GST Return Filing: Step by Step Guide

GST RETURN FILLING step by step guide

What is a GST Return?

Every person registered under GST is required to file a statement/form containing details of all the activities/transactions stating the details of Purchases, Sales, Input tax, Output Tax, Tax payment etc.

To the government through a designated process, such statement is called GST Return.

Different categories of persons registered under GST have to file different forms of Returns as specified by the government.

In Simple words it is a process of providing information to the government regarding your business activities related to supply of Goods and/or Services.

Gst return filling

Who is required to File GST Return?

Every person registered under GST is required to file GST return irrespective of the amount or number of transactions.

Even a person who have not affected any sale/purchase transaction is required to file a Nil Return.

Thus GST Return Filing is compulsory for every registered person.

Types of GST Return

Various GST Forms have been prescribed by the GST Law for submitting the details by a taxpayer, also different forms are prescribed for different categories of persons.

The Following chart contains the details of various types of GST Return Forms:

Return Type (Form)Details to be givenDue DateFrequency of Filing
GSTR-1Monthly/Quarterly statement of outward supplies of taxable goods and/or services provided.11th of the next month/quarterMonthly/Quarterly
GSTR-3BMonthly Return for normal taxpayer having summary of Outward supply, ITC and tax payment20th of the next monthMonthly
GSTR-4Return for a composite dealer18th of the month succeeding the quarterQuarterly
GSTR-5Monthly return for Non Resident taxpayer20th of the succeeding monthMonthly  
GSTR-6Monthly return for Input service distributor (ISD)13th of the succeeding monthMonthly  
GSTR-7Monthly return for those deducting tax at source (Govt. authorities)10th of the succeeding monthMonthly  
GSTR-8Monthly return for those collecting tax at source. (E-commerce operators)10th of the succeeding monthMonthly  
GSTR-9Annual Return31st December of next financial yearAnnually  
GSTR-10Final ReturnWithin 3 months from the date of cancellation of registration or order of cancellation, Whichever is later.Once, when GST Registration is cancelled 
GSTR-11For persons having UIN claiming refund giving details of inward supplies28th of the next monthMonthly

Filling GST Nil Return

When a person registered under the GST Law has no sales or supplies during the month or quarter, he have to file a Nil Return.

A Nil return is a statement indicating that no supplies have been affected by the registered person during a particular month/quarter.

Since return filing is compulsory for every registered person, a person who have no transaction is still required to file a nil return to ensure compliance.

The Person filing a nil return should ensure that all fields of the return should remain empty before submitting the return.

GST Return Filing Process

The GST Return can be filed in two ways:

  • Online on GST Portal.
  • Offline using utility tools available in downloads section of GST Portal.
  • GST return filing process (Filing GSTR-3B) in Online mode through GST Portal is as under:
  • Login to GST Portal ( using your Login ID and Password.
GST Login
  • Under Services Tab, Go to Returns and select Returns Dashboard.
  • The File Returns page will open. In this page, from the drop-down list select the ‘Financial Year’ & ‘Return Filing Period’ for which return is to be filed.
  • Click the Search Button to get the list of Returns which can be filed for that period
  • The return screen will show up, select GSTR-3B and click on Prepare Online to start preparing online monthly return.

The Screen having various questions relating to supplies made by the Registered person will appear, Select Yes/No based on the supplies affected by the registered person.

This questions to be answered carefully keeping in view of all the transactions made by the registered person during the period for which return in being filed.

Based on the answers given by the registered person relevant section will appear on the return filing screen in which details can be entered.

After answering the questions click on the NEXT button to proceed further.

The Return Form GSTR-3B will appear with multiple tabs including:

Tax on Outward and Reverse Charge Supplies, Inter State Supplies, Eligible ITC, Exempt, Nil and Non GST Supplies, Interest and Late Fees, TDS/TCS Credit etc.

  • The above fields to be filled carefully according to the monthly transactions affected by the registered person.
  • Click Save GSTR-3B to save the details filled, a notification will appear to confirm that details have been saved.
  • Click the SUBMIT Button to finally submit the monthly return to the GST Portal. Once the return is submitted successfully, the status on the top right corner of the page changes to “Submitted” from “Not filed”.
  • Once the form is submitted, a success message is displayed at the top of the page.The details added cannot be changed thereafter. No changes in any fields can be made.
  • However one can view the saved GSTR-3B using “Preview draft” option.
  • After this step, the registered person is required to make payment of tax either by utilization of Input tax credit (ITC) or through Electronic Cash Ledger.
  • If after utilization of Input tax credit (ITC), the balance payable tax is more that the Balance Available in Electronic Cash Ledger, The Registered person can use the “Create Challan” button to make payment of tax by adding balance to the Electronic Cash Ledger.
  • Once the Output tax liability is completely set off or paid off, the Registered Person can proceed to finally filing of the GSTR-3B Return using Digital signature certificate (DSC) or Electronic verification certificate (EVC).
  • After using either DSC or EVC filing, click Proceed to file your GSTR-3B return, a success message will be displayed on your screen indicating the successful filing of your return containing your GSTIN and an acknowledgement number for future reference.

