Every registered taxpayer in India, according to law, is required to file returns for a prescribed tax period before a specified due date. Like all earning individuals have to file income-tax returns (ITR), all business owners, dealers, traders and taxpayers registered under the Goods and Services Tax (GST) system need to file GST returns. They have to furnish business information like purchases, sales, tax collected, tax paid and others on the GST portal. This procedure is carried out by filing GST return online on a periodic basis by using appropriate GST return forms.
For instance, if you are a business owner, you must declare the income that you get from carrying out business transactions. GST returns contain all the details of your purchases, sales, tax collected on sales (output tax), and tax paid on purchases (input tax). The taxpayer has to file a summary of self-assessed liabilities, input tax credit (ITC) and details of tax payment. Once you file GST return, you will need to pay the resulting tax liability (money that you owe the government).
What is GST?
PM Narendra Modi-led Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government introduced GST in a historic midnight session of Parliament on July 1, 2017. Touted as the biggest tax reform in India, GST was brought in with the aim of rolling out ‘One Nation, One Tax’.
GST eventually replaced all indirect taxes levied on goods and services by the central and state governments, in a bid to make the indirect taxation structure easier. The GST system subsumed Central Excise Law, Service Tax Law, State VATs, Entry Tax, Luxury Taxes, entertainment tax, etc. Under the GST, there is only a single tax on the supply of goods and services across the country, which means, the consumer will pay only the GST charged by the last dealer in the supply chain.
How to file GST return?
1. Visit the GST portal gst.gov.in to file the GST return online.
2. Keep GST-compliant sales and purchase invoices ready while filing GST return
3. Log on to the GST portal with valid credentials
4. After logging in, perform the following steps by clicking on: Services > Returns > Returns Dashboard command
5. ‘File Returns’ page will appear, select the financial year and the return filing period (month) for which you want to file the return and click on ‘Search’
6. You will receive a 15-digit GST identification number based on your state code and PAN number
7. Upload the invoices, and an invoice reference number will be issued against each invoice
8. Now select the return you want to file and click on ‘Prepare online’
9. Fill all the required details, including the amount and late fee, if applicable
10. Once you have filled in all the details, click on ‘Save’ and you will see a success message displayed on your screen
11. Now click on ‘Submit’ at the bottom of the page to file the return.
12. When the status of your return changes to ‘submitted’, scroll down and click on the ‘Payment of tax’ tab
13. Click on ‘Check balance’ to view cash and credit balance, so that you know these details before paying tax for respective minor heads
14. To clear your liabilities, mention the amount of credit you want to use from the credit already available. Then click on ‘Offset liability’ to make the payment
15. When a confirmation is displayed, click on ‘OK’.
16. Check the box against the declaration and select an authorised signatory from the drop-down list. Now click on ‘File form with DSC’ or ‘File form with EVC’ and then click on ‘Proceed’
17. Make the payment in the next step for your respective GST form
From GSTR-1 to GSTR-11, there are at least 12 types of GST forms. Here is the key usage of each of these forms:
a. GSTR-1 requires the taxpayer to furnish details of outward supplies or sales
b. GSTR-2 requires furnishing details of inward supplies or purchases
c. GSTR-3 requires furnishing monthly return
d. GSTR-3B is a summary return for the month of July and August
e. GSTR-4: is required by ‘Composition Tax Payers’ to file GST return
f. GSTR-5 is required by Foreign Non-Resident Taxpayer to file GST return
g. GSTR-6 is required by Input Service Distributor to file GST return
h. GSTR-7 is required by a ‘Tax Deductor’
i. GSTR-8 is statement for Tax Collection at Source
j. GSTR-9 is an ‘Annual Return’ to be filed by ‘Composition Dealers’ and the last date to file this time is 31 August 2019
k. GSTR-10 is the ‘Final Return’
l. GSTR-11 is the Inward supplies statement for people having ‘Unique identification Number’ (UIN)