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How to File GSTR-6 Offline?

Updated on: Jul 21st, 2021


11 min read

GSTR-6 is a monthly return form for input service distributors. It is to be filed even if it is a nil return.

A brief introduction to GSTR-6 and who must prepare and file GSTR-6

A taxpayer registered as an input service distributor is required to file GSTR-6. It is a monthly return in which the taxpayers are required to provide details of ITC received and distributed.

Steps to download and open the offline tool for GSTR-6

Step 1: Go to the GST portal

Step 2: Navigate to Downloads > Offline Tools > Click on the GSTR-6 offline tool with amendments link.


Step 3: The GSTR-6 offline tool will be downloaded. Before unzipping the folder, ensure that the file is not corrupted. To test whether the file is corrupt or not, one must match the values provided in the downloaded file with the one mentioned under downloads of GSTR-6. If there is an exact match, then the file is not corrupted. Perform the below steps to find values in the downloaded file.

1. Open Windows power shell. (You can find it through the search button of your Windows PC.)


2. Enter the below command. Get-FileHash <> Algorithm <> For e.g: Get-FileHash C:\Users\bir_parkash\Downloads\ -Algorithm SHA256

3. Compare the hash value received with the one provided in the offline utility downloads page.


4. If the hash value matches, unzip the downloaded folder and extract GSTR6_WithoutAmendments_20180509_v1file.

GSTR-6 (4)
GSTR-6 (5)

Step 4: Open the file and click on the ‘Enable Editing’ button in the excel sheet.

GSTR-6 (6)

Click on ‘Enable Content’ in the excel sheet.

GSTR-6 (7)

How to add table-wise details in the worksheet

1. Launch the GSTR-6 offline utility, a pop-up will come and ask to open the saved version. If you click yes:  It will open with data saved in the last session. If you click no: It will open with no data saved. 2. There are eight worksheets in the GSTR-6 offline utility:

1. Read Me: It contains an introduction and instructions to help the taxpayer fill the details in the utility.

2. Home: Enter the basic details like GSTIN, financial year and tax period. It has other buttons like ‘Generate JSON file to upload’, ‘Get summary’, ‘Open downloaded error JSON file’, and ‘Open downloaded GSTR-6 JSON file’. 

3. 3 – B2B: It contains details of inward supplies from a registered supplier.

GSTR-6 (8)

Note: A taxpayer cannot amend details in ‘Status of GSTR ⅕’ and ‘Invoice Status’ as they are locked for editing. 

4. 6B – CDN: It contains details of debit/credit notes received from suppliers.

GSTR-6 (9)

Note: A taxpayer cannot amend details in ‘Status of GSTR ⅕’ and ‘Debit/Credit Note Status’ as they are locked for editing.

5. 6A – ITC received (B2BA): It contains details of amendment of inward supplies received from the registered suppliers. These details can be amended by the taxpayer.

GSTR-6 (10)

Note: A taxpayer cannot amend details in ‘Status of GSTR ⅕’ and ‘Invoice Status’ as they are locked for editing.

6. 6C – CDNA: It contains details of amendment of debit/credit notes. These details can be amended by the taxpayer.

GSTR-6 (11)

7. 5,8 – Distribution of ITC: It contains details of the distribution of ITC by way of invoices and credit notes.

GSTR-6 (11)

8. 9 – Amendment of distribution of ITC: It contains details of amendment of distribution of ITC through invoices and credit notes. The same can be amended by the taxpayer.

GSTR-6 (13)

Under Column Action, select add or delete. The GST portal will treat invoices from that row as new data and will add them in the database. In case some details exist from the previous upload, it will be updated with the latest uploaded details. If you select ‘Delete’, the invoice from that row will be deleted from the database after upload. After entering all the details in the worksheet, validate each sheet separately.

