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GST Return Filing

With the implementation of Goods and Services Tax (GST) in India, businesses are required to file multiple returns every month in each state they operate in. This process can be daunting for business owners who may not be familiar with the procedure and the deadlines involved. In this article, we will provide a step-by-step guide on how to file GST returns in India and answer some of the most important questions regarding the process. So, if you’re a business owner in India struggling with filing GST returns, keep reading to learn how to streamline the process and avoid penalties.

1. Introduction: What is GST Return Filing?

GST Return Filing is an essential aspect of the Goods and Service Tax (GST) system in India. In simple terms, GST return filing is submitting details of all income/sales and/or expenses/purchases to the concerned tax administrative authorities. It is mandatory for every GST-registered taxpayer(also known as GSTIN) to file monthly or quarterly GST returns and an annual GST return based on the type of business. The GST returns are filed online on the GST portal. The GST return document is used by tax authorities to calculate the net tax liability of the taxpayer.

Under GST, all regular businesses having more than Rs. 5 crore as an annual aggregate turnover have to file two monthly returns and one annual return. This amounts to 25 returns each year. Whereas taxpayers with a turnover of up to Rs. 5 crore have the option to file returns under the QRMP scheme, and they would have to file 9 returns each year, including four GSTR-1 and GSTR-3B returns each and an annual return.

There are different types of GST returns depending on the type of taxpayer/type of registration obtained. While the due dates for filing GST returns vary based on the taxpayer’s turnover, filing frequency, and type of registration. Therefore, it is essential to know the various types of returns and due dates to ensure timely compliance.

In conclusion, GST Return Filing is an important compliance requirement for all GST-registered taxpayers. It is advisable to outsource GST Return Filing to experts who can enable businesses to become tax-compliant efficiently. With the help of AI-driven engines and various software tools, businesses can claim their maximum Input Tax Credit (ITC) and file GST returns effortlessly. 

2. Importance of GST Return Filing

GST return filing is a crucial aspect of complying with the Goods and Services Tax (GST) law in India. GST is a destination-based tax that has replaced several indirect taxes, and it is collected at every stage of value addition until the final sale to the consumer. Thus, businesses, both small and large, are required to register under the GST regime and file GST returns regularly. The importance of GST return filing cannot be understated, as non-compliance can lead to severe penalties and legal consequences. By filing GST returns on time and regularly, businesses can stay compliant and avoid unwanted tax disputes and penalties.

By filing GST returns, businesses also get the benefit of input tax credit, which helps businesses reduce their tax liability. Input tax credit is the tax paid on inputs or purchases that businesses can claim as a deduction from their output tax liability. This helps in reducing the overall tax liability and improves cash flow for businesses. As per the GST law, input tax credit can only be claimed if the supplier has filed their GST returns on time.

In today’s digital age, it has become easier for businesses to file GST returns online. There are various GST return forms that businesses need to file, and the frequency of filing varies based on the type of taxpayer and the type of returns. Thus, it becomes important for businesses to understand the types of GST returns and the due dates for filing them. By outsourcing their GST return filing, businesses can save time and focus on their core operations while ensuring compliance with the GST law. 

3. How to Get Your GST Number

Getting GST number is an essential step for any business planning to operate in India. The process for getting your GST number has been simplified to make it easier for business owners. Here’s what you need to know:

1. Who Needs a GST Number?

As per the GST regulations, businesses with a turnover of over Rs. 40 lakhs need a GST number. For businesses in North-Eastern states, the threshold for GST registration is Rs. 20 lakhs.

2. Documents Required

To apply for your GST number, you need to have the following documentation:

– PAN card of the company

– Proof of place of business

– Bank statement

– Authorization forms

3. How to Apply for Your GST Number

To apply for your GST number, follow these simple steps:

– Visit the GST portal and choose ‘Register Now’.

– Select ‘New Registration’ under the heading ‘I am a…’

– Fill in Forms GST REG-01 with your basic information and upload the required documents.

