GSTR 3B -Furnishing of Return – Section 39(1) of CGST Act 2017 GST Series – Part 25

1. The GSTR-3B is a consolidated summary return of inward and outward supplies, required to be furnished by the registered person on a monthly basis.

2. Statutory Provisions

Section 39(1) Every registered person shall, for every calendar month, furnish a return electronically in such form, manner, and within such time as may be prescribed.

The Input Tax Distributor (ISD), non-resident taxable person, the person paying tax under composition scheme, under section 51 (TDS) or section 52 (TCS by e-commerce operator are not required to furnish return under section 39(1).

The return shall contain details of inward and outward supplies of goods or services or both, input tax credit availed, tax payable, tax paid, and other prescribed particulars.

Proviso to Section 39(1) The Government may, on the recommendations of the Council, notify certain classes of registered persons who shall furnish a return for every quarter, subject to such conditions and restrictions as may be specified therein
“Quarter” shall mean a period comprising three consecutive calendar months, ending on the last day of March, June, September, and December of a calendar year – section 2(92) of the CGST Act.

Goods and Service Tax notes in the notebook on the Desk in the office. Business concept GST tax

3. GSTR-3 VS GSTR 3B: GSTR 3 was envisaged under section 39(1). Since the GSTN system is not fully operational, a simple return (Form GSTR 3B) containing a summary of outwards and inward supplies was introduced and tax is required to be paid based on this simple return.

3.1 It was held by Honourable Gujarat High Court in AAP And Co. v. UOI that GSTR-3B is the only stop-gap arrangement, it is not return in lieu of GSTR-3 return.

3.2 However, The Government vide Notification No. 49/2019 – Central Tax dated 09-10-2019 amended Rule 61(5) of the CGST Rules providing that GSTR 3B shall be a return u/s 39 of CGST Act, 2017 and such rule is amended retrospectively with effect from 1st July 2017.

3.3 Statutory (Amended) Rules :

Rule 61(5) The return specified in section 39(1) be furnished in FORM GSTR 3B electronically through the common portal.
Provision to Section 61(5) where a return in FORM GSTR 3B is required to be furnished by a person then such person shall not be required to furnish the return in FORM GSTR 3.

4. Contents of GSTR 3B

Table 1&2 – Preliminary details :

Table 1 GSTIN ( Goods and Service Tax Identification Number)
Table 2 Legal Name of the Registered Person [ auto-populated after entering GSTIN]

Table 3 Outward supplies and inward supplies on Reverse Charge :

Table 3.1 3.1.a Outward taxable supplies (Other than Zero Rated, Nil Rate, Exempted

Value of outward taxable Supplies = Value of invoices + debit notes – credit notes + advances received for which invoices have not been issued in the same month – the value of advances adjusted against invoices

Details of advances as well as adjustment of advances against invoices are not required to be shown separately.

3.1.b Outward taxable supplies (Zero Rated)

Zero-rated supplies are exports or supplies made to SEZ.

3.1.c Outward supplies ( Nil Rated, Exempted )
3.1.d Inward supplies liable for Reverse Charge (RCM)
3.1.e Non-GST sales supplies (for example, Alcohol for human consumption)

Table 3.2 Out of the supplied shown in 3.1(a) above, details of inter-state supplies made to unregistered persons, Composition dealer persons, and UIN holders.

Table 3.2 Supplies made to unregistered persons
Supplies made to Composition Dealer
Supplies made to UIN

Table 4 Eligible ITC Final tax payment and credits will be calculated based on Input Tax Credit (ITC). In this section

Table 4A ITC Available (Whether in full or Part)
1 Import of Goods
2 Import of Services
3 Inward supplies liable for reverse charge (other than 1&2 above)
4 Inward supplies from Input Service Distributor (ISD)
5 All other ITC
Table 4B ITC Reversed
1 As per Rule 42 & 43.
2 Others
Rule 42 & 43 require reversal of ITC for goods and services, where they have been used partly for business and partly for other purposes, to the extent not used for business.

