Key features of Draft GST Simplified Returns

Source: Alankit GST Team     Aug 03, 2018

The GST Council in its 28th GST Council Meeting held on July 21, 2018 under the Chairmanship of Shri Piyush Goyal, Union Minister for Railways, Coal, Finance & Corporate Affairs has approved the new return formats. The Council had earlier approved the basic principles of GST return design and directed the law committee to finalize the return formats and changes in law.

In pursuance thereof, the CBIC has placed Note on draft GST simplified returns and return formats in public domain on July 30, 2018 for perusal and feedback of stakeholders. The Note on draft format of GST simplified return, inter alia, contains brief note which lists the salient features of the new return format and business process for the information of trade and industry and other stakeholders in two parts i.e. Part – A which specifies the Key features of Monthly Return and Part – B which specifies the Key features of Quarterly Return in GST. Gist of both the parts are summarized hereunder for easy digest:


  1. Monthly Return and due-date:
  • All taxpayers except small taxpayers, composition dealer, Input Service Distributor (ISD), Non-resident registered person, persons liable to deduct tax or collect tax at source u/s 51/52 of CGST Act, 2017 shall file one monthly return.
  • Dates of return filing will be on staggered manner based on the reported turnover in last year i.e. 2017-18, annualized for the full year. A newly registered taxpayer shall be classified on the basis of self-declaration of the estimated turnover.
  • The due date for filing of monthly return for the large taxpayer shall be 20th of the next month.
  1. Nil return and Small taxpayers:
  • Taxpayers having no purchases, no output tax liability and no input tax credit shall file one NIL return for the entire quarter through SMS facility.
  • Taxpayers having a turnover up to Rs. 5 Cr. in the last financial year shall be considered as small taxpayer, who will have optional facility to file quarterly return with monthly payment of taxes on self-declaration basis.
  1. Continuous uploading and viewing:
  • Facility of continuous uploading of invoices is available to supplier anytime during the month which shall also be continuously visible to the recipient.
  • Invoices uploaded by the supplier by 10th of succeeding month shall be auto-populated in the liability table of the main return of the supplier.
  • After the due date for the filing of return is over, the recipient shall also be able to see the return filing status of the supplier and thus be aware that whether the tax liability on purchases made by him has been discharged by the supplier or not.
  1. Due date for uploading invoices and action to be taken by the recipient:
  • Taxes payable on invoices uploaded by the supplier by 10th of the next month which can be availed as ITC shall be posted in the relevant field of the input tax credit table of the return of the recipient by 11th of the next month.
  • Invoices uploaded after 10th of next month by the supplier shall get posted in the relevant field of the return of the subsequent month of the recipient though viewing shall be continuous.
  • After 11th of the next month, the recipient shall be able to accept, reject or keep pending a particular invoice but the maximum limit of eligible ITC will be based on the invoices uploaded by the supplier upto 10th of the subsequent month.
  • In the transition phase of six months, the recipient would be able to avail ITC on self-declaration basis even on the invoices not uploaded by the supplier by 10th of the next month or thereafter using the facility of availing ITC on missing invoices.
  1. Invoice uploaded but return not filed:
  • It shall be treated as self-admitted liability by the supplier.
  • Recovery proceedings shall be initiated against him after allowing for a reasonable time for filing of the return and payment of taxes.
  1. Unidirectional Flow of document:
  • The invoices or debit notes uploaded by the supplier shall be the valid document for availing ITC by the recipient.
  • The Invoices or debit notes which have not been uploaded by the supplier and the recipient has availed ITC shall be considered as “missing invoices”. If such missing invoices are not uploaded by the supplier within prescribed time period, then ITC on such invoices or debit notes shall be recovered from the recipient.
  1. Missing invoice reporting:
  • Missing invoices shall be reported by the supplier in the main return for any tax period with interest or penalty as applicable.
  • Reporting of missing invoices by recipient can be delayed up to two tax periods to allow recipient to follow up and get the missing invoice uploaded from the supplier.
  • Taxpayers filing quarterly returns shall report missing invoices in the next quarter.
  1. Payment of tax:
  • Liability declared in the return shall be discharged in full at the time of filing of the return by the supplier in the present return FORM GSTR 3B.
  1. Recovery of Input tax credit:
  • There will be no automatic reversal of ITC at the recipient’s end where taxes has not been paid by the supplier.
  • In case of default in payment of taxes by the supplier, recovery shall be first made from the supplier. Only in exceptional circumstances like missing taxpayer, closure of business by the supplier, etc., recovery shall be made from the recipient.
  1. Locking of Invoices:
  • Locking of invoices raised by supplier means acceptance of transaction reported in the Invoices by the recipient.
  • On filing of the return by recipient, all invoices shall deemed to be accepted except invoices kept pending or rejected.
  • A wrongly locked invoice shall be unlocked online by the recipient himself subject to reversal of ITC by him and online confirmation thereof.
  1. Amendment of invoices:
  • Amendment of an invoice is only possible where ITC has not been availed and Invoice is not locked by the recipient.
  • Invoices on which ITC has been availed by the recipient (i.e. locked invoices) will not be allowed to be amended by the supplier and to amend the reported particular of such invoices, a credit or a debit note will have to be issued by the supplier.
  1. HSN:
  • Now the table for reporting supplies with the tax liability at various tax rates shall not capture HSN but would continue to capture supplies at different tax rates as is the present practice.
  • The details of HSN shall be captured at four digit or more in a separate table in the regular monthly return.

