Preparing for GST Return Filing

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A Comprehensive Guide to GST Return Filing Online

The Goods and Services Tax (GST) is a significant tax reform in India that has streamlined the indirect taxation system. Businesses registered under GST are required to file returns on a regular basis, detailing their sales, purchases, and the tax collected and paid. GST returns Filing Online is a crucial aspect of compliance and helps businesses maintain transparency and accountability. This guide provides a step-by-step overview of the online GST return filing process.

Understanding GST Returns

GST returns are documents that every GST-registered business must file with the tax authorities. These returns contain details of the business's income, and expenses, and the tax liability. There are different types of GST returns that need to be filed periodically, including:

  • GSTR-1: Monthly return for outward supplies.
  • GSTR-2A: View-only return for inward supplies.
  • GSTR-3B: Monthly summary return for outward and inward supplies.
  • GSTR-4: Quarterly return for composition scheme taxpayers.
  • GSTR-9: Annual return for all regular taxpayers.

Prerequisites for Filing GST Returns Online

Before filing GST returns online, ensure you have the following:

  1. GSTIN (GST Identification Number): A unique number assigned to each GST-registered entity.
  2. Access to the GST Portal: The official GST portal ( is where returns are filed.
  3. Digital Signature Certificate (DSC): For companies and LLPs, a DSC is required.
  4. Aadhaar-based OTP or EVC: For other types of businesses, authentication can be done using OTP or EVC.

Step-by-Step Guide to Filing GST Returns Online

  1. Login to the GST Portal:

    • Visit the official GST portal (
    • Enter your username and password to log in.
  2. Navigate to Return Dashboard:

    • Once logged in, go to the ‘Services’ tab.
    • Select ‘Returns’ and then ‘Returns Dashboard’.
    • Choose the financial year and return filing period.
  3. Select the Return Form:

    • Depending on the type of return, select the appropriate form (e.g., GSTR-1, GSTR-3B).
  4. Enter the Required Details:

    • Fill in the details of outward and inward supplies as applicable.
    • Upload invoices if required.
    • Ensure all details are accurate to avoid discrepancies.
  5. Preview the Return:

    • Before submitting, preview the return to check for any errors.
    • Make necessary corrections if needed.
  6. Submit the Return:

    • Once verified, click on ‘Submit’.
    • This will freeze the data entered and generate an ARN (Acknowledgment Reference Number).
  7. File with DSC/OTP/EVC:

    • Use your DSC, OTP, or EVC for authentication.
    • Complete the filing process by signing the return digitally.
  8. Download the Filed Return:

    • After successful submission, download the filed return for your records.


Filing GST returns online is an integral part of the GST compliance process. While it may seem daunting initially, following a systematic approach and ensuring accuracy can simplify the task. Leveraging technology, staying organized, and seeking expert advice when needed can ensure seamless GST return filing and keep your business compliant with tax regulations.

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West Karikalan Street, CMWSSB Division 161, Ward 161, Zone 12 Alandur, Alandur, Chennai District, Tamil Nadu, 600088, India
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