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Types of GST Returns

Updated on:  

08 min read

GST return is a form that a taxpayer registered under the Goods and Services Tax (GST) law must file for every GSTIN that he is registered.

Did you know that there are 22 types of GST returns prescribed under the GST Rules? Out of them, only 11 GST returns are active, 3 suspended, and 8 view-only in nature. This article will provide more details for you.

In short, the number and types of GST return that a business/professional must file is based on the type of taxpayer registered. These types include regular taxpayer, composition taxable persons, e-commerce operators, TDS deductor, non-resident taxpayer, Input Service Distributor(ISD), casual taxable persons, etc.

Further, the frequency of filing some GST returns may differ among the GSTR-1 and GSTR-3B filers, if they opt into the Quarterly Return filing and Monthly Payment of taxes (QRMP) scheme.

To know more about the due dates of each GST return and form, read our article on GST Calendar.

Types of GST Returns and Due dates

GSTR-1

GSTR-1 is the return to be furnished for reporting details of all outward supplies of goods and services made. In other words, it contains the invoices and debit-credit notes raised on the sales transactions for a tax period. GSTR-1 is to be filed by all normal taxpayers who are registered under GST, including casual taxable persons.

Any amendments to sales invoices made, even pertaining to previous tax periods, should be reported in the GSTR-1 return by all the suppliers or sellers.

The filing frequency of GSTR-1 is currently as follows:
(a) Monthly, by 11th* of every month- If the business either has an annual aggregate turnover of more than Rs.5 crore or has not opted into the QRMP scheme.
(b) Quarterly, by 13th** of the month following every quarter- If the business has opted into the QRMP scheme.

*Till September 2018, the due date was the 10th of every month.
**Till December 2020, was the end of the month succeeding the quarter.

GSTR-2A

GSTR-2A is a view-only dynamic GST return relevant for the recipient or buyer of goods and services. It contains the details of all inward supplies of goods and services i.e., purchases made from GST registered suppliers during a tax period.

The data is auto-populated based on data filed by the corresponding suppliers in their GSTR-1 returns. Further, data filed in the Invoice Furnishing Facility (IFF) by the QRMP taxpayer, also get auto-filled.

Since GSTR-2A is a read-only return, no action can be taken in it. However, it is referred by the buyers to claim an accurate Input Tax Credit (ITC) for every financial year, across multiple tax periods. In case any invoice is missing, the buyer can communicate with the seller to upload it in their GSTR-1 on a timely basis.

It was used frequently for claiming ITC for every tax period until August 2020. Thereafter, the buyers must mostly refer to GSTR-2B, static return, to claim the input tax credit for every tax period.

GSTR-2B

GSTR-2B is again a view-only static GST return important for the recipient or buyer of goods and services. It is available every month, starting in August 2020 and contains constant ITC data for a period whenever checked back.

ITC details will be covered from the date of filing GSTR-1 for the preceding month (M-1) up to the date of filing GSTR-1 for the current month (M). The return is made available on the 12th of every month, giving sufficient time before filing GSTR-3B, where the ITC is declared.

GSTR-2B provides action to be taken against every invoice reported, such as to be reversed, ineligible, subject to reverse charge, references to the table numbers in GSTR-3B.

GSTR-2

GSTR-2 is currently a suspended GST return, that applied to registered buyers to report the inward supplies of goods and services, i.e. the purchases made during a tax period.

The details in the GSTR-2 return had to be auto-populated from the GSTR-2A. Unlike GSTR-2A, the GSTR-2 return can be edited. GSTR-2 is to be filed by all normal taxpayers registered under GST. However, the filing of the same has been suspended ever since September 2017.

GSTR-3

GSTR-3 is again currently a suspended GST return. It was a monthly summary return for furnishing summarized details of all outward supplies made, inward supplies received and input tax credit claimed, along with details of the tax liability and taxes paid.

This return would have got auto-generated on the basis of the GSTR-1 and GSTR-2 returns filed. GSTR-3 is to be filed by all normal taxpayers registered under GST, however, the filing of the same has been suspended
ever since September 2017.

