The Goods and Services Tax, more commonly known as GST, is an indirect tax that is levied on the sale, manufacture and consumption of goods and services on a national and state level. The concept of GST was introduced in India on 1st July 2017. Currently, there are 160 countries in the world that have implemented GST in their taxation system. GST is collected on value added goods and services at each stage of sale or purchase in the supply chain. It has replaced all the other indirect taxes levied on the goods and services by the Central and the State governments of India. Filing a GST return is made compulsory by the Indian Constitution for any normal business. The business needs to file a total of 37 returns. That is three monthly returns and a yearly return.

What is a GST return?

Since GST and GST filing are relatively new concepts that have been introduced in the country, not many are aware of it. A GST return is primarily a document which contains information about the income of the tax payer that he or she is required to file in with the income tax authorities. The income tax department further uses this information to calculate the tax liability.

A GST return filed by a registered dealer mainly includes sales, purchases, output GST (on sales) and Input Tax Credit (GST paid on purchases).  This has greatly reduced the huge influx of data that the Income Tax department had to cope with. A Goods and Services Tax Network (GSTN) houses all the information about the buyers and sellers and combine these details. The department maintains three registers for the tax payer for his or future reference.

Eligibility for GST return filing

Any business or organization that is involved in the buying, selling or delivery of services worth 20 Lakh, having operations anywhere in the country and 10 lakh, having operations in the North Eastern part of India have to register themselves under the new GST norms.

The average time taken for a person to file a GST return is about 5 to 10 days. This is subject to the client document submission and the government processing time.