Table of Contents


Simplifying the management of internal movements of goods within a single legal entity is essential for following regulations. It also prevents tax obligations. From understanding the documentation requirements and reporting the implications of stock transfers on Input Tax Credit (ITC), businesses face multiple challenges.

Understanding the different types of stock transfers and the rules of intra-state and inter-state transfers is vital for accurate tax. GST implications of each type will clarify whether tax needs to be levied on transfers and the tax rate.

Clearing the misconceptions surrounding the discourse is important to ensure compliance. This prevents unwanted tax burdens and optimises the benefits offered by the GST framework. This article aims to illuminate the elements involved in stock transfer in GST return. It provides the information needed to survive in the GST system.

What is Stock Transfer?

A stock transfer is a logistical operation within warehouse management that involves relocating items from one segment of a distribution chain to another. The primary objective of a stock transfer is to enhance storage capacity use and improve the efficiency of inventory handling. This process contributes to a more responsive warehouse system. It ensures that goods are strategically positioned to meet demand while minimising delays in the overall supply chain.

Two primary types of stock transfers exist:

  1. Internal Transfers

Internal transfers involve the movement of goods between different locations or branches within the same company. These transfers are considered more straightforward to manage as they occur within a single company. It eliminates the need to navigate diverse tax rules or invoicing procedures.

  1. External Transfers

External transfers refer to the movement of goods between different companies or entities. These transfers tend to be more complex as they involve interactions between distinct entities. For instance, Sending products from a manufacturer to a distributor or retailer in a different corporate entity.

Companies must be aware of the implications associated with GST stock transfer reporting. This recognition is essential for businesses to prevent any tax liabilities from stock transfers within the organisation.

Importance of Reporting Stock Transfer in GST Return

GST stock transfer reporting is important for several reasons. It contributes to transparency, compliance, and effective governance. Recording stock transfers in GST returns is a fundamental aspect of maintaining transparency and facilitating smooth interactions within the system. It helps in creating a fair taxation system that benefits businesses and the government.

Some benefits of reporting stock transfers are:

  1. Compliance

Accurate reporting minimises the risk of penalties and fines for non-compliance. Mandate the reporting of all movements of goods, whether within the same legal entity or across different entities.

  1. Transparency

Reporting transfers provides a clear picture of the inventory movement and overall business operations. Businesses can track the movement of goods, which allows better control of inventory.

  1. Audit trail

Proper documentation and reporting create a reliable audit trail in case of GST audits. Elaborate records of stock transfers provide visibility for audits conducted by tax authorities.

  1. ITC management

Claiming ITC on Stock Transfers in GST is possible only if transferred goods are reported accurately. Businesses need to reconcile ITC with reported transactions to ensure accurate claims and avoid disputes.

  1. Internal record-keeping

Keeping accurate records for transfers like delivery notes and invoices for interstate transfers. Transfer challans and stock registers must be preserved regardless of reporting obligations.

Also Read: Understanding The Treatment Of Stock Transfer In GST: A Comprehensive Guide

Identifying Types of Stock Transfer in GST

There are several types of stock transfers in GST:

  1. Intra-State Stock Transfer

Movement of goods between two branches or units of the same legal entity that is located within the same state. No GST is payable if the branches have the same GSTIN. However, exceptions like free samples or promotional materials may be subject to GST.

  1. Inter-State Stock Transfer

Movement of goods between two branches or units of the same legal entity that are located in different states. Integrated GST is applicable and calculated at the rate applicable to the goods being transferred.

  1. Depot Transfer

Movement of goods from a manufacturing unit to a depot for storage and distribution. No GST is payable if the movement is within the same state. IGST is applicable if the movement is between different states.

  1. Job Work Transfer

Movement of raw materials or semi-finished goods to a job worker for finishing. No GST is applicable if the job worker returns the finished goods within 1 year. Not returning the goods within 1-year results in treating it as a supply and applying GST.

  1. Exhibition or Trade Fair Transfer

The movement of goods for display or sale at exhibitions or trade fairs. There is no GST payable if the goods are returned to the original place of business within 6 months. Goods that are not returned within 6 months are treated as a supply, and GST is applicable.

Detailed Explanation of GST Treatment for Stock Transfer

GST introduces the concept of a smooth flow of input tax credits across the supply chain. It is the process from manufacture until the end product reaches the customer.

Secondly, supply being the taxable event under GST, the concept of manufacturing, trade and provision of services become irrelevant. The government collects tax on the supply of goods under the model of GST, with or without consideration being paid or agreed to be paid.

While stock transfers are not sales transactions, GST considers them as supply. This implies that GST applies to stock transfers, and businesses need to follow the rules. 

  1. Intra and Inter State transfers

For intra-state stock transfers, both Central GST (CGST) and State GST (SGST) components are applicable. For inter-state transfers, Integrated GST (IGST) is applicable.

  1. Valuation of Stock Transfers

The GST valuation criteria are used to calculate the value of items for stock transfers. This could entail using the cost-plus method, which raises the cost of procurement or production in a particular proportion.

  1. Reporting in GST Returns

Businesses must include stock transfers in their GST returns. Businesses must include stock transfers in their GST returns, recording details such as the date, the sender and recipient’s GSTINs, the HSN code, and the value of the products in Table 6 of the GSTR-1.

  1. Documentation for Stock Transfers

Accurate documentation is necessary to guarantee compliance and make claims for the ITC. Besides keeping stock registers and issuing transfer challans, businesses should also record information like sending and receiving locations’ GSTINs.

