GST and GST Returns: Introduction

An idea to reform the tax structure in India took birth in the year 2000 with the efforts of an Empowered Committee(EC) under the Late Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee. It finally came to fruition in the year 2017 with the adoption of the Good and Services Tax(GST) Act, 2017. Since then, GST has been in full operation and order seems to have restored to taxation system in India.  GST is basically an indirect tax applicable to the supply of goods and services. It’s an indirect tax replacing most of the indirect tax. In this way, GST becomes an indirect tax for the whole country. GST basically aims at removing the cascading effect of taxes. In this article, we are going to look at GST returns, their types and eligibility criteria. GST return is basically a document in which a taxable entity has to file details of income so authorities can calculate tax liability.

GST Return Types

As we mentioned before, GST return(or GSTR) is a document for calculating tax liability based on the income generated from the sale of goods and services.

Here is a list of items you have to file with GST returns.

  • Sales
  • Purchases
  • Output GST(GST on sales)
  • Input Tax (GST on purchases)

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Here, let’s look at various types of GST returns and how they are applicable and their corresponding due dates as per the CGST(Central Goods and Services Tax) Act.

Return FormParticularsFrequencyDue Date
GSTR 1Outward Supplies of taxable goods and servicesMonthly10th, Next Month
GSTR 2Input tax credit claiming taxable goods and servicesMonthly15th, Next Month
GSTR 3Monthly return on the basis of final details of outward and inward supplies along with payment of tax amountMonthly20th, Next Month
GSTR 3BSimple returns for the time period Jul 2017- Mar 2018Monthly20th, Next month
GSTR 4Return for compounding taxable personQuarterly18th, month after the quarter
GSTR 5Returns for Non-Resident foreign taxable personMonthly20th, Next Month
GSTR 6Returns for Input Service DistributorMonthly13th, Next Month
GSTR 7Authorities Deducting tax at sourceMonthly10th, Next Month
GSTR 8Supplies details effected through E-commerce operators and tax amount paidMonthly10th, Next Month
GSTR 9Annual ReturnAnnual31st December, Next Financial Year
GSTR 9AAnnual return for a compounding taxable personAnnual31st December, next financial year
GSTR 9CReconciliation of Input Tax Credit and CertificationTBATBA
GSTR 10Final ReturnOnce. Upon cancellation or surrender of registrationNo later than 3 months from cancellation or cancellation order whichever is later
GSTR 11UIN with inward supplies claiming a refundMonthly28th of the month following the month for which statement is filed

NOTE: Due dates are subject to change as per notifications issued by the GST Council.

Read: GSTR 1 and GSTR 3B due date extended for some taxpayers.

 GST Returns Late Fees and Interest

The GST council has made it mandatory to file GST returns. You also have to file a return even if no transactions took place. Such return is called a nil return.

  • GST returns cannot be filed if previous months returns / due returns have not been filed.
  • This leads to a cascading effect on the default of filing returns which could result in heavy fines and penalties.
  • Interest is 18% per annum. A taxpayer has to calculate this amount on the outstanding amount of total tax to be paid
  • The late fee is Rs 200 per day. Rs 100 under Central GST rules and Rs. 100 under State GST rules.
  • Late Fee for filing GSTR-1, GSTR-3B, GSTR-4, GSTR-5 & GSTR-6 after the due date has been reduced to Rs. 50 per day of delay.
  • The late fee for filing NIL returns has been reduced to Rs. 20 per day of delay for nil tax liability under the GSTR1, GSTR 3B as well as GSTR 4 & 5.

Thus it can be a challenging task to keep up with GST returns, constant changes in laws, due dates among other things. Follow our blog to stay up to date with the latest.

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