GSTR 4 - Annual Filing, Format, Rules, and Due Date

Here is a handy guide to help you understand the GSTR 4 form and its format, along with the steps to file it online.
Business Loan
4 min read
04 November 2023

What is GSTR-4?

GST was introduced to amplify transparency and uniformity in taxation, and its impact has been nothing short of exemplary. GST registration and return filing procedures have made filing taxes easier than ever, helping the business sector greatly. Moreover, as a taxpayer, calculating taxes is extremely easy now, as you only need to know how to calculate GST. The calculation is more straightforward because this one comprehensive tax has absorbed several others. As a result, there is a limited possibility of you making mistakes too.
Various forms have been created to help taxpayers comply with GST requirements. One such form is the GSTR 4 form. Read this guide to understand all that there is to this form.

Understanding form GSTR 4

Every taxpayer who has opted for the composition scheme under the GST regime needs to file GSTR 4. This composition scheme allows you to pay GST according to a fixed turnover rate instead of the regular GST deadlines. While a typical taxpayer provides three monthly returns, a composition taxpayer hands over only one GSTR 4. The GSTR 4 form needs to be filed quarterly, on the 18th of last month in the quarter. Further, as a taxpayer under the composition scheme, annual return GSTR-9A will need to be filed on or before the 31 of December in the succeeding financial year.

Eligibility criteria for GST’s composition scheme

  • A business’ turnover needs to be below Rs. 1 crore to opt for this composition scheme. If you reside in Himachal Pradesh or the North-Eastern states, your turnover must be below Rs. 75 lakh. You must consider all businesses registered under the same PAN to opt for the composition scheme.
  • To calculate the turnover, all businesses registered under the same PAN must be considered, or the composition scheme cannot be selected.
  • All notice boards at the business address mention ‘composition taxable person’. This same phrase also needs to be mentioned on every bill of supply that you issue.
  • If you are a supplier of goods, you can provide services only to the limit of Rs. 5 lakh.
  • Businesses with an intra-state supply of goods are eligible for GST’s composition scheme.
  • Dealers are not allowed to claim the input tax credit or collect composition tax.

However, certain entities cannot opt for the composition scheme. The list of restricted entities includes:

  • Service providers
  • Any supplier other than those related to restaurant businesses
  • A regular or non-resident taxable person
  • Any business supplying goods using an e-commerce operator, tobacco and pan masala manufacturers, and ice-cream manufacturers
  • Supplier of GST-exempted goods
  • Supplier of inter-state goods
  • Supplier of non-taxable goods

For individuals and entities not eligible under the composition scheme, the tax liability will be tax + interest and penalty, equal to the tax amount.

What is the GSTR 4 format?

You will need to show the total value of your supplies in the GSTR 4, and this will be specific to the period for which you are filing. Further, you will need to pay tax at the composition rate. You will also have to enter purchase details at the invoice level for purchases from regular taxpayers. The purchase details are automatically updated in GSTR 4 A through the already submitted GSTR 1 form.

Here are the 13 components that make up the GSTR 4 form

  • The GSTIN of the person filing the return. This is auto-populated.
  • Name of the taxpayer. This is also auto-populated once you sign in to the portal.
  • Details of the total turnover of the previous financial year will need to be filled in by you. Thereon, this field will be automatically auto-populated with the closing balance for each succeeding form.
  • Details of inward supplies, including those eligible for a reverse charge, are also part of GSTR components.

Inward supply details include the following:

  • Inward supplies from unregistered persons.
  • Inward supplies from registered suppliers (attracting reverse charge).
  • Inward supplies from registered suppliers (other than reverse charge).
  • Import of services (subject to reverse charge).
  • Any revisions to inward supply details, including credit and debit notes, stated in returns for a previous tax period.
  • Taxes on outward supplies made, including advance and goods returned, during the tax period you are filing returns for.
  • Any revisions on outward supplies details mentioned in previous GSTR 4 returns, for earlier tax periods.
  • Any advances that you have paid for reverse charge supplies are to be listed in this section. Also, any taxes paid on advances that you paid earlier but received the invoice for only now, should be mentioned here.
  • Any received TDS credit. This table will require details such as the GSTIN of the deductor, TDS amount, and the gross invoice value.
  • Total tax liability and tax payment made with segregation according under heads of cess, CGST, SGST, IGST, and UTGST.
  • Any payable or paid interest and late fees (including details of the same).
  • For excess taxes paid by you in the past, refund claims can be made in this section. You can claim a refund under the sections of tax, interest, penalty, fees, and others.
  • All payments made in cash, including tax, interest, and late fees, must be listed here.

How to file GSTR 4 online

Just like other GSTR forms such as GSTR 1 and GSTR 3B, you can file GSTR 4 returns online.
GSTR 4 online filing can be done on the official GST portal through these steps:
Log in to the GST portal with your email id and password.

Additional read: GST Return Filing Process Explained

  • Click on ‘services’, go to ‘returns’ and select ‘returns dashboard’.
  • Select the financial year and the period of filing.
  • Click on ‘prepare online’ under ‘quarterly return GSTR 4’.
  • Upon doing so, you will get a list of questions to show the relevant sections of the GSTR returns, which you need to answer in ‘yes’ or ‘no’. Then, click ‘next’.
  • Note that only sections for which you chose ‘yes’ are displayed. Key in the details for the applicable tax period for each of the sections displayed.
  • Next, click on ‘preview’ to view the submitted details and download a PDF of the summary of the details entered.
  • Click on ‘Proceed to file’ for calculating the applicable tax, interest, and late fee.
  • Click ‘table 10 and 11’ to pay the tax, interest, and late fee.
  • You can file returns with either of these two options: ‘file GSTR 4 with digital signature certificate (DSC)’ or ‘file GSTR with electronic verification code (EVC)’.
  • Once done, a success message is displayed with the acknowledgement reference number (ARN). Simultaneously, a confirmation message is sent to your registered mobile number and email, and your filing status changes to ‘filed’.

You can also file GSTR online using other software by importing data directly to the relevant columns.

Filing GSTR 4 online: What you need to keep in mind

Here are a few points to remember while filing your GSTR 4.

  • If you do not file the GSTR 4 by the due date, you are liable to pay a late fee. The fee is of Rs. 50 per day post the GSTR 4 due date or Rs. 20 per day in case of a nil return, up to a total of Rs. 5,000.
  • If you miss filing your GSTR 4 for a particular quarter, you will not be able to file GSTR 4 for the next quarter.
  • You can use a third-party software to file GSTR 4.
  • You will not be allowed to revise your GSTR 4 form in the same return. Thus, it is important to double-check your form before submission. You can only make revisions when filing the GSTR 4 for the next quarter.

Additional read: How to log in to the GST portal?

Fee and penalty for late GSTR 4 online filing

Note that you need to pay a penalty of Rs. 200 per day if you fail to file GSTR 4 within the due date. The maximum fee that can be charged is Rs. 5000. Also, if you do not file GSTR 4 of one quarter, you cannot file it for the next quarter as well. So, it is essential to submit your GSTR 4 returns within the stipulated period for each quarter.

There is an increase in the minimum threshold for enrolling in the composition scheme from the earlier Rs. 1 crore to Rs. 1.5 crores. This will lead to more business entities can opt for this scheme and the number of GSTR 4 filings is expected to go up in the coming days.

Additional read: What is GST?


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