Are you looking for a simplified guide to file your GST returns online? This article will discuss the step-by-step procedure of filing online GST returns and the deadlines for filing the returns.

What are GST Returns?

Since GST (Goods and Services Tax) incidence in India, there has been a storm of new policy decisions taken by the Government to ease the transition to the new regulation. The GST payable is assessed using the GST return filed by the entities with the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC).

This return contains all the sales and purchases data of an entity for the period of the return. The tax collected on sales is payable to the Government, and the tax already paid on purchases is allowed as a deduction. So your Tax Liability is the difference between Output Tax on sales and Input Tax Credit on purchases.

Who is Required to File a GST Return?

Any entity with an aggregate annual turnover of Rs.5 Crores is required to file GST returns. All registered businesses are also required to file GST returns. An entity has to file two returns every month. GSTR-1 is for the Output Tax on sales, and GSTR-2A for the Input Tax on purchases. Apart from these two, GSTR-3B can be filed monthly or quarterly depending upon what you opt for. This return consists of the summary of all the annual sales and purchases data.

Due Dates for Filing GST Returns

Type of Return

Timeline for filing


11th of every month


No due date. Auto populated from GSTR-1 filed by suppliers


Monthly – 20th of every month

Quarterly – 22nd of the month after quarter-end. 


If you wish to opt for a quarterly filing of GST returns, then there is a scheme called QRMP (Quarterly Return & Monthly Payment of GST). In this scheme, returns are filed quarterly. The due date for filing GSTR-1 is the 13th of the month following the quarter.

Parameters for filing quarterly returns:
This is for taxpayers who have an annual turnover of not more than INR 5 crores in the previous year.

Parameters for filing monthly returns:
This is for taxpayers who have an annual turnover of more than INR 5 crore need to file GSTR-1 and GSTR-3B every month. 

GST filing for registered and unregistered businesses

  • Registered business:
    If the turnover exceeds INR 40 lacs, it is mandatory to register under GST. The process of filing GST returns remains the same. 
  • Unregistered business:
    Businesses having turnover below INR 40 lacs can opt for either voluntary registration or no registration. Unregistered businesses are not required to file GST returns. Due to this, the buyer, if registered, cannot claim the input tax credit on purchasing from an unregistered business. 

Process of Filing GST Returns Online

Filing Form GSTR-1 Online

It is to be filed quarterly for those who have opted for QRMP; the rest have to file it monthly. You have to keep in mind the following 3 points before going into filing the return:

  • If your sales invoices are more than 500, you have to download the utility and fill the form offline.
  • You cannot perform bulk actions on the invoices.
  • You have to fill the HSN-wise summary manually.

You have to follow the below steps to file GSTR-1 online:

  1. Log in to the GST portal.
  2. You will be issued a 15-digit GST Identification Number based on State Code and PAN.
  3. You will find the Services ribbon on the top left of the page. Take your cursor there, and from the dropdown, select Returns > Returns Dashboard.
  4. It takes you to the Return Filing page. Now you have to select the Financial Year and the Month for which you have to file the return.
  5. Now click on Search.
  6. You will find a questionnaire related to filing the return monthly or quarterly.
  • Whether your Turnover for last FY was less than Rs.1.5 Crore?
  • Do you expect your Turnover to be less than Rs.1.5 Crore in the Current FY?
  • If Yes, then you have the option to select for filing the GSTR-1 Quarterly.
  • If No, you have to file the GSTR-1 monthly.
  1. Now you get the option to prepare your return online or offline. We will discuss the online GST return filing option.
  2. Click on Prepare Online. Now you have to fill in the Details of Outward Supply of Goods and Services (sales details).
  3. You have to fill the aggregate Turnover of the Last Financial Year and the Aggregate Turnover for the running quarter up to the period of return.
  4. Now you have to upload invoices and other details on the GST Portal.
  5. You have to fill the HSN-wise summary of Outward Supply.
  6. You also have the option to rectify your details online.
  7. You can download the file for offline use.

Viewing Form GSTR-2A Online

  1. Go to the portal of GST and log in.
  2. Go to Services. In the dropdown, select Returns > Returns Dashboard.
  3. Select the FY and period of return. Click on Search.
  4. You see an option of Auto Drafted details for View Only, GSTR-2A. Click on View.
  5. By clicking on the GSTN of each supplier, you can view the invoices uploaded by each supplier.
  6. You have the option to download the file for offline use.

Filing Form GSTR-3B Online

Things to keep in mind before filing this return are:

  • Values have to be filled in manually. Copy-paste is not allowed.
  • GST Liability is calculated after submitting this return.

Here are the steps for filing GSTR-3B:

  1. Log in to the GST Portal.
  2. Services > Returns > Returns Dashboard.
  3. Select FY and period of return.
  4. Click on Monthly Return and then Prepare Online.
  5. You are asked a set of 5 questions. Depending on these, relevant tables of GSTR-3B are visible.
  6. You have to enter values in each tile and also mention the total under each head.
  7. Once you have filled up all the data, you can click on the Submit button.
  8. You have to check the tax payable and make the payment.
  9. You then have to sign the return using the DSC of the Authorised Signatory or the EVC.
  10. After clicking the Proceed button, your return is filed successfully.

These are a few steps that will guide you through the process of filing your GST returns online. Follow these steps in an orderly fashion to ensure hassle-free return filing. You can file all three returns online quickly without having to visit anywhere.


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