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GST Return: Meaning, Types, Due Dates, Interest and Late Fees, and Other Aspects

An accurate return filing is critical to avoiding any unnecessary reconciliation and ensuring compliance with the Goods and Service Tax (GST) Act. Moreover, it is important to become acquainted with the most common mistakes to avoid when filing a GST Return. This article will outline the overview of GST Returns, discuss the various types of returns under GST, and highlight the common mistakes to avoid for smooth filing of returns.

GST Return

A GST Return presents the information related to total sales, total purchases, total output tax liability, total input tax credit, and net GST payable, pertaining to the period for which the return is being prepared and filed. It serves as an evidence of transactions entered into by the person registered under the GST.

Who is required to file a GST Return?

A GST Return is required to be filed by the following persons:


  • A Registered Dealer: The dealer registered under GST must submit GST returns related to sales, purchases, output tax liability, and input tax credit.

  • A Person Registered under the Composition Scheme: The registered person under the composition scheme with an annual turnover of INR 1.5 Crore or less should file one GST return in the relevant financial year.

  • A Regular Person under GST: A registered person under GST with annual turnover of INR 20 Lakh or INR 10 Lakh or more, as the case may be, must file GST returns regularly.

Types of GST Return, Applicability, Frequency, and Due Date of Filing

Following are the types of GST returns, applicability, frequency, and due date of filing:

Types of GST Return, Applicability, Frequency, and Due Date of Filing - Table.png

Advantages of Filing a GST Return

Filing a GST Return on a timely basis provides the following advantages to the registered person:

  • Input Tax Credit (ITC) can be availed: To avail the Input Tax Credit (ITC) well within time and to offset the output tax liability, the filing of GST Return on time is very important.

  • Late fee can be avoided: The late fee of INR 200 per day is levied in case of delay in the filing of GST Return which can be INR 5,000 maximum. Thus, filing a timely return can avoid late fees under GST.

  • GST Registration can be retained: Where the registered person continuously defaults in filing the GST Return for a period of 6 months, the GST Officer has the power to cancel the registration of such a person. Therefore, to retain the GST registration, GST Return filing is very important.

Receive a Good Compliance Rating: The GST Department provides a compliance rating to the registered person on various aspects, one of which is on GST Return filing basis. The other

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Process for Filing a GST Return

Following are the steps for filing the GST Return online:

  • Step 1: Login to the GST Portal: Using the credentials, login to the account at the common GST portal on  

  • Step 2: Choose the applicable Return Type: Navigate to the Returns dashboard and choose the applicable return type. Choose the option ‘Prepare Online’.

  • Step 3: Fill the required details: Enter the details as per applicability and fill all the requisite information in the return. Save the return.

  • Step 4: Validate and Preview the Return: Validate all the details entered into the return and preview the same before submitting.

  • Step 5: Pay GST, if applicable: Pay the applicable GST after offsetting the liability.

  • Step 6: File the Return: Select the option either ‘File Form with DSC’ or ‘File Form with EVC’ and proceed to file the return.

Filing GST Return through GST Network (GSTN)

The Goods and Service Tax Network (GSTN) possesses all the information related to all the GST-registered sellers and buyers, thereby making the filing process streamlined and easy. The data is stored for future reference purposes as well. The excel workbook is free to download from the common GST portal. Furthermore, the template can be used to gather the necessary information offline. Once completed, the file must be uploaded to the GST portal. In this manner, the registered person can use GSTN to file the final GST return.

Types of Status while Filing a GST Return

Following are the types of the status and its meaning while a GST Return is being filed:

  • To be filed: It indicates that the GST Return is due to be filed.

  • Submitted but not filed: It indicates that the GST Return has been filed and is validated but however, the same is not updated in the GST records.

  • Filed-Valid: This indicates that the GST Return is successfully filed and the GST has been paid correctly.

Filed-Invalid: This indicates that the GST Return has been filed with some issues in the return probably due to non-payment of GST.

How to Track a GST Return Status?

After successfully filing the GST Return, the registered person can check the status of filing using any of the following ways:

  • Using the Return Filing Period Option:

    • Navigate to the ‘Services’ tab after logging into the GST website at

    • Under the ‘Returns’ option, select ‘Track Return Status’.

    • Select the option of ‘Return Filing Period’.

    • From the dropdown menu, select the relevant financial year and the return filing period.

    • Click on the ‘Search’ button, the respective status of the GST Return will be displayed.

  • Using the Application Reference Number (ARN) Option:

    • Navigate to the ‘Services’ tab after logging into the GST website at

    • Under the ‘Returns’ option, select ‘Track Return Status’.

    • Choose the ‘ARN’ option and provide the ARN details in the respective field.

    • Click on the ‘Search’ button, the respective status of the GST Return will be displayed.

  • Using the ‘Status Option’:

    • Navigate to the ‘Services’ tab after logging into the GST website at

    • Under the ‘Returns’ option, select ‘Track Return Status’.

    • Select the ‘Status’ option and then choose the GST Return for which the status is to be checked.

    • Click on the ‘Search’ button, the respective status of the GST Return will be displayed.

How to Download GST Return?

