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GST Return for Service Providers: Tips and Tricks


Indian consumers are subject to a significant indirect tax known as GST, or goods and services tax, on providing products and services. It is significant for streamlining the tax system, making corporate operations easier, eliminating numerous indirect taxes, and promoting economic growth by creating a consolidated market.

A GST return for a service provider is a periodic filing of data regarding their commercial dealings. It contains information on revenue broken down by invoice, input tax credits, and tax payments. Service providers must submit GST returns regularly to comply with tax laws and keep thorough records of their taxable supplies and liabilities.

Key Takeaways

  1. Maintain proper records: Keep thorough records of invoices, bills of supply, credit and debit notes, and delivery challans. Both physical and electronic records are acceptable, but electronic records must be stored in a non-editable format. Maintain records for six years following the submission of the GST annual return.
  2. File GST returns on time: Timely filing of GST returns is crucial. It helps avoid penalties and contributes to a hassle-free filing process. The Goods and Services Tax Network (GSTN) has upgraded its infrastructure, enhancing the effectiveness of the return filing procedure.
  3. Avail Input Tax Credit (ITC): Understand and claim an input tax credit for taxes paid on capital goods purchases. ITC helps reduce the tax burden at each stage of the supply chain and allows businesses to claim credit for taxes already paid on goods and services.
  4. Avoid common mistakes: Submit zero returns when no sales or transactions, distinguish between zero-rated and nil-rated supply, reconcile GSTR-1 and GSTR-3B, meet obligations under the reverse-charge system, and provide accurate invoice information to prevent errors.
  5. Reconciliation of GST returns: Regularly reconcile GST returns, such as GSTR-1, GSTR-3B, and GSTR-2A, to identify discrepancies, missing credits, and reporting mistakes. Reconciliation ensures accurate reporting, helps address discrepancies, and maximizes input tax credits.

Tips for Filing GST Returns for Service Providers

1) Maintaining Proper Records

Businesses in India must keep various accounts and records that authorized GST authorities can easily verify. These records might be kept in physical or electronic format. Taxpayers are permitted to maintain records electronically that are verified by a digital signature. All invoices, bills of supply, credit and debit notes, and delivery challans about stocks, deliveries, inward supply, and outbound supply must be included in the accounts; these records must be kept on file for six years after submitting the GST annual return. Additionally, each business location in the registration certificate must maintain GST accounts and records. The technique for electronic record-keeping and the precise records that must be provided are covered in depth in this article’s detailed overview of GST records management.

Taxpayers have the option of keeping physical or electronic records. Data saved and used electronically is considered an electronic record and is subject to the same regulations as physical records. To guarantee accuracy and dependability, the proper electronic backup must be kept up to date, and documents should be stored in a non-editable format.

An advisory from the Goods and Services Tax Network (GSTN) emphasised the need to file GST returns on time. By advising taxpayers to organize their submissions carefully and stay clear of last-minute scrambles, the adviser hopes to encourage a more straightforward filing process for taxpayers. Timely filing benefits individual taxpayers and contributes to a hassle-free process for others. It is important to note that the GSTN has significantly upgraded its infrastructure, thus increasing the overall effectiveness of the return filing procedure.

2) Availing of Input Tax Credit (ITC)

Understanding input tax credit (ITC) is crucial for taxpayers due to the implementation of GST. Businesses may claim a credit under the GST for the tax they paid on capital goods purchases. The GST burden at each supply chain step can be reduced by using this credit. When determining the tax due to the federal and state governments, buyers can deduct the input tax paid. In essence, ITC enables businesses to lower their tax burden by claiming credit for the taxes already paid on acquiring goods and services.

Companies must follow the following guidelines to obtain input tax credit (ITC) under GST:

  • The buyer must have a legitimate tax invoice, debit note, or other prescribed document issued by a licensed dealer.
  • The product or service should have been delivered to the buyer. If payments are made in instalments, the last instalment can be claimed as a credit against the tax invoice.
  • The supplier must have made a cash payment or used an input tax credit to reimburse the government for the tax collected from the buyer.
  • The supplier must have submitted GST returns. Only GST-compliant suppliers who have paid the tax collected are eligible to make ITC claims.
  • To claim ITC for invoices and debit notes, you must include information about them in Form GSTR-1/IFF and send it to the registered person in Form GSTR-2B.
  • Within 180 days of the invoice date, the buyer must pay the supplier for the supplies received (including tax). The credit will be added to the buyer’s production tax due if this is not done.
  • Some commodities, including motor vehicles used for transportation, ships and aircraft, general insurance, auto repair and maintenance, and required employee-related goods and services, are not eligible for ITC.

