How to File GST Return Online in India?

GST, implemented in 2017 and formalized under the GST Act of 2019, replaced multiple taxes levied by Central and State governments on goods and services in India. It aims to simplify tax administration by requiring taxpayers to file just one tax return online. This unified system covers a wide range of businesses and ensures transparency in registration, returns, and compliance. GST has streamlined India’s indirect tax structure, integrating various taxes into 19 GST return forms tailored for different types of taxpayers, from traders to service providers.

What is GST Return?

A GST return is a crucial document that summarizes all transactions involving purchases, sales, taxes paid on purchases, and taxes collected on sales within a specified period for a GST-registered taxpayer. It serves as an official record that businesses must submit, detailing their income, expenses, and related financial activities. Once filed online through the Goods and Services Tax network portal, the return helps authorities calculate the tax liability of the business accurately.

How to File GST Returns Online?

All taxpayers, from manufacturers and suppliers to dealers and consumers, must file their GST returns annually. Under the GST regime, this process is automated. GST returns can be filed online using software or apps provided by the Goods and Services Tax Network (GSTN), which auto-populate details in each GSTR form.

1. Register for GSTIN:

  • If you are not already registered, visit the GST portal ( to register and obtain a 15-digit GST Identification Number (GSTIN) based on your state code and PAN number.

2. Log in to the GST Portal:

  • Use your username and password to log in to the GST portal. Click on the ‘Services’ tab.

3. Access the Returns Dashboard:

  • Select the ‘Returns dashboard’ option. Choose the financial year for which you are filing the GST return from the drop-down menu provided.

4. Prepare Online:

  • Select the return you wish to file and choose the ‘Prepare Online’ option.

5. Enter Details:

  • Fill in the required details in the fields provided. If you have any pending late fees, include them as well. Save the form and submit it.

6. Check Submission Status:

  • Ensure the status of the GST return changes to ‘Submitted’.

7. Make Tax Payment:

  • Click on ‘Payment of Tax.’ Then, click on ‘Check Balance’ to view your credit and cash balance.

8. Offset Liability:

  • Click on ‘Offset Liability’ to make the GST payment online. Check the relevant declaration boxes and click on ‘File Form with DSC’ or ‘File Form with EVC’ to complete the process.

9. Upload Invoices:

  • Upload your invoices on the GST portal or using the provided software to generate an invoice reference number for each invoice.

10. File Returns:

  • After uploading invoices, file the outward return, inward return, and cumulative monthly return online. Correct any errors and refile if necessary.
  • File the outward supply returns in the GSTR-1 form on or before the 10th of the following month. Details of outward supplies will be available in GSTR-2A for the recipient.

11. Verify and Validate Details:

  • Recipients must verify, validate, and modify the details of outward supplies and file credit or debit notes. Furnish the details of inward supplies in the GSTR-2 form.

12. Acceptance or Rejection:

  • The supplier can accept or reject modifications of inward supply details made by the recipient in the GSTR-1A form.

For detailed instructions and form-specific steps, refer to the official GST website. Utilizing software solutions like TallyPrime can help minimize errors and streamline the filing process.

Who Should File GST Returns?

All business entities registered under the GST system are required to file GST returns. The filing process is determined by the nature of the business. The following activities necessitate filing a GST return:

  • Sales
  • Purchases
  • Output Goods and Services Tax (GST) on sales
  • Input Tax Credit with GST paid on purchases

According to the GST Act, any taxable person engaged in trade, commerce, or any economic activity within India, including local authorities, LLPs, HUFs, individuals, cooperative societies, trusts, and AOPs/BOIs, must file GST returns as specified by the GST scheme.

The frequency and timing of filing GST returns depend on the annual turnover and type of business:

Businesses with an Aggregate Turnover up to Rs. 5 Crores:

  • These businesses can opt for the Quarterly Return Monthly Payment (QRMP) scheme.
  • They are required to file 9 GST returns per year: 4 GSTR-1 returns, 4 GSTR-3B returns, and 1 annual return.

Businesses with an Aggregate Turnover over Rs. 5 Crores:

  • These businesses, and those not opting for the QRMP scheme, must file GST returns twice per month.
  • They are required to file a total of 25 GST returns per year, which includes 24 monthly returns and 1 annual return.

In addition, certain businesses, such as composition dealers, have additional return filing requirements as specified by the GST regime.

For detailed instructions and specific return requirements, refer to the official GST website.

Read more


Filing GST returns online in India has streamlined the tax compliance process for all registered business entities. By leveraging the Goods and Services Tax Network (GSTN), taxpayers can efficiently manage their returns through automated and user-friendly software. The steps involved—ranging from obtaining a GSTIN and logging into the GST portal to uploading invoices and submitting various returns—ensure a transparent and straightforward experience.

Taxpayers must adhere to the prescribed timelines and accurately report their transactions to avoid penalties and ensure compliance. By following the outlined steps and utilizing available resources, businesses can effectively meet their GST obligations, contributing to a seamless and efficient tax system in India. For detailed guidance and specific form instructions, visiting the official GST website is recommended.


Add Comment