Form GSTR-3B is a monthly return in which the summarised net GST liability is declared and paid. All persons who are required to file Form GSTR-1 are also required to file Form GSTR-3B. This would include all registered persons (including a casual taxable person) but excluding the following persons:
  • Input Service Distributor
  • Non-Resident taxable person
  • Composition taxpayer
  • A person authorised to deduct tax under section 51
  • A person authorised to collect tax under section 52
  • Supplier of Online Information Database Access and Retrieval (OIDAR) services
The filing of this return can only be done online. However, the offline tool can help input the required data and prepare a JSON file for uploading on the GST portal.

1. Steps to download and open the offline tool for GSTR-3B

Step 1: Visit the GST portal. Step 2: Navigate to Downloads > Offline Tools > GSTR-3B Offline Utility. Step 3: Click on ‘Download’ and then ‘Proceed’. Step 4: Extract the contents of the zip file downloaded above. Navigate to the location of the extracted files and open the excel utility. Note: Always ensure that the latest version of the utility is used.

2. Steps to prepare Form GSTR-3B using the offline tool

Step 1: Click on the ‘Enable Editing’ button followed by the ‘Enable Content’ button to ensure that the macros are enabled. The ‘Clear All’ button may be used to make sure that the utility is blank before filling in the details. Step 2: Navigate to the ‘GSTR-3B’ worksheet. This worksheet contains all the relevant tables of Form GSTR-3B where data can be entered. Step 3: Enter the relevant taxpayer details such as GSTIN, year, legal name of the registered person (optional field) and month for which the return is being filed. Step 4: The relevant data will have to be filled into the following tables:
  • Table 3.1 Details of outward supplies and inward supplies liable to reverse charge: Enter the details as applicable. Upon entering amounts under ‘CGST’, the ‘SGST’ values are auto-populated with an equal amount. However, if the SGST values are not equal to the CGST values, they can be changed on the portal.
  • Table 3.2 Of the supplies shown in 3.1(a) above, details of inter-state supplies made to unregistered persons, composition taxable persons and UIN holders: Enter the details as applicable. The amounts entered here cannot be greater than the corresponding amounts entered in 3.1(a). The relevant state/Union Territory can be selected from the drop-down list in the ‘Place of Supply’ column.
  • Table 4 Eligible ITC: This table will require the user to enter the tax-wise details of ITC availed and ITC to be reversed. The utility will then auto-populate the net eligible ITC row.
  • Table 5 Values of exempt, nil-rated and non-GST inward supplies: This table requires the taxpayer to enter the tax-wise details of inward supplies on which GST was not levied, namely, supplies received from composition dealers, exempt inward supplies and non-GST inward supplies.
  • Table 5.1 Interest & late fee payable: Here only interest amount will need to be entered.
Step 5: Click on the ‘Validate’ button after entering the details. In case of successful validation, the following message will be displayed: ‘Sheet validated. Please proceed to generate JSON file.’ Further, the sheet status will be displayed as ‘Validation Successful’. In case of unsuccessful validation, the relevant error message will be displayed and the sheet status will be displayed as ‘Validation Failed’. Check the cells with validation errors as given in the help text. To find such cells, go to the review tab and select the ‘Show All Comments’ option. Click on the ‘Valid Sheet’ button after making all the corrections. Step 6: Once the sheet status displays ‘Validation Successful’, click on the ‘Generate File’ button. This creates a JSON file for uploading on the GST portal. Click on ‘OK’ after the confirmation message is displayed. You will notice that a new folder named ‘GSTR’ has been created on your desktop within which the JSON file can be found.

3. How to upload the generated JSON file of Form GSTR-3B?

Step 1: Log in to the GST portal. Step 2: Navigate to Services > Returns > Returns Dashboard. Select the relevant financial year and return filing period and click on ‘Search’. Step 3: On the GSTR-3B tile, click on the ‘Prepare Offline’ button. Step 4: On the upload page, click on the ‘Choose File’ button. Navigate to the location of the JSON file generated earlier and click on the ‘Open’ button. The uploaded JSON file will be validated and processed. The status of the same will be displayed. In case multiple files are uploaded, the previously uploaded data will be overwritten and the portal will only consider the latest submitted data. Step 5: Once the JSON file is processed, navigate back to the returns dashboard page. On the GSTR-3B tile, click on the ‘Prepare Online’ button. Verify the details uploaded. If everything is in order, click on the ‘Submit’ button and follow from the step 8 mentioned here.

4. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on the offline tool for Form GSTR-3B

Q1. What are the recommended system configurations to use the offline tool? A: The required system configuration is Windows 7 or above Operating System with Internet Explorer 10+ and MS Excel 2007 onwards. Q2. Is it possible to sign and file returns using the offline tool? A: No, the offline tool is only for entering data into the Form GSTR-3B. The form will ultimately have to be signed and filed on the GST common portal itself. Q3. Can the offline utility run on mobile? A: No. At present, the offline utility is not compatible with mobile devices.

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