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GST Returns: Understanding the Frequency of Filings


Last Updated on June 11, 2023 by Kanakkupillai

Filing GST Returns

For businesses to meet their tax obligations and stay in line with the Goods and Services Tax legislation, filing GST returns is important. It assists companies in accurately reporting their sales, purchases, and tax obligations, promoting accountability and openness in the tax system. Businesses can verify their compliance with tax regulations and collect input tax credits by filing GST returns.

Frequency of filing GST returns

The category of the taxpayer determines how frequently they must file GST returns. Most enterprises and regular taxpayers must submit monthly GST returns, or GSTR-3Bs, detailing their sales, purchases, and tax estimates. However, under the GST Composition Scheme, small taxpayers with annual revenue below a certain threshold may have the choice to file quarterly returns. In addition, separate returns are available for input service distributors, online merchants, and taxpayers who fall under the Non-Resident Taxable Person category.

Key Takeaways

  1. Importance of filing GST returns: Filing GST returns helps businesses meet tax obligations, report sales and purchases accurately, and promote transparency in the tax system.
  2. Frequency of filing GST returns: Monthly returns (GSTR-3B) are common for most businesses, while small taxpayers under the Composition Scheme can opt for quarterly returns (GSTR-4). Annual returns (GSTR-9) summarize yearly transactions.
  3. Criteria for filing GST returns: Turnover, type of business, GST registration, and availability of Input Tax Credits (ITC) influence the filing requirements.
  4. Benefits of timely filing: Timely filing enables businesses to claim Input Tax Credits, enhance their reputation, avoid penalties, and maintain financial stability.
  5. Input Tax Credit (ITC): Proper filing allows businesses to recover taxes paid on inputs, reducing their overall tax burden and improving cash flow.
  6. Business reputation: Timely filing demonstrates compliance, financial transparency, and professionalism, enhancing the reputation of the business.
  7. Avoiding penalties: Filing returns on time helps businesses avoid fines and legal consequences imposed for late or non-compliance. It minimizes the risk of audits or investigations.

Understanding the Frequency of GST Return Filings

The frequency of GST return filings can vary depending on the type of taxpayer. This includes monthly returns for the majority of businesses, quarterly returns for small taxpayers under the Composition Scheme, and annual returns to summarize yearly transactions. 

Monthly GST Returns

Most companies with a Goods and Services Tax (GST) registration must submit monthly GST returns. The main monthly return is the GSTR-3B, which covers the specifics of outgoing supplies, incoming supplies, and tax liabilities for a specific tax period. It contains details about sales, purchases, input tax credits, and the total amount of tax owed. The 20th of the next month is typically the deadline for submitting GSTR-3B. Businesses can maintain regularity in reporting their tax information by filing monthly returns, making it easier to pay their taxes to the government on schedule.

Quarterly GST Returns

Eligible small taxpayers can choose to file quarterly GST returns rather than monthly returns under the GST Composition Scheme. These taxpayers must submit GSTR-4, which summarizes their outgoing and incoming supply, taxes owed, and payment information for a given quarter. The 18th of the month following the end of the quarter is typically the deadline for submitting GSTR-4. Companies with lesser turnovers benefit from quarterly return submissions since they reduce the frequency of compliance requirements and make the tax filing procedure easier for them.

Annual GST Returns

Businesses registered under the GST regime must also submit an annual GST return in addition to the monthly and quarterly returns. The GSTR-9 return contains this information, often known as a complete overview of all transactions made during the financial year. Details on outgoing and incoming supply, input tax credits used, and taxes paid are included. The annual return is required by December 31st, after the financial year ends. Businesses can reconcile their annual transactions and guarantee compliance with the GST requirements by submitting the annual GST return.

Criteria for Filing GST Returns

The requirements for submitting GST returns depend on several variables, including turnover, the type of business, GST registration, and the availability of Input Tax Credits (ITC). For businesses to decide on the frequency and deadlines for filing GST returns, to ensure compliance with tax laws, and to preserve transparency in their financial operations, it is crucial to comprehend these criteria.


A company’s annual turnover is a key factor in deciding how frequently to file GST returns. If the annual turnover exceeds the cap set by the tax authorities, normal taxpayers must file monthly GST filings. From nation to nation, different turnover thresholds apply. If their annual revenue remains below a predetermined threshold, small taxpayers registered under the Composition Scheme may choose to file quarterly returns. Businesses can comply with their GST return filing duties by the filing frequency determined by the turnover criteria.

