Features of the new GST returns system

Unlike the Government’s previous attempt, where the Goods and Services Tax was introduced in 2017 and didn’t allow taxpayers any time for transition or understanding the filing of returns, the New Return System under GST has been designed to address taxpayer concerns while filing their GST returns and help them file their returns conveniently. Here are some of the features of the New Return System under the Goods and Services Tax.

Monthly and Quarterly filing of GST returns
The return filing dates and frequency will be based on the turnover of the taxpayer and shall be calculated based on the reported turnover in the preceding financial year. So if a taxpayer has a turnover below Rs. 5 crore in the previous financial year, they will be required to file their returns every quarter, while others having a turnover above Rs. 5 crore shall file their returns every month. Monthly filing will be due on the 20th of the next month and will not be applicable to composition dealers, ISD, NR, persons liable to collect tax at source or deduct tax at source. Taxpayers who have no output tax liability can report NIL transactions via an SMS portal.

Real-time uploading and viewing of Invoices
Taxpayers who have uploaded invoices by the 10th of the month will be able to enjoy an auto-population facility under the liability table of the main return. Suppliers will be allowed to upload invoices anytime, and the same can be viewable by the recipient/buyer for deeming as accepted, rejected or pending.

Reporting of missing invoice
If the supplier does not upload invoices within the stipulated period of time, the recipient can report missing invoices and will be granted a delay of up to two tax periods to follow up with the supplier and have the missing invoice uploaded.

Amendment return facility
Under the current return system, erroneous submissions can only be rectified in the subsequent month. But under the new system, taxpayers can file an amendment return (limited to two amendments for each tax period). Payment would be allowed to be made through the amendment return as it will help save interest liability

Declaring exports
Under the field for details on the export of goods, a taxpayer will be required to fill in details of the shipping bill as well – it is their choice to decide whether they fill in this information at the time of filing the return or after. Additionally, filing of shipping details at a later date is not considered as the filing of an amendment return.

Payment of tax
If the taxpayer falls under the category of small taxpayer, they must note that any liability amount declared in the return shall be discharged in full at the time of filing of the main return by the supplier – similar to what is currently done under GSTR 3B. Large taxpayers, however, will be required to use a payment declaration form in the first and second month of every quarter and ITC will be declared by them on a self-assessment basis.

The New Return System will officially roll out in October 2020 and taxpayers need to be streamlining their documents, preparing for what will hopefully be, a convenient and glitch-free filing system.

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