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GST Return vs Income Tax Return: Understanding the Difference


Last Updated on May 17, 2023 by Kanakkupillai

GST Return vs Income Tax Return

Individuals and organizations must comprehend the differences between GST and income tax returns to abide by tax laws and prevent fines. GST and income tax are both forms of taxes, but they differ in terms of when they are applicable, how they are calculated, and how they are submitted. Incorrect tax filings might result in legal troubles and money losses due to confusion between the two.

The distinctions between GST returns and income tax returns are thoroughly explained in this article. The sorts of GST forms and income tax returns that people and businesses might need to file are also described, along with what GST is and how it operates. The page also covers the GST return filing and income tax filing, due dates, and non-compliance consequences. This piece gives users the information they need to comply with tax laws and avoid fines by summarizing the conceptual, calculational, and compliance distinctions between GST and income tax filings.

Key Takeaways

  • Understanding the differences between GST and income tax returns is crucial for individuals and organizations to avoid legal troubles and financial losses.
  • GST (Goods and Services Tax) is an indirect tax imposed on the provision of goods and services, while income tax is a direct tax paid on the income earned by individuals and corporations.
  • GST operates by displacing multiple indirect taxes and aims to eliminate the cascading effect of taxes, whereas income tax is utilized for funding public services.
  • Different types of GST returns include GSTR-1, GSTR-2A, GSTR-3B, GSTR-4, GSTR-5, GSTR-6, GSTR-7, GSTR-9, and GSTR-10, depending on the nature of transactions and taxpayer status.
  • GST returns have specific filing and due dates, varying based on the type of return and taxpayer’s annual revenue, with penalties for non-compliance, including fines, interest charges, and potential cancellation of GST registration.
  • Income tax returns (ITRs) are filed based on the sources of income and business structure, with forms such as ITR-1, ITR-2, ITR-3, ITR-4, and ITR-5.
  • ITR filing deadlines for individuals are typically on July 31st, while for businesses, it is September 30th of the assessment year, with penalties for late filing and potential imprisonment for tax evasion.
  • Conceptually, GST and income tax returns differ as GST focuses on the value of goods and services, while income tax centres around the net income after deductions and exemptions.
  • Calculation methods also differ, with GST based on the combined value of goods and services and income tax based on the income earned.

What is GST, and how does it work?

Goods and Services Tax, sometimes known as GST, is an indirect tax imposed on providing goods and services. It displaces several indirect taxes, including VAT, service tax, and excise duty. The GST system is intended to limit the cascading effect of taxes on the ultimate price of goods and services and to create a smooth flow of tax credits from suppliers to receivers. It is a destination-based tax, meaning that rather than being collected at the location of production, it is collected at the place of consumption. 

Types of GST returns

Depending on their company operations and sales, taxpayers may need to file several forms of GST returns. The following are the most common GST return types:

GSTR-1: Registered taxpayers who must disclose the specifics of their sales or outgoing supply produced during the month must submit 

GSTR-2A: This automatically generated return lists the specifics of any purchases or inbound supplies made by a registered taxpayer.

GSTR-3B: Taxpayers must submit GSTR-3B, a summary report that lists their sales, purchases, and claimed input tax credit amounts.

GSTR-4: Taxpayers who chose the GST Composition Scheme must submit this quarterly report.

GSTR-5: Non-resident taxpayers registered for GST and made supplies in India must file this return.

GSTR-6: Input Service Distributors (ISD), who disburse the input tax credit to their respective units, are responsible for filing this report.

GSTR-7: Taxpayers who are obliged by GST to deduct TDS (Tax Deducted at Source) must complete this form.

GSTR-9: All registered taxpayers must submit GSTR-9 annually, which includes a summary of their claims for input tax credits and sales and purchases for the previous fiscal year.

GSTR-10: Taxpayers who have cancelled their GST registration must submit this report.

