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Understanding Form GSTR 1: A comprehensive guide

  • Highlights

  • GSTR 1 lists the transactions of supply of goods in a month or quarter

  • GSTR 1 filing date depends on business turnover

  • You can file GSTR 1 through the official GST portal

  • Missing the GSTR 1 due date attracts a penalty

In order to comply with GST requirements, it is important for all those part of the GST regime to file GST returns. These returns specify income details for clarity and are used to calculate the amount of tax that you are required to pay to the government. It is important to remember that you will require GST-compliant invoices for sales and purchase if you wish to file GST returns as well. When it comes to filing your taxes, GSTR 1 is one of the most important forms. This is because the information you file under GSTR 1 is used as a base for all other forms to be auto-populated. In order to understand this better and comply with GST norms, read on for more information on GSTR 1.

What is GSTR 1?

GSTR 1 is a form that accounts for the outward supply of goods. This is a monthly, or sometimes quarterly, return that you have to file to account for the same with regards to your business. This means that any individual that is involved in the journey the supply of goods needs to specify details pertaining to the supply and the recipient too. This way the returns for the inward supply will be auto-populated with the details filed in GSTR 1. So, as GSTR 1 is the foundation that affects other GST forms as well, you must fill it with utmost care.

Who is liable to file GSTR 1?

Every registered dealer is liable to file GSTR 1. This is mandatory irrespective of the transactions and sales for a particular month, which means that even if there are no sales or transactions, you, as a registered dealer, have to file GSTR 1. However, the below individuals/entities that are exempt from filing GSTR 1.

- An input service distributor (ISD): If your business receives invoices for services used by your branches, you fall in the category of an input service distributor under GST.
- Composition dealer: You are a composition dealer, if you have registered your business under the composition scheme of GST. From 1st April 2019, businesses with an annual turnover of up to Rs. 1.5 crore can opt for the composition scheme.
- A supplier of online information, database access or retrieval services
- Non-resident taxable person: You fall under the category of a non-taxable resident person, if you import goods and services from outside India or are in charge of managing business on behalf of a non-resident Indian (NRI).
- A taxpayer liable for collecting tax at source (TCS) or a taxpayer liable for deducting Tax at Source (TDS)

How to file GSTR 1?

Here are the steps you need to follow to file GSTR 1
- Use the provided User ID and password to log in to the GSTN portal
- Look for ‘Services’
- Click on ‘Returns’
- Select the month and year for which you would like to file for on the ‘Returns dashboard’
- Once the returns for the specified period are displayed, click on ‘GSTR 1’
- You can then prepare the returns online or upload the returns
- You can choose to add invoices or upload the invoices
- Double check the form to ensure it is filled correctly with accurate details
- Click on ‘Submit’
- Once the entered information has been validated, click on ‘file GSTR 1’
- Digitally sign the form or E-sign it
- Click on ‘Yes’ once a pop-up is displayed on your screen to confirm your decision to file GSTR 1
- Wait for an Acknowledgement Reference Number (ARN) to be generated

Filling the GSTR 1 form: Explained

GSTR 1 has 13 different sections that need to be filled out by you. However, a few of these may be auto-populated. Take a look at the 13 different fields below.
1. An auto-populated result for the GSTIN of the person filing the return
2. An auto-populated result of the name of the person filing the return
3. The total turnover of the previous financial year that needs to be filled once, and then will automatically auto-populate the form with the closing balance henceforth
4. Details of the outward supplies to a registered person that are taxable
5. Details of the outward supplies (inter-state) to an end consumer where the transaction exceeds Rs.2.5 lakh
6. Zero-rated supplies as well as deemed exports (to EOUs and SEZs) along with details of invoice, shipping bill or bill of export.
7. A total consolidation of all outward supplies for the month, including through e-commerce operators and up to Rs.2.5 lakh
8. Details of exempted, non-GST, and nil supplies if they aren’t already mentioned
9. Any revisions/amendments that need to be made towards the outward supplies of previous tax periods, including debit/credit notes and refund vouchers
10. Details of outward supplies listed on the basis of HSN codes
11. Any tax due to advance payment received
12. Any taxes paid for the previous periods or reporting periods
13. Documents issued during the period for which GSTR 1 is being filed including invoices, revised invoices, credit notes and debit notes

What do you need to file GSTR 1?

You need to have the below documents and information ready with you, in order to file GSTR 1.
- A valid and genuine Goods and Services Tax Identification Number (GSTIN)
- The user ID and password to sign into the portal
- A valid digital signature certificate (DSC) unless you can e-sign the form as per your categorisation as a supplier
- Aadhaar number if you are going to e-sign the form
- Access to the mobile number mentioned on your Aadhaar card

What are the late fees that can be incurred on GSTR 1?

It is important to remember that like all other tax filing forms, GSTR 1 also has a due date by which it needs to be filed. In order to meet this GSTR 1 due date and avoid late fees, you will need to file GSTR 1 by the 10th of the following month. This means that you will need to file returns for January by the 10th of February and so on. However, this is only in terms of businesses that have a turnover of more than Rs.1.5 crore. In case you have a turnover less than this, you will need to file GSTR 1 on a quarterly basis, by the last day in that particular period.

If you do not submit GSTR 1 before the GSTR 1 filing date you will need to pay a penalty for failing to comply with these rules. These late fees are Rs.50 or Rs.20 per day. The latter is applicable if you have nil returns to file and delay submitting GSTR 1. Recently, for the period July 2017 to September 2018, the government has waived this fee entirely. If you have paid it, the sum will be refunded to your electronic cash ledger for future use.

Filing GSTR 1: What you need to keep in mind

Filing returns for your business can sometimes be a little tricky. However, if you are careful, you need not worry about confusions or mistakes. So, take a look at a few pointers to keep in mind while filing GSTR 1.
- Ensure you have entered the correct GSTIN code and HSN codes to avoid any discrepancies
- Confirm whether the transaction falls under the intra-state or inter-state category
- You can change uploaded bills multiple times however you will not be able to change an invoice once the return has been submitted
- You cannot revise the return once you have submitted the same and need to make any corrections in the next month’s GSTR 1
- GSTR 1 is part of GST registration and GST return filing and you do not to pay any taxes until the filing of GSTR-3B
- Upload invoices at various intervals during the month to avoid bulk uploads
- Companies like LLPs (Limited Liability Partnerships) and FLLPs (Foreign Limited Liability Partnerships) are obligated to provide a digital signature certificate (DSC)
- Suppliers such as proprietors, partnership concerns, HUFs, and others can E-sign the GSTR 1
- In case the point of supply has changed and is now in a different state, the SGST charged will be as per the new state
- One a recipient has accepted the details in the GSTR 1 you cannot make any changes to the tax invoice. However, you can issue a credit note or a supplementary invoice to make room for the changes.
- You can use third party software to file GSTR 1 simply

While you may already know simple procedures such as how to calculate GST, now you’re sure to have a better understanding of the finer aspects of GSTR 1. Knowing this information regarding GSTR 1 means that you will be able to comply with GST requirements more effortlessly and learn how to use the system to your advantage as well!

Additional reads on GST:
- What is GST
- Advantages of GST
- Online GST Registration Process Explained

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