Types of GST Returns In India

What is a GST Return?

A GST return is a mandatory form that every taxpayer registered under the Goods and Services Tax (GST) law in India must file for each GSTIN (Goods and Services Tax Identification Number) they possess.The GST return serves as a comprehensive document encapsulating all financial transactions of a GST-registered taxpayer, including both income and expenses.

The primary purpose of filing a GST return is to provide the tax authorities with detailed information about a taxpayer’s financial activities.The key aspects covered in a GST return include:

  • Purchases: A detailed account of all purchases made by the taxpayer.
  • Sales: An exhaustive record of all sales transactions conducted by the taxpayer.
  • Output GST (On Sales): Documentation of the GST applicable on the taxpayer’s sales.
  • Input Tax Credit (GST Paid on Purchases): An account of the GST payments made on purchases, which can be offset against the output GST liability.

Under the GST framework, submitting GST returns is essential for the seamless functioning of the tax system. Various types of GST returns cater to different taxpayer categories, including regular taxpayers, composition taxable persons, e-commerce operators, TDS deductors, non-resident taxpayers, Input Service Distributors (ISD), and casual taxable persons. The filing frequency of some GST returns, like GSTR-1 and GSTR-3B, may change if the taxpayer opts into the Quarterly Return Monthly Payment (QRMP) scheme.

Exploring the Different Types of GST returns

The Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime in India mandates the filing of 13 different types of returns, each capturing various aspects of a taxpayer’s financial transactions and obligations. However, not all these returns are applicable to every taxpayer. The type of return to be filed depends on the taxpayer’s category and the nature of their GST registration.

Here is an overview of the 13 GST returns:

  • GSTR-1: Filed monthly by the 11th or quarterly by the 13th, reporting outward supplies (sales).
  • GSTR-3B: Monthly summary of both outward and inward supplies along with tax payment.
  • GSTR-4: Annual return for Composition Scheme taxpayers, summarizing turnover and tax liability.
  • GSTR-5: Filed by non-resident foreign taxpayers engaged in taxable activities in India.
  • GSTR-5A: For online information and database access or retrieval (OIDAR) service providers.
  • GSTR-6: For Input Service Distributors (ISD) to report distribution of input tax credit (ITC).
  • GSTR-7: For taxpayers required to deduct Tax Deducted at Source (TDS).
  • GSTR-8: Filed by e-commerce operators to report supplies and tax collected through their platform.
  • GSTR-9: Annual return consolidating all monthly/quarterly returns for the financial year.
  • GSTR-10: Final return when a taxpayer’s GST registration is canceled or surrendered.
  • GSTR-11: For persons with a Unique Identity Number (UIN) to claim a refund on purchases.
  • CMP-08: Quarterly return for Composition Scheme taxpayers to report tax liability.
  • ITC-04: For manufacturers to report goods sent to and received from a job worker.


  • GSTR-2A (dynamic): View of inward supplies as reported by suppliers.
  • GSTR-2B (static): Static view of inward supplies based on the supplier’s return.

For small taxpayers under the Quarterly Return Monthly Payment (QRMP) scheme, the Invoice Furnishing Facility (IFF) is available to report B2B sales for the first two months of the quarter, with monthly tax payments using Form PMT-06.


GSTR-1 is a GST return filed by registered taxpayers to report all outward supplies of goods and services. It includes details of sales invoices, debit-credit notes, and any amendments to previous invoices. Filing frequencies are:

  • Monthly: By the 11th for businesses with annual turnover above ₹5 crores or those not in the QRMP scheme.
  • Quarterly: By the 13th of the month following each quarter for businesses in the QRMP scheme.

This return ensures transparency and compliance in reporting sales transactions.


GSTR-2A is a view-only, dynamic GST return for buyers, detailing all inward supplies (purchases) from GST-registered suppliers during a tax period. The data is auto-populated from suppliers’ GSTR-1 returns and the Invoice Furnishing Facility (IFF) for QRMP taxpayers.

  • Auto-Populated: Based on suppliers’ GSTR-1 filings and IFF submissions.
  • Read-Only: No edits allowed, used to verify and claim accurate Input Tax Credit (ITC).
  • Verification: Buyers use it to cross-check purchase data and request suppliers to update missing invoices in GSTR-1.

Initially used for ITC claims until August 2020, GSTR-2A is still beneficial for annual GST return filings and verifying purchase data.


GSTR-2 was a suspended GST return intended for registered buyers to report their inward supplies of goods and services (purchases) during a tax period. Here are its key features:

  • Purpose: Used to report details of purchases (inward supplies) made by GST-registered buyers.
  • Auto-Population: Data was supposed to be auto-populated from GSTR-2A, another GST return.
  • Filing Requirement: Required to be filed monthly by the 15th of the following month.

