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GST Returns Filing

The Goods and Services Tax is a multi-stage, destination-based indirect tax levied on the manufacture, sale and consumption of goods and services. By subsuming a number of state and central taxes into a single tax, GST aims to eliminate the cascading effect of taxation in a big way. This is in par with the government’s goal of setting up a common national market as well. The new tax regime was rolled out by the Central government on July 1, 2017.

Any individual registered under the GST Act has to produce the details of the sales and purchases of products and services as well as the tax collected and paid. To do so, the individual has to file online returns. GST returns are documents filed by taxpayers with the income tax authorities of India on a periodic basis. Those registered on the GST portal have to provide their business information (sales, purchases, tax collected and tax paid for instance) by filing GST returns online. The tax authorities use this information provided to calculate tax liability.

Types Of Returns Applicable Under GST Law

GST returns can be filed using different forms. They are:

GSTR 1: GSTR 1 has to be submitted by the 10th day of a month. It will contain details of a registered taxable supplier’s outward products supplied and services rendered. Some of the critical headings under form GSTR 1 are:

  • GSTIN (which stands for Goods and Services Taxpayer Identification Number)

  • Legal name of the registered person

  • Previous financial year’s aggregate turnover

  • Taxable outward supplies to a registered person

  • Taxable outward supplies to a consumer

  • Amendments to details of any outward supplies for previous periods

GSTR 2: GSTR 2 has to be filed by the 15th day of a month. It summarizes the details of inward purchases of taxable products and services. GSTR 2 will list the registered dealer’s purchase transactions undertaken in a month. Additionally, it will include purchases where reverse charge is applicable. Some of the critical headings under form GSTR 2 are:

  • GSTIN

  • Legal name of the registered person

  • Inward supplies received besides those attracting reverse charge

  • Inward supplies where tax is applicable on reverse charge

  • TDS and TCS credit received

  • Amendments to details of inward supplies

GSTR 3: GSTR 3 is a monthly return form, auto-generated by pulling information from GSTR 1 and GSTR 2. It should be filed by the 20th day of a month. This form will have the details of the inward and outward supplies of products and services, which are mentioned in GSTR 1 and GSTR 2. Some of the critical headings under form GSTR 3 are:

  • Turnover

  • Inter-state supplies

  • Intra-state supplies

  • Tax effect of amendments made concerning outward supplies

  • Inward supplies attracting reverse charge

GSTR 4: GSTR 4 needs to be filed by taxpayers opting for composition scheme. Under this, taxpayers are required to file their returns on a quarterly basis. Two of the conditions associated with this scheme are: i) taxpayers with a turnover of up to Rs. 75 lakhs can only opt for the scheme and ii) they should only be involved in intrastate trade. Some of the critical headings under form GSTR 4 are:

  • GSTIN

  • Legal name

  • Inward supplies where tax is payable on reverse charge

  • Consolidated statement of advances paid

  • Amendments to details of inward supplies furnished in returns of previous periods

GSTR 5: GSTR 5 is required to be filed by registered non-resident foreign taxable persons. It should be filed by the 20th day of a month. Such individuals are foreign suppliers that have come for a short while to make supplies in India. They do not have a business establishment in the country. Some of the critical headings under form GSTR 5 are:

  • GSTIN

  • Legal name

  • Imported goods

  • Imported services

  • Outward supplies made

  • Details of debit credit notes

GSTR 6: GSTR 6 is required to be filed by every input services distributor. The due date for filing this form is the 13th day of a month. It mentions the documents issued for distribution of input tax credit as well as the manner of distribution of credit. Some of the critical headings under form GSTR 6 are:

  • GSTIN

  • Legal name

  • Amendment to distribution documents and credit or debit notes of previous periods

  • Input tax credit received for distribution

GSTR 7: GSTR 7 has to be filed by the 10th day of a month. It contains the details of tax deductions made in a month. This needs to be furnished by taxpayers, registered to deduct TDS at source. Some of the critical headings under form GSTR 7 are:

  • GSTIN

  • Legal name

  • TDS details

  • Return period

  • Liability – payable and paid

GSTR 8: GSTR 8 has to be filed by e-commerce operators who collect tax at source. The filing for a month is due on 10th of the next month. The main intention of GSTR 8 form is to maintain a complete record of the transactions done on an e-commerce platform. Some of the critical headings under form GSTR 8 are:

  • GSTIN

  • Legal name

  • Details of supplies made via e-commerce operator

  • Tax paid and payable

  • Details of interest

GSTR 9: GSTR 9 is an annual return form which needs to be furnished by all registered taxpayers. The form, which is a compilation of the taxpayer's 12 monthly GSTR 3 forms, has to be filed by 31st December every year. Form GSTR 9 contains the details of exports, imports and the tax paid by the applicant in a year.