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3) Avoiding Common Mistakes

Think about the following to avoid Common Mistakes in GST compliance:

  • Instead of not reporting anything at all when there are no sales or transactions, submit a zero return.
  • When filing GST returns, distinguish between zero-rated and nil-rated supply as they have different tax implications.
  • You prevent errors and reconcile GSTR-1 (outward supplies) and GSTR-3B (summary return).
  • Meet your financial obligations under the reverse-charge system, which you must do for certain transactions.
  • When completing GSTR-1, provide invoice information precisely to prevent mistakes or anomalies.
  • Instead of putting them in ordinary sales, properly categorize facts about export sales in the relevant column.
  • You can avoid mistakes or non-compliance by submitting GST returns on or before the deadline set by the authorities.

Tricks to Maximize Benefits from GST Return

1) Claiming ITC

The following guidelines must be followed by businesses to obtain input tax credit (ITC) under GST:

  • Possess legitimate tax invoices, debit notes, or other regulated documentation issued by authorized dealers.
  • Verify that the products or services have been received, and if they have been delivered in instalments, seek a credit against the tax invoice for the last payment.
  • Verify that the supplier has paid the tax due on purchases in cash or by utilizing input tax credits.
  • As ITC can only be claimed if the seller is GST compliant and has paid the tax collected, be sure the supplier has filed GST returns.
  • To claim ITC, provide information about the invoice and debit note in Form GSTR-1/IFF and convey it to the registered person in Form GSTR-2B.
  • To be eligible for an ITC, payments must be made to the supplier, including tax, within 180 days of the invoice date. If this is not done, the production tax due will increase to reflect the unutilized credit.
  • Several items, including transportation-related motor cars, ships and aeroplanes, general insurance, auto servicing and repair, and required employee-related goods and services, are not eligible for ITC.

2) Understanding the Reverse Charge Mechanism

A GST feature, the reverse charge mechanism, transfers tax responsibility for a transaction from the provider to the recipient. It applies when products or services are bought from an unregistered vendor or a vendor participating in the composition scheme. The burden of paying the GST and disclosing the transaction in their GST return shifts on the recipient. If they match the eligibility requirements, they may be able to claim an input tax credit for the GST paid through reverse charge. The reverse charge system supports the entire GST framework by ensuring compliance and accountability for transactions involving specific suppliers.

3) Reconciliation of GST Returns

Reconciling GST returns is a crucial step in ensuring the correctness and compliance of a taxpayer’s GST filings. Data from several GST returns, primarily GSTR-1 (outward supplies), GSTR-3B (summary return), and GSTR-2A (inward supplies), are compared and matched.

The taxpayer examines the specifics of sales, purchases, input tax credits, and tax liabilities across these forms throughout the reconciliation process. The goal is to find any missing discrepancies, missing credits, or mistakes that might have happened during the reporting and GST return filing process.

Reconciliation enables taxpayers to address discrepancies and guarantee accurate reporting of their GST transactions. This procedure aids in maintaining correct records, guards against under – or over-reporting tax liabilities, and guarantees GST compliance.

To collect input tax credits, reconciliation is also essential. Taxpayers can find discrepancies or gaps by comparing the purchases listed in GSTR-2A with the permissible credits claimed in GSTR-3B. As a result, their overall tax burden is decreased, and they can correct the errors and collect the appropriate input tax credits.


 In conclusion, businesses must comply with the Goods and Services Tax (GST) requirements. It is crucial to keep accurate records, submit GST reports on time, and fully use input tax credits (ITC). Avoiding typical errors, including failing to file NIL returns, reconciling GSTR-1 and GSTR-3B, and ensuring payment under the reverse charge method. Businesses must also be aware of the requirements for claiming ITC, which include having acceptable documentation, receiving the products or services, paying the supplier’s taxes, filing GST reports, and paying suppliers on time. Lastly, comparing GST returns assures accuracy and makes differences easier to spot. Businesses can successfully navigate the GST system by adhering to these guidelines.

Service providers must prioritize the proper and timely filing of GST returns to maximise benefits and ensure compliance. Leading service provider Kanakkupillai thoroughly assists in completing GST return filing online, assuring compliance with rules and regulations. Their offerings include the upkeep of accurate records, GSTR-1 and GSTR-3B reconciliation, input tax credit (ITC) claims, and expert advice on the reverse charge process. Experienced staff members at Kanakkupillai ensure GST returns are filed precisely and quickly while minimizing and avoiding typical mistakes. Service providers may negotiate the complexity of GST, concentrate on their core business, and comply with GST rules with our expertise.

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