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Steps to file Nil GSTR-3B on GST Portal

Updated on:  

08 min read

Nil GSTR-3B must be filed just like any normal GSTR-3B return. If a person has neither made any outward supply nor received any inward supply resulting in no tax liability for a particular month, he must still file a nil GSTR-3B on the GST portal for that month.

The process to file Nil GSTR-3B on the GST portal is outlined in this article. It is different and easier when compared to the filing of normal GSTR-3B with supply details. Further, there is an option to file a nil GSTR-3B through SMS as well. Read our article “Steps to file Nil GSTR-3B via SMS”.

Latest Updates on GSTR-3B

28th May 2021
The GST Council recommended in its 43rd meeting the following:
1) The much-awaited GST amnesty scheme was given a go-ahead. As per the announcement, those taxpayers who haven’t filed GSTR-3B for any earlier tax periods between July 2017 to April 2021 can file now between 1st June 2021 up to 31st August 2021 with a reduced maximum late fee as follows:
(a) Maximum late fee has been capped at a maximum of Rs 500 per return (i.e Rs. 250/- each for CGST & SGST) in case of nil GSTR-3B filing
(b) Maximum late fee is Rs 1000 per return ( i.e Rs. 500/- each for CGST & SGST) for other taxpayers
2) Late fee has been rationalised for future tax periods in case of GSTR-3B, as follows:
(a) In case of nil GSTR-3B filing, the maximum late fee charged shall be capped at Rs.500 per return (i.e Rs. 250/- each for CGST & SGST).
(b) In GSTR-1 and GSTR-3B other than nil filing, maximum late fee is fixed based on annual turnover slab, as follows:
(i) If the annual turnover in the previous financial year is upto Rs.1.5 crore then the late fee of maximum Rs 2,000 per return can only be charged (i.e Rs.1000 each for CGST and SGST).
(ii) If the turnover ranges between Rs.1.5 crore and Rs.5 crore then the maximum late fee of Rs.5,000 per return can only be charged (i.e Rs. 2500 each for CGST and SGST).
(iii) If the turnover is more than Rs.5 crore then late fee of maximum Rs.10,000 (i.e Rs. 5000 per CGST and SGST) can be charged.
3) Rule 36(4) of the CGST Rules will apply cumulatively from April to June 2021 while filing GSTR-3B for the tax period of June 2021. It means that one can provisionally claim ITC even if it does not appear in GSTR-2B in their GSTR-3B for April 2021 and May 2021.
4) Companies that are GST taxpayers have been given permission to authenticate returns using EVC instead of digital signature up to 31st August 2021.
5) The interest and late fee relief has been extended for a further period. Get the complete list in our article 43rd GST Council meeting Outcome.

1st May 2021
(1) The CGST Rule 36(4) restricting provisional ITC claims to 5% of GSTR-2B in GSTR-3B is relaxed for April 2021. The taxpayer can apply this rule cumulatively for both April and May while GSTR-3B for May 2021.

(2) The interest and late fee charged for late filing of GSTR-3B have been relaxed as follows:
(a) Turnover is more than Rs.5 crore in the preceding financial year and GSTR-3B is filed on a monthly basis, interest and late fee are relaxed/waived off for April and May 2021 (Due date: 20th May or 20th June) as follows:
Interest reduced to 9% for filing on or before 5th May (4th June), but charged at 18% thereafter. No late fee up to 5th May (4th June)

(b) Turnover is up to Rs.5 crore in the preceding financial year and GSTR-3B is filed on a monthly basis, interest and late fee are relaxed/waived off for April and May 2021 (Due date: 20th May or 20th June) as follows:
No interest for filing on or before 5th May (4th June), interest reduced to 9% for filing between 6th May (5th June) and 20th May (19th June), but charged at 18% thereafter. No late fee up to 20th May (19th June)

(c) Turnover is up to Rs.5 crore in the preceding financial year and GSTR-3B is filed on a quarterly basis, interest and late fee are relaxed/waived off for Jan-Mar 2021 (Due date: 22nd/24th April) as follows:
No interest for filing on or before 7th May (9th May), interest reduced to 9% between 8th May (10th May) and 21st May (23rd May), but charged at 18% thereafter. No late fee up to 21st May (23rd May)

31st December 2020
The due date of GSTR-3B has been revised after the introduction of the QRMP scheme for the period- January 2021 to March 2021, is as follows:

Aggregate turnover exceeding Rs.5 crore in the previous financial year:
(a) January 2021 – 20th February 2021
(b) February 2021 – 20th March 2021
(c) March 2021 – 20th April 2021

Aggregate turnover up to Rs.5 crore in the previous financial year:

(1) Not opting for the QRMP scheme:-
(a) January 2021 – 20th February 2021
(b) February 2021 – 20th March 2021
(c) March 2021 – 20th April 2021

(2) Opting for the QRMP scheme:-
(a) Jan-Mar 2021 –
(i) For category X** states/UT: 22nd April 2021*
(ii) For category Y** states/UT: 24th April 2021*

*Pay tax on a monthly basis by the 25th of the consequent month for the first two months of the quarter.

Steps to file Nil GSTR-3B

The following is a step-by-step guide to file a Nil GSTR-3B return:

Step 1: Log in to the GST portal and select the GSTR-3B return.

Nil GSTR-3B

Login to the GST portal and select the period for which the return is being filed. Choose the type of return (GSTR 3B) and select ‘PREPARE ONLINE’.

Nil GSTR-3B
Nil GSTR-3B

Step 2: Select Nil Return of GSTR-3B A list of questions (A to G) will be displayed, the first question being ‘Do you want to file Nil return?’. Selecting ‘YES’ will automatically disable the rest of the questions. Click on ‘NEXT’.

Nil GSTR-3B

Step 3: Preview Nil GSTR-3B and confirm through a declaration The form GSTR-3B will be displayed without any figures. Click on ‘PREVIEW DRAFT GSTR-3B’.

It is essential to preview the return before proceeding with filing the same. The draft summary of the form will be download in PDF format with all entries being zero.

Nil GSTR-3B
Nil GSTR-3B

The following declaration will appear ‘I/We hereby solemnly affirm and declare that the information is given herein is true and correct to the best of my knowledge and belief and nothing has been concealed therefrom.’ The checkbox next to this declaration needs to be ticked.  

Step 4: Choose either DSC or EVC to proceed to file Select the Authorised signatory from the drop-down list. The entries in this list would be as entered at the time of registration on the GST portal. The option to file the form using either EVC or DSC will appear.

Nil GSTR-3B

EVC stands for Electronic Verification Code where an OTP would be sent to the registered e-mail address/phone number. Filing with DSC would mean that the form needs to be signed with the Digital Signature of the Authorised Signatory.

Note: For Company/LLP type of entities, filing with DSC is compulsory and hence such entities will not see the option to file with EVC. Hence the appropriate option needs to be selected. 

Step 5: Submit Nil GSTR-3B return A warning will appear to confirm if the return is to be filed. Click on ‘PROCEED’. In case the option to File with DSC was selected in Step 5, a list of available certificates would appear. Select the appropriate certificate and click on ‘Sign’.

In case the option to File with EVC was selected in Step 5, then enter the code sent to the registered email address/mobile number and click on ‘VERIFY’. A message will be displayed confirming the successful filing of GSTR-3B. The taxpayer may download the filed return for his record.

Nil GSTR-3B
Nil GSTR-3B

For more understanding, read a host of articles by ClearTax:

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