GSTR 3B : Return Filing, Applicability, due dates and late fees

Published On: Apr 20, 2023Last Updated: Apr 21, 20238.9 min read


The Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime has brought a significant change in the Indian tax system. It has eliminated the cascading effect of taxation and simplified the overall process. With the introduction of GST, several GST return forms have been introduced catering to specific purposes. One of the essential return forms is the GSTR-3B.

In this article, we will discuss what GSTR-3B is, who should file it, when it should be filed, how to file it, what details are required to be provided, and the late fee and penalty applicable.

Table of Contents

  • What is GSTR 3B?
  • Who should file GSTR 3B and When?
  • What is the GSTR 3B Return Format?
  • How to file GSTR 3B?
  • Late Fees and Penalties for not filing GSTR 3B
  • Why is GSTR-2A and GSTR-3B Reconciliation Important?
  • What is GSTR 3B?

    GSTR-3B is a monthly self-declaration. Registered dealers have to file it in addition to GSTR 1 and GSTR 2A forms. It is a collected summary of inward and outward supplies that was introduced by the Government of India to provide relaxation to businesses that transitioned to the GST regime. GSTR 3B is a simplified method that helps to declare the summary of GST liabilities for a given tax period. It is important to note that one cannot amend GSTR-3B, and dealers must file separate GSTR-3B for each of their GSTIN. They must also pay the GSTR-3B’s tax liability by the last date of filing GSTR-3B for the same month.

    Who should file GSTR 3B and When?

    All GST registrants must file GST return 3B, including ‘NIL’ returns. However, a few registrants do not need to file this self-declaration. They are:

    • Individuals who are taxable but not resident in the country
    • Distributors who distribute input services to other businesses
    • Businesses with a composition scheme or a turnover below a certain threshold
    • OIDAR Suppliers

    You have to file the form GSTR-3B monthly (or quarterly for QRMP taxpayers). This is one of the most important due dates on any compliance calendar. The due date for GST 3B submission is the 20th day of the following month (For QRMP taxpayers, the due dates are the 22nd/24th of the following month). For instance, the GSTR 3B due date for March 2023 will be 20th April 2023.

    What is the GSTR 3B Return Format?

    GSTR 3B is a simple form that businesses need to fill out and submit online on the GST portal. All businesses registered for GST need to submit this form by the 20th of every month. The form has 7 tables that require specific information to be filled in. You will need to provide your GSTIN and legal name at the start of the form. Here is a simplified version of the format, however, to understand it properly, you should check out: GSTR 3B: Return format

    Firstly, Enter your GSTIN and legal name at the beginning of the form.

    Secondly, Enter Outward Supplies and Inward Supplies on Reverse Charge in Table 1:

    • Provide details of your outward taxable supplies, including the value of invoices, debit notes, credit notes, advances received, and advances adjusted against invoices.
    • Include details of outward taxable supplies (zero-rated) and other outward supplies (nil rated, exempt).
    • Provide details of inward supplies liable to reverse charge made by unregistered dealers.
    • Provide details of non-GST outward supplies, if any.

    After that enter the following details within Table 2:

    • Details of E-commerce Supplies (if applicable).

    Then comes Table 3 for Inter-State Supplies Made to Unregistered Persons, Composition Taxable Persons, and UIN Holders:

    • Provide details of outward taxable supplies made to unregistered persons, composition dealers, and those holding a UIN.
    • Provide details of inward supplies on which tax is to be paid on a reverse charge basis.

    Fill in the details of Eligible ITC in Table 4:

    • Report the total value of ITC available for each type of tax separately, such as IGST, CGST, SGST, UTGST, and Cess.
    • Report the value of ITC that must be reversed for various reasons, including reversal of ITC as per CGST Rules, ineligible ITC under section 17(5), and other ITC reversed by the business.
    • Calculate the net ITC available by subtracting the value of ITC reversed from the ITC available.
    • Report any other relevant details, such as input tax credit reclaimed and input tax credit restricted due to place of supply provisions.

    After that comes Table 5 for Tax Liability:

    • Report your tax liability on outward supplies made during the tax period, including tax payable on supplies made to registered taxpayers.
    • Report the tax payable under reverse charge mechanism.

    Once that’s done, you have to fill in Table 6 for payment of Tax:

    • Calculate the total tax payable and the total tax paid in cash and through ITC.
    • Report any interest, late fee, or other amounts payable.
    • Calculate the balance amount of tax payable after adjusting the ITC and other amounts.

    Then, in the last table, ie. Table 7, fill in the details of TDS/TCS Credit:

    • Report any tax deducted or collected at the source and the corresponding credit available.

    Finally, Verify the details provided in the return and sign the declaration.

    How to file GSTR 3B?

    Here are Simple Steps to File GSTR-3B. For a details guide with pictures, you should check out: How to File GSTR 3B on GST Portal?

