GST Return Filing
Gaurav Yadav

Updated on February 9th, 2024

Are you a GST eligible business but don't know much about GST Return Filing Online?

If yes, then this article is for you. This comprehensive guide focuses on the details from the inception of GST to the latest advancement in easy to understand language.
After reading this detailed guide, you would be able to talk more confidently with your chartered accountant and accounting team to discuss technical and financial issues.

GST Background in Short

GST was introduced in India to replace multiple indirect taxes like VAT, Excise, Service Tax, etc. Indian parliament passed the Goods and Services Tax on 29th March 2017 was brought into effect from 1st July 2017.  A GST return is a document that lists all GST invoices, payments, and receipts for a particular period.

GST was introduced in India to simplify the taxation structure in India and bring uniformity to the Indian tax structure. GST has now become the single indirect tax law for the entire country.

This comprehensive article will look at all the major GST returns to be filed by all the eligible taxpayers in India. In addition, this article also covers all the essential GST return filing due dates all in one place.

Go through the complete article to get all your questions answered about the GST return filing online.

Why was GST introduced in India?

Introduction of GST

The fundamental objective of introducing GST in India was to bring uniformity to the Indian structure, which had many components earlier. GST helps simplify this structure by levying a single tax on the majority of the goods and services, thus bringing the variation in prices across the state at an equal level.

Following are some of the objectives behind the introduction of GST:

To promote the idea of ‘One Nation One Tax’

Goods and Services Tax has now subsumed most of the Indirect taxes like Value Added Tax (VAT),  Central Excise & Service Tax which existed in the pre-GST regime. In addition, GST has now brought uniformity between states, thus reducing the compliance burden on the taxpayers as well as the government.

To eliminate the 'cascading effect' in taxation

In the pre-GST era, the taxpayers were unable to avail credit of one indirect tax into another. The introduction of GST has now eliminated this ‘tax on tax effect by giving an option of GST Input Tax Credit in this structure.

To keep tax evasion in check

GST structure is transparent and a justified taxation system. Taxpayers can claim Input Tax Credit based on the GSTR 1 return filing by their respective suppliers. This mutual responsibility of taxpayers has now made the taxpayers more aware of the GST compliance.

e Invoicing in GST has facilitated reporting of all the invoices to the government, thus creating more transparency between the taxpayers and the government.

What is GST Return Filing?

GST Return Filing Forms are nothing but documents to be furnished to the government monthly, quarterly and annually.

A GST return form contains all the sales & purchase details, tax collected on sales of goods or services and tax paid on purchasing goods or services.

These sales and purchase details are to be furnished to the government and the GST department through a common portal called as GSTN portal.

The frequency of a GST return can be-

  • Monthly
  • Quarterly
  • Annually

In the later segments of the article, we have covered all the basic details of all the major GST return filing forms.

Eligibility for GST registration

GST registration eligibility

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Following are the eligible entities that can register under GST:

  • Individuals practising business in the previous tax system (VAT, Excise, Service Tax, etc.)
  • E-commerce aggregators
  • Suppliers supplying their products through e-commerce aggregators
  • Agents of a supplier and Input Service Distributors

The threshold GST limit for registration is as follows:

1. For Sale of Goods

State Type

Aggregate Turnover

GST Registration

Normal Category State

40 Lakhs and above


Special Category State

20 Lakhs and above


2. For the sale of services

State Type

Aggregate Turnover

GST Registration

Normal Category State

20 Lakhs and above


Special Category State

10 Lakhs and above


3. For Sale of Goods & Services both

State Type

Aggregate Turnover

GST Registration

Normal Category State

20 Lakhs and above


Special Category State

10 Lakhs and above


4. GST registration is also mandatory for all the businesses involved in interstate supplies.

Following are the states/UT that fall into Special category states:

  • Arunachal Pradesh
  • Assam
  • Manipur
  • Meghalaya
  • Mizoram
  • Jammu & Kashmir (Now a Union Territory)
  • Nagaland
  • Sikkim
  • Tripura
  • Himachal Pradesh
  • Uttarakhand

Other than the above-mentioned states and UTs, all other States/UTs fall under ‘Normal Category’ states.

To learn more on Documents for GST registration, you can refer to our comprehensive blog in the link given here.

Who is eligible for filing a GST return?

All the businesses registered under GST have to file GST returns as per the category of business they fall into.

GST return filing process is decided based on the nature of the business.

Any GST registered dealer who is involved in the following activities is eligible for GST return filing; instead, he has to file regular GST returns:

  • Outward sales
  • Inward purchases
  • Dealer collecting GST on outward sales of goods or services
  • The dealer availing Input Tax Credit under GST paid on his purchases

The number of GST return filings differs for regular businesses and the businesses registered for the QRMP scheme under GST.

