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GSTR-3B: Return Filing, Format, Eligibility & Rules

Updated on: 27 May, 2024 02:37 PM

The term ‘Return’ means a statement of information that contains the details of income that a taxpayer is required to furnish to the tax authorities at regular intervals. This is used by the tax authorities to calculate tax liability.

Under GST Act, a registered dealer has to file GST returns that include,

  • Sales
  • Purchases
  • Output GST (GST collected on sales)
  • Input Tax Credit (GST paid on purchases)

In this law, ‘filing of returns’ constitutes the most important compliance procedure which enables the Tax authorities or the Government to estimate tax collected for a particular period.

The returns serve the following purpose:

  • Mode of transfer of information to tax authorities
  • Compliance verification program of tax administration
  • Finalization of tax liability of a taxpayer for a particular period

Return GSTR 3B

A simplified monthly return in Form GSTR 3B was introduced in July 2017 to help small businesses to file returns initially. In the GST regime, any regular business has to file two monthly returns and one annual return. This amounts to 25 returns in a year. GST council at its 42nd meeting held on 5th October 2020 has recommended the taxpayers (below Rs.5 Crores) to file GSTR 3B & GSTR 1 on a quarterly basis.

All the returns under GST are to be filed electronically. Taxpayers can file returns in various modes. They can file the statement and returns directly on the GST portal. However, this might be time-consuming for taxpayers with a large number of invoices or huge transactions. For such taxpayers, Offline utilities were provided and can be used by the GSTIN taxpayers.

Furnishing of return under Section 39 (GSTR 3B)

GSTR 3B is a simple return containing a summary of outwards supplies, inward supplies liable to reverse charge, eligible ITC, payment of tax, etc. Thus, GSTR 3B does not require invoice-wise data for outward supplies.

Contents of GSTR 3B in detail

Below mentioned are the different tabs in the GSTR 3B summary filing where all relevant information is to be provided.

Tab 1 – Tax on outward and reverse charge inward supplies

Details of outward supplies (Sales) regular taxable sales, nil rated, zero-rated, and exempted sales are to be provided. Non-GST outward supplies and Inward supplies (Purchases) liable to reverse charge are also to be reported in this tab.

Tab 2 – Inter-State supplies

Interstate supplies made to unregistered persons and composition dealers are to be reported

Tab 3 – Eligible ITC

ITC Availed – ITC from Import of goods, Import of services, ITC under Reverse Charge Mechanism, general ITC from taxable purchases
ITC Reversed – Any ineligible claimed or paid are to be reported and the same will be deducted to arrive at Net eligible ITC

Tab 4 – Exempt, Nil, and Non-GST inward supplies

Intra and Inter State Purchases with Non GST, Zero GST, or exempted under GST are to be reported separately.

Tab 5 – Interest and Late fee

Any delay in filing of returns or shortfall of GST payment in previous months results in Interest and late fee payment – This is auto-populated data.

Tab 6 – Payment of tax

This is the most crucial part where all the data provided in all previous tabs will be combined so as to compute the actual tax liability of the taxpayer. Opening ITC, current month ITC, tax liability everything will be computed and the tax amount is to be paid in this tab.

The general format of GST computation

 GST on outward supplies                        xxx 
Less: Opening ITC xxx
Less: Current period ITC xxx
Less: TDS / TCS Credit available xxx
Add: Late fee / Interest xxx
Net Tax payable xxx

Due date of filing GSTR 3B return

The date of submission for the GSTR 3B return is being notified as the 20th day of the month succeeding the relevant month. Considering the difficulties of the taxpayers, GST council has introduced the below due dates,

Annual Turnover Due date of filing GSTR 3B
Rs. 5 Crore and above 20th of the following month
Rs. 5 Crore and below (States mentioned in Group A) 22nd of the following month
Rs. 5 Crore and below (Stated mentioned in Group B) 24th of the following month

However, the due date for filing of Form GSTR-3B can be extended by the Government through notification if required.

