How to File GSTR – 3B if Sales Return exceed Outward Supply?

A very Good day to all the readers. We have successfully completed 3 quarters of GST compliance and return filing (July’17 – Mar’18) and we must have experienced some or the other practical problems while doing so.

One of the practical issues among them is How to fill GSTR 3-B Form if the Sales return (Credit Notes issued) for any month is more than the actual Outward Supply for that month? Also what if, the ITC claimed for that month is less than the ITC to be reversed (on account of Purchase Returns i.e Debit Notes issued being more than actual Purchases (eligible for ITC) for that month?  These issues are most likely to occur in the month of March (i.e. year end) or April (i.e. year beginning).

While the GST Department and CBEC has not yet come out with clarification to these problems since the GSTR 3-B Form does not accept figures in the negative. Also the accounting software or ERPs like Tally, Busy, etc show the GSTR 3-B report in the normal general format i.e. Sales – Sales Return and ITC availed – ITC reversed. A screenshot of the same is as below to grasp a clear understanding of the issue. (see attachment – Tally data GSTR 3-B view)



To get the compliances and returns all right and on time, we first need to understand the purpose of Filing that GST Return. GSTR 3-B is a summary form for making adjustments and payments of GST liability and Input Tax Credit for the month. So we need to be extra – cautious in filling the GSTR 3-B Form so that the required Output Liability and the available Input Tax Credit is correctly reflected in the Electronic Credit Ledger.

This brings us to the doorway for solving the above referred problem (in italics & underlined above). While we understand that Sales is an outward supply and Sales Return is an inward supply. Similarly, Purchases are inward supply while Purchase Return is an outward supply. So to get the things right and GSTR 3-B correctly filled and filed, we will have to use this concept of inward and outward supplies.

We shall process the above sample data in the manner as per this table:

1. Outward Supplies

i. Sales – resulting in increase in Output Liability

ii. Purchase Return – resulting in increase in Output Liability (i.e. reduction in Input Tax Credit availed earlier)

2. Input Tax Credit

i. Purchases – resulting in increase in ITC

ii. Sales Return – resulting in increase in ITC (i.e. reduction in Output Liability)

The above screenshot of Tally data of GSTR 3-B can be put as per the above format, as shown below (in the attachment)

revised data for GSTR3-B

While this may seem out of the way, but the purpose of GSTR 3-B is correctly and aptly served while making no errors till the time CBEC or GST Department comes out with proper clarification or guidance note on the above issue. This shall result in overall correct treatment of GST Output Liability and Input Tax Credit availed. Also, there would be no deferment i.e. postponing of Credit and Debit Notes just to avoid negative figures.

After all, the experts have to make a way to deal with such business scenarios even if no guideline from the Government is available. That’s why they are called “Experts” and given the respect they deserve.

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35 responses to “GSTR 3-B: Practical Issues – Sales Return exceeding Sales”

  1. D H SHAH says:

    I have the same problem in GSTR-3B due to credit notes of sales return to unregistered persons and Composition dealers which is resulting in negative figures which are not possible to show as Minus figure. How should I pass entries. I am using tally ERP-9 software. I can not show this as Inward supply as the basic ledger accounts of parties under sales are in Trade Debtors. Entries are passed under sales account which is outward supply. Also there is issue for Credit notes(unregistered) for sales return which are not showing me in Part 9B of GSTR-1 in Tally ERP-9
    Can You please Solve the issue.
    (M) +91 9513132779

  2. Puran Chand says:

    My problem is , I sell goods1000 Pcs @ 10/- plus 18% igst, Purchaser has returned the goods. he has return 950 Pcs and balance has been waste in testing. pls tell me what entry to be passed. How can adjustment it in gstr-3B form.

  3. RAHUL SAHI says:

    Hello Expert,
    My problem is , I sell through online site , in aug month i sold an item to an unreg. per to up state and that item i received in sept month then where i show that value (sale return) in 3b because column 3.2 is not accepting negative figure.
    plz help me out.

    Thanks & Regards
    Rahul Sahi

  4. Deepa says:

    But what about the reconciliation that the department does with 2A?
    if i show my sales return in ITC claimed, then it will not match with 2A. what is the solution for that?

  5. praveen says:

    if you have excess purchase return then you can show it in 4B itc reversed (2) others.(Any other ITC which has been reversed in the books by you.) hope this will work. try it.

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