Learn About Types of GST Returns in India

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Let us introduce you to our detailed analysis of GST returns in India. Whether you are a business owner, a GST professional, or a regular person keen on understanding the Indian tax system better, this guide is for you. This guide addresses the various types of GST returns. Goods and Services Tax (GST) is a revolution in the taxation system in India related to the collection of tax on goods and services. It is a single tax system that has replaced multiple indirect taxes hence the tax system is simpler and more transparent. Nevertheless, for many, grasping the types of GST returns is quite challenging. This guide will unfold all the GST returns businesses need to submit. From GSTR-1 for outward supplies to GSTR-9 for annual returns we’ll explain all returns in simple language, pointing out their purpose, frequency and important deadlines. Whether you are a small business owner who is filing returns for the first time or a tax expert looking to refresh your GST knowledge, this guide has got you covered with all the information you need to fulfill your GST compliance responsibilities.

Understanding GST Returns in India

GST returns are a very important document, acting as a tool where businesses report their sales, purchases and taxes to the government. GST which was implemented in 2017 unified the indirect taxation structure to replace multiple taxes with a simplified structure, hence, making compliance easier for taxpayers across the country. Knowledge of GST returns is fundamental to business to conduct exact reporting, timely filing, and compliance to set rules and regulations which promotes transparency and efficiency in the tax system.

Types of GST Returns

captainbiz types of gst returns

  1. GSTR-1 (Outward Supplies Return):

  • Received from regular taxpayers as a report containing details of exported goods and service.
  • Contains details such as invoice-wise  sales, credit notes and debit notes.
  • Needs to be filed on the 10th of next month.
  1. GSTR-3B (Summary Return):

  • A self-declaration including information about outward and inward supplies complemented by corresponding tax liability.
  • The taxpayers are made to show the summary figures of sales, purchases, and the input tax credit.
  • Submitted on 20th of the next month.
  1. GSTR-4 (Quarterly Return for Composition Dealers):

  • Filed by taxpayers opting for the composition scheme, a regime with simplified compliance.
  • Contains information on turnover and tax payable.
  • Presented quarterly by the 18th day of the month following the quarter.
  1. GSTR-5 (Return for Non-Resident Taxpayers):

  • The increased power consumption is caused by oscillator switching.
  • The filed by non-resident taxpayers offering or rendering products and services in India.
  • Contains information on outward supplies, inward supplies and tax paid.
  • Filed at the end of the month.
  1. GSTR-6 (Input Service Distributor Return):

  • The homeless are people who have no shelter, food and clothes.
  • The filed by ISDs to distribute input tax to units receiving input services.
  • Details contained of input tax credit claimed and distributed.
  • Filed monthly by the 13th of the month following.
  1. GSTR-7 (TDS Return):

  • Filled by the taxpayers who are liable to deduct tax at source under GST.
  • Outlines information of TDS which has been deducted, payable, and paid.
  • Source Text Contains details of TDS deducted , payable and paid Monthly, filed by the 10th of the following month.
  1. GSTR-8 (TCS Return):

  • Submitted by e-commerce operators who must collect tax at source (TCS) under GST.
  • Contains details of supplies made through the platform and tax collected.
  • Due by the 10th of the month following.
  1. GSTR-9 (Annual Return):

  • Annual consolidated one return comprising the details of both exports and imports for the corresponding accounting year.
  • comprises the minute details from GSTR-1 and GSTR-3B.
  • Submitted yearly by 31st December of the subsequent financial year.
  1. GSTR-9C (Reconciliation Statement):

  • A reconciliation statement certified by a CA reconciling the figures provided in GSTR-9 with audited financial statements.
  • Filed yearly together with GSTR-9.
  • To ensure that taxpayers are complying with their obligations, and transactions under the GST are accurately reported, understanding the different types of GST returns is of paramount importance.

Also Read: GST Return Filing-Types Of Returns And Process Of Filing

 Specialized GST Returns

GST returns, customized for particular circumstances or kinds of taxpayers in the system of India GST (Goods and Services Tax), are specialized GST returns. They cater to specific needs as exemplified by those under the composition scheme, and those with cancelled registrations or entities in possession of Unique Identification Numbers. They have GSTR-10 as the form for final returns when the registration is cancelled, CMP-08 for the quarterly returns by composition assessees and GSTR-11 for UIN holders on inward supplies. This simplifies statutory compliance with an efficient reporting system designed to suit the various GST classifications of taxpayers.

