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August 18, 2023

Understanding GST Returns: Types and Filing Dates of GSTR Forms

Understanding GST Returns: Types and Filing Dates of GSTR Forms


A GST return is a required form for individuals or businesses registered under the Goods and Services Tax (GST) law. To maintain an active status, taxpayers must consistently file these returns for each registered GSTIN (Goods and Services Tax Identification Number). You can confirm this using our GST search tool.

Interestingly, the GST Rules outline 22 distinct types of GST returns. However, among these, only 11 are currently active for filing, 4 are suspended, and 8 are view-only. The specific GST return requirements vary depending on the taxpayer’s registration category. These categories encompass regular taxpayers, composition taxable individuals, e-commerce operators, TDS deductors, non-resident taxpayers, Input Service Distributors (ISD), casual taxable individuals, and more.

Additionally, the frequency of filing certain GST returns can differ based on whether GSTR-1 and GSTR-3B filers choose to participate in the Quarterly Return filing and Monthly Payment of Taxes (QRMP) scheme.


The GST return system consists of various types of returns that taxpayers need to file based on their registration status and activities. Let’s delve into the specifics of these returns:

GSTR-1: GSTR-1 is a return where registered taxpayers, including casual taxable persons, report their outward supplies of goods and services. It encompasses invoices, debit-credit notes, and sales transactions for a given tax period. Any corrections to previous tax periods also need to be reported in GSTR-1. The filing frequency depends on the aggregate turnover and participation in the QRMP scheme.

GSTR-2A: GSTR-2A serves as a read-only return for recipients of goods and services. It provides details of inward supplies based on supplier-filed GSTR-1 data. While no action can be taken in GSTR-2A, it helps buyers claim accurate Input Tax Credit (ITC) for various tax periods.

GSTR-2B: GSTR-2B is a static return for buyers, showing constant Input Tax Credit data for a specific period. It helps in reconciling ITC data and provides actionable insights on each invoice reported.

GSTR-3: GSTR-3 is a suspended monthly summary return that outlines the summary of outward supplies, inward supplies, input tax credit claimed, and tax liability. It was auto-generated based on GSTR-1 and GSTR-2.

GSTR-3B: GSTR-3B is a monthly self-declaration return, summarizing outward supplies, input tax credit, and tax liability. It requires reconciliation with GSTR-1 and GSTR-2B data. Accurate reconciliation is essential to prevent future issues or registration suspension.

GSTR-4: GSTR-4 is an annual return filed by composition taxable persons. It was formerly filed quarterly but was replaced by a simple challan for each quarter.

GSTR-5: Non-resident foreign taxpayers file GSTR-5, detailing their outward supplies, inward supplies, tax liability, and taxes paid. It is a monthly return.

GSTR-6: GSTR-6 is filed monthly by Input Service Distributors (ISD) to provide input tax credit distribution details.

GSTR-7: GSTR-7 is filed monthly by entities required to deduct TDS under GST. It contains TDS details and tax liability.

GSTR-8: GSTR-8 is filed monthly by e-commerce operators collecting Tax Collected at Source (TCS) on supplies made through their platforms.

GSTR-9: GSTR-9 is the annual return for regular taxpayers, summarizing outward and inward supplies, input tax credit, taxes payable and paid, and more. There are exceptions for certain categories.

GSTR-9C: GSTR-9C is a reconciliation statement filed by taxpayers with an annual turnover exceeding Rs.5 crore. It aligns the books of accounts with GSTR-9.

GSTR-10: GSTR-10, the final return, is filed by taxpayers whose registration has been cancelled or surrendered.

GSTR-11: GSTR-11 is filed by entities with a Unique Identity Number (UIN) to claim refunds on goods and services purchased in India.

Late filing of GST returns leads to fines and penalties. Interest is charged at 18% per annum on outstanding tax, while late fees vary based on the return type.

The GST return system is comprehensive and essential for maintaining accurate tax records and compliance.

Late filing of GST returns carries significant consequences, and it’s important to be aware of the following key points:

  1. Mandatory Filing: GST return filing is obligatory, even if no transactions have occurred. A nil return must be filed in such cases.
  2. Sequential Filing: You cannot file a current return if the previous month’s or quarter’s return has not been filed. Non-filing of a previous return blocks the subsequent filing.
  3. Cascading Effect: Late filing of a GST return has a cascading impact. Failing to file one return can lead to a delay in subsequent returns, accumulating fines and penalties.
  4. Late Filing Fee: The late filing fee for GSTR-1 is populated into the liability ledger of GSTR-3B when filed after the due date.
  5. Interest: Interest is levied at a rate of 18% per annum on the outstanding tax amount. It is calculated from the day following the due date until the actual payment date. The interest is calculated based on the net tax liability mentioned in the ledger at the time of payment.
  6. Late Fee Structure: The CGST Act stipulates a late fee of Rs.100 per day per Act, which means Rs.100 under CGST and Rs.100 under SGST, amounting to Rs.200 per day. However, there’s a maximum limit of Rs.5,000 per Act. Under the IGST Act, there is no separate late fee specified.
  7. GSTR-9/9C Late Fee: For GSTR-9/9C, the maximum late fee is capped at 0.25% of the turnover in the respective state or Union Territory.
  8. Relief Schemes: Some relief schemes provided by the government can lead to a reduction in the amount of late fees. It’s advisable to refer to individual return pages for the latest updates on late fees.

Understanding these implications can help taxpayers avoid unnecessary fines and penalties associated with late GST return filing. It’s crucial to adhere to the filing deadlines to maintain compliance with GST regulations.

GST Return Filing Due Date

Return form Due date Filing frequency 
GSTR-1 11th day of the next month Monthly 
13th day of the month after the quarter Quarterly for those under the QRMP scheme 
IFF (optional according to the QRMP scheme) 13th day of the next month Monthly (for the initial two months of the quarter) 
GSTR-3B 20th day of the next month Monthly 
For those with annual aggregate turnover less than or equal to Rs. 5 crore who also have opted for the QRMP scheme the 22nd day of the month after the quarter for category X states and UTs, and 24th day of the month after the quarter for category Y states and UTs Quarterly for those under QRMP scheme 
CMP-08 18th day of the month after the quarter Quarterly 
GSTR-4 30th day of the month after the financial year Annually 
GSTR-5 20th day of the next month Monthly 
GSTR-5A 20th day of the next month Monthly 
GSTR-6 13th day of the next month Monthly 
GSTR-7 10th day of the next month Monthly 
GSTR-8 10th day of the next month Monthly 
GSTR-9 31st December of succeeding financial year Annually 
GSTR-9C 31st December of succeeding financial year Annually 
GSTR-10 Within three months since the cancellation Only when cancellation or surrendering occurs 
GSTR-11 28th day of the month that comes after the month during which the statement was filed Monthly 
ITC-04 25th April Annually (for AATO less than and equal to Rs. 5 crore) 
25th October and 25th April Half-yearly (for AATO more than Rs. 5 crore) 

In conclusion, understanding the landscape of GST returns, their types, and the associated filing deadlines is crucial for every taxpayer. The variety of GSTR forms cater to different categories of taxpayers and activities, ensuring accurate reporting and compliance within the GST framework.

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