Should I file a GST Return if I have no Sales?

Author
By Sakshi Shah on February 18, 2019

Every person who is registered under GST having a valid GSTIN must file all the GST Returns applicable to his business. The GST Returns must be filed even if there are no transactions in the business. If there are no sales or purchases, the taxpayer must file a NIL Return.

A taxpayer can file a NIL Return if all the following conditions are satisfied:

  • There are no outward supplies i.e. sales during the tax return period
  • There are no inward supplies i.e. purchases or expenses during the tax return period
  • Tax liability during the tax return period is Nil

What is the Due Date to file NIL Return under GST?

The taxpayer with no business transactions must keep in mind the GSTR Form to be filed and the due date of filing.

If you fall under the Regular Scheme

GSTR FormFrequencyDescriptionDue Date
GSTR-3BMonthlySummary Return with details of outward supplies, inward supplies and payment of tax20th of next month
GSTR-1MonthlySales Return with details of outward supplies for business with aggregate turnover of more than Rs.1.5 Crore11th of next month
GSTR-1QuarterlySales Return with details of outward supplies for business with aggregate turnover of upto Rs.1.5 Crorelast date of next month from end of the quarter
Should I file my GST Return monthly or quarterly?

If you fall under the Composition Scheme

GSTR FormFrequencyDescriptionDue Date
GSTR-4QuarterlyReturn with details of outward supplies, inward supplies and payment of tax at a fixed rate18th of next month from end of quarter

What are the consequences if GST Return is not filed ?

It is mandatory for every registered taxpayer to file GST Return. Taxpayers with no business transactions should file Nil Return within the due date.

If the Nil return is not filed in time, here are the consequences:

  1. Late Fee of Rs.20 per day is charged from the due date of filing to the actual date of filing the return subject to a maximum late fee of Rs.10,000 per return.
  2. If the taxpayer does not file GST Return for a specific period, he cannot file GST Returns for subsequent periods too. Thus, the late fee would keep accumulating.
  3. There would be no interest liability in case of nil return since there would not be any tax liability.
  4. The taxpayer may receive a notice from the GST Department for non-filing of returns to which an appropriate response needs to be submitted.
  5. The taxpayer cannot apply for cancellation of registration if he does not file all the returns.
I have a GST number, but I haven't filed a single NIL return yet. How can I save the penalties? If you have a GST number, it is compulsory to file GST return even if there are no business transactions during the return period. Read more about ways to save penalty if you have failed to file return

The Late Fee and Interest Liability are auto-populated based on the date of filing of the return. The taxpayer can view them in the E-Liability Ledger on the GST Portal. He can file the return only once the late fees are paid.