GSTR-3B

GSTR-3B is a monthly self-declaration to be filed, for furnishing summarised details of all outward supplies made, input tax credit claimed, tax liability ascertained and taxes paid.

GSTR-3B is to be filed by all normal taxpayers registered under GST. The sales and input tax credit details must be reconciled with GSTR-1 and GSTR-2B every tax period before filing GSTR-3B. GST reconciliation is crucial to identify mismatches in data, that may lead to GST notices in future or suspension of GST registration as well.

The filing frequency of GSTR-3B is currently as follows:
(a) Monthly, 20th* of every month- For taxpayers with an aggregate turnover in the previous financial year of more than Rs.5 crore or have been otherwise eligible but still opted out of the QRMP scheme.
(b) Quarterly, 22nd of the month following the quarter for ‘X’** category of States and 24th of the month following the quarter for ‘Y’** category of States- For the taxpayers with aggregate turnover equal to or below Rs 5 crore, eligible and remain opted into the QRMP scheme.

* Effective from January 2021 tax period onwards. Previously, was as follows-
(i) Was staggered as 20th (turnover of previous FY was more than Rs.5 crore), 22nd and 24th (turnover of previous FY was up to Rs.5 crore, for ‘X’ and ‘Y’ category of States) of every month, from January 2020 till December 2020.
(ii) Was 20th of every month till December 2019.


** ‘X’ category States/UT – Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Goa, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Telangana or Andhra Pradesh or the Union territories of Daman and Diu and Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Puducherry, Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Lakshadweep.
‘Y’ category States/UT- Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Uttarakhand, Haryana, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram, Tripura, Meghalaya, Assam, West Bengal, Jharkhand or Odisha or the Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir, Ladakh, Chandigarh and New Delhi.

GSTR-4

GSTR-4 is the annual return that was to be filed by the composition taxable persons under GST, by 30th April of the year following the relevant financial year. It has replaced the erstwhile GSTR-9A (annual return) from FY 2019-20 onwards.

Prior to FY 2019-20, this return had to be filed on a quarterly basis. Thereafter, a simple challan in form CMP-08 filed by 18th of the month succeeding every quarter replaced it.

The composition scheme is a system in which taxpayers dealing with goods and having a turnover up to Rs.1.5 crores can opt into and pay taxes at a fixed rate on the turnover declared. Further, the service providers can avail a similar scheme CGST (Rate) Notification 2/2019 dated 7th March 2019 if turnover is up to Rs.50 lakh.

GSTR-5

GSTR-5 is the return to be filed by non-resident foreign taxpayers, who are registered under GST and carry out business transactions in India.

The return contains details of all outward supplies made, inward supplies received, credit/debit notes, tax liability and taxes paid. 

The GSTR-5 return is to be filed monthly by the 20th of each month under GSTIN that the taxpayer is registered in India.

GSTR-5A

GSTR-5A refers to a summary return for reporting the outward taxable supplies and tax payable by Online Information and Database Access or Retrieval Services (OIDAR) provider under GST.

The due date to file GSTR-5A is the 20th of every month.

GSTR-6

GSTR-6 is a monthly return to be filed by an Input Service Distributor (ISD).

It will contain details of input tax credit received and distributed by the ISD. It will further contain details of all documents issued for the distribution of input credit and the manner of distribution.

The due date to file GSTR-6 is the 13th of every month.

GSTR-7

GSTR-7 is a monthly return to be filed by persons required to deduct TDS (Tax deducted at source) under GST.

This return will contain details of TDS deducted, the TDS liability payable and paid and TDS refund claimed if any.

The due date to file GSTR-7 is the 10th of every month.

GSTR-8

GSTR-8 is a monthly return to be filed by e-commerce operators registered under the GST who are required to collect tax at source (TCS).

It contains details of all supplies made through the e-commerce platform, and the TCS collected on the same.

The GSTR-8 return is to be filed on a monthly basis by the 10th of every month.

GSTR-9

GSTR-9 is the annual return to be filed by taxpayers registered under GST. It is due by 31st December of the year following the relevant financial year, as per the GST law.