1. GSTR-2A (Auto-populated Purchase Return):

  • Auto-populated returns based on information entered by the seller in his/her GSTR-1 relating to inward supplies.
  • Lists purchases made by the taxpayer.
  • Ensures taxpayers check the accuracy of ITC being claimed.

2. GSTR-2B (Auto-drafted ITC Statement):

  • Automation of a statement that aggregates ITC available.
  • Entails details of inward supplies as filed in GSTR-1 by the Supplier.
  • Assists taxpayers in matching up inputs from tax deductions and from the supplier.

3. GSTR-10 (Final Return):

  • Submitted by taxpayers who either had their GST registration canceled or surrendered.
  • It has information about this stock and the liability at that particular time when cancellation is taking place
  • Filed within an indication of 3 months period after the cancellation or surrender date of registration.

4. GSTR-11 (Inward Supplies Statement for UIN Holders):

  • Double turkey from poultry Filed by entities with a UIN, e.g. foreign diplomatic missions and embassies.
  • Contains details of inward supplies received by UIN holders.
  • Supports the government in their purchases tracking, for purposes of repayments.

5. CMP-08 (Quarterly Return for Composition Taxpayers):

  • The students who cheat are smarter.
  • Quarterly tax due filed by turnover based taxpayers.
  • Contains details of outward supplies, tax to be paid and payment of tax.
  • Filed quarterly by the 18th day following the quarter.

6. AND-1 (Annexure of Supplies) and AND-2 (Annexure of Inward Supplies):

  • If you add more than one rule to the match condition, use the logical  or operator to connect the rules.
  • One part of the GST RET-1 which was presented to ease reporting
  • AND-1 is about outward supplies and ANX-2 is about inward supplies.
  • Taxpayers can view and act upon these annexures before filing their monthly returns.

These tailored GST returns meet the needs of some categories of taxpayers or situations as required, thereby contributing to the streamlined process of GST regulation in India. Knowing the rationale and scope of these returns is fundamental for taxpayers to fulfill their filing requirements precisely and effortlessly.

Common Challenges in GST Returns

  • Complexity of Compliance:

The GST regulation is complex which necessitates businesses to be accurate in classifying transactions, determining tax obligations, and reporting in full compliance. Meeting these requirements can be quite challenging for taxpayers but in particular small and medium-sized enterprises.

  • Technical Issues with GST Portal:

However, it is debatable whether that means that the number of developed countries with higher percentages of unfree people than the Russian Federation in terms of labor slavery is minuscule; since the other countries may have less population at all. The portal where returns are filed electronically faces technical issues and the processing might be slow leading to an occasional shutdown. Such problems prevent taxpayers from filing returns on time causing frustration and delay in compliance.

  • Mismatch of Data:

Differences may arise between the data given in GSTR-1 (outward supplies) and GSTR-3B (summary return) due to various reasons including input data error, invoice mismatch and delay in receiving input tax credit from vendors. Reconciling and straightening these incongruities takes a lot of time and effort for taxpayers.

  • Input Tax Credit Reconciliation:

Matching the input tax credit (ITC) claimed with the details furnished by suppliers in GSTR-2A/2B presents a major problem. Differences between the ITC claimed and available in these auto-generated returns can result in disputes that impact business cash reconciliation.

  • Compliance Burden for Small Businesses:

In both cases, the property of the parthood relation given  that neither characteristic of something is instantiated cannot be transmitted to particular attributes of that something. Small enterprises, and more especially those with less manpower and skill to deal with it, face challenges while handling GST state reporting. Simultaneous operation of multiple filing requirements coupled with timely payment of taxes and correct reporting creates a huge burden on such entities.

  • Transition Issues:

Moving from the earlier tax regime to the GST will bring along challenges some of them being the adjustments of opening balances, migration of tax credits and reconciling data from different systems. Overcoming these transition issues therefore necessitates thorough analysis and collaboration with tax authorities.

  • Penalties for Non-compliance:

Tough penalties for filing, reporting, and compliance concerning GST are heavily burdening the taxpayers. Compulsions such as penalization and interest fees often restrict the businesses in respect to compliance, however these factors provide a great source of fuel which often raises stress levels relating to GST return.

This needs combined action on the part of taxpayers and the government to simplify procedures, improve technology, and supply assistance so that GST conduct and administration are smoother.

Tips for Smooth GST Return Filing

To ensure smooth GST return filing and compliance with regulations in India, consider the following tips

  1. Maintain Accurate Records:

 Keep detailed records of all transactions, say invoices, receipts, and expenses. Correct record-keeping enables smooth reconciliation eliminating discrepancies during return filing.