A GST Return can be downloaded through the following steps:

  • Navigate to the ‘Services’ tab after logging into the GST website at

  • Under the ‘Returns’ option, select ‘View/Download Returns’.

  • Choose the financial year and the relevant return filing period from the drop down menu.

  • Click ‘Search’. A list will be displayed of filed returns.

  • To access the GST Return offline, click on the ‘Download’ button.

Consequence of Delay in Filing a GST Return


If the registered person under GST fails to file their GST return on time, penalty will be imposed, also referred to as late fees. Applicable late fee on delay in return filing is INR 200 per day (INR 100 each for CGST and SGST). However, the maximum late fee is capped at INR 5,000. The number of days delayed is computed from the last day till which the filing must be done until the actual date of filing.

Mistakes to Avoid related to GST Return Filing Process

Following mistakes should be avoided to ensure a seamless GST Return filing process:

  • Filing a NIL return: The registered person should file a NIL GST Return, if there are no sales or purchases during the period. Failing which, may result in penal consequences and even cancellation of GST Registration.

  • Zero-Rated v/s NIL Rated Supply Treatment in GST Return: The treatment of Zero-Rated Supplies and NIL Rated Supplies differs in the GST Return. Examples of NIL Rated Supplies include Exports and Supplies made to a Special Economic Zone (SEZ). Mistaking a Zero-Rated Supplies can cause issues when requesting for refunds. Moreover, to avoid audit scrutiny, Zero-Rated, and NIL Rated Supplies must be accurately reported under their respective heads.

  • Failing to Reconcile GSTR-1 and GSTR-3B: Failure to reconcile GSTR-1 and GSTR-3B can cause a major concern. Since, the reconciliation of sales return (GSTR-1) and summary return (GSTR-3B) ensures accurate reporting of GST-related information.

  • Non-payment of GST under Reverse Charge Mechanism (RCM): Failure to meet the RCM obligations will result in interest and penal consequences, and loss of Input Tax Credit (ITC). Non-compliance with RCM requirements where applicable, will render the GST return invalid.

  • Entering invoice details incorrectly in GSTR-1: Suppliers must thoroughly enter recipient invoice details into GSTR-1. If the invoice details are reported inaccurately or are omitted, it will result in the denial of ITC to the recipients. An accurate reporting of invoice-level information is essential for the successful ITC process.

Frequently asked questions


Explain the Goods and Services Tax (GST)


Goods and Services Tax (GST) is an indirect tax, applicable on sale of goods and services. Several indirect taxes like Value Added Tax, Service Tax, Central Sales Tax, Entertainment Tax, Luxury Tax, and so on. Thus, it is often called ‘One Nation One Tax’.


Filing a revised Return under GST.


The registered persons are allowed to make corrections in the already filed GST Return rather than revising the same. A registered person can file the details of any changes made to the return data with the GSTN, either through an amendment form, if the change was made before the 17th of the following month or through the amendment section of the following month’s GST Return, if the change is made after 17th.


What happens if a registered person files a GST Return but intends to pay the tax later?


The return will be considered as an invalid return and the taxpayer must submit Part B of GSTR-3B again.


 How a GST liability can be discharged before filing GSTR-3B?


The tax liability can be discharged either through the electronic credit ledger or electronic cash ledger before furnishing the GSTR-3B.


What are B2B, and B2C Supplies?


When supplies are made by one registered business entity to another registered business entity, it is known as B2B or Business to Business Supplies. Whereas, when supplies are made by a registered business entity to an unregistered buyer, it is known as B2C or Business to Consumer Supplies.


What are the possible actions that can be taken by the taxpayer on the auto populated information in GSTR-2?


The taxpayer can either accept or reject the information. Moreover, he can modify the information, if it is provided incorrectly by the supplier. He may also keep the transactions pending for action, where goods or services are not yet received.


In what circumstance can a taxpayer add an invoice in GSTR-2?


The taxpayer can add an invoice in case the supplier fails to add so and he is in possession of the invoice and has also received the goods or services.


Does non-filing of GST Return affect Compliance Score?


Yes. The GST Compliance Rating or Score is based on the various parameters one of which is timely filing of a GST Return. If GST Returns are not filed for a consecutive period of 6 months, the GST registration may also be revoked.


Can a non-filing of GST Return result in the revocation of GST Registration?


Yes. After giving an opportunity of being heard, the registration under GST will be revoked if the taxpayer fails to file the GST Return within the prescribed time limit mentioned in the notice.


Can a GST Return be downloaded offline after filing?


Yes. Once the GST Return is filed, it can be downloaded by visiting the GST portal and logging in using the credentials. Under the ‘Returns’ tab, ‘View/Downloads’ should be selected to download the return of the relevant financial year and the period for which the return is to be downloaded.

Prachi Jain

Chartered Accountant

Prachi Jain is a Chartered Accountant with a passion for simplifying finance and tax-related matters through her insightful and informative blogs. With a background in finance and a deep understanding of tax regulations, Prachi has established herself as a trusted source of financial wisdom. Prachi is committed to empowering her readers with the knowledge they need to make informed financial decisions. Her expertise and dedication shine through in every blog post, helping her audience navigate the intricacies of finance and taxes with confidence. Follow Prachi Jain's blog for practical insights and guidance on managing your finances effectively.

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