ITC related to capital goods used for business and other purposes, for taxable, exempt, nil rated supplies must also be reversed to the extent not used for business

Similarly, ITC reversal is also required where supplies include taxable, exempt and nil rated supplies

Table 4C Net ITC Available ( Table 4A- Table 4B)
Table 4D Ineligible ITC
1 As per Sec 17(5)
2 Others
The details must be provided separately for IGST, CGST, SGST, UTGST, and Cess. The invoice level information is not required.

Table 5 Nil rated, and non-GST inward supplies:

Table 5 Purchases made from a composition dealer and exempt, nil rated, or non-GST inward supplies.

This information must be bifurcated into inter-state and intra-state.

Table 6 Payment of Taxes :

Table 6.1 Integrated Tax

Center Tax

State / UT Tax


Table 6.2 TDS


5. Guidelines issued by Kerala GST Commissioner: The Commissioner of Kerala Goods and Service Tax issued the detailed guidelines in the form of a circular no. 06/2020 dated 16.06.2020 so as to guide people to file the periodic return in GSTR-3B to avoid incorrect disclosure of Input Tax Credit (ITC).

5.1 The said circular mentioned that the instances have been noticed in which taxpayers have not disclosed separately the ineligible ITC on account of IGST paid on inward interstate supply and import supplies in their periodic returns filed in form GSTR-3B.

5.2 According to the circular, The taxpayers shall report the entire ITC eligible including a reversal in the table (4A) of GSTR-3B. The The ineligible credit must be shown in table 4(D). Presently, the taxpayers are disclosing Net eligible ITC (after adjusting ineligible ITC ) in Table 4A.

5.3 The circular laid down the emphasis on the procession for the corrections in return filed earlier.

5.4 Firstly, those taxpayers who have committed errors of wrongly reporting or not reporting ineligible ITC, as well as reversal of ITC in the returns filed for the financial period 2018-19, shall have to report it in the annual return to be filed in form GSTR-9.

5.5 Secondly, the taxpayers who have committed errors of wrongly reporting or not reporting ineligible ITC, as well as reversal of ITC in the returns filed for the financial period 2019-20, have to report it in return GSTR-3B for the period from April to September 2020.

5.6 Lastly, The taxpayers who have committed errors of wrongly reporting or not reporting ineligible ITC as well as the reversal of ITC in any returns filed for the return periods from April 2020 shall report it in subsequent GSTR 3B to be filed by giving net effect in that subsequent return.

6. The time limit for filing returns: The time limit for filing returns is staggered and is different for different taxable persons depending upon their turnover for the previous financial year. The CBIC vide notification no. 52/2020 dated 24.06.2020 notified the following

(a) the taxpayers having annual turnover of Rs 5 crore and above in the previous financial year 20th of the succeeding month
(b) The taxpayers having annual turnover below Rs 5 crore in the previous financial year:-
b(i) The tax filers from 15 states/UTs — Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Daman and Diu, Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Goa, Lakshadweep, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Puducherry, Andaman, and Nicobar Islands, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh 22nd of the succeeding month.
b(ii) Haryana, Delhi, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram, Tripura, Meghalaya, Assam, West Bengal, Jharkhand and Odisha 24th of the succeeding month.

7. Due dates for payment of tax :

Section 39(7) Every registered person who is required to furnish a return under section 39(1) shall pay to the Government the tax due as per such return not later than the last date on which he is required to furnish such return.

If the last date for filing return is extended by Commissioner, last date for payment of tax will also get extended automatically

8. NIL Return

Section 39(8) Nil return mandatory even if no supplies made – Every registered taxable person who is required to file a return shall furnish a return for every tax period, whether or not any supplies of goods or services or both have been effected during such tax period

9. Discharge of tax liability

Rule 61(3) Every registered person furnishing the monthly/quarterly return shall, subject to the provisions of section 49 of the CGST Act, discharge his liability towards tax, interest, penalty, fees or any other amount payable under the Act or these rules by debiting the electronic cash ledger or electronic credit ledger.
Subject to section 49 of the CGST Act means payment in Electronic Cash Ledger, after adjusting the Input Tax Credit available in Electronic Credit Ledger.

10. Rectification of Error The error may be – (a) Liability under-reported (b) Liability over-reported (c) Liability wrongly reported (d) Input Tax Credit under-reported (e) Input tax credit over-reported (f) Input tax credit of wrong tax taken (g) Cash Ledger wrongly updated.

