GST return.

    Ques – Is GSTR 4 filing Mandatory?

    Answer – Filling the GSTR 4 is a mandatory condition and should be taken seriously by all taxpayers.

    Ques – What is GST audit limit?

    Answer – The government has set a specific audit limit for every business. The audit limit for GST is 2 crores, for every business that exceed this limit, there accounts are duly audited by chartered accountants or a cost accountant.

    Ques – How do I avoid GST penalty?

    Answer – A late filing of your GST can indeed attract heavy penalties, however there are several scheme reductions for late fee under GSTR9/10, through which you can save yourself from late fine.

    Ques – What is ITC reversal?

    Answer – ITC reversal simply means that the credit of inputs which were taken earlier will now be added to the output tax liability. The ITC reversal very successfully abolishes the credit claims prepared formerly.

    Ques – How is GST late fee calculated?

    Answer – The GST late fee is calculated under the CGST act and SGST act. Under the CGST act a penalty of Rs 25 is taken every day while under SGST act an amount of Rs 50 is taken every day.

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