Initially designed to facilitate accurate tax credit claims by matching purchase details with auto-populated data, GSTR-2 remains suspended and no longer in use under current GST regulations.


GSTR-2B is a static, view-only GST return introduced in August 2020. It provides a monthly summary of Input Tax Credit (ITC) data for normal taxpayers.

  • Purpose: To offer a consistent summary of ITC data for accurate reconciliation.
  • Data Coverage: ITC details from GSTR-1 filings for the previous and current month.
  • Availability: Issued on the 12th of every month.

GSTR-2B ensures efficient tax compliance by giving taxpayers a clear view of their ITC data.


GSTR-3, currently suspended since September 2017, was a monthly summary GST return for normal taxpayers. It auto-generated details from GSTR-1 and GSTR-2 returns, summarizing outward supplies, inward supplies, input tax credit (ITC), tax liabilities, and taxes paid.

  • Purpose: Monthly summary of tax details including ITC, tax liabilities, and payments.
  • Data Source: Auto-generated from GSTR-1 and GSTR-2 returns.
  • Filing Deadline: Required to be filed by the 20th of the following month.

GSTR-3 aimed to simplify tax reporting for normal taxpayers, but its filing has been suspended since September 2017.


GSTR-3B is a monthly self-declaration return required for all normal taxpayers under the GST regime. It serves to provide summarized details of outward supplies, input tax credit (ITC) claimed, tax liability ascertained, and taxes paid.

  • Purpose: Provides a monthly summary of tax details for GST compliance.
  • Deadlines:
                     Monthly: Due by the 20th for turnover exceeding Rs. 5 crore.
    Quarterly: Due on the 22nd or 24th following the quarter for turnover up to Rs. 5 crore
  • Efficiency: Simplifies tax reporting for timely GST compliance.

GSTR-3B streamlines the reporting process, enabling businesses to meet their tax obligations efficiently under the GST framework.


GSTR-4 is an annual return specifically for businesses opting for the Composition Scheme under GST. This scheme is designed for small businesses with turnovers up to Rs. 1.5 crore (Rs. 50 lakh for service providers), allowing them to pay taxes at a fixed rate based on their turnover.

  • Composition Scheme Requirement: Mandatory for taxpayers opting for the Composition Scheme.
  • Annual Filing: Due by 30th April of the following financial year, replacing previous quarterly filings.
  • Challan Submission: Quarterly submission of Form CMP-08 by the 18th of the subsequent month.

GSTR-4 simplifies tax compliance for small businesses, providing a streamlined method to meet GST requirements effectively.


Under India’s Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime, GSTR-5 stands as a crucial return filed by non-resident foreign taxpayers engaged in business transactions within the country. This mandatory monthly filing captures comprehensive details of their activities, ensuring compliance with GST regulations.

  • Coverage: GSTR-5 for non-resident foreign taxpayers under India’s GST, documenting local transactions.
  • Deadline: Must file by the 20th of each following month.
  • Filing: Electronically with registered GSTIN for compliance and transparency.

GSTR-5 is essential for non-resident foreign taxpayers to report taxable activities in India, ensuring compliance and transparency.


GSTR-5A is a monthly summary return specifically for providers of Online Information and Database Accessor Retrieval Services (OIDAR) under India’s Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime. This return plays a crucial role in reporting outward taxable supplies and the corresponding tax liability by OIDAR providers.

  • Coverage: GSTR-5A is a monthly summary return for OIDAR providers under GST.
  • Deadline: Due on the 20th of each month for timely submission.
  • Filing Method: Electronically filed using registered GSTIN for efficient compliance.

GSTR-5A facilitates OIDAR providers in fulfilling their GST obligations by summarizing their taxable activities and ensuring transparency in tax reporting and payment.


GSTR-6 is a monthly return filed exclusively by Input Service Distributors (ISD) under India’s Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime. This form serves as a crucial tool for ISDs to report and manage the distribution of input tax credit (ITC) received from registered suppliers. 

  • Filing Deadline: Must be filed by the 13th of each subsequent month to ensure timely compliance.
  • Coverage and Scope: Filed monthly by Input Service Distributors (ISD) to report input tax credit (ITC) distribution.
  • Mode of Filing: Electronically filed using registered GSTIN for seamless submission and adherence to GST regulations.

GSTR-6 facilitates efficient management of ITC distribution by ISDs, promoting accountability and adherence to GST norms while enhancing operational transparency.


GSTR-7 is a monthly return filed under India’s Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime by entities mandated to deduct Tax Deducted at Source (TDS). This return plays a critical role in reporting and managing TDS deductions, liabilities, payments, and refunds.

