With the Goods and Services Tax coming into force, there has been a radical change in the entire economic structure of the country. Starting from businesses, both large and small, to the citizens of India, GST has been a boon to the vast majority of the country’s inhabitants.
GST subsumes all other taxes that were prevalent in the pre-GST era. It has brought a significant drop in the prices of goods and services, thus making it easier for taxpayers to settle their tax liabilities regularly. Moreover, the GST portal has come up with innovative features that enable them to submit their GST returns more efficiently and accurately. GSTR-9 and GSTR-9C can be seen as classic examples, in which many new changes have been brought forward in the last few weeks.
What is a GST Return Form?
A GST return form is a document that consists of all the essential details like the number of purchases or sales made, and the respective output and input GST taxes along with the input tax credit claimed. All entities who are considered taxable by the Indian Government, are required to file GST returns.
According to the GST Law, a return must be filed with the tax administrative authorities, who will thereafter calculate your total tax liability. One needs to file GST returns online in the format prescribed under the GST law from time to time, irrespective of the type of business the individual owns.
Who Needs to File GST Returns?
Any person who is liable to pay taxes and is registered under the GST regime must file GST returns. An individual holding a regular business will have to file two returns each month and one return annually. This accounts for 26 returns per year.
By filing your GST returns online, you are furnishing proper details regarding the list of sales and purchases of products and services as well as the details of the information about the amount of tax collected and paid.
What are the Major GST Forms?
Now with the updated version of the GST portal, filing returns has become automated. One no longer has to go through the hassles associated with manually entering the details, which may be subject to human error, especially if large amounts are involved.
You can file your GST returns online via the application or platforms provided by the Goods and Service Tax Network (GSTN), which is designed to auto-populate all your details and entries on each of your GSTR forms. Given below are some of the significant GST forms using which the taxpayers can file their returns:
This return form is used to furnish the details of all outward supplies of products and services made during the tax period. Filed monthly by all normal taxpayers registered under GST, the GSTR-1 is also used to report the details of debit and credit notes that have been issued. However, small taxpayers having an annual turnover of up to Rs. 1.5 crore in the last fiscal year, may file the GSTR-1 quarterly. Tax filers must also include details of any amendments made to the sales invoices, including those made in the previous tax periods.
This return comprises all the details of the inward supplies of products and services. In other words, the transaction details of the purchases made from any registered supplier during a tax period are recorded in form GSTR-2A. However, to ease out the payment procedure of the taxpayer, these details are auto-populated based on the data provided by suppliers while filing GSTR-1. The GSTR-2A is a read-only form, and one cannot take any action in it.
With GSTR-2, taxpayers can furnish the details of the inward supplies of products and services made during the tax period, by auto-generating the transaction and purchase information from GSTR-2A. Unlike GSTR-2A, one can edit the GSTR-2 return. The filing of this form is, however, suspended since the origin of GST.
It is a monthly summary form in which taxpayers need to furnish a summary of the details of all the outward and inward supplies made and received, along with the input tax credit claimed and the details of tax liabilities and the tax paid. All these data is auto-populated from GSTR-1 and GSTR-2. The filing of Form GSTR-3 is suspended as well.
It is a monthly self-declaration form that needs to be filed for submitting a summary of the details of all outward supplies, ITC claimed, tax liabilities and taxes paid. Any normal taxpayer registered under GST can file GSTR-3B.
● GSTR-4 / CMP-08
Taxpayers who have opted for the Composition Scheme under GST can file GSTR-4. It needs to be filed on a quarterly basis. The GSTR-4 has now been replaced with CMP-08.
This return is filed monthly by non-resident foreign tax filers registered under GST, who carry out business operations and transactions in India. This form contains all the details of outward and inward supplies, debit or credit notes, tax liabilities and tax paid.
This form is to be filed by the Input Service Distributor (ISD) in which he/she needs to furnish details about input tax credit received and distributed by him/her. It also includes relevant documents relating to the distribution of input credit.
Any registered individual who deducts TDS under GST would file GSTR-7 monthly to furnish details on the TDS liability, tax paid, TDS refund claimed and others (if any).
E-commerce operators who collect TCS (tax collected at source) and who are registered under GST, need to file GSTR-8 monthly. It contains details of transactions and supplies made over E-commerce platform, and the TCS collected for each.
It is an annual return form to be filed by all taxpayers who are registered under GST. It is a consolidation of all the monthly and quarterly returns filed throughout the year through GSTR-1, GSTR-2A and GSTR-3B. Taxpayers need to furnish details of all inward supplies received, outward supplies made, tax liabilities and taxes paid under important tax heads like CGST, SGST, IGST and HSN Codes.
All taxpayers registered under the Composition Scheme of GST are required to file GSTR-9A to submit details about the financial transactions and the quarterly returns made in that fiscal year.
Taxpayers whose annual turnover exceeds Rs. 2 crores can file GSTR-9C, which is a type of reconciliation statement. You need to audit your account books from a Chartered Accountant or Cost Accountant and then furnish a statement of reconciliation between these audited account statements and the annual GSTR-9 return that you have filed.
This return is to be filed by a person whose GST registration has been cancelled or suspended. It needs to be filed within three months from the date of cancellation or suspension.
This return is to be filed by individuals who have been issued a UIN (Unique Identity Number) to get a refund under the Goods and Services Tax for the products and services they have purchased in India. It contains the details of the inward supplies received, the transaction details and the refund amount claimed.
Through GST, the Government of India has paved the way for better economic health and of course, better living standards for the citizens of the nation. Besides, it has also promised to make our goods and services compete on an international level.
Related article you may find interesting: “What is Tax?“