How to File GST Return?

How to File GST Return online in India


A Comprehensive Guide About Online GST Return Filing

How to File GST Return, Goods and Services Tax was introduced in India in 2017, with a motive of “One Nation, One Tax” GST is the most discussed Indirect tax reforms in India till date.

GST has simplified the online GST return filing process by integrating the sellers’ and buyers’ information about goods & services. The GST Council along with the finance ministry brought the system of GSTN (goods and services tax network). On this network, all the GST registered taxpayers duly reports all the detail about invoices, buying, selling, date, location. In this article we will explain how to file GST return online step by step, GST return filing process, online GST return filing & types of GST returns.


What is GST Return?

Under the GST returns, the taxpayers running their firms and business across India, whether it is interstate or intrastate, are liable for online GST return filing as prescribed by the GST council. GST return is the filing of taxes through GSTR forms according to the slabs and eligibility criteria.

Under GST, a registered dealer has to file GST returns that include details of:

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

To file GST returns or GST filing, GST compliant sales, and purchase invoices are require


Who Should File GST Returns?

All business units registered under the GST Act has to furnish the details of the sales and purchases of goods and services along with the tax collected and paid.

  • E-commerce Operators
  • Input Service Distributor
  • Person making Interstate taxable supply
  • If turnover exceeds prescribed limit (40 lakhs in case of business and 20 lakhs in case of services)


What are the Types of GST Returns?

There are different types of GST returns for different category of taxpayers and business organizations:

Return Form Applicability of return Due Dates
GSTR – 1
GSTR-1 is to be filed by all normal taxpayers who are registered under GST. It is to be filed monthly, except in the case of small taxpayers with turnover up to Rs.1.5 crore in the previous financial year, who can file the same on a quarterly basis. 11th of the subsequent month for more than 1.5 Crore (Turnover) Last Day of the Succeeding month for turnover up to 1.5 Crore
GSTR-2A contains details of all inward supplies of goods and services.     The data is auto-populated based on data filed by the suppliers in their GSTR-1 return. This is a read-only return and no action can be taken.
GSTR – 2
GSTR-2 is to be filed by all normal taxpayers registered under GST, to report the inward supplies of goods and services i.e. the purchases made during a tax period. {Currently Filing facility of GSTR-2 is not available on the portal} This return is auto-generated from the GSTR-2A. 15th of the next month.  
GSTR – 3
GSTR-3 is to be filed by all normal taxpayers registered under GST to report 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. {Currently Filing facility of GSTR-3 is not available on the portal} This return is auto-generated on the basis of the GSTR-1 and GSTR-2 returns filed. 20th of the subsequent month
GSTR-3B is to be filed by all normal taxpayers registered under GST. This monthly return is filed on the basis of finalization of Summarized details of outward supplies & inward supplies plus the payment of an amount of tax.         20th of the subsequent month. (Earlier) **Alternated from the month of January 2020 onwards.  
GSTR – 4 / CMP – 08
GSTR-4is the return that was to be filed by taxpayers who have opted for the Composition Scheme under GST.  CMP-08 is the return, which has replaced the now erstwhile GSTR-4.  The composition supplier should file the quarterly return for depositing payment. 18th of the month succeeding quarter  
GSTR – 5
GSTR-5is the return to be filed by non-resident foreign taxpayers, who are registered under GST and carry out business transactions in India. This return contains details of all outward supplies made, inward supplies received, credit/debit notes, tax liability, and taxes paid. 20th of the subsequent month
Return for the OIDAR 20th of the subsequent month
GSTR – 6
GSTR-6 is a monthly return to be filed by an Input Service Distributor (ISD) to report details of input tax credit received and distributed by the ISD. 13th of the subsequent month
GSTR – 7
GSTR-7 is a monthly return to be filed by persons required to deduct tax deducted at source (TDS) under GST, to report details of TDS deducted, the TDS liability payable and paid and TDS refund claimed if any. 10th of the subsequent 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). This return contains the detail of all supplies made through the E-commerce platform, and the TCS collected on the same. 10th of the subsequent month
GSTR – 9
GSTR-9is the annual return to be filed by taxpayers registered under GST, to report details of all outward supplies made, inward supplies received during the relevant previous year under different tax heads i.e. CGST, SGST & IGST, and HSN codes, along with details of taxes payable and paid.         31st December of the next financial year
GSTR – 9A is the annual return to be filed by taxpayers who have registered under the Composition Scheme in a financial year to report consolidation of all the quarterly returns filed during that financial year. 31st December of the next financial year
GSTR-9Cis the reconciliation statement to be filed by all taxpayers registered under GST whose turnover exceeds Rs.2 crore in a financial year.  31st December of the next financial year
GSTR – 10
GSTR – 10is to be filed by a taxable person whose registration has been canceled/surrendered. Within 3 months of the date of cancellation or date of cancellation order, whichever is later
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. The person having UIN claiming the refund should file details of inward supplies 28th of the month, following the month for which the statement was filed