– After verification of your application, you will receive an Application Reference Number (ARN) and the status of your application will be updated.

4. Benefits of Getting a GST Number

Having a GST number is beneficial in several ways:

– It enables you to claim Input Tax Credit (ITC).

– You become authorized to collect GST from customers and remit it to the government.

– You gain credibility with other businesses and consumers.

In summary, getting your GST number is a straightforward process involving a few basic documents and a registration procedure on the GST portal. Once registered, you can enjoy the benefits of being a GST compliant business, including the ability to claim ITC and improve credibility. 

4. Steps to File GST Return Online

If’re a business owner wondering how to file your GST returns, don’t worry. We’ve got you covered with this step-by-step guide to filing GST returns online in India.

First and foremost, ensure that you are registered under GST and have your 15-digit GST identification number on hand before you proceed with the following steps:

1. Click on the ‘returns dashboard’ and select the financial year and return filing period from the drop-down menu.

2. Choose the correct GST return form based on your business type and click on ‘prepare online.’

3. Fill in all the required details of transactions, including GST Payer type, ITC claims, and tax amounts and late fees (if applicable).

4. Once you have filled in all the details, click on ‘save’ to see a success message displayed on your screen.

5. To complete the filing, click on ‘submit’ at the bottom of the page.

Now that your GST return has been filed, you can check your filing status easily anytime online. Additionally, ensure that you’ve paid the corresponding tax amount, which can easily be checked in the ‘payment of tax’ tile.

Don’t forget to file your returns in a timely manner to avoid any fines or penalties. Each GST return form has its own due date, so make sure to keep track of them and file accordingly to avoid unnecessary fees.

In conclusion, filing GST returns online may seem complex at first, but with the correct information and following these simple steps, it can be done quickly and efficiently. 

5. Different Forms of GST Returns

Under Goods and Services Tax (GST) law, businesses and professionals registered under GST must file various forms of GST returns. In fact, there are a total of 22 types of GST returns prescribed under the GST Rules, out of which 11 are currently active. The number and types of GST returns that a business or professional must file vary depending on their registration type, including regular taxpayers, composition taxable persons, e-commerce operators, TDS deductor, non-resident taxpayers, input service distributors, and casual taxable persons.

One of the most common types of GST returns is the GSTR-1, which is to be filed by all normal taxpayers registered under GST. GSTR-1 is the return that reports all the details of outward supplies of goods and services made, including the invoices and debit/credit notes issued during a tax period. “Any amendments to sales invoices made, even pertaining to previous tax periods, must be reported in the GSTR-1 return by all suppliers or sellers registered under GST,” according to QuickBooks. The frequency of filing GSTR-1 may differ among filers, depending on their annual aggregate turnover and if they opt into the QRMP scheme.

There are also other forms of GST returns that taxpayers must file, including GSTR-2A and GSTR-2B. The former is a dynamic GST return relevant for the recipient or buyer of goods and services, while the latter is a static return that contains constant ITC data for a period whenever checked back. Despite the different types of GST returns, filing them can be simplified by outsourcing the process to professionals. “Outsourcing GST return filing can help businesses save time, avoid errors, and ensure compliance with GST regulations,” according to

In the end, understanding the different forms of GST returns is crucial to ensure compliance and maximize the benefits of ITC. 

6. Who Needs to File GST Returns?

Under GST regime, any business that is registered under GST and has an annual turnover of over Rs.20 lakhs (Rs.10 lakhs for northeastern states) is required to file GST returns. This includes all businesses, manufacturers, resellers, online sellers or traders, service providers, and even freelancers. Additionally, anyone who trades goods or services across state borders must also file GST returns regardless of their annual turnover. In short, anyone who is registered under GST and conducts business in India is required to file GST returns.