It contains the details of all outward supplies made, inward supplies received during the relevant financial year under different tax heads i.e. CGST, SGST & IGST and a summary value of supplies reported under every HSN code, along with details of taxes payable and paid.

It is a consolidation of all the monthly or quarterly returns (GSTR-1, GSTR-2A, GSTR-3B) filed during that financial year. GSTR-9 is required to be filed by all taxpayers registered under GST.

However, there are few exceptions such as taxpayers who have opted for the composition scheme, casual taxable persons, input service distributors, non-resident taxable persons and persons paying TDS under section 51 of the CGST Act.

Note: As per the CGST notification no. 47/2019, later amended, the annual return under GST for taxpayers having an aggregate turnover that does not exceed Rs.2 crore has been made optional for FY 2017-18, FY 2018-19 and FY 2019-20.

GSTR-9A

GSTR-9A is currently a suspended annual return earlier required to be filed by composition taxpayers. It had a consolidation of all the quarterly returns filed during that financial year.

Ever since GSTR-4 (annual return) was introduced from FY 2019-20, this return stands scrapped. Prior to that, GSTR-9A filing for composition taxpayers had been waived off for FY 2017-18 and FY 2018-19.

GSTR-9C

GSTR-9C is the reconciliation statement to be filed by all taxpayers registered under GST whose turnover exceeds Rs.2 crore in a financial year, as per the GST law.

It must be certified by a Chartered Accountant/Cost & Management Accountant after conducting a thorough GST audit of the books of accounts and comparing the figures with the GSTR-9.

The deadline to file this statement is the same as the due date prescribed for GSTR-9, i.e., 31st December of the year following the relevant financial year.

GSTR-9C is to be filed for every GSTIN, hence, one PAN can have multiple GSTR-9C forms being filed.

As per the Union Budget 2021 outcome, the GST audit requirement by professionals such as CAs and CMAs has been removed from the GST law. Sections 35 and 44 were amended for this but yet to be notified by CBIC. Accordingly, GSTR-9 needs to be filed on the GST portal by taxpayers on a self-certification basis, completely removing the requirement for GSTR-9C. However, the financial year and date of applicability of this removal are yet to be clarified by the government.

Note: As per the CBIC notification 16/2020, which was further amended, GSTR-9C is waived off for the taxpayers with an aggregate turnover of more than Rs.5 crore for the financial year 2018-19 and 2019-20.

GSTR-10

GSTR-10 is to be filed by a taxable person whose registration has been cancelled or surrendered. This return is also called a final return and has to be filed within three months from the date of cancellation or cancellation order, whichever is earlier.

GSTR-11

GSTR-11 is the return to be filed by persons who have been issued a Unique Identity Number (UIN) in order to get a refund under GST for the goods and services purchased by them in India. UIN is a classification made for foreign diplomatic missions and embassies not liable to tax in India, for the purpose of getting a refund of taxes. GSTR-11 will contain details of inward supplies received and refund claimed.  

Late filing of GST Returns

Return filing is mandatory under GST. Even if there is no transaction, you must file a Nil return.

There are few points to note:

  • You cannot file a return if you do not file the previous month/quarter’s return.
  • Hence, late filing of GST return will have a cascading effect leading to heavy fines and penalty.
  • The late filing fee of the GSTR-1 is populated in the liability ledger of GSTR-3B filed immediately after such delay.

Interest and Late fee to be paid

  • Interest is 18% per annum. It has to be calculated by the taxpayer on the amount of outstanding tax to be paid. It shall be calculated on the net tax liability identified in the ledger at the time of payment. The time period will be from the next day of filing due date till the actual date of payment.
  • As per the CGST Act, the late fee is Rs.100 per day per Act. So it is Rs.100 under CGST & Rs.100 under SGST. The total shall be Rs.200/day. However, there is a maximum levy of Rs. 5,000. There is no late fee separately prescribed under the IGST Act. Also, for GSTR-1 and GSTR-3B, the total late fee was reduced to Rs. 50 /day (Rs.20 /day for Nil filing)
  • To learn more about late fees charged across the GST Return periods, read our article on late fees under GST.

Learn everything about GST

For further understanding about GST returns filing process, read our articles:

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