What is GST Returns in India: Due Dates, Late Fees, and How to File Hassle-Free

Table of Contents:

– Introduction
– What is a GST Return?
– Who Needs to File GST Returns?
– Types of GST Returns and Due Dates
– Upcoming Due Dates for GST Returns
– Consequences of Late Filing or Non-Filing
– How to File GST Returns Online
– Tips for Hassle-Free GST Return Filing
– Frequently Asked Questions
– Conclusion

Introduction

Filing GST returns in India can seem complicated and stressful for many businesses in India. However, it is a mandatory compliance that cannot be ignored. Failing to file your GST returns on time can lead to heavy late fees, penalties, and even imprisonment in severe cases.

This comprehensive guide will make GST return filing easy to understand and comply with. It covers everything you need to know, from due dates to the process of filing online. Follow our tips and expert advice for hassle-free GST compliance.

What is a GST Return in India?

A GST return is a document containing details of your business’ sales, purchases, input tax credit, and GST paid for a specific tax period. There are various types of returns prescribed under GST, with different due dates based on your business type. These returns have to be filed online on the Government’s GST portal.

The purpose of a GST return is to:

– Report your outward and inward supplies, tax liability, and ITC claimed
– Pay due GST to the government
– Claim refunds of excess GST paid
– Reconcile books of accounts with GST returns

Who Needs to File GST Returns in India?

If you are a GST registered business in India exceeding the threshold limit, you are required to file GST returns periodically. This includes:

– Regular businesses with >Rs. 5 crore aggregate turnover – Monthly and Annual Return
– Small businesses between Rs. 1.5 – 5 crore turnover – Quarterly Return under QRMP Scheme
– Businesses with <Rs. 1.5 crore turnover – Quarterly Return and Annual Return
– E-commerce operators, casual taxable persons, Input Service Distributors
– Composition scheme businesses – Quarterly Return

The frequency of returns is typically monthly or quarterly based on your aggregate annual turnover. Even if you have zero transactions, nil returns must be filed. Non-filing can lead to your GST registration being canceled.

Types of GST Returns and Due Dates

There are various types of GST returns prescribed under the law. The key ones include:

Monthly Returns:

– GSTR-1 – Due 11th of next month – Outward supplies
– GSTR-3B – Due 20th of next month – Summary return with tax payment
– GSTR-5 – Due 20th of next month – Return for non-resident taxable person
– GSTR-6 – Due 13th of next month – Return for Input Service Distributor
– GSTR-7 – Due 10th of next month – Return for Tax Deducted at Source
– GSTR-8 – Due 10th of next month – Return for e-commerce operators

Quarterly Returns:

– GSTR-1 – Due 13th of month after quarter – Outward supplies (for QRMP scheme taxpayers)
– GSTR-3B – Due 22nd/24th of month after quarter – Summary return (for QRMP scheme taxpayers)
– CMP-08 – Due 18th of month after quarter – Return for composition taxpayers

Annual Returns:

– GSTR-9 – Due 31st Dec of next financial year – Annual return for regular taxpayers
– GSTR-9A – Due 31st Dec of next financial year – Annual return for composition taxpayers
– GSTR-9C – Due 31st Dec of next financial year – Reconciliation statement (for >Rs. 5 crore turnover)

Other Returns:

– GSTR-4 – Due 30th April – Return for composition taxpayers
– GSTR-5A – Due 20th of next month – Return for OIDAR service providers
– GSTR-10 – Within 3 months of cancellation – Final return
– GSTR-11 – Due 28th of month – Return for UIN entities

The exact due dates keep getting extended by notifications, so do refer to the GST portal for updated dates.

Upcoming Due Dates for GST Returns

Here are some key upcoming due dates for GST returns in 2023:

– GSTR-3B for May 2023 – Due 20th June
– GSTR-1 for Apr-Jun 2023 (QRMP scheme taxpayers) – Due 13th July
– GSTR-7 for June 2023 – Due 10th July
– GSTR-3B for Apr-Jun 2023 (QRMP scheme taxpayers) – Due 22nd/24th July
– GSTR-3B for June 2023 – Due 20th July
– GSTR-1 for June 2023 – Due 11th July

Set calendar reminders for due dates to prevent delays and penalties. You can also authorize experts like [Filingwala] to file on your behalf and avoid missing deadlines.

Consequences of Late Filing or Non-Filing

Late filing or non-filing of GST returns attracts the following consequences:

– Interest @18% per annum on late tax payment
– Late fee up to Rs. 5000 (Rs. 10,000 for over Rs. 5 crore turnover)
– Loss of input tax credit
– Scrutiny and tax assessments
– Cancellation of GST registration
– Prosecution in severe cases

Hence, it is critical for businesses to comply and file returns on time, either in-house or through an expert like Filingwala.

How to File GST Returns Online in India?

Follow these steps to file your GST returns smoothly online:

1. Collect documents like invoices, bank statements, previous returns, etc.

2. Log in to the Government GST Portal using your login credentials.

3. Go to Services > Returns > Returns Dashboard.

4. Select the tax period and return form (GSTR-1, 3B etc.)

5. Ensure your business details are updated in the return.

6. Input invoice-wise outward supplies, inward supplies, and ITC claimed.

7. Preview the drafted return and ensure no errors.

8. Submit the return along with tax payment (for GSTR-3B).

9. Download confirmation and save for records.

Alternatively, you can use the GST software by [Filingwala] for an easier filing experience.

Tips for Hassle-Free GST Return Filing

Follow these expert tips to sail through GST return filing every time:

– Maintain detailed records of your sales, purchases, invoices, payments, and inventory for easy return filing.

– Reconcile your books of accounts before filing returns to avoid data mismatches.

– Save invoices and files systematically to quickly retrieve when required.

– Track due dates and set reminders to prevent delayed filing.

– Ensure all business details are updated on the GST portal before filing.

– Preview returns thoroughly and correct errors to avoid rejection.

– Opt for [GST compliance services] like Filingwala to stay stress-free.

– Save acknowledgment of returns filed for future reference.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What if I miss the GST return due date?

A. You can still file returns up to the 20th of the next month along with late fees.

Q. How do I revise a filed GSTR-1 return?
A. You can revise GSTR-1 of a particular month in the next GSTR-1 return.

Q. Is it mandatory to file nil returns?
A. Yes, even if you have zero turnover, you must file nil returns to comply.

Q. Do I have to link my bank account while filing GSTR-3B?
A. Yes, you need to link your bank account and pay taxes while filing GSTR-3B.

Q. What is the maximum late fee under GST?
A. For large businesses, it is Rs. 10,000 (Rs. 5000 CGST + Rs. 5000 SGST).

Conclusion

Filing accurate GST returns on time should be a top priority to avoid heavy penalties. Businesses can ease GST compliance by maintaining thorough records, monitoring due dates, and seeking expert assistance.

Use this guide on due dates, returns, online filing process, and tips to get your GST compliance in order. Stay updated on the latest changes to the GST law. Partner with a trusted GST Suvidha Provider like [Filingwala] for assistance.

File your GST returns on time, every time! Effective compliance will help your business stay

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