GST or Goods and Services Tax replaced the numerous different taxes which were levied by Central and State governments on different products or services. While it was enforced in 2017, the GST Act was passed in the year 2019. This taxation system looks to streamline the numerous taxes levied on products, making it simple for the taxpayers, their collectors, etc. Additionally, it also makes tax filing easy since taxpayers have to file for just one tax.

What is GST return?

Before going into the process of GST filing, it is important to understand what GST return means for business owners and service providers. GST returns essentially stands for filing of all GST. Every individual who is covered under the GST Act must produce their income to the Tax Department of India. This is known as return and it includes details of every sale and purchase.

Under this system of taxation, concerned individuals must file their GST return 26 times in a year. While business owners have to go for goods and services tax filing two times every month, they must also file two additional time half-yearly. Before moving into the process of filing GST return, it is essential to understand a few additional things.

Types of Returns

There are quite a few types of GST filing which have their specific forms. These forms are listed below in the chart.

Form name Applicable entrepreneurs Date of filing
GSTR-1 Taxable suppliers to file outward supplies. 10th of next month.
GSTR-2 Taxable recipients to file inward supplies to claim tax credit. 15th of next month.
GSTR-3 Taxable individuals file monthly returns based on finalisation of outward and inward supplies along with tax amount payment. 20th of next month.
GSTR-4 Composition suppliers to file quarterly returns. 18th of next month.
GSTR-5 NRIs who are taxable. 20th of next month.
GSTR-6 Input service distributor to file for return. 13th of next month.
GSTR-7 Authorities conducting TDs to file return. 10th of next month.
GSTR-8 Tax collectors and e-commerce operators to file supply details and tax collection detail. 10th of next month.
GSTR-9 Taxable individuals to file return. 31st December of next year.
GSTR-10 Taxable individuals with cancelled registration to file final return. Within 3 months of cancellation of order.
GSTR-11 Individuals with UIN refund claims to file inward supply detail. 28th of the month following the month for a statement was filed.

While the table above explains who the forms for GST e-filing are meant for along with their submission date, it is also important to know the details to be filled in the form.

  • GSTR-1

Suppliers must validate the auto-generated purchase information of their outward supply of goods and services. The form contains the following details.

  • Name of business, period for which tax is being filed, and GST identification number (GSTIN).
  • Invoices and tax collection form previous month.
  • Advances received in favour of supplies.
  • Revision in previous month’s sales invoices.
  • GSTR-2

Taxable recipients have to provide the following detail in this form during their GST filing.

  • Name of business, period for which tax is being filed, and GSTIN.
  • Invoices and collected tax in the previous month.
  • Advances received for order to be delivered in the future.
  • Revision of previous month’s sales and invoices.
  • GSTR-3

Taxpayers filing this form already have their details electronically updated along with forms GSTR-1 and 2. Taxpayers must check and verify the above forms as and when necessary, and also provide the details underneath.

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  • Input tax credit, liability, and cash ledger details.
  • CGST, SGST and IGST tax payment details.
  • Excess payment repay claim or credit request.
  • GSTR-4

Businesses with a turnover up to Rs.75 lakh can opt for Composition Scheme and go for GST filing with GSTR-4 form. They pay tax at fixed rates based on their business type. While they do not have a tax credit facility, they must also provide the following details.

  • Total value of supply during return period.
  • Tax payment details.
  • Purchase information like invoice.
  • GSTR-5

NRIs must provide the following information while filing this form.

  • Taxpayer’s name and address accompanied with return period, and GSTIN.
  • Details of both outgoing and incoming supplies.
  • Import details accompanied with amendments of previous returns.
  • Service importing details along with amendments in previous service.
  • Refunds from cash ledger, credit and debit details, closing stock, etc.
  • GSTR-6

Input Service Distributors must provide the following details when they are completing their GST filing process. Some details are already electronically updated via forms GSTR-1 and 5.

