Filing GST annual returns with ease


Chances you are utterly clueless about the Goods and Services Tax (GST) and GST return filing. If that’s the case, here’s the gist. GST is a unified tax introduced to subsume a bunch of indirect taxes that were prevalent in the old system. The consumer is liable to pay GST to the central government for every purchase of a product or service. Some of these indirect taxes include Value Added Tax (VAT), Service Tax, Entertainment Tax, and Excise Duty.

GST was introduced to combat the cascading effect of the taxes mentioned above. You need to ensure you sign up for a Goods and Services Tax Identification Number (GSTIN) for your business. You can do that by completing the GST registration process.

What are the types of GST returns I should file?

There are numerous GST returns that you may have to file, entirely depending on your situation. Here are all the GST returns in a nutshell:


If you are a normal taxpayer, you must pay the GSTR-1 return every month unless you are a small taxpayer or your business yields a turnover of Rs. 1.5CR. If your turnover in a financial year is Rs. 1.5CR, you may file this GST return quarterly.


The GSTR-2A GST return happens to be read-only.

GSTR-2 (Suspended)

The GSTR-2 GST return is suspended.


The GSTR-3 GST return is determined on the basis of your GSTR-1 and GSTR 2 returns.


You are obligated to file this monthly return if you are a normal taxpayer under the GST tax regime.

GSTR-4 / CMP-08

You are obligated to file this GST return if your business falls under the composition scheme under GST. According to the GST composition scheme, you may fix a specific GST tax rate on your turnover if your GST annual turnover is Rs. 1.5CR or higher.


This GST return concerns the non-resident foreign taxpayers. If you fall into this category, i.e., you live abroad but are running a business in India, you will need to file the GSTR-5 return.


This GST return is for you if you are an Input Service Distributor. You need to ensure you include all the details about Input Credit Distribution and System of Distribution.


You will need to file the GSTR-7 every month if you are deducting TDS.


This GST return is for you if you are an E-commerce operator and have a GSTIN for your business, and want to collect taxes at the source.


The GSTR-9 is a GST annual return that you will have to file with details such as the Central Goods and Service Tax (CGST), State Goods and Service Tax (SGST), and Integrated Goods and Service Tax (IGST).


You are exempt from filing this GST return if you pay tax as part of the GST composition scheme during the 2017-2018 and 2018-2019 financial years.


You may have to file the GSTR-9C GST return if your business sees a yearly turnover of two crores or more.


You have to file this GST return if your GST registration is canceled. Make sure you do this within three months from the day your registration got canceled.


If you are a foreign diplomat or from embassies who are not required to pay taxes in India, this GST return concerns you.

How to file GST returns online?

Here are the steps you need to follow:

  • Go to the official GST portal online.

  • You need to have your 15-digit GSTIN and Personal Account Number (PAN).

  • Next, upload your GST invoices on the GST portal. Keep in mind that each invoice that you upload will have a corresponding reference number.

  • Once this is done, you need to file the inward returns, outward returns, and cumulative returns, and fix any errors you might encounter.

  • Next, file the outward supply returns on the GSTR-1 GST form via the information section displayed on the GSTN portal. This has to be done by the 10th of the following month.

  • The recipient will find the information on the outward supplies furnished by you via the GSTR-2A form. The recipient must verify, validate, and modify the information he gets. Additionally, the recipient must furnish the inward supply information of the goods and services on the GSTR-2 return.

Based on this, the supplier can choose to accept or reject the recommended modifications of the inward supply through the GSTR-1A form.