The status field in the top right corner will be changed to “Filed” from “Submitted”.

In this way a registered person can file his monthly return Form GSTR-3B. In the similar way other return forms can be selected from the GST Portal and be filed using DSC or EVC for verification.

GST Return Filing Status

  • Login to GST Portal ( using your Login ID and Password.
  • Go to Services > Returns > Track Return Status.
  • Select Return Filing Period.
  • From the drop-down list, choose the financial year in which the return has been filed and Click Search Button
  • The Portal will show a list of returns filed for the selected Financial Year along with the status of the return so filed (like filed-Valid) and mode of filing (like online)
  • The Registered Person can also check the status of the GST Return filed using the ARN, Every taxpayer who files the return get an Application Reference Number (ARN) on their mentioned email id or on their phone messages registered on the GST Portal.
  • With ARN the registered person shall go to Track Return status as mentioned above and then select ARN option.
  • Enter the ARN you received on your registered Mobile number or Email address and click Search button.
  • This will show the return filed corresponding to the ARN entered along with the Financial Year, Tax Period, Date of Filing, Status and Mode of filing the said return.
  • There are different types of GST Return Status based on the filing status like
  • To be filed – when the return is due for filing but has not yet been filed.
  • Submitted but not filed – In Case the return has been validated/submitted but shows the filing status pending because it has not been finally filed.
  • Filed Valid – when the return has been filed without any pending status
  • Filed Invalid – In Case the return has been filed but tax is not fully paid i.e., less/short paid or not paid at all.

Penalty for Non Filing or Late Filing

  • Every taxpayer has to file the various GST Return Forms for compliance purpose on or before their respective due dates. However if a Taxpayer misses the due date and has not filed the return up to the due date mentioned for respective returns, he has to bear a penalty in the form of late fees charged for various return forms based on the delayed number of days.
  • The Late fees for Annual returns and all other returns is as under
Return Type Supply Type Late Fees Maximum Late Fees
Annual Return Intra State CGST Rs.100/-
SGST Rs.100/-
Intra State IGST Rs.200/-
All other Returns Intra State CGST Rs.100/-
SGST Rs.100/-
0.25% of the Turnover
Intra State IGST Rs.200/-

Latest Changes for GST Return Filing

  • With a view to provide relief to businesses due to the Covid-19 situation in the country, the Government of India has extended the due dates for filing of Return and therefore extended the date for the Return for the month of March, April and May 2020 to 30th June, 2020.
  • The Government has also announced a new system of Return filing which shall be made applicable from October 2020, The Present system will continue till September 2020. Under the present system GSTR-1, 2A and 3B are filed. In the new system there will be one Main Return “GST RET-1” and two annexures “GST ANX-1 and GST ANX-2”.

Important Links

GST Portal                  – 

GST Login                  – 

GST Offline tool         – 


GSTR Offline tool      – 

(GSTR-1 and 2)

Grievance Redressal   – 

Help Desk Number     –           1800-103-4786

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is GST Return?

A GST return is a statement of supplies of Goods and/or Services by a taxable person for a prescribed period. It helps a taxable person to self-assess the tax they owe for that period to the government.

Can we revise GST Return or can we modify information in GST Return?

GST Return cannot be revised, however the information filed in the GST Return form can be modified though the amendment form or the mistakes can be rectified in subsequent returns.

How do a Non Resident taxpayer file GST Return in India?

Non-Resident taxpayers are required to file the GSTR-5 for the period for which they seek registration. Return GSTR-5 has to be filed within a period of 7 days after the expiry date of the registration. If the registered period is more than a month, then this return has to be filed every month during the period of registration.

What is the last date for filing GST Annual return (GSTR-9)?

The annual return of GST, Form GSTR-9 to be filed on or before 31st December of the succeeding financial year.

What is New system of Return filing?

The Government of India has proposed to introduce a new system of GST Return Filing starting from October 2020. Under the new system, there will be one single main return to be known as GST RET-1 having two annexure ANX-1 and ANX-2.
The Main return will contain details of all the supplies of goods and/or services provided, input tax credit availed and utilized, payment of taxes and interest, if any. The Annexure 1 namely ANX-1 will have invoice wise details of all outward supplies, inward supplies under reverse charge basis and import of goods and services. The Annexure 2 namely ANX-2 will contain details of all inward supplies, these details will be auto populated (Auto filled) from the ANX-1 filed by the suppliers. The Government of India has also provided offline tools (demo) on the GST Portal for the proposed new system of return filing.

What is GSTR-5?

It is the return form to be filed by the Non Resident taxpayers registered under GST Law. It is a monthly return containing details of all the supplies made by non-resident taxpayer, it will also contain the details of all purchases made by him.

Who is a GST Suvidha Provider?

GST Suvidha Provider also known as GSP, The GSPs will help the taxpayer in handling various matters under the GST Law mainly related to compliance, The GSP deals with uploading invoice details, fling of various return forms, reconciliation of return data etc. In simple words, GSP are a helping hand for Business people to help with the compliance of GST matters.

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