GST return filing: GSTR-3

People filing the tax returns are normally used to quarterly returns. The GSTR-3 aims to modify the habit to monthly returns. The monthly return format gets auto-populated from the sale register (GSTR-1) and purchase registers (GSTR-2) and indicates the gross sales and purchase information. The monthly return does not carry the invoice details. The purpose of GSTR-3 is to make people skilled with the GST process while the monthly frequency will make the compliance easier. By filing the monthly return 12 times in a year people will take it as a routine.


GSTR-3 will contain all the turnover details which comprise of total turnover, export and local sales turnover, exempted local sales turnover, turnover other than GST and taxable turnover. There will be a number of tables which will capture the other aspects of the return.  One of them would capture the TDS credit received and credited to the cash ledger of the deductee. Similarly, penalty, fee and interest liabilities will be reflected in another table.

The ISD return of input service distributor (GSTR-6) and TDS return of counterparty own ITC ledger (GSTR-7) will also be automatically updated in the GSTR-3 form. The data relating to the revision of invoices for outward and inward supplies would also be captured. The net tax payable under the three heads Central GST, State GST, Inter-state GST would be visible. Once the tax is paid, the payment details would be populated from the debit entry in the cash or credit ledger

The electronic ledgers that are the ITC, cash and liability ledgers will appear on the dashboard of the taxpayer as facilitated by the GST Network. These ledgers would also be updated in real time based on the activity carried out in them by the taxpayer. The previous month tax returns would form the basis of the auto-population of these ledgers in the current month.

If there is an ITC balance (in CGST, SGST and IGST) at the end of the tax period it will reflect in the ITC ledger. If the person is a net exporter, there is a likelihood of his Input Tax Credit being greater than the output tax payable of supplies. In such a case the taxpayer becomes eligible for carrying it forward or claiming a refund. The refund will be credited to the bank account mentioned in the return of the taxpayer. It is quite possible that the refund may be permitted on a quarterly basis despite the return being monthly.

The return has to be filed by the 20th of the succeeding month and can be done in both online and offline mode. The advantage would be in the online mode as it will permit the debiting of cash or ITC ledger along with the filing of the return. The debiting will have to be done at an earlier date and its debit entry number verified at the time of filing the report in case the offline mode is used. Late filing may require a late fee for filing.

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