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All registered businesses have to file monthly, quarterly and/or annual GST Returns based on the type of business . In this article, we cover the following topics:

  1. What is GST Return?
  2. Who has to file GST Returns?
  3. What are the types of GST Returns?
  4. Late Fees for not Filing Return on Time

GST returns

1. What is GST Return?

A return is a document containing details of income which a taxpayer is required to file with the tax administrative authorities. This is used by tax authorities to calculate tax liability.

Under GST, a registered dealer has to file GST returns that includes:

  • Purchases
  • Sales
  • Output GST (On sales)
  • Input tax credit (GST paid on purchases)

To file GST returns, GST compliant sales and purchase invoices are required. You can generate GST compliant invoices for free on ClearTax BillBook.

2. Who has to file GST Returns?

In the GST regime, any regular business has to file three monthly returns and one annual return. This amounts to 37 returns in a year.

The beauty of the system is that one has to manually enter details of one monthly return – GSTR-1. The other two returns – GSTR 2 & 3 will get auto-populated by deriving information from GSTR-1 filed by you and your vendors.

There are separate returns required to be filed by special cases such as composition dealers .

3. What are the types of GST Returns?

Here is a list of all the returns to be filed under the GST Law along with the due dates.

3.1. Any regular business:

As per Act

Return Form Particulars Interval Due Date
GSTR-1 Details of outward supplies of taxable goods and/or services effected Monthly* 10th of the next month
GSTR-2 Details of inward supplies of taxable goods and/or services effected claiming input tax credit. Monthly* 15th of the next month
GSTR-3 Monthly return on the basis of finalization of details of outward supplies and inward supplies along with the payment of amount of tax. Monthly* 20th of the next month
GSTR-9 Annual Return Annually 31st December of next financial year
GSTR-3B Provisional return for the months of July 2017 to March 2018 Monthly 20th of the next month


*Latest Update:

23rd GST Council Meet on 10th November 2017

  • GSTR-3B has been extended to March 2018
  • All businesses to file GSTR-3B by 20th of next month till March 2018.
  • All businesses to file GSTR-1 and GSTR-3B till March 2018.
  • GSTR-2 and GSTR-3 filing dates for July 2017 to March 2018 will be worked out later by a Committee of Officers
  • Turnover under Rs 1.5 Cr to file quarterly GSTR-1
  • Turnover above Rs 1.5 Cr to file monthly GSTR-1

Extension of GSTR-1 filing Due Dates

For turnover upto Rs 1.5 cr

Period (Quarterly) Due dates
July- Sept 31st Dec 2017
Oct- Dec 15th Feb 2018
Jan- Mar 30th April 2018

For turnover of more than Rs 1.5 cr

Period Dates
July to Oct 31st Dec 2017
Nov 10th Jan 2018
Dec 10th Feb 2018
Jan 10th Mar 2018
Feb 10th Apr 2018
March 10th May 2018

As per 22nd GST Council meeting of 6th October 2017

  • Businesses with annual turnover up to 1.5 crores will submit quarterly returns. Taxes will be paid quarterly.


3.2. A dealer opting for composition scheme :

A composition dealer will enjoy the benefits of lesser returns & compliance along with payment of taxes at nominal rates. A composition dealer will file only 2 returns:

Return Form Particulars Interval Due Date
GSTR-4 Return for compounding taxable person Quarterly 18th of the month succeeding quarter**
GSTR-9A Annual Return Monthly 31st December of next financial year

**Latest Update:

As per 23rd GST Council meeting of 10th November 2017

Due date of FORM GSTR-4 for the quarter July-September, 2017 is extended to 24th Dec 2017

3.3. Returns to be filed by specific registered dealers:

Return Form Particulars Interval Due Date
GSTR-5 Return for Non-Resident foreign taxable person Monthly 20th of the next month***
GSTR-6 Return for Input Service Distributor Monthly 13th of the next month***
GSTR-7 Return for authorities deducting tax at source. Monthly 10th of the next month
GSTR-8 Details of supplies effected through e-commerce operator and the amount of tax collected Monthly 10th of the next month
GSTR-10 Final Return Once. When registration is cancelled or surrendered Within three months of the date of cancellation or date of cancellation order, whichever is later.
GSTR-11 Details of inward supplies to be furnished by a person having UIN and claiming refund Monthly 28th of the month following the month for which statement is filed


***Latest Update:

As per 23rd GST Council meeting on 10th November 2017

Return Revised Due Date Old Due Date
GSTR-5 (for July to October) 11th Dec 2017 Earlier of 20th August 2017 or 7 days from date of registration
GSTR-6 (for July) 31st Dec 2017 13th August 2017

Here is a video to understand who should file GST Return and why should it be filed –


4. Late Fees for not Filing Return on Time

If GST Returns are not filed within time, you will be liable to pay interest and a late fee.

Interest is 18% per annum. It has to be calculated by the tax payer on the amount of outstanding tax to be paid. Time period will be from the next day of filing (26th/ 29th Aug) to the date of payment.