It is important to note that even if a business has not made any sales or purchases during a particular period, it still needs to file a nil return. Not filing GST returns can lead to hefty penalties, interest, and late fee charges. Thus, it is crucial to stay compliant and file GST returns within the due dates. Also, businesses that have opted for the composition scheme, a GST scheme for businesses with a turnover of up to Rs.1.5 crore, have different GST return filing rules. These businesses are required to file a quarterly return, irrespective of their turnover.

In conclusion, GST return filing applies to all businesses that are registered under GST and have an annual turnover of over Rs.20 lakhs. It is important for businesses to file their GST returns within the due dates to avoid any penalties or charges. 

7. Due Dates for Filing GST Returns

Every business operating under GST in India is mandatorily required to file GST returns. Timely filing of returns is a crucial step for businesses as it helps in availing Input Tax Credit (ITC) and avoiding late fees and penalties. The due date of filing GST returns varies depending on the type of return and the turnover of the business. Let’s take a closer look at the due dates for filing GST returns in India.

For monthly returns, GSTR-1 and GSTR-3B, the due date is the 11th and 20th day of the following month, respectively. For quarterly returns, GSTR-4, the due date is the 18th day of the month following the end of the quarter. GSTR-5, filed by non-resident taxpayers, is due on the 20th day of the following month. The annual return, GSTR-9, is due on or before December 31st of the following financial year.

It’s important for businesses to adhere to these deadlines, as late filing can result in hefty fines and penalties. Additionally, businesses facing financial constraints or technical issues can request an extension of up to 30 days to file their returns.

In the words of the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC), “file early to avoid last-minute rush and ensure compliance.”

Filing GST returns can be a daunting task, especially for small businesses with limited resources. However, with timely planning and the help of experts, businesses can ensure hassle-free return filing and compliance.

8. Types of GST Registration in India

Under GST law in India, different types of taxpayers require different types of GST registration. Here are some of the major types of GST registrations in India, which include:

Regular Taxpayer: Every business with an annual turnover of more than Rs. 20 Lakhs must register for GST. This includes businesses located in multiple states or involved in e-commerce.

Composition Taxable Person: A taxpayer with an annual turnover of up to Rs.75 Lakhs can opt to pay a lower tax rate under the composition scheme.

E-commerce Operators: E-commerce platforms like Amazon or Flipkart that provide online platforms to facilitate transactions between sellers and customers require GST registration.

TDS Deductor: A taxpayer who deducts tax at source (TDS) while making payments to suppliers must register as a TDS Deductor.

Non-Resident Taxpayer: A taxpayer who is based outside India but involved in the supply of goods or services within India requires GST registration.

Input Service Distributor (ISD): Businesses that receive input services and distribute them across branches for further use require GST registration.

Casual Taxable Person: A person who occasionally undertakes transactions involving the supply of goods and services or both and has no fixed place of business in India.

GST Practitioner: A person who is authorized by a registered taxpayer to file GST returns on their behalf

To ensure that you are complying with the GST law, it is essential to identify what type of GST registration your business requires. It is also important to note that GST registration is mandatory, regardless of whether your business is actively trading or not. So, stay informed, file your GST returns on time, and avoid penalties. [15][16]

9. Advantages of Outsourcing GST Return Filing

Outourcing your GST return filing can provide numerous advantages, particularly for small and medium-sized businesses who may not have the necessary expertise or resources to handle the complexities of the process. Here are some benefits of outsourcing GST return filing:

1. Focus on core business operations: By outsourcing GST return filing, businesses can focus on their core operations and leave the regulatory compliance work to experts. This can result in increased productivity and efficiency, allowing the business to grow and expand.

2. Access to experts: Outsourcing GST return filing provides the business with access to experts who specialize in this area. These experts have a deep understanding of GST regulations and can ensure that the filing process is done accurately and in compliance with all applicable laws.

3. Cost-effective: By outsourcing GST return filing, businesses can save on the cost of hiring and training in-house staff to handle this task. This can result in significant cost savings, particularly for small and medium-sized businesses.

4. Timely compliance: With outsourcing, businesses can rest assured that their GST returns are filed on time, avoiding the risk of and fines. The outsourcing provider will ensure that the returns are filed within the specified due dates.