  • Deadline: Due on the 10th of each month to meet compliance requirements.
  • Filing Method: Electronically filed using registered GSTIN for efficient and compliant submission.
  • Coverage: Monthly return for GST-registered entities required to deduct TDS (Tax Deducted at Source).

GSTR-7 enables entities deducting TDS under GST to fulfill their reporting obligations efficiently, ensuring transparency, and adherence to tax laws while managing TDS deductions and refunds effectively.


GSTR-8 is a monthly return filed under India’s Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime by e-commerce operators who are required to collect Tax Collected at Source (TCS). This return is crucial for reporting all supplies made through the e-commerce platform and the corresponding TCS collected. 

  • Deadline: Due on the 10th of each month for timely submission and adherence to GST regulations.
  • Filing Method: Electronically filed using registered GSTIN for efficient and compliant submission.
  • Coverage: Monthly return for GST-registered e-commerce operators collecting Tax Collected at Source (TCS).

GSTR-8 helps e-commerce operators comply with TCS collection and reporting requirements under GST, ensuring transparency and effective transaction management.


GSTR-9 is the annual return mandated for all taxpayers registered under India’s Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime. It consolidates and provides a comprehensive overview of all outward supplies, inward supplies, taxes paid, and taxes payable during the relevant financial year. 

  • Deadline: Due by 31st December of the following year, along with audited annual accounts, ensuring compliance.
  • Coverage: Annual return for all regular GST taxpayers, excluding composition scheme optees, casual taxable persons, ISDs, non-resident taxable persons, and TDS payers under section 51.
  • Consolidation: Integrates data from monthly or quarterly GST returns (GSTR-1, GSTR-2A, GSTR-3B) filed throughout the financial year.

GSTR-9 is crucial for taxpayers to reconcile annual GST activities, ensuring accuracy, compliance, and a consolidated view of their fiscal year’s transactions.


GSTR-9A was an annual return previously required to be filed by composition scheme taxpayers in India, consolidating quarterly returns for the fiscal year. Introduced before FY 2019-20, it has since been suspended and replaced by GSTR-4 for annual returns by composition taxpayers.

  • Coverage: Formerly mandatory for composition scheme taxpayers to file annually.
  • Consolidation: Combined all quarterly returns filed during the financial year.
  • Replacement: Suspended and superseded by GSTR-4 for annual returns from FY 2019-20 onwards.

GSTR-9A served as the annual return for composition taxpayers, consolidating quarterly filings until it was replaced by GSTR-4.


GSTR-9C is a mandatory self-certified reconciliation statement for GST registered persons with annual turnover exceeding Rs. 5 crore. It reconciles books of accounts with the filed GSTR-9 return.

  • Coverage: Required for taxpayers with turnover above Rs. 5 crore annually.
  • Filing Deadline: Due by 31st December, aligning with GSTR-9 filing.
  • Multiple Filings: Allows multiple GSTR-9C filings under one PAN, corresponding to each GSTIN registered.

GSTR-9C ensures accurate financial record reconciliation and compliance with GST regulations for large taxpayers.


GSTR-10, known as the final return, is mandatory for taxpayers who cancel or surrender their GST registration in India. This return serves as the conclusive declaration of their GST liabilities and assets at the time of deregistration. 

  • Coverage: Filed upon cancellation or surrender of GST registration.
  • Deadline: Must be filed within three months from the date of cancellation or cancellation order.
  • Purpose: Facilitates proper closure of GST accounts post-deregistration, ensuring compliance with regulatory requirements.

GSTR-10 formalizes GST taxpayers’ exit by stating their tax liabilities and assets upon registration cancellation or surrender.


GSTR-11 is filed by entities with a Unique Identity Number (UIN), such as foreign diplomatic missions, to claim refunds on GST paid for goods and services purchased in India, ensuring compliance and facilitating refund processes for inward supplies.

  • Coverage: Mandatory for UIN-holders to claim GST refunds on purchases in India.
  • Deadline: Must be filed by the 28th of the month following supply receipt.
  • Purpose: Supports foreign missions in claiming GST refunds, enhancing ease of business in India.

GSTR-11 facilitates UIN holders in claiming GST refunds on Indian purchases, ensuring financial transaction efficiency and tax compliance.

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Understanding and adhering to India’s diverse GST return requirements are essential for businesses. From annual filings like GSTR-9 and GSTR-9C ensuring thorough reconciliation for large enterprises, to specific forms like GSTR-11 facilitating refunds for entities with Unique Identity Numbers (UINs), each plays a crucial role in tax compliance and operational efficiency. Embracing timely filing, utilizing resources like the GST portal, and considering financial options such as business loans from Mahindra Finance, businesses can navigate regulatory complexities, foster growth, and thrive in India’s evolving economic landscape.


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