Should You File Your GST return? A Complete Overview



The GST return is filed by business owners monthly or quarterly in an official document containing details such as purchases, sales, and other related taxes.  The GST return filing process is extremely easy, conducted on the official GST portal provided by the Government of India. 

Formulated in 2017 and implemented two years later, the new system seeks to streamline taxes imposed on different products and services. Rather than filing different taxes, it becomes easy for taxpayers as they have to file returns for a single tax. 

If you’re wondering about whether you need to file GST returns or not, this article is for you. It’ll provide in-depth insights about the taxes and help you understand why you should always file your GST returns online. 

What Is A GST Return?

A GST return is an official document that contains all the expenses and income in a given month incurred by a GST-registered business (GSTIN).

A business owner usually has to pay the following returns under GST:

  • Sales
  • Purchases
  • Input tax credit (GST incurred on purchases)
  • Output GST (during sales)

Businesses with more than Rs. 5 crores in annual turnover usually file two monthly and one annual return, amounting to 25 returns yearly.  

Alternatively, taxpayers/individuals with more than Rs. 5 crores as annual turnover can apply to file their GST returns under the QRMP scheme. Under this, taxpayers must furnish nine yearly returns, with 4 GSTR-1 and GSTR-3B returns. You must also note that QRMP taxpayers pay taxes monthly, even though they file quarterly returns. 

Your GST return is important as it allows you to apply for collateral-free term loans for business (also referred to as a GST business loan) for expansion and expenditure. 

Should You File A GST Return?

You are liable for compliance under the new GST return rules if you have a turnover above Rs. 20 lakh per year. One must check out the official GSTIN portal to understand which documents are required to register yourself and file your GST return.

States like Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Jammu Kashmir, Tripura, and Himachal Pradesh come under the ‘special category.’

Taxpayers from the states mentioned above are offered a special provision. The minimum annual turnover eligible for GST is Rs. 10 lakhs annually.

Types Of GST Returns – How Many GST Returns To File As Per GST Act?

There are different types of GST returns, having their unique forms. 22 different types of returns have been prescribed under the GST return rules. 11 are currently active, while 3 have been suspended out of these.

Additionally, it also has 8 view-only returns.

A detailed overview of the active GST returns is given below:

Name. Who is it for? Frequency  Due Date
GSTR-1 For suppliers on outward supplies of taxable goods and services Monthly  10th of next month
GSTR-2 For recipients on inward supplies for claiming a tax credit Monthly 15th of next month
GSTR-3B For taxpayers, based on inward and outward supplies along with tax amount payment. Monthly and Quarterly (under QRMP scheme) Monthly: 20th of the next month 
Quarterly: 22nd or 24th of the next month after the quarter. 
GSTR-4 For composition, suppliers are registered under Section 10 of CGST. Annually 30th of the month after the previous financial year.
GSTR-5 Return for NRI taxable persons Monthly  20th of the coming month 
GSTR-6 Input service distributors are filing returns for distributing input tax credit. Monthly  13th of every month 
GSTR-7 To be filed by registered individuals after deducting TDS  Monthly  10th of every month 
GSTR-8 Tax collectors and e-commerce service providers file returns based on supply details and taxes collected at the source. Monthly 10th of next month 
GSTR-9 Taxable persons filing their annual returns Annually 31st December of the coming year
GSTR-10 Final return to be submitted by taxpayers with cancelled GST registration  Annually Within 3 months of order cancellation
GSTR-11 Persons with a UIN refund claim to submit details of inward supplies Monthly 28th of the month succeeding the one for which a statement was filed.

How to File a GST Return Online?

As a taxpayer, you must file your GST return with the GST department annually. The process has now been automated to help taxpayers save time and extra effort.

You can easily file your GST returns online through the official portal or a third-party, recognized GST filing software. You can also download the official mobile app provided by the GSTN (Goods and Service Tax Network).

Here is a step-by-step guide on how to file GST online:

Step 1:  Visit the official GST portal: 

Step 2: After submitting your state code and PAN details, you’ll get a 15-digit GST number.

Step 3: In the third step, you must upload all invoices generated by your business on the portal. 

Step 4: File your inward and outward returns alongside a cumulative monthly return. In case of any errors, you can rectify them by refiling your returns.

Step 5: File your outward returns under GSTR-1 under the ‘Information’ section on the GST Common portal on or before the 10th of every month.

Step 6: Outward supplies furnished by suppliers can be sourced from the GSTR-2A.

Step 7:  Recipients will need to verify details of outward supplies and submit details of debit and credit notes. 

Step 8: Recipients need to furnish details of the inward supplies in the GSTR-2 form. 

Step 9: Modifications made to details of inward supplies under the GSTR-1A form can be accepted or rejected by the supplier. 

Offline Process

You need to download the Returns Offline tool to file your GST returns offline.

Once through, you can easily file your GSTR-1 and 2 forms by following the steps mentioned in the above link. 

Wrapping UpThis article was all about the need to file your GST return and the steps required. While filing the GST return online, you can download the relevant GST forms and fill them out, thereby completing the GST filing process

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