Easy Office
LCI Learning

How to file GST returns online

Ishita Ramani , Last updated: 05 May 2023  

Goods and Services Tax (GST) is a comprehensive indirect tax levied on the supply of goods and services in India. It has replaced several indirect taxes like Value Added Tax (VAT), Service Tax, Central Excise Duty, and Customs Duty. GST is a self-assessment tax, and every registered taxpayer has to file monthly or quarterly returns based on their turnover. The GST return filing process has been made easy and convenient with the introduction of an online portal. In this article, we will discuss how to file GST return online.

Step 1: Register on the GST Portal

Before filing GST returns online, you need to register yourself on the GST portal. If you are a new user, you have to visit the GST portal (www.gst.gov.in) and click on the ‘Register Now’ button. You will be redirected to the registration page where you have to fill in your basic details like name, PAN number, email ID, and mobile number. After filling in the details, you will receive an OTP on your registered mobile number and email ID. Once you verify the OTP, your registration process will be completed.

Step 2: Login to the GST Portal

Once you have completed the registration process, you can log in to the GST portal using your username and password. After logging in, you will be redirected to the dashboard where you can see various options like returns, payments, registrations, etc.

How to file GST returns online

Step 3: Select the Appropriate Return Form

The next step is to select the appropriate return form based on your business turnover. If your turnover is less than Rs. 1.5 crores, you have to file GSTR-1 (monthly or quarterly), GSTR-3B (monthly), and GSTR-4 (annual). If your turnover is more than Rs. 1.5 crores, you have to file GSTR-1 (monthly), GSTR-2A (monthly), GSTR-3B (monthly), and GSTR-9 (annual).

Step 4: Fill in the Details in the Return Form

After selecting the appropriate return form, you have to fill in the details like invoice details, tax details, and payment details. You can either enter the details manually or upload them in bulk using an excel sheet. Make sure that you enter the correct details as any discrepancy may lead to penalties.

Step 5: Reconcile the Details

After entering the details, you have to reconcile them with your books of accounts. You can do this by comparing the details entered in the return form with the details in your invoices, receipts, and other financial documents. This will ensure that there are no errors or omissions in the return form.

Step 6: Preview and Submit the Return Form

Once you have reconciled the details, you can preview the return form to check for any errors or discrepancies. If everything is correct, you can submit the return form. After submitting the return form, you will receive an acknowledgement receipt which contains a unique reference number (ARN). You can download and save this receipt for future reference.


Step 7: Pay the Tax Due

After submitting the return form, you have to pay the tax due (if any) using the online payment options available on the GST portal. You can pay the tax using net banking, credit card, debit card, or NEFT/RTGS. Once the payment is made, you will receive a confirmation message on your registered mobile number and email ID.

Step 8: File Nil Returns

If you have not made any sales or purchases during a particular month or quarter, you still have to file a nil return. To file a nil return, you have to select the appropriate return form and click on ‘Nil Return’ option. You have to enter ‘0’ in all the fields and submit the return form.



Filing GST returns online has made the process easy and convenient for taxpayers. By following the above steps, you can file your GST returns online without any hassle. Make sure that you file the returns on time to avoid penalties and interest. If you face any difficulty while filing the returns, you can seek help from a GST expert or contact the GST helpline number.

Join CCI Pro

Published by

Ishita Ramani
(Director - Operations)
Category GST   Report



Related Articles