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Types of Tax Returns under GST: Salient Features

Jan 25, 2017

The nation-wide indirect tax regime GST is all set to rollout by April 1, 2017. Hailed as ‘one nation, one tax’, the proposed GST is set to simplify tax filing, eliminate cascading of taxes and boost compliance across the nation. The latest revised model GST law recently released by Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) is an elaborate account on various aspects of the indirect tax: various aspects on administration of taxes SGST, CGST and IGST, the mechanism related to input tax credit, registration and refund rules, and filing of returns, among others. The updated draft GST return format mentioning the list of tax returns/statements to be furnished by registered persons has already been made public by the department.

Read: All about the model GST law recently released

Salient Features of Filing Tax Returns

Who has to file a return

In the tax parlance, a return is a statement of specified particulars related to any business activity undertaken by a registered person to pay his taxes during a prescribed period. Every registered person is mandated by law to file a tax return, even in case no business activity has taken place during the prescribed tax period. However, UN agencies do not need to file a GST return on regular period, but for the specified month in which purchases were made. Government entities and PSUs who do not engage in any supplies for which GST is charged or persons exclusively who engage in nil rated / non –GST goods or services would neither be required to obtain any registration for GST nor required to file any tax returns. However, as per the draft law, state tax authorities may assign departmental ID to such organizations or individual persons and can mandate suppliers to quote this ID in the supply invoices for all inter-state supplies being made to them.

Benefits of Tax Return Filing

The submission and processing of tax returns is a vital link between the taxpayer and the tax administration. Some of the key benefits of a detailed mechanism of the tax returns to be filed under GST are:

  • It helps the government and tax administration authorities keep a track on compliance verification programs.
  • Finalization of the tax liabilities of the taxpayer for a specific period of time.
  • Management of audit and programs to minimize tax evasion practices.

Key Aspects

Some of the salient features of filing tax returns under GST are:

  • All filing of GST returns can only be done through online mode. However, facility of offline generation and preparation of returns are available. The returns once furnished in the offline mode will have to be subsequently uploaded to be valid.
  • There will be a common e-return for CGST, SGST, and IGST.
  • A registered person liable to pay tax shall file GST Return at GST Common Portal either by himself or through his authorized representative.
  • The periodicity of return filing differs for different categories of taxpayers: normal/ regular taxpayers, compounding taxpayers, foreign non-resident taxpayers, government departments, UN agencies, input service distributors (ISD) and ecommerce operators.

The frequency of filing returns for different types of GST forms along with the details to be furnished are summarized below.






10th of the next month

Outward supplies made by taxpayers for all goods/services

Normal/regular taxpayer


15th of the succeeding month

Details of outward supplies as added, corrected or deleted by the recipient and made available to supplier

Normal/regular taxpayer


On 15th of succeeding Month

Details of the inward supplies received by a taxpayer claiming input tax credit

Normal/regular taxpayer


15th of succeeding month

Details of inward supplies made available to the recipient on the basis of FORM GSTR-1 furnished by the supplier. Addition (Claims) or modification in Form GSTR-2A will be submitted in Form GSTR-2

Normal/regular taxpayer


20th of the next month

Monthly return on the basis of finalization of details of outward supplies and inward supplies which is auto-populated along with the payment of amount of tax

Normal/regular taxpayer


Notice to a registered taxable person who fails to furnish return under section 27 and section 31

Normal/regular taxpayer

Form GSTR-4

18th of the month next to quarter

Furnish all outward supply of goods and services

Composite taxpayer




Details of inward supplies made available to the recipient registered under composition scheme on the basis of Form GSTR-1 furnished by the supplier

Composite taxpayer


20th of succeeding month or within 7 days after the expiry of registration, whichever is earlier

Furnish details of imports, outward supplies, ITC availed, tax paid, and closing stock

Foreign non-resident taxpayer


13th of succeeding month

Furnish the details of input credit distributed

Input Service Distributor (ISD)

Form GSTR-6A

0n 11th of succeeding month

Details of inward supplies made available to the ISD recipient on the basis of Form GSTR-1 furnished by the supplier

Input Service Distributor (ISD)



10th of succeeding month

Return for Tax Deducted at Source

Any registered taxable person required to deduct tax at source



TDS Certificate which can be downloaded

Any registered taxable person required to deduct tax at source


Annual- By 31st December of next financial year.

Details of supplies effected through e-commerce operator and the amount of tax collected on supplies

E-commerce operators


Annually- 31st Dec of next financial year

Furnish the details of ITC availed and GST paid which includes local, interstate and import/exports.

Normal/regular taxpayer


Annually- 31st Dec of next fiscal

Furnish the consolidated details of quarterly returns filed along with tax payment details.

Composite taxpayer


Annually- 31st Dec of next fiscal

Reconciliation Statement – audited annual accounts and a reconciliation statement, duly certified.

Composite taxpayer

Form GSTR-10

Monthly, Within 3 months of cancellation of registration

Furnish details of inputs and capital goods held, tax paid and payable.

Any registered taxpayer

Form GSTR-11

28th of succeeding month

Details of inward supplies to be furnished by a person having Unique Identity Number (UIN)

Government departments and United Nation bodies



Final acceptance of input tax credit (ITC)and communication to be made available electronically to the registered taxable person making ITC claim

Any registered taxable person

The Final Procedure

After the GST return through the appropriate GST form has been uploaded on the designated GST Common Portal, the Portal will acknowledge the receipt filed by the taxpayer and make required validations. If found valid, acknowledgement number is issued and the details of the GST return to tax authorities of Central government and concerned state governments is forwarded. The ITC claim will be confirmed after matching the invoices, provided the supplying taxpayer has submitted the valid return and paid the right self-assessed tax according to the return filed.

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