GST Filing (Brief Outline, Procedure and Time Lines)

Practice Areas

By Hemant Patel

Brief Outline

On 1st July, 2017, India experienced the onset of the biggest economic reform after 1991 with the abolition of multiple indirect taxes and introduction of a single, composite tax named Goods and Services Tax (hereinafter referred to as “GST”). GST is a comprehensive, multi-stage, destination-based tax that is levied on every value addition. It is a single tax on the supply of goods and services, right from the manufacturer to the consumer. The final consumer will thus bear only the GST charged by the last dealer in the supply chain, with set-off benefits at all the previous stages.

Keeping in mind the federal structure of India, there will be two components of GST –

  • Central Goods & Services Tax (CGST) – It is levied on the Intra State movement of goods and services. The revenue collected under Central Goods and Services Tax is for the Central Government. However, Input Tax Credit on CGST is given partly to the Centre and partly to the States as it will be utilized against the payment of both CGST and IGST.
  • State Goods & Services Tax (SGST) – It is levied on the Intra State movement of goods and services. The revenue collected under State Goods and Services Tax is for the State Government. However, Input Tax Credit on SGST is given partly to the Centre and partly to the States as it will be utilized against the payment of both SGST and IGST.

In addition to the above, there is an Integrated Goods & Services Tax (IGST) – It is levied on the supply of any goods and/or services in the course of inter-state trade across India. Further, IGST includes any supply of goods and/or services in the course of import into India and export of goods and/or services from India. Thus, IGST would be applicable for all inter-state transactions, import and export of goods and/or services.

A taxpayer with an aggregate turnover in a financial year up to Rs. 20 lakhs would be exempt from obtaining registration and charging GST from customers. For this purpose, aggregate turnover shall be computed on all India basis. Further, for Special Category States, like those in the North-East and the hilly States, the exemption threshold shall be Rs. 10 lakhs. All taxpayers eligible for threshold exemption will have the option of voluntarily getting registered and charging tax on supply of goods and services, with benefit of taking input tax credit (ITC) on inward supplies.

The theoretical part of GST has been discussed widely and extensively by all experts over the past few months, but the actual confusion arises when a person needs to file the returns under the new GST regime. No supplier, manufacturer, trader, service provider could be sure of the process of filing of returns as per the GST rules. Following is an attempt to simplify the process of filing of GST returns:

Details of Forms

Please find below the details of different forms that are to be filed for returns –

Types of Returns Due Date
GSTR – 1 return shall include details of the outward supplies or sales of goods and/or services by the taxpayer. This return form would capture the following information:

  • Basic details like business name along with GSTIN, period for which the return is being filed, etc.
  • Details of invoices issued in the previous month and the corresponding taxes to be paid.
  • Details of advances received against a supply which has to be made in future.
  • Details of revision in relation to outward sales invoices pertaining to previous tax periods.

The liability to file the return under this form shall lie with the Registered Taxable Supplier.

10th of the next month
GSTR – 2 return shall include details of the inward supplies or purchases of goods and/or services by the taxpayer.

  • GSTR-2 is prefilled for a buyer based on the GSTR-1 filed by his supplier. You just have to validate this prefilled information and make modifications if required.
  • For example, if you are buying goods from company B, then the company B would have filed its GSTR-1 and included your name as the buyer.
  • Now the same information will be reflected in your GSTR-2 as purchases which you need to validate.
  • GSTR-2 will thus include the details of auto-populated purchases.

The liability to file the return under this form shall lie with the Registered Taxable Supplier.

15th of the next month
GSTR – 3 return shall include the following details:

  • Information about Input Tax Credit ledger, Cash ledger, and Liability ledger
  • Details of payment of tax under various tax heads of CGST, SGST, and IGST
  • Taxpayer will have the option of claiming a refund of excess payment or to carry forward the credit.

The liability to file the return under this form shall lie with the Registered Taxable Person.

20th of the next month
GSTR – 4 is a Quarterly return for compounding taxable person which is to be filed the Composition Supplier. 18th of the month succeeding quarter
GSTR – 5 is a return for the Non-Resident foreign taxable person which is to be filed by the Non-Resident Taxable Person himself. 20th of the next month
GSTR – 6 is a return for Input Service Distributor the liability of filing the same lies with the Input Service Distributor. 13th of the next month
GSTR – 8 contains the details of supplies affected through e-commerce operator and the amount of tax collected which is to be filed by the E-commerce Operator/Tax Collector. 10th of the next month
GSTR – 9 is the form through which the Annual Return is to be filed by the Registered Taxable Person. 31st December of next financial year