5. Peace of mind: Outsourcing GST return filing provides peace of mind to the business owner, knowing that this crucial compliance task is being handled by experts. This allows the business owner to on running and growing their business, without worrying about the complexities of GST compliance.

In summary, outsourcing GST return filing can be a smart and profitable choice for businesses of all sizes. By accessing experts, saving costs, and ensuring timely compliance, businesses can focus on their core operations and grow their business while leaving the regulatory compliance work to trustworthy service providers. 

10. Simplifying GST Return Filing Process

In, it’s clear that the GST return filing process in India can be quite complex, requiring taxpayers to navigate numerous forms and deadlines. However, the good news is that there are steps that can be taken to simplify this process and reduce the burden on taxpayers.

One key step is to use technology, such as software that allows for the import of data from various ERP systems, to streamline the filing process. As one article notes, “To file GST returns or for GST filings check out the software that allows the import of data from various ERP systems such as Tally Busy custom Excel to name a few. There is also the option to use the desktop app for Tally users to directly upload data and file.”

Another way to simplify the process is to ensure that all necessary information is gathered and organized in advance of filing. This might include keeping detailed records of all income and expenses, as well as seeking professional guidance when needed.

Ultimately, the key to simplifying the GST return filing process is to stay informed and proactive. By staying up-to-date with changes in regulations and deadlines, and by taking advantage of technological tools and professional guidance, taxpayers can ensure that their filings are accurate and timely, and avoid any penalties or other complications. As always, it’s important to be diligent and thorough, but also to keep a positive attitude and a sense of perspective. As one writer notes, “The GST return filing process may seem daunting at first, but with the right tools and mindset, it’s manageable — and even rewarding.” 

11. Documents required for GST return filing

To file a GST return, businesses must provide certain documents and records for the specified tax period. These include:

1. Tax invoices issued to customers
2. Credit notes issued to customers
3. Debit notes received from suppliers
4. Details of all purchases made during the period
5. Details of all sales made during the period
6. Details of all input tax credit availed during the period
7. Details of all output tax payable during the period
8. Bank statements and payment receipts
9. Import-export documentation
10. Records of all inter-state transactions
11. Any other relevant records required by the GST laws

It is crucial for businesses to maintain these documents and records accurately and update them regularly to ensure smooth GST return filing.

12. Late fines for not filing GST return on time

If a business fails to file GST returns on time, they may face penalties and late filing fees. The late penalty for non-filing or late filing is INR 200 per day up to a maximum of 0.50% of the taxpayer’s turnover. Additionally, interest will be charged at a rate of 18% per annum on the amount of unpaid taxes until the tax has been paid.

It is important for businesses to file their GST returns on time and avoid incurring these penalties and interest charges.

13. Frequently Asked Questions about GST Return filing in India

Q1. What is GST return filing?

A: GST return filing is the process by which businesses registered under GST provide information to the government about their sales, purchases, input tax credit, and output tax liability for a specified tax period.

Q2. Who needs to file GST returns?

A: All businesses registered under GST, including regular taxpayers, casual taxpayers, and non-resident taxpayers, must file GST returns.

Q3. What are the types of GST returns?

A: There are various types of GST returns based on the type of taxpayer, turnover, and nature of business. These include GSTR-1, GSTR-2A, GSTR-3B, GSTR-4, GSTR-5, GSTR-6, GSTR-7, GSTR-8, and GSTR-9.

Q4. What is the due date for filing GST returns?

A: The due dates for filing GST returns depend on the type of GST return and the taxpayer’s turnover. For example, GSTR-3B is due on the 20th of every month for regular taxpayers, while GSTR-4 is due on the 18th of the following month for composition taxpayers.

Q5. What happens if I don’t file my GST returns on time?

A: If GST returns are not filed on time, the taxpayer may face penalties and late filing fees. Additionally, interest will be charged on the amount of unpaid taxes until the tax has been paid.

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