  1. Return format:
  • The main return shall have two main tables – one for reporting supplies on which tax liability arises and one for availing ITC.
  • Return shall have annexure of invoices which shall auto-populate the output liability table in the main return.
  1. Payment of multiple liability to be summarized period wise:
  • Liability in the return arising out of invoices of different dates shall be summarized period wise. However, one payment for the total tax liability on all tax invoices shall be allowed to be made.
  • Interest shall be calculated on invoices which are reported late.
  1. Amendment return:
  • Facility for filing of amendment return shall be available to taxpayer. Amendment return is different than a regular return.
  • Two amendment returns can be filed for each tax period within the time period specified in Section 39(9) of the CGST Act, 2017 i.e. by due date for furnishing September month return or second quarter following end of financial year or actual date of furnishing relevant annual return, whichever is earlier.
  • Amendment of entries which flow from the annexure of the main return shall be allowed only with the amendment of the details filed in the annexure.
  1. Amendment of missing invoices:
  • Amendment of missing invoices reported later by the supplier shall be carried out through the amendment return of the relevant tax period to which the invoice pertains.
  • Thus, it is better to avail the amendment facility once all the invoices are uploaded, so that invoices reported late can also be amended through the amendment return.
  1. Amendment of details other than that of invoice:
  • All user entries of ITC table in the main return would be allowed to be amended.
  • Change in the closing balance of ITC shall be affected based on the declaration in the amendment return of the taxpayer. Thus, the opening and closing balances of intervening month(s) shall not get impacted.
  1. Payment due to amended liability & Negative liability:
  • Payment would be allowed to be made through the amendment return as it will help save interest liability for the taxpayer. ITC, if available in the electronic credit ledger can also be used for payment of the liability in the amendment return.
  • Negative liability arising from the amendment return shall be carried forward as negative liability in the regular return of the next tax period.
  • For change in liability of more than 10% through an amendment return, a higher late fee may be prescribed to ensure that reporting is appropriate in the regular return.
  1. Exports:
  • The table for export of goods in return would contain details of the Shipping Bill also which can be filled either at the time of filing the return or after filing the return. A separate facility for uploading shipping bill details at a later date shall be provided to the exporters.
  • Filing the details of the Shipping Bill in the return at a later date shall not be considered as filing of an amendment return.
  • Once the information of Shipping Bill is completed, the entire data shall be transmitted to the ICEGATE. The amended data would also be transmitted to ICEGATE.
  • Till data starts flowing online from ICEGATE or SEZ online in the input tax credit of the return, credit on imports and supplies from SEZ shall be availed on self-declaration basis.
  1. Supply side control:
  • For a newly registered taxpayer and a taxpayer who has defaulted in payment of tax beyond a time period and/or above a threshold, uploading of invoices shall be allowed only up to that threshold amount or only after the default in payment of tax is made good respectively.
  • If the supplier does not make the default good, the invoice of such supplier shall not be populated in the viewing facility of the recipient and consequently, the recipient would not be able to avail ITC on such invoices till the default in payment of tax by the supplier for the past period is made good.
  1. Profile based return:
  • A questionnaire shall be provided to the taxpayer and only such part of return shall be shown to him which are relevant to his profile.
  1. Purchase information in the annual return:
  • Invoices/ Supplies on which the recipient does not intend to take ITC but are kept pending or rejected will have to be reported separately in the Annual return.
  1. Suspension of registration:
  • From the date of suspension to the date of cancellation of registration, return would not be required to be filed and also invoice uploading shall not be allowed for the period beyond the date of suspension.


