2 mins Read | 3 Years Ago

The beginner's guide to GST Returns



The process of calculating and filing the Goods and Services Tax can seem intimidating for someone who has just started out with their own business.

In this GST tutorial for beginners, we aim to decipher the complex world of filing returns. We will talk about what exactly are GST returns?  What are the different types of GST returns and how can you file them online?

What is a Goods and Services Tax Return?

A Goods and Services Tax Return (GSTR) is a document that contains all the details pertaining to receipts and expenditures that a taxpayer is liable to show to the Tax Authority of India. This document is used by the tax authorities to calculate tax liability, which falls on an entity, so that they can collect or return its relevant dues.

GST returns comprise of four main components: (i) Sales, (ii) Purchases, (iii) Output GST amounting on Sales and (iv) GST paid on purchases.

Thanks to the advent of the internet, the Government allows automated filing of GST returns through a dedicated portal.

There are different types of GST returns that needs to be filed, which vary from company to company. Let us look at the different GST return forms and what they contain.

What are the different types of GST returns?

Following are the different types of GST returns applicable to different entities:

GSTR-1: Contains details of outward supplies of taxable goods and/or services which need to be filed either on a quarterly or monthly basis.

GSTR-2: Contains details of inward supplies of taxable goods and/or services.

GSTR-3: Contains details of the cumulative outward supplies and inward supplies along with the payment of tax.

GSTR-4: Contains details on quarterly return filing, especially compounded tax liabilities for certain individuals.

GSTR-5: Contains details of tax liabilities of a Non-Resident Foreign taxable person.

GSTR-6: This return is used by an Input Service Distributor to distribute the eligible input tax credit to its branches.

GSTR-7: Contains details for Government authorities involved in deducting tax at source (TDS).

GSTR-8: Contains supply details of e-commerce operators and the amount of tax collected at source by them.

GSTR-9: This is the Annual Return Filing form for a normal taxpayer

GSTR-11: Contains details of inward supplies to be furnished by a person having UIN and claiming a refund.

How can you file your GST return online?

To file your GST returns online and pay off your tax liabilities, follow these simple steps:

  • Step 1: Log onto
  • Step 2: Enter your 15-digit GST Identification Number (GSTIN), which will act as your username for the GST login credentials
  • Step 3: Upload invoices on the GST portal by going to the ‘Returns’ dashboard available in the ‘Services’ section
  • Step 4: Fill the filing period and enter your tax liabilities as per the invoices
  • Step 5: To pay your tax, click on the ‘Payment of Tax’ option available after uploading your invoices
  • Step 6: You can make the payment on the portal as per your GST invoice, using Internet Banking or NEFT/RTGS transfers

What is the penalty for not filing your GST returns on time?

If GST Returns are not filed within the specified time period, the Government would charge you interest and a late fee on the outstanding amount.

The interest charged by the Government is amounted at 18% per annum, which is calculated on the outstanding amount of tax paid and needs to be calculated by the taxpayer themselves.

Besides this, there is also a provision for late fee that is charged at Rs 100 per day and is valid separately on the CGST and SGST tax components. The maximum fine one is liable to pay is Rs 5,000.

Hence, you must ensure that all your tax returns are filed in time and that all liabilities are paid off in compliance with the deadlines issued by the Government.





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