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GST Return Filling: Common Mistakes to Avoid


The article “Filling GST Return: Common Mistakes to Avoid” highlights the significance of accurate reporting and understanding the various components involved in GST return filing

The article addresses common mistakes such as incorrect tax calculation, mismatched invoice details, and failure to reconcile data with purchase registers. It also offers practical tips to avoid these errors, thorough documentation, and training employees. 

Understanding GST Return Filing

What is GST Return?

GST return refers to the periodic filing of information and tax details by businesses registered under the Goods and Services Tax (GST) system. It is a document summarising sales, purchases, tax collected, and input tax credit claimed by a taxpayer. Filing GST returns is mandatory and helps in the assessment and collection of taxes by tax authorities.

Key Takeaways

  1. Accurate GST return filing is crucial to avoid penalties and maintain compliance with tax regulations.
  2. Understanding the components of GST return filing, such as input tax credit, invoices, HSN/SAC codes, and reporting all sales and purchases, is essential to avoid errors.
  3. Non-filing or late filing of GST returns can result in penalties, loss of input tax credit, and a negative impact on compliance ratings.
  4. Common mistakes in GST return filing include incorrect tax calculation, delayed filing, mismatches between GSTR-1 and GSTR-3B, and GSTR-2A and GSTR-3B, as well as not filing nil returns.
  5. Tips to avoid these mistakes include maintaining accurate records, timely reconciliation of invoices and returns, regularly monitoring the GSTN portal, training and educating employees, and seeking professional help.
  6. By following these tips and avoiding common mistakes, taxpayers can ensure error-free GST return filing, compliance, and a smooth filing process.

Who is required to file GST Return?

Under the Goods and Services Tax (GST) system, any individual or business entity registered for GST must file GST returns. 

This includes all of the following:

  • Individuals, 
  • Partnerships, 
  • Pvt ltd companies
  • Limited liability partnerships (LLPs), and 
  • Other entities engaged in the supply of goods or services. 

Whether a business is involved in regular taxable supplies or is eligible for a composition scheme, it must file GST returns. Additionally, entities registered under GST but not conducting business activities during the filing period must file nil returns to maintain compliance. 

The threshold limit for taking Goods and Services Tax (GST) registration varies depending on the type of business and the state. For businesses engaged in the supply of goods, the threshold limit is typically an annual turnover of INR 40 lakhs. For certain special category states, the limit is INR 20 lakhs. However, it is advisable to check the latest regulations and consult with experts like Kanakkupillai for the specific threshold applicable in your case.

What is the due date for GST Return filing?

The due date for GST return filing varies depending on the return type and the taxpayer’s turnover. Generally, the due date for monthly returns (GSTR-1, GSTR-3B) is the 20th of the following month, while quarterly returns (GSTR-4, GSTR-9A) are due by the 18th of the month following the quarter.

What are the consequences of non-filing or late filing of GST returns?

Non-filing or late filing of GST returns can have various consequences. Firstly, it may attract penalties and fines imposed by tax authorities. Secondly, it can lead to the loss of input tax credit as late filing may result in non-compliance with the GST law. Additionally, non-filing or late filing may disrupt the taxpayer’s compliance rating, affecting their ability to do business with other GST-registered entities. Filing returns within the prescribed due dates is essential to avoid these consequences and maintain a good compliance record.

GST Return Filing Online in India

Common Mistakes in GST Return Filing

1) Input tax credit (ITC) related errors

One of the common mistakes in GST return filing is related to input tax credit (ITC). Taxpayers may make errors in claiming ITC, such as claiming ITC on ineligible purchases, not reconciling ITC with purchase registers or incorrect calculation of ITC. These errors can lead to discrepancies and may result in penalties or loss of credits.

2) Mismatch in invoices

One common mistake in GST return filing is the mismatch in invoices. This occurs when the details of invoices issued by the supplier do not match the details reported by the recipient. Such discrepancies can lead to errors in claiming input tax credits and may result in penalties or additional tax liabilities. It is important to ensure proper reconciliation and accuracy in reporting invoice details.

3) Incorrect HSN/SAC codes

One common mistake in GST return filing is the incorrect use of Harmonized System of Nomenclature (HSN) or Service Accounting Codes (SAC). HSN codes are used for goods, while SAC codes are used for services. Errors in these codes can lead to incorrect tax calculations and may result in penalties or scrutiny by tax authorities. It is crucial to accurately classify goods and services and use the correct codes in GST returns.

4) Not reporting all sales and purchases

One common mistake in GST return filing is not accurately reporting all sales and purchases. Failing to include all transactions can lead to discrepancies, incorrect tax calculations, and potential penalties. Taxpayers must maintain proper records and ensure that all sales and purchases are accurately reported in their GST returns.