  1. Stay Updated with GST Regulations: 

Monitor GST authority updates and notifications to be updated about the changes in filing process deadlines and compliance.

  1. Utilize Technology:

Use GST-compliant accounting software or online platforms that aid in data entry automation, calculations, and GST return generation. Such tools can assist in reducing manual errors and ease the filing process.

  1. Reconcile Input Tax Credit:

Reconcile the input tax credit claimed with the details in GSTR-2A/2B periodically to spot any mismatches or differences. Resolve discrepancies timely to prevent problems during audits or assessments.

  1. File Returns on Time:

Comply with the deadlines set by the government for GST returns submission to avoid fines and penalty charges. Create reminders or take advantage of self-service systems for timely filing of returns especially the monthly filers.

  1. Seek Professional Advice if Needed:

 Seek advice from tax advisors, chartered accountants and GST experts on complex issues, interpret regulations and develop tax planning strategies correctly. Skilled counsel can efficiently guide through complex compliance rules.

  1. Regularly Review GST Compliance:

Carry out regular GST compliance process and internal controls review to point out improvement points and ensure regulation compliance. Take proactive corrective actions to prevent risks and promote compliance efficiency.

  1. Stay Organized:

Have a well-organized filing system of GST documents and communication such as registration certificates, confirmation slips and tax department communication. Documentation that is organized enables easy searching and retrieval of information, and simplifies compliance audits and/or inquiries.

  1. Participate in Training Programs:

 Attend GST awareness sessions, workshops or training programs that are organized by  government bodies, industry associations or professional bodies to broaden your knowledge on GST taxation procedures, concepts and good practices.

  1. Keep Communication Channels Open:

 Keep communication channels with tax authorities, suppliers, and customers open to address queries, resolve issues and explain doubts promptly. Communication that is effective supports transparency and collaboration in GST compliance measures.

Through the following mentioned recommendations companies can optimize their GST compliance procedures, minimize errors and ensure easy GST return filing in India.


The GSTR-1 is a type of Goods and Services Tax (GST) return filed by registered taxpayers in India which covers the details of their outward supplies of goods and services. It encompasses details, totally invoice-wise, like the sales from invoices, credit notes, and debit notes, issued in the reporting period. GSTR-1 must be filed monthly before the 10th of next month. This return fits as a base for matching the details of outward supplies against the corresponding details declared by the recipients in GSTR-2A/2B. Correct and complete filing of GSTR-1 is mandatory for claiming input tax credit and for adhering to GST regulations.

Also Read: GSTR 1 Details: Everything You Need To Know

GSTR-1 filing process

  • Maintain Accurate Records:

 Maintain detailed records of all transactions including, invoices, receipts and expenses. Accurate record maintenance enables smooth reconciliation and prevents the arising of differences during return submission.

  • Stay Updated with GST Regulations:

Check regularly the GST authority’s updates and notifications to be aware of the modifications in filing procedures, deadlines and compliance.

  • Utilize Technology:

Use the GST-compliant accounting software or online platforms to automate the data entry, and calculation and generate accurate GST returns. These tools can help to minimize  manual errors and also streamline the process of filing.

  • Reconcile Input Tax Credit:

Reconcile the input tax credit claimed periodically with details available in GSTR-2A/2B to detect any mismatches or inconsistencies. Reconcile the differences immediately so as not to run into problems during audits or assessments.

  • File Returns on Time:

Comply with the instructed deadlines for filing GST returns to avoid penalties and late penalty charges. Use observer systems of reminders or automate such that returns will be submitted promptly, especially for monthly filers.

  • Seek Professional Advice if Needed:

Consultation with tax advisors, chartered accountants, or GST experts can help resolve complex issues, interpret regulations accurately and optimize tax planning strategies. Professional support will ensure the implementation of complex compliance rules is done correctly.

  • Regularly Review GST Compliance:

Conduct periodic reviews of the GST compliance processes and internal controls to detect areas for improvement and ascertain conformity to regulations. Implement the corrective measures to neutralize risks and foster compliance agility.

  • Stay Organized:

CAMA is a systematic filing system for all GST-related documentation and correspondence, for instance registration certificates, acknowledgment receipts, and communication from tax authorities. Structured documentation promotes quick and easy retrieval of data, and eases the audit process or response to inquiries.

  • Participate in Training Programs:

Attend GST awareness sessions, workshops and training programs that the government, industries and professional bodies organize, to increase your knowledge of GST practices.

