👍👍👍👍👍👍👍GSTR-1 vs GSTR-3B vs GSTR-9: How do three returns differ for businesses | The Financial Express

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Ease of doing business for MSMEs: There are around 22 types of GST returns, of which around 4 are suspended and eight are view-only in format. The remaining 11 have to be filed depending on the taxpayer category.

gst, goods and services tax, gstin, gstr 1, gstr 3b, gstr 9, gst returns, gst filing, annual returns, gst return late fee, delay filing, turnoverA regular business usually needs to file three returns – GSTR-1 and GSTR-3B monthly and GSTR-9 annually. 

Ease of doing business for MSMEs: Filing a Goods and Services Tax (GST) return is mandatory for every GST Identification Number (GSTIN) registered. There are around 22 types of GST returns, of which around 4 are suspended and eight are view-only in format. The remaining 11 have to be filed depending on the taxpayer category such as regular taxpayer, composition taxable persons, TDS (tax deducted at source) deductor, non-resident taxpayer, e-commerce operators, Input Service Distributor (ISD), and others. 

A regular business usually needs to file three returns – GSTR-1 and GSTR-3B monthly and GSTR-9 annually. Here’s what they are all about:


GSTR-1 is a monthly statement of outward supplies to be furnished by taxpayers for supplying goods and services or both either by sale, transfer, barter, exchange, licence, rental, lease or other modes. However, if your business’s turnover during the preceding financial year was up to Rs 5 crore or if the expected for the current financial year would be up to Rs 5 crore, you can opt for the Quarterly Returns with Monthly Payment (QRMP) scheme to file GSTR-1 on a quarterly basis while paying tax dues on monthly basis through a challan.

Also read: Online GST registration 2023: Here’s how you can easily register your MSME unit step-by-step

To file GSTR-1, you would need to provide invoice details of supplies to registered consumers other than invoice details of inter-state supplies with an invoice value of more than Rs 2.5 lakh to unregistered consumers.  

In addition, you would need details of credit/debit notes issued against invoices, details of export of goods and services including deemed exports (SEZ), summarised state-level details of supplies to unregistered consumers, details of advances received in relation to future supply and their adjustment; nil- rated, exempted, and non-GST supplies; and HSN/SAC (services accounting codes) wise summary of outward supplies.

However, taxpayers under the composition scheme are not required to file GSTR-1. Businesses with a turnover of less than Rs 1.5 crore can opt for the scheme that will allow them to file only one quarterly return GSTR-4A other than an annual return. Non-resident foreign taxpayers, online information database and access retrieval service providers, ISDs, TDS deductors and e-commerce platforms collecting TCS are also not required to file GSTR-1. 

The due date to file GSTR-1 for a given tax period is the 11th day of the succeeding month. For those filing it quarterly, the 13th day of the month succeeding the end of every quarter is the last date to file GSTR-1. 


GSTR-3B is basically a summary return of outward supplies and input tax credit claimed along with taxes paid. It can be filed online on the GST Portal by going to the ‘Services’ tab and then ‘Returns’ and ‘Returns Dashboard’. Select the financial year and tax period and Form GSTR-3B will be displayed. 

However, sales and input tax credit information should be reconciled with GSTR-1 before filing GSTR-3B to avoid mismatches in data. 

The due date for those filing it monthly is the 20th of the month following the month of the tax period and the 22nd and 24th of the month following the quarter for which the return pertains for those filing it quarterly under the QRMP scheme. Filing of GSTR-3B is mandatory even if no business has been done in the particular tax period.

Also read: GST returns: How small businesses can file their returns online

In case of delay in filing GSTR 1, the taxpayer is required to pay Rs 50 per day from the due date while in case of nil returns, the late fee applicable would be Rs 20 per day. 


GSTR-9 has to be filled annually by the taxpayer registered under GST. The return contains details around purchases, sales, input tax credit or refund claimed or demand created etc., under various tax heads such as CGST, SGST, and IGST. It can also be considered as a consolidation of all monthly and/or quarterly returns filed by taxpayers during the year. However, for businesses with turnover up to Rs 2 crore, filing GSTR-9 is reportedly optional.

Those who have opted for the composition scheme can file the annual return in GSTR-9A instead of GSTR-9. However, they are required to file GSTR-9 for the period during which they were registered as a normal taxpayer. On the other hand, normal taxpayers, non-resident taxable persons, ISDs and OIDAR Service Providers are not required to file the annual return.  

OIDAR (Online Information Database Access and Retrieval Services) is a category of services provided over the Internet without any physical interface with the supplier of such services.

Importantly, the annual return can only be filed if the taxpayer has filed GSTR-1 and GSTR-3B of the relevant financial year. The annual return has to be filed by December 31 or the extended date by the government. 

Delay in filing the annual return by businesses with turnover up to Rs 5 crore attracts a late fee of Rs 50 per day subject to a maximum limit of 0.04 per cent of turnover.

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