Categories of GST taxpayers

As per the GST laws, any 'taxable' person is a person carrying out his business from any place in India and is registered under the GST structure.

In this context, the term ‘person’ includes- Individual taxpayers, Hindu Undivided Family (HUF), company, firm, Limited Liability Partnerships (LLP), corporation or Government Company, co-operative society, local authority, trust, etc.

Following are the prominent types of GST registered taxpayers in India:

  • Regular GST Taxpayers
  • Composition dealers
  • Casual taxable person
  • Non-resident taxpayers
  • Input Service Distributors (ISDs)
  • Tax Deduction at Source (TDS)
  • Tax Collected at Source (E-commerce operators)
  • QRMP taxpayer

Let us understand the basics of each category below:

1. Regular GST taxpayers

  • Regular taxpayers are the GST registered businesses who own a business in a State or UT where GST rules apply.
  • A regular taxpayer is mandated to file monthly GSTR-1 and GSTR-3B returns.

2. Composition dealer

  • A composition dealer is a taxpayer registered under the Composition Scheme. This taxpayer is not required to collect GST from his customers at normal rates.
  • Instead, the composition dealer pays the tax to the government at a lower or a nominal rate based on the turnover or receipts.
  • A composition dealer is required to file his return on a quarterly basis via CMP-08.
  • To learn more about GST Composition Scheme, refer to our detailed blog to understand the GST composition scheme rules.

3. Casual taxable person

  • A taxpayer that conducts business activities occasionally is called a 'casual taxpayer’.
  • A casual taxpayer supplies goods or services in a state or territory where GST is applicable, but he does not have any registered place of business.
  • Example: Mr Jethalal has a place of business in Nagpur, Maharashtra. He supplies taxable services or goods to Indore, MP. However, he does not have any fixed place of business in Indore, MP. In this case, Mr Jethalal will be treated as a ‘Casual taxpayer’ in Indore, MP.

4. Input Service Distributor

  • An ISD is any office or place of business of the supplier that receives all the tax invoices issued by their suppliers.
  •  The ISD then distributes the Input Tax Credit to its units or branch offices.

5. QRMP taxpayer Under GST

  • A registered person opting for the QRMP scheme.
  • A taxpayer with an annual aggregate turnover of up to Rs. 5 Crore in the previous FY can opt for the QRMP scheme.
  • QRMP taxpayers can file GSTR-1 and GSTR-3B once in a quarter.
  • QRMP taxpayers have to make their tax payments monthly through PMT-06 return.

GST Return Filing Online: Types of GST returns

Following are the GST returns to be filed by the eligible taxpayers:

1. GSTR-1 Filing

GSTR-1 return filing under GST

GSTR-1 return consists of all the outward supplies (i.e. sales).

The frequency of the GSTR-1 return filing is monthly or quarterly based on the annual aggregate turnover of the taxpayer.

Is GSTR1 monthly or quarterly?

GSTR-1 return is to be filed monthly or quarterly depending upon the annual aggregate turnover of the business.

GSTR1 filing due dates are based on the annual aggregate turnover.

Monthly/ Quarterly GSTR1


due date

Quarterly GSTR-1

Aggregate turnover is less than INR 5 Crores and opted under the QRMP

13th of the succeeding month following the end of the respective quarter

Monthly GSTR-1

Aggregate turnover is less than INR 5 Crores and has not opted under the QRMP

11th of the succeeding month

Monthly GSTR-1

Any other taxable person

11th of the succeeding month

Taxpayers must note that the time limit to file GSTR-1 is within 11 days from the date of the subsequent month for all the regular taxpayers.

This means that the GSTR1 due date for regular taxpayers is the 11th of the succeeding month.

The businesses opting for the QRMP scheme under GST have to file GSTR-1 on a quarterly basis.

If you are using Tally, SAP, Microsoft, Oracle and other top ERPs in your business, you can fully automate all of your GST Return Filing Online with GSTHero.

2. GSTR-2B Statement/Report

GSTR-2B return under GST

What is GSTR-2B?

GSTR-2B is a static month-wise statement auto-drafted for all the regular taxpayers.

It is important to note that GSTR-2B is not to be filed by the taxpayer, but it is auto-generated on the GST portal on a monthly basis.

Form GSTR 2B is the go-to document for the taxpayer to find the eligible Input Tax Credit for that month. The CBIC has time and again notified the taxpayers that the authoritative source to identify the eligible Input Tax Credit under GST for a month is only GSTR-2B.

GSTR-2B becomes essential as it contains every invoice-wise ITC detail filed by your supplier in his monthly GSTR-1.

GSTR 2B reconciliation against your books of accounts has now become more essential than ever.

