GST Returns

GST Returns

A GST return is a document containing details of all income/sales and/or expense/purchase which a taxpayer (every GSTIN) is required to file with the tax administrative authorities. This is used by tax authorities to calculate net tax liability.

Under GST, a registered dealer has to file GST returns that broadly include:

  • Purchases
  • Sales
  • Output GST (On sales)
  • Input tax credit (GST paid on purchases).

In the GST regime, any regular business having more than Rs. 5 crore as annual aggregate turnover has to file two monthly returns and one annual return. This amounts to 26 returns in a year.

The number of GSTR filings varies for quarterly GSTR-1 filers under QRMP scheme. The number of GSTR filings online for them is 9 in a year, including the GSTR-3B and annual return.

There are separate returns required to be filed by special cases such as composition dealers whose number of GSTR filings is 5 in a year.



GSTR-1 is the return to be furnished for reporting details of all outward supplies of goods and services made. In other words, it contains the invoices and debit-credit notes raised on the sales transactions for a tax period. GSTR-1 is to be filed by all normal taxpayers who are registered under GST, including casual taxable persons.

Any amendments to sales invoices made, even pertaining to previous tax periods, should be reported in the GSTR-1 return by all the suppliers or sellers.

The filing frequency of GSTR-1 is currently as follows:
(a) Monthly, by 11th* of every month- If the business either has an annual aggregate turnover of more than Rs.5 crore or has not opted into the QRMP scheme.
(b) Quarterly, by 13th** of the month following every quarter- If the business has opted into the QRMP scheme.

Till September 2018, the due date was the 10th of every month.
Till December 2020, was the end of the month succeeding the quarter.


GSTR-2A is a view-only dynamic GST return relevant for the recipient or buyer of goods and services. It contains the details of all inward supplies of goods and services i.e., purchases made from GST registered suppliers during a tax period.

The data is auto-populated based on data filed by the corresponding suppliers in their GSTR-1 returns. Further, data filed in the Invoice Furnishing Facility (IFF) by the QRMP taxpayer, also get auto-filled.

Since GSTR-2A is a read-only return, no action can be taken in it. However, it is referred by the buyers to claim an accurate Input Tax Credit (ITC) for every financial year, across multiple tax periods. In case any invoice is missing, the buyer can communicate with the seller to upload it in their GSTR-1 on a timely basis.

It was used frequently for claiming ITC for every tax period until August 2020. Thereafter, the buyers must mostly refer to GSTR-2B, static return, to claim the input tax credit for every tax period.


GSTR-2B is again a view-only static GST return important for the recipient or buyer of goods and services. It is available every month, starting in August 2020 and contains constant ITC data for a period whenever checked back.

ITC details will be covered from the date of filing GSTR-1 for the preceding month (M-1) up to the date of filing GSTR-1 for the current month (M). The return is made available on the 12th of every month, giving sufficient time before filing GSTR-3B, where the ITC is declared.

GSTR-2B provides action to be taken against every invoice reported, such as to be reversed, ineligible, subject to reverse charge, references to the table numbers in GSTR-3B.


GSTR-2 is currently a suspended GST return, that applied to registered buyers to report the inward supplies of goods and services, i.e. the purchases made during a tax period.

The details in the GSTR-2 return had to be auto-populated from the GSTR-2A. Unlike GSTR-2A, the GSTR-2 return can be edited. GSTR-2 is to be filed by all normal taxpayers registered under GST. However, the filing of the same has been suspended ever since September 2017.

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