  1. ITC Claiming

The recipient can claim the ITC on the GST paid for stock transfers if they use the commodities for taxable supplies. The recipient must claim within the tax period in which they receive the goods, and they must have the required paperwork.

Impact of Stock Transfers on Input Tax Credit (ITC)

Stock transfers can positively affect ITC by reducing the effect of taxes. Businesses are required to prescribe rules and conditions. Proper documentation with GST regulations and awareness of specific cases that affect ITC is important for legitimate claims.

The general principle states that businesses can only claim ITC on stock transfers in GST if the goods are used for taxable supplies. The ITC claim must be in proportion to the taxable use of the transferred goods. The impact of stock transfers on ITC depends on the type of transfer:

  • For Intra-State Transfers

Individuals can claim ITC on the GST paid on goods transferred if they use them for taxable supplies at the recipient branch. Free samples, if considered supplies, ITC must be reversed proportionally based on their non-business use.

  • For Inter-State Transfers

Businesses cannot claim ITC on the IGST paid on transferred goods because it’s an interstate transaction. Transferred goods used for taxable supplies can claim ITC on the IGST paid at the time of transfer.

  • In Depot Transfers

Using goods for taxable supplies within the same state does not have an impact on ITC. Transferring the IGST paid to a depot in another state does not allow you to claim ITC.

  • Exhibition or Trade Fair Transfers

ITC can be claimed on the GST paid if the goods are returned within 6 months and used for taxable supplies. ITC is reversed if the goods are not returned within 6 months.


While the goal of the new tax system was to make taxes simpler and less tedious for taxpayers, it also brought with it several new difficulties. The stock transfer in GST returns is one such difficulty. Stock transfers can be a complex process, but they are an essential part of many business operations. However, by following a well-defined process, you can ensure that your stock transfers are efficient and accurate.

The idea of exploring alternative valuation methods is worth considering, as is simplifying the GST framework. This reduces compliance burdens and enhances transparency. However, any changes should be well-thought-out, taking into account the diverse nature of businesses and industries within the GST system. Additionally, consultations and thorough impact assessments would be essential before implementing such a significant shift in the valuation methodology.

Also Read: Know Everything About GST Billing Software

Frequently Asked Questions 

  • Does GST apply to stock transfers within the same company?

No GST is applicable on stock transfers between branches or units of the same legal enterprise as long as they have the same GSTIN. However, exceptions exist for free supplies and interstate transfers between branches with different GSTINs.

  • Which form should I use to document stock transfers in GST returns?

There’s no specific form for stock transfers. Depending on the nature of the transfer, one may be required to report it in either GSTR-1 (sales return) or GSTR-5 (return for inward supplies).

  • What documentation should one maintain for stock transfers?

Ensure that one has appropriate records like transfer challans, invoices (for interstate transfers), stock registers, and delivery notes. These documents serve as evidence for the movement of goods and prove valuable during GST audits.

  • How do you manage stock transfers like free samples or promotional materials?

Stock transfers must be treated as deemed supplies. Their subjection to GST depends on their value and purpose. It is advisable to seek specific guidance from a tax professional for accurate advice.

  • Is GST applicable to inter-state stock transfers?

Yes, IGST (Integrated GST) must be paid on inter-state stock transfers between branches with distinct GSTINs. The applicable rate will depend on the type of goods being transferred.

Conditions for GST Applicability:

  1. Different State Locations

The transferring and receiving branches must be located in different states. If both are in the same state, GST might not be applicable depending on whether they have separate GSTINs.

  1. Separate GSTINs

Each branch involved in the transfer must have a distinct GSTIN. In case the branches have a common GSTIN, even for interstate transfers, the transaction would not be categorised as a supply and would not attract GST.

  • How should one disclose inter-state stock transfers in a GST return?

The details of inter-state stock transfers must be reported in Table 6 of GSTR-1 (sales return). This includes information like:

  1. Date
  2. Supplier and recipient GSTIN
  3. HSN code
  4. Value of the transferred goods.
  • Is it important to report intra-state stock transfers in GST returns?

No, there is no obligation to report intra-state stock transfers between branches sharing the same GSTIN in your regular GST returns. However, it’s important to note that these transfers may be considered in the aggregate turnover for annual return filing.

  • How should one manage stock transfers involving free samples?

These transfers are considered deemed supplies, and their liability for GST depends on factors like value and purpose. Seeking specific guidance from a tax professional for accurate advice in this regard is good.

  • Do stock transfers need to be reported in GST returns by a certain threshold?

Reporting stock transfers is not subject to any particular thresholds. Based on the transfer’s nature and the GST regulations, all transfers must be suitably documented and reported.

  • What happens with the Input Tax Credit (ITC) that has been claimed on transferred goods?

If the goods transferred are not used as taxable supplies at the receiving branch, one is required to reverse the availed ITC. The process for reversing ITC depends on the particular circumstances of the transfer.

author avatar
Rinkle Dudhani Intern
Meet Rinkle Dudhani, a diligent law student on the path to earning a BBA LLB degree in June 2024. Armed with a solid academic background in company law, taxation laws, and finance fundamentals, Rinkle possesses a deep understanding of legal and financial concepts. As a seasoned content writer with over 3 years of experience, she has collaborated with prominent brands and consistently delivered high-quality content with a focus on thorough research.

Leave a Reply