Group A -
Taxpayers whose principal place of business is in the States of Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Goa, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, the Union territories of Daman and Diu and Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Puducherry, Andaman, and the Nicobar Islands or Lakshadweep.

Group B -
Taxpayers whose principal place of business is in the States of Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Uttarakhand, Haryana, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram, Tripura, Meghalaya, Assam, West Bengal, Jharkhand or Odisha, the Union territories of Jammu and Kashmir, Ladakh, Chandigarh or Delhi.

Methods of filing

GSTR 3B can be submitted electronically through the GST portal directly or through a Facilitation Centre. Further, a NIL GST return can be filed through an SMS using the registered mobile number of the taxpayer.


GSTR 3B returns filing is mandatory for all registered taxpayers even if there is no business activity in any particular period. In such cases, a NIL return is to be filed. A Nil return does not have any data filled in the statement or any of its tables.

Points to note while filing GSTR 3B return:

  • Every registered taxpayer should file a separate GSTR 3B return for each GSTIN
  • Tax liability of a particular period is to be paid while filing GSTR 3B return
  • GSTR 3B cannot be revised
  • Every registered person has to file GST returns including Nil returns however, Input Service Distributor & Composition dealers and Non-resident taxable persons do not have to file GSTR 3B.

Launch of Quarterly Returns and Monthly Payment (QRMP) Scheme:

QRMP means Quarterly returns filing and Monthly payment of taxes scheme. This scheme was launched with effect from 1st January 2021. Under this scheme, eligible taxpayers can file GST returns (Both GSTR 1 & GSTR 3B) only once a quarter, but the tax liability must be computed and paid in the GST portal every month using the challan PMT-06.

Who can opt for this Scheme:

  • Any registered taxpayer whose Aggregate Annual Turnover is up to Rs. 5 Crores can opt for this scheme. AATO above Rs. 5 Crores becomes ineligible.
  • Any person obtaining a new registration or opting out of the composition scheme can also opt for the QRMP scheme.

Changes in GST portal:

AATO of preceding FY Default return option in Portal
Up to Rs. 1.5 Cr., who have furnished Form GSTR-1 on a quarterly basis in the current FY Quarterly
Up to Rs. 1.5 Cr., who have furnished Form GSTR-1 on monthly basis in the current FY Monthly
More than Rs.1.5 Cr. and up to ` 5 Cr. in preceding FY Quarterly

When can a person opt for the scheme: Any eligible taxpayer can opt for this scheme from 1st to 31st of the first month in every quarter. Say, for the period of January – March quarter, the taxpayer can opt-in or opt-out of this scheme between 1st January and 31st January.

Payment of tax liability under this scheme

The taxpayer has an option to pay taxes in the two following ways,

  • 35% Challan - Automatic challan created by the GST portal based on the total taxes paid in the previous month/quarter based on the return filing frequency of the taxpayer. This is usually a flat 35% of tax of the previous return filing period.
  • Self–Assessed Challan – Tax-payer can compute his actual tax liability and make the full tax payment by creating a manual challan using Challan PMT-06.

GSTR-3B Late Fees and Penalty

The applicable late fees & interest charges for missing the GSTR-3B due date are as follows:

  • For nil tax liability, you will need to pay ₹20 per day of delay.
  • If you are liable to pay tax, the applicable late fee would be ₹50 per day of delay.
  • If there is any outstanding tax amount, 18% per annum penal interest on the outstanding tax amount will be charged.

CA Abhishek Soni
CA Abhishek Soni

Abhishek Soni is a Chartered Accountant by profession & entrepreneur by passion. He is the co-founder & CEO of Tax2win is amongst the top 25 emerging startups of Asia and authorized ERI by the Income Tax Department. In the past, he worked in EY and comes with wide industry experience from telecom, retail to manufacturing to entertainment where he has handled various national and international assignments.