Filing and due dates for GST returns

Depending on the kind of return and the taxpayer’s annual revenue, different GST returns have other filing and due dates. GSTR-1, for example, must be submitted by the 11th of the next month, whereas GSTR-3B must be submitted by the 20th of the following month. The yearly return, GSTR-9, must also be submitted by December 31 of the next fiscal year. Taxpayers can submit GSTR-1 and GSTR-3B quarterly instead of monthly if their revenue is up to Rs. 5 crores. Taxpayers must adhere to the deadlines to avoid late penalties and interest costs.

GST Return Filing Online in India

Penalties for non-compliance

Failure to comply with GST requirements may result in fines, interest charges, penalties for incomplete or inaccurate filing, and even jail for tax evasion. With a cap of 0.25% of the taxpayer’s turnover, late costs for delayed GST returns are assessed at Rs. 50 per day (Rs. 20 for taxpayers with no responsibility). Additionally, an 18% annual interest rate is applied to any underpaid or late taxes. It is essential to follow compliance standards and submit returns on time since non-compliant taxpayers risk cancelling their GST registration.

What is income tax, and how does it work?

Income tax is a type of direct tax paid by both people and corporations on the income they make each year. The tax amount is determined based on the taxpayers’ available deductions and the income tax slab rates. The government collects income tax, which is used to pay for public services, including healthcare, education, and infrastructure improvement. Taxpayers must file income tax forms to record their income and pay the required taxes.

Types of income tax returns

Depending on their sources of income and the nature of their operations, individuals and firms may need to submit several forms of income tax returns (ITRs). Individuals having wage or pension income should use the ITR-1 form, while those reporting income from capital gains, dividends, or overseas assets should use the ITR-2 form. For commercial entities with varying turnover and revenue sources, there are three separate ITR forms: ITR-3, ITR-4, and ITR-5.

Filing and due dates for income tax returns

Individuals and corporations must file income tax returns (ITRs) by the deadlines to avoid fines. For individuals, the deadline is typically July 31st of the assessment year; however, the assessment year 2021–22 was extended to September 30, 2021. By September 30th of the assessment year, business entities, including corporations and partnership businesses, must file their ITR. Taxpayers have two options for filing their ITR online using the Income Tax Department’s e-filing site or offline by mailing a paper copy of the form to the tax division.

Penalties for non-compliance

Penalties for violating income tax laws include late filing fines of up to Rs. 10,000, interest on unpaid taxes, and fines ranging from 50% to 200% of the tax amount avoided. In extreme circumstances, someone may even be sentenced to jail for fabricating records or evading taxes. Income tax returns must be filed properly and on time to avoid these fines.

Differences between GST Return and Income Tax Return

1) Conceptual Differences

GST and income tax returns are conceptually distinct since GST Return is a tax on the value of goods and services, whereas income tax is a tax on the income received by both people and companies.

2) Calculation Differences

The computation technique is where the GST and income tax calculation differences exist. GST is determined by the combined value of goods and services, whereas income tax is determined by the net income after deductions and exemptions.

3) Compliance Differences

GST and income tax returns have different compliance requirements in frequency and form of filing, registration requirements, and paperwork. Businesses having a turnover of above Rs. 40 lakhs must register, submit GST on a monthly or quarterly basis, and maintain thorough invoices and records. Individuals who earn more above a particular threshold must file yearly income tax forms, which also call for the production of investment declarations and tax deducted at source certifications.


In conclusion, it is essential to grasp the distinctions between GST and income tax returns to comply with tax laws and prevent fines. Individuals and organizations may turn to reputable tax and legal service providers like Kanakkupillai for help with GST return filing online and assuring compliance. Kanakkupillai can assist taxpayers in navigating the complexity of tax regulations and filing their returns properly and on time, avoiding any potential fines, thanks to their knowledge and experience in tax and legal affairs. So for hassle-free tax compliance, think about contacting Kanakkupillai.

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