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All about NIL GSTR-3B Filing via SMS

Updated on :  

08 min read.

The lockdown in response to the COVID-19 pandemic during 2020 and 2021 unfortunately led to the majority of businesses coming to a standstill for a couple of months at least. In an effort to ease the worries of the businessman at least to the extent of GST compliance, CBIC has rolled out the facility of filing nil GSTR-3B through SMS that started from 8th June 2020. The facility is not available for composition taxpayers but can extend to casual taxable persons, SEZ units or developers.


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Latest Update

1st February 2022
Budget 2022 updates-
1. The last date to make amendments, corrections in GSTR-3B, and claim any missed Input Tax Credit or ITC of one financial year is no longer due date to file September return of the following year, but it is 30th November of the following year or filing of annual return, whichever is earlier.
2. GST registration can be cancelled if GSTR-3B is not filed for continuous tax periods under Section 29.

29th December 2021
CGST Rule 36(4) is amended to remove 5% additional ITC over and above ITC appearing in GSTR-2B. From 1st January 2022, businesses can avail ITC only if it is reported by supplier in GSTR-1/ IFF and it appears in their GSTR-2B. Section 16(2)(aa) was notified on 21st December 2021.

21st December 2021
1) From 1st January 2022, taxpayers cannot file GSTR-1 if the previous period’s GSTR-3B was not filed.
2) From 1st January 2022, the GST officers can initiate recovery proceedings without any show-cause notice against taxpayers who under-report sales in GSTR-3B compared to GSTR-1.

What is Nil GSTR-3B?

A Nil GSTR-3B is filed when there are no details of supplies to be declared. There is no tax payable since there are no outward supplies made or inward supplies to claim Input Tax Credit (ITC). Following is a simple checklist you can follow when you are about to file a Nil GSTR-3B for a particular month:

  • No supply of goods or services (including Nil rated or exempt or non-GST supplies),
  • No interest or late fee liability is payable,
  • No supplies on which tax needs to be paid under reverse charge, and
  • No other liability is to be discharged.

How was the Nil return filing done before?

Both Nil GSTR-3B and Nil GSTR-1 were filed online through the Returns dashboard after logging on the GST portal. A set of questions are asked prior to GSTR-3B that decide what tables are to be made available for declaring details. Filing the return is done by selecting ‘Yes’ for the question ‘Do you want to file a Nil return?’. This process is relatively time-consuming and involves numerous steps. 

Steps to file Nil GSTR-3B through SMS

There are certain prerequisites as follows:

  • Authorised signatory and his/her phone number must be registered on the GST portal.
  • The mobile number registered for a particular authorised signatory cannot be common or same as the mobile number of another authorised signatory of the same GSTIN.
  • There is no pending tax, late fee, or interest of any previous tax periods.
  • GSTR-3B of all prior months must have been filed.
  • No data on the online GST portal must be in “Saved” status.

Nil GSTR-3B via SMS can be filed as follows: 

Step 1: Using the mobile number registered with the GST portal, type the SMS as follows: NIL (space) 3B (space) GSTIN (space) tax period in mmyyyy 

For example, the SMS to file a Nil return for May 2020 would be entered as follows: NIL 3B 09AGBPS5577MSZC 0520 Send the message to 14409. 

Step 2: A six-digit validation code will be received. Confirm the filing by typing another SMS as follows: CNF (space) 3B (space) 6-digit verification code 

For example, if the verification code received was 123456, the SMS should be entered as follows: CNF 3B 123456 Send the message to 14409. 

A confirmation message with ARN No. will be received, which indicates that the Nil return has been filed successfully. In case of any assistance from CBIC, send the following message to 14409: HELP (space) 3B 

How to track status of a filed Nil GSTR-3B return?

For tracking the status of a return, you will need to log in to the GST portal and navigate to Services > Returns > Track Return. The ARN received above will be used to track the same. 

The best and fastest way to file Nil GSTR-3B is by using ClearTax GST Desktop App that helps you file nil GSTR-3B in seconds. You can easily keep track of all the previous return filings for a particular GSTIN.

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