When filing taxes in India, businesses have traditionally done it offline, which is a tedious process that requires significant paperwork and manual effort. However, with the introduction of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) in 2017, businesses now have the option to file their taxes online. With the ease and convenience of filing taxes online, more and more businesses are opting for this option over the traditional offline filing.
Filing GST Online
One of the biggest advantages of filing taxes online is the ease and convenience of the process. With online filing, businesses can access their GST returns anytime, anywhere, and file them in a matter of minutes. This eliminates the need for long hours of paperwork and manual effort that is necessary for offline filing. Additionally, online filing also allows businesses to reduce the chances of errors, as the software automatically verifies the accuracy of the data entered.
GST filing online requires businesses to register with the GST network. This can be done through the GST portal or the GST Suvidha Provider. Once the registration is complete, businesses can log in to the portal and start filing their GST returns. The portal provides a step-by-step guide to filing GST returns. It also provides an online calculator to help businesses calculate the GST amount that is due.
Another advantage of filing taxes online is that it allows businesses to access the latest GST updates and notifications, which can help them make informed decisions and stay compliant with the GST regulations. Additionally, online filing also offers businesses real-time insights into their GST returns, so they can make necessary changes to their returns quickly and easily.
Documents Required for Registering GST
To register for Goods and Services Tax (GST) in India, you will need to provide certain documents and information. The documents required may vary based on the type of business entity and the nature of the business. Here are the commonly required documents for GST registration:
PAN Card: Permanent Account Number (PAN) card issued by the Income Tax Department of India is mandatory for GST registration. The PAN card of the proprietor, partners, or directors (in the case of companies) will be required.
Identity Proof: Identity proof documents such as Aadhaar card, voter ID card, passport, or driver’s license of the proprietor, partners, or directors.
Address Proof: Address proof documents such as Aadhaar card, voter ID card, passport, driver’s license, or utility bills (electricity bill, water bill, etc.) displaying the address of the place of business.
Photographs: Recent passport-sized photographs of the proprietor, partners, or directors.
Bank Account Details: Bank account statements or canceled cheques for the bank account that will be linked to the GST registration.
Business Registration Documents: Depending on the type of business entity, the following documents may be required:
- For Proprietorship: Sole proprietorship registration certificate or business registration certificate (if applicable).
- For Partnership: Partnership deed or certificate of registration (if applicable).
- For Company: Certificate of incorporation, Memorandum of Association (MOA), Articles of Association (AOA), board resolution, and other related documents.
Proof of Business Place: Documents establishing ownership or occupancy of the place of business, such as property tax receipt, rent agreement, lease deed, or utility bill.
Authorized Signatory Details: Details and documents of the authorized signatory who will file GST returns on behalf of the business, including their PAN card and address proof.
Business Activities Information: Description of the goods or services supplied by the business, such as HSN or SAC codes (Harmonized System of Nomenclature or Services Accounting Code) for the goods or services.
It is advisable to consult a chartered accountant or tax professional to ensure all necessary documents are provided for GST registration.
Filing GST Offline
On the other hand, offline filing of GST returns requires businesses to fill out long and complicated forms and submit them to the GST department in hard copies. This can be a time-consuming and tedious process, as businesses have to make sure that the forms are completed accurately and completely. Additionally, since there is no real-time data availability with offline filing, businesses cannot make informed decisions quickly.
The most important aspect of filing GST returns offline is to keep accurate records. All transactions and documents related to the purchase and sale of goods and services must be recorded and maintained. This helps to ensure that all the information provided in the returns is accurate and up to date.
Businesses must also keep in mind that offline filing is only applicable for businesses that have an annual turnover of less than Rs 1.5 crore. Other businesses must file their GST returns online, as per the provisions of the GST Act.
The first step in filing GST returns offline is to obtain the required GST forms. The forms for filing GST returns offline are GSTR-1, GSTR-2, GSTR-3, and GSTR-9. GSTR-1 is the form for filing details of outward supplies made by the registered taxpayer. GSTR-2 is the form for filing details of inward supplies of goods and services received from the registered taxpayers. GSTR-3 is the form for filing the monthly or quarterly return. GSTR-9 is the form for filing the annual return.
The next step is to fill the GST forms. It is important to fill all the details accurately in the forms. It is also important to mention the HSN code and the GSTIN of the registered taxpayer while filling the GST forms. Once the GST forms are filled, the registered taxpayer needs to submit the forms to the concerned department. The registered taxpayer can submit the forms either physically or electronically.
After submitting the GST forms, the registered taxpayer needs to make the payment of GST. The payment can be made through online banking, debit card, or credit card. After making the payment of GST, the registered taxpayer needs to file the GST returns. The GST returns can be filed either manually or electronically. Once the GST returns are filed, the registered taxpayer needs to generate the GST receipt. The GST receipt should be kept for future reference.
The last step in filing GST returns offline is to file the GST refund. The GST refund can be claimed from the concerned department.
Overall, online filing of GST returns has numerous advantages over the traditional offline filing. With online filing, businesses can save time, reduce the chances of errors, access the latest GST notifications, and take advantage of real-time insights into their GST returns. Therefore, it is safe to say that online filing of GST returns is the way forward for businesses in India.