The Best Way to File GSTR1 Returns

a couple of months ago
GST

Introduction

The GST filing period has begun!

“How do I and my tax consultant file GST returns for my business?” – is the one question that is likely to linger on top in your head, among others. This blog suggests the best method for filing returns accurately.

Let us begin by making a note of the filing dates for different GST returns for the assessment month of July.

Returns period GSTR-1 GSTR-2 GSTR-3B GSTR-3
July 2017 Upto 10 Oct Upto 31 Oct 25-28 Aug Upto 10 Nov

Oct. 10 is the last date for filing your GSTR-1 returns for the month of July.

If you have already glanced through the GSTR-1 form, then you might have noticed that the form has 13 tables and each table has multiple rows. It requires plenty of data and obviously plenty of time to be filled in. You don’t want to go wrong with the details.

No doubt, your tax consultant will handle the task for you. Yet, unlike in the previous tax regime, your consultant is now going to seek your help to get accurate data. You have to start preparing for this by providing data in a manner required by your tax consultant and which is compliant with GST.

Remember that your business compliance is ultimately your responsibility.

Steps to file GST returns

Previously, you were used to filling up and sending over an MS Excel template file provided by your tax consultant. In case you were using the Tally software, you sent along the Tally data file. The only difference in the GST regime is that you will now be using the standard MS Excel template provided by the tax department for entering business data.

Knowing that GST rules are new and frequent notifications continue to be issued by the tax department to sharpen the rules, you need the comfort of doubly ensuring the accuracy of your business data. At Tally, we think that you must adopt the below-described steps for accurate filing.

Step 1: Enter data in the prescribed MS Excel template format (or any other file format supported by your software) and verify the same thoroughly before sending to your consultant.

Step 2: Let your tax consultant cross-check the data and approve before uploading on the GSTN portal.

The advantage of following these steps is that you get to establish a double-checking process to avoid erroneous filing and get better control and overview of your business data.

After few months, both you and your tax consultant will get acquainted with the process. Once you are confident, you can start uploading invoices and returns data directly from your software to the GSTN portal.

Below are three example situations in which the above method will turn out to be really useful.

Situation/Example 1

As you know, tax liability has to be adjusted in the books for all advance payments which are received. Typically, the sales personnel record advances received and sales on a daily basis. However, the task of adjusting the books is carried out by the Finance Controller/Accountant and not the Sales team. This activity is done at the end of the month, by verifying that tax liability is calculated only for those advances against which there were no sales during the month.

The Finance Controller/Accountant also make corrections that might have occurred in the data-entry process before adjusting the books and preparing data for returns.

In the GST regime, the best way to manage your tax compliance data is by finalizing all liability records and books when nearing the end of the month. This will give you full control to ensure adequate verification of data, only after which you could send it to the tax consultant.

Situation/Example 2

In the GST regime, purchases from unregistered dealers worth more than INR 5,000/day are liable for reverse charges. Your accountant will need time to verify the correctness of the liabilities accrued from reverse charges and amend any errors. Remember that if the reverse charges are not adjusted/verified fully, you may incur a wrong liability which will negatively impact the cash flow.

The best way to manage this is by finalizing liability records and books before nearing the month-end. You/your tax consultant gets to review the data as a consolidated chunk for the month before sending it to the tax consultant.

Pick a date before the month ends, sit together with your staff to review the data at one go and then submit the same to the tax consultant. This way you will be able to assess the information in its entirety for the month and make corrections once for all. This practice will enable you to get control of your business information and more confidence towards becoming GST compliant.

Situation/Example 3

One of the important aspects of the GST regime is ‘invoice-matching’.

It is quite natural, that just as you are taking time to adjust to the GST regime, your sellers too are undergoing a similar experience. It is possible that your sellers might make data-entry errors as well and request you to modify those to ensure invoice-matching.

Finalize all your invoice-matching tasks before the end of every month and give your buyers the confidence that you are open for mutually agreeable modifications. This will enhance your business relationships.

Conclusion

We strongly recommend that you adopt the above-mentioned process as part of your returns filing activity. Once you and your consultant have become comfortable with the GST procedures, it will be time for us to roll out an upgraded version of our software. In addition to uploading invoices and returns data directly from Tally to GSTN, you will also enjoy unmatched compliance, convenience and new possibilities that come with connected devices.

GST has not only changed the way you do business, but also the process of filing returns. We are all at a start of the new tax regime. It takes time to get acquainted with the new GST processes. We are with you in this journey and will help you file returns in the best possible manner. Please do share your thoughts.

 

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