Late fee is Rs. 100 per day per Act. So it is 100 under CGST & 100 under SGST. Total will be Rs. 200/day. Maximum is Rs. 5,000. There is no late fee on IGST.

***Latest Update:

As per 23rd GST Council meeting on 10th November 2017

For delayed filing of NIL returns,  late fee reduced from Rs 200 per day to Rs 20 per day.

  • Late fees for GSTR-3B of July, Aug and Sept waived. Any late fees paid for these months will be credited back in Electronic Cash Ledger under ‘Tax’ and can be utilized to make GST payments.


There are prescribed formats for each of the above of the returns. The forms may seem complex and difficult to understand. Do not worry, you can file your returns very easily using ClearTax GST Software. 

Sign-up now and try it yourself.


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All Articles

  1. not possible to revise GSTR-3B once filed. But Government has now allowed to ‘Reset GSTR 3B’ after submission but before filing the return.
  2. GSTR 1 is a monthly or quarterly return to be filed by a regular taxpayer. This article is a detailed analysis of GST Form GSTR-1.
  3. All regular taxpayers have to file GSTR-3B every month. Here is a step-by-step guide for Tally users to generate the report and enter values in GST Portal.
  4. GSTR-3B is a monthly return required to be filed by all regular taxpayers till March 2018. Here is a step-by-step guide to filing your return on GST Portal.
  5. A step-by-step guide on filing GSTR-4 on GST Portal to help composition dealers in easy GST return filing.
  6. A dealer has to convert GSTR-2A JSON to Excel. This conversion is required for matching and reconciliation, an important step in GSTR 2 return filing.
  7. GSTR-2 is a return containing details of all inward supplies. Based on this return the Input Tax Credit that a taxpayer is eligible to avail is determined.
  8. GSTR-3A is a notice sent by the tax authorities to defaulters who do not file their GST returns.
  9. To modify, add or delete details in invoices entered on GST Portal one can download and make changes GSTR 1 and upload it on the GST website. Here is how
  10. GSTR 2A is a return containing details of all the inward supplies, TDS and TCS. GSTR 2A is auto-populated based on the following -
  11. ClearTax has come across many queries and error messages received by taxpayers and compiled a few of filing GSTR 1 common errors.
  12. This article will help you understand whether a dealer with ZERO outward supplies is required to file GSTR 1 return and how to file a NIL GSTR 1 return.
  13. GSTR 2A is an automatic return generated for a taxpayer from his seller’s GSTR-1. It takes information of goods and/or services which have been purchased in a given month from the seller’s GSTR-1.
  14. GSTR-1A is a document containing changes made to sales invoices reported in GSTR-1 which was filed earlier.
  15. GSTR 1 is a monthly GST return that contains details of all outward supplies. This is a step-by-step guide on how to file GSTR 1 on the GST Portal.
  16. Details to be mentioned in GSTR 3B Form are shared. Detail of the eligible ITC and tax liability under CGST, SGST and IGST is to be mentioned.
  17. Let us look at chapter 8 of CGST rules - Returns. This text is taken from http://www.cbec.gov.in/resources//htdocs-cbec/gst/cgst-rules-01july2017%20.pdf
  18. The GST Council has relaxed filing of GST Returns for 1st six months. Here's all you need to know about GSTR3B to be filed for these 6 months.
  19. Not every business is required to file all the returns and here we are elaborating on which all returns are required to be filed by different business assesses.
  20. A taxable person who opts for cancellation of GST registration has to file a final return under GST law in form GSTR-10 within three months. Read more here
  21. Every taxable person under GST law will be required to furnish an annual return in form GSTR-9 before 31st December of next financial year. Read more here
  22. Under GST, there are specific Rules for Return filing compliance by ecommerce operators and suppliers. Learn about the rules through easy examples here.
  23. E-Commerce Operators Registered under GST are Required to Collect Tax at Source and file GSTR-8 by 10th of next month. Read more here
  24. Every registered taxable person who is required to deduct tax at source under GST shall furnish a return in FORM GSTR-7 by 10th of next month. Read more here
  25. Every taxable person registered as an Input Service Distributor is required to furnish details of input credit distributed in form GSTR-6. Read more here
  26. Every person who has been issued a Unique Identity Number under GST shall furnish the details of supply in GSTR-11 by 28th of the next month. Read more here
  27. Every registered non-resident taxable person is required to furnish a return in GSTR-5 electronically through the GST Portal. Read here to know more
  28. A dealer registered under composition scheme of GST is required to furnish GSTR-4 by 18th of the month succeeding quarter. Read more to understand GSTR-4
  29. Every registered business is required to furnish details of Inward and Outward Supply and make payment of GST in monthly GSTR-3 Return. Read More
  30. According to revised model GST law, every registered taxable person is required to furnish details of Inward Supply for a tax period. Read More on GSTR-2
  31. According to Model GST law, every registered taxable person is required to submit “Details of Outward Supplies” in GSTR-1. This return is required to be filed within 10 days from the end of the tax period. Read More
  32. Tax returns and their due date for filing under the GST Law. Understand which all returns are applicable on your business and what are the filing timelines.