GST return filing mistakes

Frequently committed GST Return Filing mistakes & their quick solutions!!

Frequently committed GST Return Filing mistakes & their quick solutions!!

GST Return Filing is mandatory for businesses, tax payers are busy consulting CAs to get their GST Returns done. Since GST norms are complex, businesses often find it challenging to adapt to the new GST regime. As tax payers doesn’t have adequate time to focus on Filings, there are chances that they might commit errors and face difficulty while filing their GSTR online.

Taxpayers may commit manual mistakes and some errors might be seen after Filing to GSTN Portal
. Let’s understand some of the common human/manual errors and their appropriate solutions.

Let’s see how to identify and correct mistakes in GST Returns

Since GST Return filing is a one-time submission, errors if not rectified before time, mistakes can creep into the entire tax filing making it difficult to identify. These are commonly committed mistakes and yes you can solve them.

1. Tax payment under the wrong GST heading/ category

There are various tax slabs under IGST, SGST and CGST. You cannot pay IGST when you’re intended to pay SGST and vice versa. Such errors are costly and a tax payer’s filings will not match with the counterpart making it very difficult for them.

As businesses are not fully aware of the categories of taxes under GST, they fail to understand which transaction falls under which category of GST and end up paying taxes under the wrong heads. According to the GST rules, all interstate transactions attract IGST, where as all intrastate transactions attract CGST + SGST tax.

For ex: if a business has to pay 4,000 as IGST, 3,000 as CGST, and 3,000 as SGST has instead paid 7,000 as IGST. Still the equation doesn’t tally. In this scenario, even if you have paid the total tax liability, for a specific period, apparently you still have pending tax liability as you haven’t paid the specified amount in the right GST head.


According to the GST law, the excess tax paid in a particular GST head (ex: IGST) cannot be transferred or used to compensate the tax liability of any other head (ex: SGST/CGST). However, it can be adjusted for that the payments done in the future or can be reclaimed back. And the taxpayer will still have to pay the pending tax liability for particular heads.

But one drawback on committing this mistake is blockage of working capital on account of the excess tax paid.

2: Treating zero-rated (export) supplies as nil-rated and vice-versa

All the exports under GST will be considered as zero-rated supplies. It doesn’t imply that tax rate on such items will be zero percent. It implies that the tax paid on imports and exports shall be fully refunded back (ITC).

Nil-rated supplies are the ones which are taxed at 0% or nil rate, however ITC is not applicable to them.

As several people are not aware of this difference, they list their exports under nil-rated supplies. When this occurs, the taxpayers will not be able to claim ITC on such supplies and there shall be no refund of the tax paid, which seems to be a major concern for the exporters.


The probable solution to fix this problem is to be careful while filing GST Returns and provide the right information pertaining to your exports in the intended column. All exports are zero-rated, not nil rated or exempted from GST.

3: Payment of reverse charge incorrectly

Under the reverse charge mechanism, the recipient has to pay the tax rather than the supplier. There are chances of committing mistakes in this part as well.

According to the rules, in some special cases, if an unregistered dealer has made supplies to a registered person, the recipient has to pay the GST. However, many suppliers also commit mistakes in GST payment on such RCM transactions.

For example, a supply made by X worth Rs. 50,000 at 18% GST to recipient Y. The supply is under RCM and so Y is entitled to pay the tax, not X. Since X is not aware of this, ends up paying tax as well.


There is no mechanism for compensating the additional tax paid under RCM. The recipient still has to pay GST even if the supplier has done the payment. However, the supplier can claim the excess tax paid in the form of ITC.

4. No GST returns for zero sales

According to the GST provisions, all registered tax payers must file their GSTR, even if there was no sale in the specified tax period. Penalty is applicable for late filing or no filing done for GSTR for the specified period.

It’s a common misunderstanding that several businesses assume that they need not file returns as there’s no sale carried in the tax period, which unfortunately is not true. Even if there is no

sale carried out or no turnover from business in the respective tax month, you still have to file Nil returns for the month. Fines and penalties applicable for such taxpayers who forget or avoid filing nil returns in such cases.

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Mistakes in GST Return Filings? Learn how you can fix them without being fined!