5) Not reporting all GSTINs

One common mistake in GST return filing is not reporting all Goods and Services Tax Identification Numbers (GSTINs). This can occur when a taxpayer has multiple GST registrations but fails to include all the GSTINs while filing returns. It is important to report all GSTINs to ensure compliance and avoid penalties accurately.

6) Incorrect tax calculation

One of the common mistakes in GST return filing is incorrect tax calculation. This can occur due to errors in calculating the taxable amount, applying the wrong tax rate, or failing to consider exemptions or deductions. Such mistakes can lead to discrepancies in tax liabilities and may result in penalties or additional tax assessments.

7) Delayed filing

Delayed filing is a common mistake in GST return filing. Taxpayers often fail to meet the prescribed due dates, resulting in late filing. This can lead to penalties, loss of input tax credit, and a negative impact on compliance ratings. Timely filing of GST returns is crucial to avoid such consequences.

8) Mismatch in GSTR-1 and GSTR-3B

One common mistake in GST return filing is a mismatch between GSTR-1 and GSTR-3B. GSTR-1 captures outward supplies, while GSTR-3B reports the tax liability. Mismatches can occur if there are discrepancies in reporting sales or tax liabilities, leading to compliance issues. It is crucial to reconcile and ensure consistency between these two returns.

9) Mismatch in GSTR-2A and GSTR-3B

A common mistake in GST return filing is the mismatch between GSTR-2A and GSTR-3B. GSTR-2A is an auto-generated return that reflects the details of purchases per the supplier’s filing, while GSTR-3B is a self-declared return filed by the taxpayer. Failing to reconcile the two can result in inaccurate reporting and potential tax disputes.

10) Not filing Nil Returns

Not filing nil returns is indeed a common mistake in GST return filing. Even if taxpayers have no business activity or transactions during a particular filing period, they must still file a nil return to maintain compliance. Failure to do so can result in penalties and complications in the future. It is important to file nil returns regularly to avoid any non-compliance issues.

Tips to Avoid Common Mistakes

1) Maintaining accurate records: Maintaining accurate records is an essential tip to avoid common mistakes in GST filing in India. Keeping detailed and organized records of invoices, purchases, expenses, and taxes helps ensure accurate reporting and reconciliation. Accurate records also facilitate smooth audits and enable the proper claiming of input tax credits.

2) Timely reconciliation of invoices and returns: Timely reconciliation of invoices and returns is essential to avoid common mistakes in GST filing in India. Regularly comparing invoices with filed returns helps identify discrepancies or mismatches, allowing for timely corrections. This practice ensures accurate reporting and compliance, minimizing the risk of penalties and audit issues.

3) Regular monitoring of the GSTN portal: Regular monitoring of the GSTN (Goods and Services Tax Network) portal is essential for avoiding common mistakes in GST return filing in India. By staying updated with notifications, circulars, and changes on the portal, taxpayers can ensure compliance, timely filing, and accurate reporting, minimizing errors and penalties.

4) Training and educating employees: Training and educating employees about GST filing processes and regulations is an effective tip for avoiding common mistakes in GST filing in India. By providing comprehensive training, businesses can ensure that their employees understand the requirements and accurately fulfil their GST filing responsibilities, reducing the likelihood of errors.

5) Seeking professional help: Seeking professional help is a valuable tip for avoiding common mistakes in GST filing in India. Engaging a qualified tax professional or consultant can ensure accurate and compliant filing. They possess the knowledge and expertise to navigate complex GST regulations, reducing the risk of errors and helping taxpayers meet their obligations effectively.


In conclusion, the article “Filing GST Returns: Common Mistakes to Avoid” serves as a comprehensive guide for taxpayers to navigate the GST return filing process effectively. By highlighting common mistakes and offering practical tips, we have emphasized the importance of accuracy, documentation, and leveraging professional assistance to ensure error-free GST return filing and compliance with tax regulations.

Kanakkupillai is an online business service platform that offers assistance and expertise in GST filing in India. 

We can help eliminate mistakes by providing the following:

  • professional guidance
  • ensuring accurate tax calculations
  • reconciling data, and 
  • ensuring compliance with GST regulations. 

Our services can help businesses file GST return online accurately and avoid common errors.

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Kanakkupillai is your reliable partner for every step of your business journey in India. We offer reasonable and expert assistance to ensure legal compliance, covering business registration, tax compliance, accounting and bookkeeping, and intellectual property protection. Let us help you navigate the complex legal and regulatory requirements so you can focus on growing your business. Contact us today to learn more.