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GST Nil Return Filing: How To File Nil GST Return Online?

Updated: Apr 15

GST Nil Return Filing: The Process of Filing GST Return Online

Every registered business under GST must furnish a regular monthly or quarterly return of GST. However, when there are no taxable supplies or purchases, it is essential to file a Nil GST return. Knowing about the process of filing Nil return under GST can help you save time and stay compliant with the GST regulations.

This article aims to provide an understanding of GST Nil return filing, addressing common concerns and simplifying the process of GST taxpayers.


Table of Contents:


What is GST Nil Return Filing?

‘GST Nil Return Filing’ is the process of submitting a GST return when there are no taxable transactions during the tax period. In simple terms, when a registered taxpayer does not make any GST-eligible sales or purchases during the period, a GST Nil return must be filed. The GST Nil return must be furnished.

Filing GST Nil return is essential for remaining a GST compliant taxpayer and keeping the GST registration active. It indicates to the GST authorities that the registered taxpayer has no GST liability for the specified period but is still a compliant taxpayer.

GST Nil Return Filing: Who should File?

A registered taxpayer who has not made any outward supplies, that is,  sales or receive any goods or services, that is, purchases, and have no tax liability during the tax period must furnish a Nil GST return. The following are types of such registered taxpayers who should furnish a Nil return under GST:

  • Businesses that did not had any transactions during the month or the quarter.

  • Registered service providers with no active services during the tax period.

  • Traders or retailers who made no sales and no taxable purchases during the tax period.

  • Manufacturers whose line of production has been shut down and has made no inbound or outbound supplies.

  • Exporters or importers who have made no activities of importing or exporting goods or services during the tax period.

GST Nil Return Filing: Benefits

A GST Nil return filing may seem to be unnecessary but it holds importance in the eyes of the GST law. It is essential to file a Nil GST return in absence of any transaction or tax liability in order to comply with the provisions of GST law and avoid any penalties. It acts as a declaration to the GST authorities that the business has no taxable activity during the tax period.

Deadlines for GST Nil Return Filing

The registered taxpayers are often confused about the deadlines of GST Nil return filing. However, the deadlines remain the same as that of the regular GST returns. That is, similar to the deadline of filing GSTR-1 on 11th of the following month and GSTR-3B on 20th of the following month.

Failure to furnish the GST returns on time will result in penal consequences. Even non filing of GST Nil return can result in penal consequences. As a result, it is important to file the GST returns on time even if there are no transactions during the tax period.

Steps for GST Nil Return Filing

Filing a Nil GST return is even more easy, simple, and quick. Here are the simple steps for filing a Nil GST return:

  • Step 1: GST portal login: Access the GST portal at and login using the credentials, that is, GSTIN/UIN and password.

  • Step 2: Navigate to the Returns Dashboard: Navigate to the ‘Services’ menu, select ‘Returns Dashboard’, select the financial year and the return period for filing of Nil return.

  • Step 3: Choose the applicable Return form: For filing a Nil GST return, either GSTR-1 for outward supplies or GSTR-3B for reporting the summary of outward supplies, input tax credit claimed and the tax liability will be selected. Select the return type accordingly.

  • Step 4: Filing Nil GSTR-1 on the GST portal: The option to file Nil GST return should be selected and directly the return can be filed without entering any data. Confirm the declaration and click on the ‘Submit’ button.

  • Step 5: Filing Nil GSTR-3B on the GST portal: If there are no transactions during the tax period, the option to file Nil GST return should be selected as ‘Yes’. After verifying the information, the Nil return can be submitted.


Q1. What is GST Nil return filing?

GST Nil return filing is simply a declaration to the GST authorities that there are no taxable transactions during the tax period. However, still the return is furnished to maintain the compliance and keep the GST account of the taxpayer up-to-date in the GST system.

Q2. Who needs to file a Nil GST return?

A registered taxpayer including individuals and businesses with no GST liability or taxable activity is required to file a Nil GST return within the deadlines.

Q3. How do I file a Nil GST return?

A Nil GST return can be filed online on the GST portal by selecting the correct form, that is,

GSTR-1 or GSTR-3B, as the case may be, indicating there are no business activities during the said tax period.

Q4. Is GST Nil return filing compulsory?

Yes. A registered taxpayer, including the businesses with no taxable activity or GST liability, is compulsorily required to file Nil GST return within the stated deadlines.

Q5. What is the consequence of not filing a Nil GST return?

Failure to furnish a Nil GST return will result in penal consequences and may also affect compliance rating.

Q6. Can a Nil GST return be filed if there are no sales but only taxable purchases during the tax period?

No. A regular GST return not a Nil return must be filed if there are taxable purchases so as to claim Input Tax Credit (ITC).

Q7. What is the penalty of delay in GST Nil return filing?

The penalty for delay in the filing of Nil GST return is INR 20 per day for GSTR-3B and INR 50 per day for other days during which the default continues.

Q8. What is the frequency of GST Nil return filing?

For every tax period where there were no transactions, a Nil GST return must be filed. The frequency of filing can be monthly, quarterly, or annually depending upon the details of registration and the return type opted for.

Q9. If a newly registered taxpayer starts the business in the middle of the month, does he need to furnish Nil GST return for that period?

Yes. If a taxpayer got registered under GST at the start of the month, but had no taxable activity till the start of the business, a Nil GST return must be filed for that period.

Q10. If a registered taxpayer has export supplies for a tax period but no taxable domestic supplies, can he still file a Nil GST return?

No. An export transaction is equivalent to zero-rated supplies which must be reported in a regular GST return. This will facilitate the easy refund claim on the input tax credit.

Q11. If the registered taxpayer has accidentally filed a Nil GST return, how can he correct the mistake?

If the registered taxpayer has accidentally filed a Nil GST return even after having taxable supplies or transactions to report, the said taxpayer can amend the return in the subsequent tax period.

Q12. Can a registered taxpayer file Nil GST returns in advance for future tax periods?

No. GST returns including Nil returns must be filed for the applicable tax periods after the same is completed. The GST returns cannot be filed for future tax periods in advance.

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