The process to File GST Returns Online  

All the registered assessee are liable to file their GST returns online to the GST department within prescribed due dates The GST filing process has been automated as per the regulation of the latest GST regime. Assessee can file GST returns either by visiting the official website of GST or by accessing through mobile apps rendered by Goods and Service Tax Network (GSTN).  

How to file GST return online step by step:


First of all, assessee should be registered under GST and have the 15-digit GST identification number with him based on his state code and PAN.


Visit the GST portal i.e. ( 


Log in with the GST User ID & Password 


Click on the ‘Services’ button.


The services page will open up. Now find the Return dashboard on the page and click on file returns. 


A new page will open up; select the year and month for filing the returns and click on Search. 


Now select the return you want to file and click on ‘Prepare online.


Enter all the required tables including the amount and late fee, if applicable. 


Once you have filled in all the details, click on ‘Save’ (wherever applicable) and you will see a success message displayed on your screen. 


Now click on ‘Submit’ at the bottom of the page to file the return.


Once the status of your return changes to ‘Submitted’, scroll down and click on the ‘Payment of tax’ tile. Then, click on ‘Check Balance’ to view cash and credit balance, so that assessee knows these details before paying tax for respective minor heads. Next, to clear liabilities, assessee needs to mention the amount of credit he wants to use from the credit already available. Then click on ‘Offset liability’ to make the payment. When confirmation is a display, click on ‘OK’.


Lastly, check the box against the declaration and select an authorized signatory from the drop-down list. Now click on ‘File form with DSC’ or ‘File form with EVC’ and then click on ‘Proceed’. Make the payment in the next step for your respective GST.

The information provided on the GST network by the GST registered sellers and buyers will be collected and stored. The network will also preserve the details of submitting data to maintain the register for future evidence.   

Documents required for filing GST Return

GST Return Filing is mandatory for all persons having GST Registration. The Documents required for online GST return filing are:

  • Customers GSTIN
  • List of all Invoices
  • Details of Sales/Purchase


Consequences of late filing of GST Return

  • Online GST return filing is mandatory under GST, even if there is no transaction, the assessee must file a nil return 
  • Assessee cannot file a return of subsequent month/quarter if he has not filed the previous month/quarter’s return. 
  • So, the late filing of GST returns will have a cascading effect leading to fines and penalties. 

Interest/late fees to be paid

  • Interest @ 18% p.a. is applicable on the defaulter.  
  • Interest is computed by the taxpayer on the amount of tax due for the payment. 
  • The time period will be from the next day of filing due date till the actual date of payment. 
  • A late fee for annual return filing is Rs 100 per day per act, which means that late fees of Rs 100 under CGST and Rs 100 under SGST will be applicable in case of delay. Thus, the total liability is Rs 200 per day of default. This is subject to a maximum of 0.25% of the taxpayer’s turnover in the relevant state or union territory. There is no late fee on IGST yet. 

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