Timely action and fulfillment of the various compliances under GST law is one of the most critical activity for businesses. A thorough knowledge of the several aspects of the return filing compliances under GST law is needed. Before we get down to talk about the specific return forms that need to be filed and the deadlines associated with them, it’s important to know what return means under the GST law.

Compliances under GST Law – What is a Return?

‘Return’ is a document that every person registered under the GST has to file as per the laws laid down by the associated tax administration. These include the furnishing of details of purchases, sales and the tax paid as well as collected thereon.

Note – Before the filing of the said return, the payment of any taxes pending needs to be done or else such return will be rendered invalid.

Under the GST law, a normal taxpayer is required to file three monthly returns and one return annually. In a similar manner, there are different returns that are applicable for taxpayers that are registered under the composition scheme, those that are registered as an Input Service Distributor i.e  any person who is liable to collect or deduct tax (TCS/TDS).

Various Return Compliances under GST Law

There are several kinds of return that need to be filed under the GST regime. The most common ones that will be used are GSTR 1, 2,3, 4 & 9.

GSTR 1,2 and 3 needs are to be submitted by businesses of all kind on a monthly basis. GSTR 4 needs to be submitted on a quarterly basis and lastly, GSTR 9 needs to be filed on an annual basis.

Returns under GST

Return/Form What to file? By Whom? Frequency Due Date
GSTR – 1 Details of outward supplies of taxable goods and/or services effected Registered Taxable Supplier Monthly 10th of the next month
GSTR – 2 Details of inward supplies of taxable goods and/or services affected claiming input tax credit. Registered Taxable Recipient Monthly 15th of the next month
GSTR – 3 Monthly return on the basis of finalization of details of outward supplies and inward supplies along with the payment of the amount of tax. Registered Taxable Person Monthly 20th of the next month
GSTR – 4 Quarterly return for compounding taxable person. Composition Supplier  Quarterly 18th of the month succeeding quarter
GSTR – 5 Return for Non-Resident foreign taxable person Non-Resident Taxable Person  Monthly 20th of the next month
GSTR – 6 Return for Input Service Distributor Input Service Distributor  Monthly 13th of the next month
GSTR – 7 Return for authorities deducting tax at source. Tax Deductor  Monthly 10th of the next month
GSTR – 8 Details of supplies effected through e-commerce operator and the amount of tax collected E-commerce Operator/Tax Collector  Monthly 10th of the next month
GSTR – 9 Annual Return Registered Taxable Person  Annually 31st December of next financial year
GSTR – 10 Final Return Taxable person whose registration has been surrendered or canceled. Within three months of the date of cancellation or date of cancellation order, whichever is later.
GSTR – 11 Details of inward supplies to be furnished by a person having UIN Person having UIN and claiming refund 28th of the month following the month for which statement is filed

Important Points to be Noted:

1. Some of the following terms need to be understood for filing the above-mentioned return forms.

a) GSTIN: Goods and Services Taxable Person Identification Number

Every taxpayer is allotted a state-wise PAN-based 15-digit GSTIN. A format of proposed GSTIN has been shown in the image below. The GSTIN of the taxpayer will be auto-populated at the time of return filing.

Image Credits - Zoho

The GSTIN consists of the following information:

– The first 2 digits represent the state code.
– The next 10 digits represent the PAN no. of the business owner.
– The 13th digit is the entity no. of the PAN holder in a state.
– The 14th character is “Z” by default.
– The 15th digit is the checksum digit.

b) UIN: Unique Identity Number for embassies
c) HSN: Harmonized System of Nomenclature for goods
d) SAC: Service Accounting Code
e) POS: Place of Supply (State Code) of goods or services – State Code to be mentioned

2) All the return forms mentioned above are common for Central GST, State GST, and Integrated GST.

3) What is GSTR-1?

This return form will include details of the outward supplies or sales by the taxpayer and would capture the following information:

– The Basic details like name of the business along with GSTIN, the period for which the return is being filed etc.
– Details of invoices that’s been issued in a previous month along with the corresponding taxes paid.
– Details of the advances that’s been received against any supply which has to be made in future.
– Details of any revision in relation to the outward sales invoices that have been a part of previous tax periods.

4) What is GSTR-2?

This return form will include the details purchases that have been made by the taxpayer. This form will be prefilled for a taxpayer based on the information present on the GSTR-1 filed by his supplier.  One just has to validate the information that’s been prefilled and make the necessary changes if needed.

5) What is GSTR-3?

As was the case of GSTR-2 above, GSTR-3 return form will also be prefilled for a taxpayer based on the details furnished in GSTR-1 and GSTR-2. One just has to validate the information that’s been prefilled and make the necessary changes if needed.

This form will also contain the following:

–  Details about cash ledger, liability ledger, and ITC ledger
– Payment tax details made under various tax heads of Central GST, State GST, and Integrated GST
– Claiming refund in case of excess payment can also be made by the taxpayer

6) What is GSTR -4?

Under the composition scheme introduced by the government, any person registered under this will be required to file only one return that too on a quarterly basis. This comes under GSTR-4 and includes the following:

– The Value of the total supply which was made during the return period
– Details related to the tax payment made in the return
– Declaration of the information related to the invoice-level purchase.

7) What is GSTR-5?

In order to ensure complete visibility on the taxpayer activities, all the general taxpayers are required to submit GSTR-5 on an annual basis.

–  This detailed return form will capture all expenditure and income details pf the taxpayer and will be in sync with monthly returns.
– This form will provide the required opportunity to report any shortcomings and correct them accordingly. This is the major advantage of GSTR-5.
– 31st December is the due date for filing this return which also marks the end of the financial year. And this has to be filed along with the annual accounts audited copies.


The GST rates for Goods and Services has been declared. Here’s an ultimate list of Winners and Losers under the GST Impact.



The most frequent problems that business owners face are to do with accounting & regulatory compliance. Entrepreneurs view time invested in doing both as unproductive time.

34, Manikanta Sankeerana

Complex, 1st Floor Gangamma Temple St.