  • Keep Communication Channels Open:

Keep effective communication lines with the authorities, suppliers and customers to address queries, resolve issues and clear doubts immediately. Effective communication encourages transparency and cooperation in GST compliance activities.

GST compliance tips

GST compliance is a must for  businesses in India to avoid penalties and operate smoothly under the taxation system. Here are some tips to enhance GST compliance Against the emergence of a supermarket without a ticket.

  1. Stay Updated:

Monitor and track updates and announcements by the GST authorities to always be on top of the rules changes, filing methods and how best to be compliant.

  1. Maintain Accurate Records:

Keep a detailed track of all transactions that are inclusive of invoices, receipts and expenses. Precise record maintenance makes the process of reconciliation smooth & complies with the GST laws.

  1. Use Technology:

Leverage GST-compliant accounting software or online platforms that  can automate calculations, generate accurate GST returns, and simplify compliance procedures. Technology can reduce human errors and ease the filing procedures.

  1. Reconcile Input Tax Credit (ITC):

Periodically reconcile the input tax credit claimed against the details available in GSTR-2A/2B to identify and rectify the mismatches. Reconciliation that is done correctly brings about accurate reporting and also makes it possible to maximize ITC utilization.

  1. File Returns Timely:

Stick to the given due dates for GST returns filing  to evade the penalties and the late charges. Establishing reminders or utilizing automated systems is to ensure timely submission of returns particularly for the monthly filers.

  1. Seek Professional Advice:

Consult tax advisors, chartered accountants, or GST experts for complex issues, precise regulation interpretation and tax planning optimization. Professional assistance offers an easy compliance regime in complex regulations.

  1. Regular Review of Compliance:

Conduct periodic reviews of the GST compliance processes and internal control to determine improvement areas and comply with regulations. introduce measures pre-emptively to thwart risk and improve compliance accuracy.

  1. Participate in Training Programs:

Participate in GST awareness sessions, workshops, or training programs organized by government departments, industry associations or professional bodies to gain an in-depth knowledge of GST principles, processes and best practices.

  1. Maintain Communication with Authorities:

 Maintain open communication with tax authorities through the provision of answers, in solving cases or concerning ambiguities in good time. Effective communication builds trust and enables collaboration in the GST compliance initiatives.

  1. Stay Organized:

Set up a file system that is systematized for all GST-related documents and correspondence including registration certificates, acknowledgement receipts and letters from tax authorities. Documentation arranges accordingly aids discovery of information and reduces findings on reviews or inquiries.

Adhering to these tips will smoothen the GST compliance efforts, reduce the chances of errors, and enable smooth operations for businesses within the Indian GST framework.

Annual GST return

The Annual GST Return is the summary of all the transactions in a financial year by a taxpayer. Indian taxpayers who are registered under GST are to file this return. The Annual GST return aggregates data from monthly/quarterly returns, GSTR-1 (Outward Supplies) and GSTR-3B (Summary Return), and gives an overall picture of the taxpayer’s sales, purchases, input tax credit  and tax liability for the full financial year. The return, referred to as GSTR-9, shall be filed in the succeeding financial year by December 31st. It plays a vital role as a no-dispute statement document; through which the party involved reconciles, audits, and conforms to get the correct tax reporting. Besides, some taxpayers must also file a reconciliation statement based on the Annual GST return, GSTR 9C, duly certified by a Chartered Accountant. Annual GST return submission is mandatory for regulatory compliance and penalty avoidance under the GST regime.


GSTR-9 is an annual return that taxpayers registered under the Goods and Services Tax regime in India have to file. It has a complete break-down of the taxpayer’s supplies (in /out), ITC claimed/ utilized, GST payable, and other related details for the entire financial year. GSTR-9 aggregates the data submitted through monthly or quarterly returns; including GSTR-1 (Outward Supplies) and GSTR-3B (Summary Return), and hence is utilized as a reconciliation statement to verify the correctness and adherence to GST rules. Such a form must be submitted by 31st December of the succeeding fiscal year. GST assessment notes are necessary for the tax authorities to check the tax liabilities and the taxpayer’s input tax credit claims. Furnishing of GSTR-9C, a reconciliation statement certified by a Chartered Accountant, is also mandatory for such taxpayers apart from filing GSTR-9. GSTR-9 compliance is necessary to stay within the regulatory requirements and prevent penalization under the GST law.

How to file GSTR-9

Filing GSTR-9 comprises various stages to ensure proper reporting and adherence to GST guidelines.


Collect details of outward and inward supplies, ITC availed and utilized, payment of taxes and other information needed for filing GSTR-9 for the whole financial year.