Section 39(9) If any taxable person after furnishing a return discovers any omission or incorrect particulars therein, he can rectify such omission or incorrect particulars In prescribed form and manner
Proviso to section 39(9) The rectification is not allowed after the due date for filing of return for the month of September or second quarter, as the case may be, following the end of the financial year to which such details pertain, or the actual date of filing of relevant annual return, whichever is earlier

10.1 The CBIC vide circular No. 26/2017 dated 29-12-2017 provided guidelines for rectification of Error in GSTR 3B

10.2 Filing of GSTR-3B return is a four-step process – Stage 1 – Confirmed Submission, Stage 2 – Cash Ledger Updated. Stage 3 – Offset Liability, Stage 4 – Return filed.

10.3 The return can be edited at Stage 1 and Stage 2 only. The return cannot be edited at stage 3 and stage 4. In that case, the adjustment can be made only in return for next month, as there is no provision to amend the GSTR-3B return after filing.

On 5th May 2020 , Delhi High Court in the case of Bharti Airtel Ltd Vs. Union of India & Ors in Appeal allowed petitioner to rectify Form GSTR 3B for the period July 2017 to September 2017.

11. Subsequent Return cannot be filed if the return for the previous period was not filed

Section 39(10) A registered person shall not be allowed to furnish a return for a tax period if the return for any of the previous tax periods has not been furnished by him

12. Late Fee, Penalty & Interest :

12.1 The CBIC vide notification no. 57/2020 dated 30.06.2020 has waived/reduced late fees for the late filing of GSTR-3B returns for the period July 2017 to July 2020, as follows-

a) If GST liability is Nil, and the GSTR-3B return is filed between 1st July 2020 and 30th September 2020, then the amount of late fees stands waived.

b) If the GST liability is not Nil, and the GSTR-3B return is filed between 1st July 2020 and 30th September 2020, then the amount of late fees stand waived in excess of Rs.250* under the CGST Act.

*Rs.500 will be the total amount payable, Rs.250 under CGST, and Rs.250 under SGST.

12.2 Conditional waiver of interest on delayed filing of GSTR 3B: CBIC vide Circular No. 141/11/2020 GST dated 24th June 2020 has clarified the manner of calculation of interest for delay in filing of GSTR 3B. Details of notifications and manner of calculation have been explained in the article dated 17 August 2020 Form GSTR 3B – Calculation of interest on delayed filing.

13. Relevant Updates : A meeting of the group of ministers (GoM) on Information Technology (IT) led by Bihar deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi held on Friday 07.08.2020. The key points of meeting and proposed action plan related to GSTR 3 B are as follows:-

(a) The GSTR 1 and GSTR 3B will now be linked to a system-generated liability and functionality is being developed for auto-populating valued from two returns

(b) The return form GSTR 2B will be introduced for availing input tax credit, which will plug leakages and frauds. In the current system, the input tax credit claimed on a self-declaration basis, resulting in a mismatch many times. Under the new system, GSTR 2B will be generated on the basis of GSTR 1 filed between two due dates by counter-party suppliers, for availing credit in GSTR 3B in a month. “GSTR 2A will suggest exact credit to be claimed to taxpayers in GSTR 3B

(c) Summary Returns :- Taxpayers with a turnover of less than Rs 5 crore will also be allowed to file summary returns (GSTR 3B) on a quarterly basis, likely from November. Around 70 percent of taxpayers are likely to get covered under the quarterly return filing system.

14 Furnishing NIL Return through SMS

A nil GSTR-3B can be filed via SMS using the registered mobile number and OTP verification. The CBIC has notified the date of applicability as 8th June 2020, from which nil returns can be filed through SMS

The author can be approached at [email protected]

Part 26 of the series will cover furnishing of Return by Composition Dealer – Sec 39(2) of CGST Act 2017

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  1. Ajaya Kumar Kar says:

    The way “GSTR 3B – Furnishing of Return” has been elaborated with corresponding sections and provisions is really very easy to understand and also praiseworthy. Thanks so much.

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March 2021