Businesses must have an automatic GSTR 2B reconciliation tool in place to identify 100% eligible ITC and avoid any stoppages in their business revenue.

When is GSTR-2B available?

GSTN has clarified that the GSTR-2B for a particular month shall be available on the GST portal on the 14th of every month.

Hence, taxpayers can identify their eligible ITC in GST till the afternoon of the 14th day of every month.

3. GSTR-3B Filing

GSTR-3B return filing under GST

What is GSTR-3B?

GSTR-3B return is a consolidated summary of all the inward and outward supplies to be filed by the GST registered taxpayer every month.

GSTR-3B return filing is a self-declared summary that the GST dealers have to file along with the regular GSTR1 return filing.

GSTR-3B was introduced by the government as a simplified return to declare all the GST liabilities as a summary.

Who should file GSTR 3B?

All the GST registered taxpayers should file GSTR-3B every month.

Who are exempted from filing GSTR-3B?

Following are the entities that are exempted from filing GSTR-3B consolidated summary return:
  • Composition Dealers and Input Service Distributors
  • Dealers/Suppliers of Online Information Database Access and Retrieval Services (OIDAR)
  • Non-resident taxable person

Is GSTR-3B compulsory for nil return?

It is mandatory to file the GSTR-3B return even when there are no business transactions for a particular month (Nil returns).

GSTR 3B Due Dates

Monthly/ Quarterly GSTR-3B
Category of state

Quarterly GSTR-3B

Aggregate turnover is less than INR 5 Crores and opted under the QRMP

22nd of the succeeding month following the end of the respective quarter for the following listed states A

Quarterly GSTR-3B

Aggregate turnover is less than INR 5 Crores and opted under the QRMP

24th of the succeeding month following the end of the respective quarter for the following listed states B

Monthly GSTR-3B

Aggregate turnover is more than INR 5 Crores

20th of the succeeding month

List of states A : Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Daman and Diu, Gujarat, Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka, Lakshadweep, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Puducherry, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

List of states B : Ladakh, Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Uttarakhand, Chandigarh, Delhi, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Sikkim, Bihar, Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Tripura, West Bengal, Mizoram, Odisha and Jharkhand.

Important details to be furnished via GSTR-3B are summarized hereunder

  • Outward taxable supplies (other than zero-rated/ NIL rated/ exempted);
  • Outward taxable supplies (zero-rated supplies);
  • Other outward supplies (NIL rated/ exempted);
  • Inward supplies (liable to reverse charge); and
  • Non-GST outward supplies.

Importance of GSTR-3B vs GSTR-1 reconciliation

W.e.f 1st January 2022, the tax department now has complete authority to initiate punitive action against businesses with differences in their GSTR-1 & GSTR-3B details.

Post the Show Cause Notice; the GST authorities shall give reasonable time to the businesses for justifying the differences in the details reported in GSTR-1 and consolidated GSTR-3B.

The businesses should justify the differences or the motive behind the short tax payment to the Proper Officer. On satisfaction of the Proper Officer, there shall be no need to initiate proceedings for recovery as per Section 79.

If the taxpayer fails to justify this short payment, then powers have been conferred upon GST authorities to initiate the recovery process from the taxpayer.

GSTHero not only auto prepares your GSTR-3B filing but you can do all of your GST Return Filing Online with GSTHero including reconciliation, automated GST notice handling and GST Audit.

4. GSTR-4 Filing

What is GSTR 4 annual return?

GSTR 4 annual return is a statement of inward and outward supplies for ‘Composition Taxpayers’.

GSTR-4 is an annual return to be filed by the Composition dealers in GST. Composition dealers are required to file only one return i.e. GSTR 4

What is GSTR 4 due date?

The GSTR 4 due date for filing annual GSTR-4 return under GST is 30th April that follows the relevant financial year.

Who can file GSTR-4 return?

GSTR-4 has to be filed by all the GST composition dealers.

GSTR-4 is also mandated for the taxpayers under ‘Special Composition Scheme’ which includes:

  1. Taxpayers opting for composition scheme since GST registration & have never opted out.
  2. Taxpayers opting for Composition scheme but further opting out of it any time during the year.
  3. Taxpayers who had opted for GST Composition Scheme in any FY before introduction of the GST.

Taxpayers NOT eligible to file GSTR-4 returns

  • Non-resident taxable person
  • Casual taxpayer
  • Input Service Distributor (ISD)
  • Taxpayers who collects ‘TCS’ (Tax Collection at Source)
  • Taxpayers who deducts ‘TDS’ (Tax Deduction at Source)
  • OIDAR (Online Information Data Base Access and Retrieval)

Can GSTR-4 be revised?

No. GSTR-4 can NOT be revised or amended after filing on the GST portal. Hence, taxpayers are advised to run automated reconciliation of all the transactions and books of accounts while filing your annual GSTR-4 return.