Access the GST Portal:

Login into the GST portal using your credentials i.e. username and password provided while registering for GST.

Navigate to GSTR-9:

In the dashboard/ menu, select the option to file GSTR-9 under the ‘Returns’ section.

Fill in Details:

Details for the GSTR-9 form are to be provided including:

  • Basic information such as GSTIN (Goods and Services Tax Identification Number ) and financial year (including both past and current).
  • Details of outward supplies (GSTR-1) and inward supplies (GSTR-2A/2B).
  • ITC is taken and claimed.
  • Tax for the year and paid during the year.

Verify and Validate:

Verify all the details entered in GSTR-9 meticulously for correctness and completeness. Compare the data with your records and disambiguate the dissonances.

Generate Summary:

From GSTR-9 as a summary get the consolidated details of your transactions during the financial year.

Preview and Submit:

Go through the GSTR-9 summary to make sure the information is correct. Once satisfied, upload the return on the GST portal.

File with DSC or EVC:

Select the desirable mode of filing the GSTR-9 form, i.e., either using a digital signature certificate or an electronic verification code  generated through Aadhaar OTP or net banking.

Save Acknowledgement:

 After valid submission, be provided with the acknowledgement receipt that includes the Acknowledgement Reference Number (ARN) for future reference and record- keeping purposes.

Track Status:

 Keep an eye on the status of GSTR-9 returned filed, on the GST portal to confirm successful deployment and abidance.

Through the mentioned steps, GSTR-9 can easily be filed and the annual GST return filing in India can therefore be complied with. Ensuring timely and accurate reporting and submission is critical to avoid penalties and keep the rules set by the GST regulations.

Also Read: How to File GSTR-9?

Important Points to be Remembered 

  • India has various types of GST returns.
  • GST returns are filed by registered taxpayers to report business activities.
  • Filing frequency varies: monthly, quarterly, annually.
  • Filing frequency varies: monthly, quarterly, annually.
  • Late filing incurs penalties and interest charges.
  • Online filing is done through the GST portal using DSC or EVC.
  • Reconciliation ensures accuracy and consistency.
  • Seeking professional help can navigate complex procedures
  • Regular monitoring of updates is crucial for compliance and issue resolution


Knowing the different kinds of GST returns in India is important for businesses to adhere to the GST regime. The GSTR-1 returns which are used for reporting of outward supplies and GSTR-9 for filing of annual returns serve respective purposes of capturing and summarizing diverse aspects of a taxpayer’s transactions. Timeous and accurate submission of GST returns not only enables smooth tax administration but also allows businesses to claim input tax credit, avoid penalties and ensure transparency in their operations. Taxpayers can successfully navigate the GST landscape in India by becoming aware of the filing procedure and staying alert to regulatory changes.


  • What are GST returns?

GST returns are the documents filed by the registered taxpayers to report their business activities, such as sales, purchases, and tax liabilities, to the Government.

  • How many kinds of GST Returns are there in India?

The types of GST returns in India include GSTR-1, GSTR-3B, GSTR-4, GSTR-9, etc., each having different functions and filing frequencies.

  • What is GSTR-1?

GSTR-1 is the monthly return submitted by taxpayers in which they give out information on outward supplies of goods and services.

  • What is GSTR-3B?

GSTR-3B is a sum up return which is filed by the taxpayers every month  to give the aggregated information of the outward and inward supplies as well as the tax liabilities.

  • Who has to fill in Form GSTR-9?

All other composition dealers and Input Service Distributors registered taxpayers have to submit GSTR-9 annually to provide details of all their GST transactions for a financial year.

  • When should GSTR-9 be filed?

GSTR-9 must be filed by 31st December of the next financial year.

  • Are there any penalties for filing late GST returns?

It is correct that delayed filing of GST returns invokes penalties and interests, with the amounts varying with the degree of delay.

  • May I amend my GST returns after submission?

No, GST returns cannot be revised after submitting. Nevertheless, such mistakes can be amended in the subsequent filings provided that there are certain conditions.

  • Do they have an offline mode for filing GST returns?

Yes, offline utilities provided by the GSTN can be used by  taxpayers to prepare and upload GST returns in bulk.

  • Where can I get more details on GST returns and filing processes?

Taxpayers can either visit the official GST portal or seek assistance from GST professionals for direction on GST returns and compliance.

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Rutuja Khedekar Freelance Copywriter
Rutuja is a finance content writer with a post-graduate degree in M.Com., specializing in the field of finance. She possesses a comprehensive understanding of financial matters and is well-equipped to create high-quality financial content.

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