Decoding GST forms

What is a GSTR-1 form?

  • This serves as the master form for all subsequent forms for the return period. GSTR-1 assumes that a business transaction that needs to be recorded on it involves a supplier and a recipient.
  • The GSTR-1 deals with outward supplies. That is, it needs to be filled out by the supplier on a detailed basis, providing the invoice details of every transaction for the return period.
  • Normally, the GSTR-1, for any month, has to be filled by the 10th of the subsequent month.
  • The recipient’s form, detailing the inward supply, is to be auto-populated from the details provided by the supplier in his GSTR-1.

What is the GSTR-2 form?

  • The GSTR-2 is to be filled by the recipient with details of all inward supplies. A subset of this, the GSTR-2A, is auto-populated by the supplier’s GSTR-1.
  • Take the example of Company A supplying goods to Company B. Company A will log the details of the transaction in its GSTR-1. Company B will find these details auto-populated in its GSTR-2A.
  • However, Company B will also have to provide other details — such as inward supplies from unregistered companies — to complete its GSTR-2. This has to be done by the 15th of the subsequent month. In case the recipient disagrees regarding the details in the GSTR-2A form, then he can communicate his concerns to the supplier who has the option to modify the GSTR-1 or leave it as it is.

Are there any other major forms?

  • The GSTR-3 is simply an auto-populated form based on the details of the GSTR-1 and GSTR-2. It represents a consolidated monthly return and contains the tax liability along with the tax collected on outward supplies and tax paid on inward supplies by a registered person or company.
  • There is minimal manual entry that goes into this. The GSTR-3 has to be filled by the 20th of the next month.
  • The GST Council allowed companies to file a summary GSTR-3B form every month up to December to ease their compliance burden.


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