Penalty for late filing of GSTR 4

If the composition dealer fails to file GSTR-4 within the timeline then a late fee of Rs. 200 per day is levied. The maximum late fee cannot exceed Rs.5,000.

5. GSTR-7 Filing

What is GSTR 7 return?

GSTR-7 is required to be filed by every person who is liable to deduct TDS under GST.

GSTR-7 contains all the details of the TDS liability payable & TDS liability paid and the TDS deducted.

Who is required to deduct TDS and file GSTR-7 form?

  • The following persons are required to deduct TDS under GST
  • A department or establishment of the Central or State Government, or
  • Local authority, or
  • Governmental agencies, or
  • Persons or category of persons as may be notified, by the Central or a State Government on the recommendations of the Council.
  • Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs)
  • An authority or a board or any other body which has been set up by Parliament or a State Legislature or by a government, with 51% equity ( control) owned by government
  • A society established by the Central or any State Government or a Local Authority and the society is registered under the Societies Registration Act, 1860

What is GSTR-7 filing due date?

Due date for filing GSTR-7 return is 10th of the following month in which amount of TDS is deducted.

Penalty for delayed or non-filing of GSTR-7?

Deductor is liable to pay penalty Rs 100 per day for CGST and Rs 100 per day for SGST in case of delay in filing of return, subject to a maximum of Rs 5000.

To learn more on How to file GST returnrefer to the link given.

5. GSTR-9/9C Filing

GSTR-9 & 9C under GST

What is GSTR 9 return under GST?

GSTR-9 return under GST is an annual return to be filed by all the regular taxpayers annually.

GSTR 9 annual return contains all the consolidated details of State GST, Central GST and Integrated GST paid during a financial year.

Is filing GSTR-9 annual return mandatory?

GSTR 9 is a consolidated return for inward supplies, outward supplies, outward tax liabilities, GST Input Tax Credit claimed in a given financial year.

GSTR-9 annual return is mandatory to be filed by all the GST registered taxpayers with a few exceptions.

Following entities are EXEMPTED from filing GSTR-9 returns:

  1. Input Service Distributors
  2. Casual taxpayers
  3. Non-resident taxpayers
    • Composition scheme dealer (notably, such persons needs to furnish the annual return in GSTR-4);
    • E-commerce operator (notably, such persons needs to furnish the annual return in GSTR-9B);
    • OIDAR service [Online Information and Database Access or Retrieval] provider.

What is GSTR-9 due date?

GSTR 9 due date for a given financial year is 31st December of the year following the given financial year.

What is GSTR-9C under GST?

GSTR9C is an  Audit form introduced by the government on 13th September 2018. Every GST registered dealer whose annual aggregate turnover exceeds Two Crore rupees has to run an audit of his account as per Section 35, sub-section (5) of the CGST Act of 2017.

These eligible businesses have to furnish an audited annual statement of their accounts and a reconciliation report to the government in GSTR-9C form.

To learn more on Form GSTR 9C format in Excel, click on the link provided.

Important update:

Before July 20221, the GSTR-9C had to be certified by a Chartered Accountant or a Cost Accountant.

The CBIC on 30th July 2021 has notified changes to Section 35(5) and Section 44 of the CGST Act, 2017. As per these changes, the condition to certify your GSTR-9C by a CA or CMA stands cancelled.

Businesses whose turnover exceeds Rs. 5 Crore in the previous FY can now file GSTR-9C on a ‘self-certification’ basis.

GSTHero auto prepares complete draft of GSTR 9 and 9C automatically within one click by auto fetching your data from previous filed returns. This not only eases out your GST Return Filing Online, but also reduces errors and tax burden.

GST return filing late fees

The taxpayer has to file a specific amount as a penalty if he fails to file his GST return within the prescribed time.

The GST return late fees differ according to the type of GST return filing.

The late fee for delayed CGST is Rs. 100 per day and for the SGST is Rs. 100 per day. The total penalty amount sums up to Rs. 200 per day.

Check the GST return late fees article for the complete breakup of late fees applicable on all the GST returns.


This comprehensive article has covered the most prominent aspects of the GST Return Filing Online structure.

We will keep updating this page to add more awesome content to make this a 'one-stop solution for all our readers to clarify their GST Return Filing Online related doubts.

Stay updated; stay ahead!

Until the next time….

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Gaurav Yadav

About the author

Gaurav is an Engineer by training with a deep interest in Economics & Finance. He has been associated with the Fin-Tech industry for quite some time now. He writes for GSTHero for topics including GST Compliance, GST Structure, etc & aims to break down complicated technical jargon into simple terms for the taxpayers.

His expertise includes GST Laws, Corporate Finance & Macro-Economics.

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