    • Log in to the GST portal using your credentials.
    • Click on ‘Returns Dashboard’ from the dashboard under the ‘Services’ tab.
    • Select the Financial Year and Period from the drop-down menus and click on the ‘SEARCH’ button.
    • Click on the ‘Prepare Online’ button in the ‘Monthly Return GSTR-3B’ block.
    • Fill in the questionnaire accurately.
    • Close the system-generated summary of your GSTR-3B.
    • Look at the data from GSTR-1 and GSTR-2B that have given rise to the auto-populated data.
    • Edit the relevant data in any of the tables if required and click on ‘Save GSTR3B’.
    • Make the payment of tax by clicking on the ‘Proceed to Payment’ button and using any available payment mode.
    • Click on the ‘Make Payment/Post Credit to Ledger’ button to make a payment.
    • Click on the ‘Proceed to File’ button to file your GSTR-3B return.
    • Choose ‘File GSTR-3B with EVC’ or ‘File GTSR-3B with DSC’ for verification based on your preference.
    • Click on the proceed button to go ahead with verification.
    • Do an OTP verification if filing with EVC, or choose your certificate and click on the ‘Sign button’ if filing with DSC.
    • Your GSTR-3B return filing is successful.

    Pro-Tip: For filing GSTR 3B the basic documents required are purchase and sales invoices of the particular month along with any other export invoices or any other e-commerce-operator—related transaction details.

    Nil GSTR 3B filing process

    Here are the simplified steps for filing Nil GSTR 3B. For a detailed step-by-step guide with pictures for filing Nil GSTR 3B, you should check out our blog: Process to file NIL GSTR 3B on GST Portal

    • Log in to the GST Portal with your GST registration.
    • Select ‘Returns Dashboard’ from the Services tab on the dashboard.
    • Select the Financial Year and Period for which you want to file the return.
    • Click on the “Prepare Online” button in the Monthly Return GSTR-3B block.
    • Fill in the questionnaire and select “Yes” for filing Nil return.
    • Preview your return and check for accuracy.
    • File your Nil GSTR-3B by choosing the “File GSTR-3B with EVC” or “File GSTR-3B with DSC” option.
    • Proceed with verification and enter OTP for EVC verification or select the certificate and sign for DSC verification.
    • Once verified, your Nil GSTR-3B is filed successfully.

    Filing GSTR 3B using Offline Tool

    Here is a simplified version of the steps to prepare Form GSTR-3B using the offline tool.

    • Download the offline tool from the GST portal.
    • Open the Excel utility from the downloaded zip file.
    • Enable macros by clicking the ‘Enable Editing’ and ‘Enable Content’ buttons.
    • Enter taxpayer details in the ‘GSTR-3B’ worksheet.
    • Fill in the relevant tables with data.
    • Click on the ‘Validate’ button and generate a JSON file.
    • Log in to the GST portal and navigate to the Returns Dashboard.
    • Select the relevant financial year and return filing period and click on ‘Search’.
    • Click on the ‘Prepare Offline’ button and upload the JSON file.
    • Verify the details and click on the ‘Submit’ button.

    Pro Tip: You should Download your GSTR 3B and keep a copy for future reference.

    Late Fees and Penalties for not filing GSTR 3B

    It is mandatory for all GST registrants to file their GSTR-3B, including ‘NIL’ returns, failing which may result in penalties and late fees. The penalty for non-compliance is Rs.50 per day. Additionally, the following slabs are applicable:

    1.  Businesses with a turnover of up to 1.5 crores will be charged a maximum late fee of Rs 2,000.
    2. Companies with a turnover of over 1.5 crores but less than Rs.5 crores will face a maximum late fee of Rs.5,000.
    3. Entities with a turnover of more than Rs.5 crore will have to pay a maximum late fee of Rs.10,000.

    In the case of NIL returns, the late fees are Rs.20 per day maximum fees that can be charged is Rs. 500.

    In addition to the penalty, non-compliance may also result in the taxpayer losing out on the input tax credit or being subject to an audit by the GST department.

    Why is GSTR-2A and GSTR-3B Reconciliation Important?

    It is essential to reconcile GSTR-2A and GSTR-3B to avoid any discrepancies in input tax credit. This will help in preventing any mistakes and penalties that may arise due to non-compliance. Nonetheless, there are cases of non-reconciliation of GSTR-3B and GSTR-2A. The same can be due to any of these following reasons:

    • Purchases made in one month, may get reflected in the next month in GSTR-2A.
    • Some vendors might have failed to report the transactions or might have reported them incorrectly in GSTR-1, resulting in an incorrect GSTR-2A. 
    • The taxpayer might have missed out on reporting a particular transaction in GSTR-3B.

    In case of any discrepancies found in the reconciliation process, taxpayers can take corrective measures. They can either rectify the GSTR-3B or follow up with the vendor and ensure that the GSTR-1 was correctly filed.


    GSTR-3B is a critical return form. All GST registrants, including those with NIL returns, have to file it. It is essential to file GSTR-3B accurately and on time to avoid any penalties and maintain compliance. Reconciling GSTR-2A and GSTR-3B is also essential to avoid any discrepancies in input tax credit. By following the steps mentioned above, taxpayers can easily file their GSTR-3B and ensure compliance with GST regulations.

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    Monjima Ghosh
    About the Author

    Monjima Ghosh

    Monjima is a lawyer and a professional content writer at She has a keen interest in Legal technology & Legal design, and believes that content makes the world go round.

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