  • Successful validation: A message will be displayed as ‘No errors found’. A taxpayer can click on ‘OK’ to proceed, and generate the JSON file.
GSTR-6 (14)
  • Unsuccessful validation: An error message will pop-up. Click ‘OK’. The cells with errors will be highlighted in red. The column named ‘Sheet Validation Errors’, will be updated with the error message. Rectify the errors as per the yellow description box. 
GSTR-6 (15)

After validating all errors, click on the ‘Validate Sheet’ button again. If there are no errors, a pop-up message will come as ‘No errors found’. Click ‘OK’ to proceed. This will take you to the home screen tab with a message ‘Summary is successfully generated’. Click ‘OK’ to generate a summary.

GSTR-6 (16)

How to generate JSON file for upload

After completing successful validation, go to the home screen tab and click on ‘Generate JSON file to upload’.

GSTR-6 (17)

Browse the location and save the JSON file. (Note: Don’t change the extension of the JSON file. Keep it as JSON.) A confirmation message will pop-up. Click ‘OK’.

GSTR-6 (18)

How to upload the generated JSON file of GSTR-6

1. Visit the GST portal.

2. Navigate to Services > Returns > Returns dashboard.

3. The file returns page will be displayed. Choose the financial year and the period of filing return. Then, click on ‘Search’.

GSTR-6 (19)

4. Click on the ‘Prepare Offline’ button under the GSTR-6 tile.

GSTR-6 (20)

5. Click on choose file and select the JSON file prepared for upload.

6. The uploaded JSON file will be validated. Only upon successful validation, the details will get updated in respective tables. 

GSTR-6 (21)

In the case of errors, it will be reported on the GST portal. The error report can be downloaded from the portal as mentioned below.

How to download the error JSON file, if any

1. The status of upload will be displayed as ‘Processed with Error’.

GSTR-6 (22)

2. Click on the ‘Generate error report’ link to download the report.

3. Once the report is generated, click on the ‘Download error report’ link to download the file.

GSTR-6 (23)

4. Unzip the downloaded folder and extract the JSON file.

5. Open the GSTR-6 tool and go to the home tab and click on ‘Open downloaded error JSON files’.

GSTR-6 (24)

6. A file dialogue box will open. Go to the extracted folder and click on ‘Open’.

7. A success message will be displayed. Click ‘OK’ to proceed.

GSTR-6 (25)

8. Correct the errors as mentioned in all sheets (as applicable) under the column ‘GST portal validation errors’.

GSTR-6 (26)

9. After making corrections, click on ‘Validate Sheet’. After successful validation, click on ‘Get Summary’. A summary page will be displayed as shown below.

GSTR-6 (27)

10. Click on ‘Generate JSON file to upload’.

FAQs on the offline tool for Form GSTR-6

Can a taxpayer file complete Form GSTR-6 using offline utility?

No, filing can be done only online through the GST portal. Using offline utility a taxpayer can only prepare tables such as: Table 3.ITC Received 5,8 Distribution of ITC  6B CDN, 6A ITC received (B2BA) 6C CDNA and  9 Amendment of distribution of ITC Filing will have to be done on the GST portal. 

Is login to the portal essential for download of GSTR-6 offline utility?

No, it can be downloaded from the downloads section of the GST portal without logging in. However, to upload the JSON file generated using GSTR-6 offline utility, you will need to login to the portal. 

Does the offline utility auto-populate the name of the taxpayer based on GSTIN?

No, the offline utility cannot auto-populate the name of the taxpayer on the basis of GSTIN details entered in the home tab. But, it can validate the structure of GSTIN entered.

Can negative or decimal values be updated in offline utility?

Negative values cannot be entered. However, one can enter decimal values in the offline utility.

Can a taxpayer generate JSON files without entering any details in the offline utility?

No, a NIL JSON file cannot be generated.

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Quick Summary

GSTR-6 is a monthly return form for input service distributors. It must be filed even as a nil return. To prepare GSTR-6 and download the offline tool, check the steps and table-wise details. Validation process is vital before generating the JSON file. Questions: 1. Who must file GSTR-6? 2. How to validate sheets in offline utility? 3. Can GSTR-6 be filed using the offline tool?

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