Type of Business

The requirements for filing GST returns are also influenced by the type of business. Different business types could be subject to different filing requirements or exclusions. Businesses involved in e-commerce, for instance, might need to submit extra returns to reflect purchases made through their platforms. Similar duties may apply to companies registered as Input Service Distributors or Non-Resident Taxable Persons. The nature of corporate operations and their classification under GST regulations impact the requirements for submitting GST returns, ensuring that companies adhere to the particular standards pertinent to their operations.

Registered under GST

Being registered with the Goods and Services Tax (GST) system is the main need for filing GST returns. Businesses that have registered for GST are required to submit frequent GST returns at specified intervals. Businesses are legally recognized and held responsible for meeting their tax duties, including the timely filing of GST returns. Companies must complete the registration process and get a special GST identification number (GSTIN) to meet the requirements for filing GST returns.

Input Tax Credit (ITC)

The requirements for filing GST returns might also be impacted by the availability and application of Input Tax Credit (ITC). The term “input tax credit” refers to the reimbursement companies can make for the tax they pay on the materials used to create or deliver goods and services. Businesses must ensure their suppliers have submitted their GST returns and appropriately documented the transactions to be eligible for ITCs. Additional taxes may be owed if ITC is not claimed. To appropriately report and collect eligible Input Tax Credits, businesses must complete their GST returns promptly. Failing to do so may substantially impact their tax liability and compliance with GST requirements.

Benefits of Timely Filing GST Returns

Under the GST system, companies must submit their GST returns on time. It makes it possible to claim the Input Tax Credit properly, lowering the tax burden and enhancing cash flow. It enhances the reputation of the company by demonstrating compliance and financial transparency. Late submission results in penalties and legal consequences. Overall, it assists businesses in paying their taxes on time, making the most of their tax breaks, and keeping their finances in good shape.

Input Tax Credit (ITC)

Businesses can profit from Input Tax Credit (ITC) if their GST returns are filed on time. Businesses may recover the tax they paid on the inputs used in creating or providing products and services by accurately disclosing their purchases and payments in the GST reports. Businesses can maximize their use of ITC by timely filing to guarantee that they can reconcile their input tax with their output tax due. As a result, companies can balance their input tax against their output tax liability, lowering their overall tax burden and increasing their cash flow. Furthermore, on-time submission of GST returns assures compliance with the GST requirements, protecting businesses from fines and legal consequences.

Business Reputation

The reputation of the business benefits from timely GST return filing. It displays the company’s dedication to legal compliance and openness about its finances. Businesses that file their returns on time build a reputation for being professional and satisfying their tax obligations. This could improve their standing with clients, vendors, and financial institutions. It also fosters trust in the company’s management of its finances and operations. On the other hand, submitting GST returns late or violating the law can create suspicion about a company’s dependability. Therefore, submitting GST returns on time helps to preserve a good business reputation and promote trust in the industry.

Avoiding Penalties

GST returns should be filed on time to assist businesses in avoiding fines and legal consequences. Tax authorities levy fines for filing returns late, which can cause financial losses and interfere with business operations. Businesses reduce their risk of penalties by complying with the required dates imposed by the tax authorities by timely filing returns. Additionally, timely filing enables companies to quickly fix any mistakes or anomalies in their returns, preventing audits or investigations. Businesses can retain financial stability and avoid unneeded legal difficulties by keeping to the filing dates, minimising their risk of paying penalties.


Submitting GST returns is crucial for companies using the Goods and Services Tax (GST) system. It ensures that tax laws are followed, allows companies to collect input tax credits, and builds their credibility. Businesses can accurately disclose their sales, purchases, and tax liabilities by submitting their GST reports promptly, promoting accountability and openness. It assists companies in upholding a favourable reputation, avoiding fines, and lowering legal risks. Businesses may meet their tax obligations, take full advantage of tax breaks, and support a seamless and effective tax administration system by submitting GST returns on time.

At Kanakkupillai, we know the importance of businesses filing GST returns on time. Our team of skilled specialists is knowledgeable about GST requirements and can offer thorough advice to ensure accurate and quick filing. Businesses who partner with us can rely on our knowledge and tailored approach to help them negotiate the complexity of GST return filing online and maintain compliance. We want to make the process more efficient, maximize tax advantages, and let businesses concentrate on what they do best. You may rest easy knowing that your GST return filing is in good hands when Kanakkupillai is your trusted partner.



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.