GSTR 10: GSTR 10 is required to be filed by a taxpayer whose GST registration is surrendered or cancelled. This 'final' return should be filed in a span of 3 months from the date of cancellation or date of cancellation order, whichever comes later. Some of the critical headings under form GSTR 10 are:

  • GSTIN (which stands for Goods and Services Taxpayer Identification Number)

  • Legal name

  • Effective date of cancellation/surrender

  • Cancellation order date

  • Tax payable on closing stock

GSTR 11: GSTR 11 needs to be filed by individuals to whom a Unique Identity Number (UIN) has been issued for the purpose of getting a refund on their purchases in India. Only foreign embassies or diplomatic bodies holding UIN can file GSTR 11. It must be noted that this return should only be filed in those months when purchases are made. Some of the critical headings under form GSTR 11 are:

  • Unique Identification Number

  • Name of the person having UIN

  • Details of supplies

  • Tax period

Process of Filing GST Returns Online

Under the new tax regime, the entire process of filing returns has been automated. However, facilities have been provided wherein taxpayers can manually file GST returns - returns will be prepared offline and uploaded on government portal GSTN by the taxpayer or a facilitation centre.

To file GST returns online, you need to first visit the GST portal. Next, you need to login using your username and password. Once you have access to your profile, head to the “Services” section and click on the “Return” tab. On choosing the return filing period, you can view the various forms available and the due date for filing each return. Click on “Prepare Online” to proceed with filing GST returns.

Latest GST Notifications

  • Due date for filing returns in form GSTR 6 for July 2017-June 2018 period extended till July 31, 2018.

  • Provisions relating to Reverse Charge Mechanism under Section 9(4) of the CGST Act, 2017, Section 5(4) of the IGST Act, 2017 further deferred for 3 months upto September 30, 2018.

  • Penalties for late filing of GST returns lowered for GSTR 1, GSTR 5 and GSTR 6.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the different kinds of GST returns applicable?

There are 11 types of returns that can be filed under GST.

GSTR 1 - return for outward supplies

GSTR 2 - return for inward supplies

GSTR 3 - return containing details from GSTR-1, GSTR-2, GSTR-6 and GSTR-7 filed by taxpayer

GSTR 4 - to be filed by taxpayers opting for composition scheme

GSTR 5 - to be filed by non-resident taxpayers

GSTR 6 - to be filed by input service distributors

GSTR 7 - to be filed for TDS transactions

GSTR 8 - to be filed by e-commerce operators

GSTR 9 - annual return to be filed by every registered taxpayer

GSTR 10 - to be filed when permanently terminating business activities

GSTR 11 - to be filed by taxpayers holding Unique Identity Number

Who can file the GSTR 11?

GSTR 11 needs to be filed by individuals to whom a Unique Identity Number (UIN) has been issued for the purpose of getting a refund on their purchases in India. Only foreign embassies or diplomatic bodies holding UIN can file GSTR 11.

Are e-commerce operators required to file GST returns?

Yes. GSTR 8 has to be filed by e-commerce operators who collect tax at source. The filing for a month is due on 10th of the next month. The main intention of GSTR 8 form is to maintain a complete record of the transactions done on an e-commerce platform.

How to file GST returns online?

To file GST returns online, you need to first visit the GST portal. Next, you need to login using your username and password. Once you have access to your profile, head to the “Services” section and click on the “Return” tab. On choosing the return filing period, you can view the various forms available and the due date for filing each return. Click on “Prepare Online” to proceed with filing GST returns.

What GST returns have to be furnished by a non-resident taxable assessee?

GSTR 5 is required to be filed by registered non-resident taxable persons. They are referred to foreign suppliers that have come for a short while to make supplies in India. They do not have a business establishment in the country. Some of the critical headings under form GSTR 5 are:

  • GSTIN
  • Imported goods
  • Imported services
  • Outward supplies made
  • Details of debit credit notes
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