  1. Quarterly filing and monthly payments:
  • A facility has been provided to small taxpayer to file quarterly return, who had a turnover up to Rs. 5 Cr. in the last financial year.
  • But such taxpayer will pay their taxes on monthly basis and avail ITC on self-declaration basis to pay the monthly taxes.
  1. Quarterly or monthly return:
  • Option for filing monthly or quarterly return shall be taken at the beginning of the year. Thereafter they would continue to file the return during the year as per option selected.
  • Option to change from monthly to quarterly or vice-versa shall be allowed only once and at the beginning of any quarter.
  1. Options in quarterly return:
  • Small taxpayers having turnover up to Rs. 5 Cr. would have option to file one of three forms, namely – Quarterly return, Sahaj or Sugam.
  • Quarterly return shall be akin to the monthly return except that it has been simplified and shall not have the compliance requirement in relation to –
  1. Missing and pending invoices as small taxpayers do not use these procedures in their inventory management.
  2. Supplies such as non-GST supply, exempted supply etc. as they do not create any liability.
  • The details of ITC on capital goods credit shall also not be required to be filled.

These information shall be required to be filled in the Annual Return. Small taxpayers who would like to facility of missing and pending invoice may file monthly return.

  1. Quarterly Return:
  • Option to create profile in the quarterly return shall also be available. Sahaj and Sugam are predetermined profiles of the quarterly return.
  1. Sahaj and Sugam Returns:
  • Small taxpayers often have purchases only from the domestic market and sales in the domestic market i.e. B2B purchases locally and supplies either as B2C or B2B+B2C.
  • Two simplified quarterly returns are proposed for them – “Sahaj” (only B2C outward supplies) and “Sugam” (both B2B and B2C outward supplies).
  1. Uploading of invoices:
  • The recipients from these small taxpayers would need uploaded invoice for availing ITC.
  • Thus, small taxpayers would be given facility to continuously upload invoices in normal course. Invoices uploaded by 10th of the following month which would be available as ITC to the recipient in the same month as is the case in case of purchases from large taxpayers.
  1. Payment declaration form for payment of monthly taxes:
  • Small taxpayers would continue to pay taxes on monthly basis by using a payment declaration form in first and second month of every quarter.
  • In the payment declaration form, self-assessed liability and ITC on self-declared basis shall be declared.
  • Late payment of tax liability including that in first and second month of the quarter shall attract interest liability.
  1. HSN:
  • HSN wise details would need to be provided at 4-digit level or more in the quarterly return.
  1. Pending and missing invoices:
  • Quarterly return shall not have the compliance requirement of missing and pending invoices as small businesses do not use these procedures in their inventory management.