  • Taxpayer’s name and address detail, return period, and GSTIN.
  • Input credit distribution details.
  • Details on the supplies received from registered suppliers.
  • Input credit amount in their present tax period.
  • Input credit receiver detail.
  • Credit and debit note details.
  • Tax credit that has been received, reverted, and distributed under CGST, SGST, and IGST.
  • GSTR-7

Taxpayers who have deducted tax at source must provide the following details in their form. The TDS liability is generated automatically. The Electronic Cash Ledger refunds will be auto generated.

  • Address details of taxpayers to accompany their name and GSTIN along with the return period.
  • TDS amount, contract detail, and necessary amendments.
  • Late filing fee and interest.
  • GSTR-8

E-commerce operators must provide the following details in their GST filing with form GSTR-8.

  • Personal details like name and address accompanied with return period and GSTIN.
  • Supply details of payments to registered individuals and necessary amendments to the previous tax payments.
  • Supply details to unregistered individuals.
  • TDS details.
  • Late filing details and delayed payment interest, accompanied with auto-populated tax liability.
  • GSTR-9

Filed by normal taxpayers, it contains both income and expenditure details. It is compiled and assorted with monthly returns. Filing this must accompany audited copies of annual accounts, and taxpayers can amend the previous return filings if necessary.

  • GSTR-10

To be filed on cancellation of GST, taxpayers must provide the following details while their GST filing with this form.

  • ARN or Application Reference Number.
  • Cancellation order ID.
  • Cancellation order date.
  • Closing stock details and payable tax.
  • GSTR-11

Every individual registered under GST with their UIN (Unique Identity Number) must file this form. This is used to claim refund of excess taxes paid in inward supplies.

  • UIN should be accompanied with the return period and name of the government body.
  • Auto generated inward supplies from suppliers who are registered under GST.


GSTN, or Goods and Services Tax Network, is an online portal containing all the details of sellers and buyers registered under GST’s regulation. Businesses and taxpayers can access these details from the GSTN for filing their returns, log invoice data, etc.

Companies have to file a total of 37 returns, one annual return and 3 monthly returns (once every 3 months) during a financial year. These contain several information, including details of inwards and outward supplies instigated by an organisation. The data can be prepared offline and uploaded whenever there is internet connection available.

Online Filing Process

GST can be filed online using the software provided in Goods and Services Tax Network. Below are the steps required to file GST online.

  1. Navigate to the official GST portal.
  2. Login using the state code and Permanent Account Number, a 15-digit GST identification number will be issued after data verification.
  3. Uploading the invoices will generate a unique invoice reference number, after which a taxpayer will be able to file outwards and inwards return, as well as cumulative monthly returns.
  4. After successful filing of the same, taxpayers will be liable to file outward supply returns in GSTR-1 Form. They will have to submit the relevant information before the 10th of the subsequent month. Details of the outwards supplies furnished by the supplier will be available in the GSTR-2A form.
  5. Next, taxpayers will have to submit details of inward supplies of all taxable good and services in From GSTR-2.

Penalty for late filing

Penalty in the form of late fee will be levied on taxpayers if they fail to file their GST return on time. A total of Rs.200 (Rs.100 as CGST and Rs.100 as SGST) is charged per day, which can go as high as up to Rs.5000. However, this rate may change depending on present regulations. The time period will be calculated from the day after the final deadline till the day the complete payment is made.

Integrated Goods and Services Tax does not attract any late fee, although the taxpayer will be required to pay an additional 18% interest in addition to the late fee.

Every taxpayer should be well aware of the process of GST filing. It will help them abide by the latest regulations of Goods and Services Tax at all times.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Are taxpayers eligible to change the frequency (monthly or quarterly) of filing their return?

Ans – Yes, taxpayers can change the frequency of filing return when they file for the first time during one financial year. However, they are allowed this provision only once.

  • Will a supplier get any intimidation if their uploaded documents get rejected?

Ans – In case of document rejection, a supplier will receive intimidation only after the recipient files their return.

  • Are suppliers eligible to make amendments in documents that are left pending by recipients?

Ans – No. In this case, recipients will have to reject the documents to allow any amendments from the supplier’s behalf.