GSTR-5A Filing Demystified: A Comprehensive Guide for MSMEs with OIDAR Services to Comply with GST Regulations

31 Jul 2023


The Goods and Services Tax (GST) is a significant tax reform that has transformed India’s indirect tax landscape. For Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) providing Online Information and Database Access or Retrieval (OIDAR) services, complying with GST regulations can be challenging, especially when it comes to GSTR-5A filing.

In this blog post, we will demystify the GSTR-5A filing process and provide a comprehensive guide for MSMEs with OIDAR services to ensure seamless compliance with GST regulations.

Understanding GSTR-5A for OIDAR Services

GSTR-5A is a return form that needs to be filed by non-resident taxpayers who provide OIDAR services in India and are registered under GST. OIDAR services include services delivered over the internet, such as electronic access to databases, online supply of digital content, website hosting, and more.

Who Needs to File GSTR-5A?

MSMEs providing OIDAR services from outside India and not having a physical presence in India must file GSTR-5A. Even if the OIDAR services are provided through an intermediary, the responsibility of filing GSTR-5A lies with the MSME.

Key Points for GSTR-5A Filing

  1. Frequency of Filing: GSTR-5A must be filed on a monthly basis, regardless of the number of transactions.
  2. Due Dates: The due date for GSTR-5A filing is the 20th of the following month. It is crucial to adhere to this deadline to avoid penalties.
  3. Input Tax Credit (ITC): Unlike other GST returns, GSTR-5A does not allow for the claiming of ITC.
  4. No Amendments: Any changes or amendments to GSTR-5A can only be made in the subsequent month’s return.
  5. Penalties: Non-compliance or late filing of GSTR-5A can lead to penalties of ₹100 per day for each day of delay.

Step-by-Step Guide to Filing GSTR-5A

Follow these steps to ensure a smooth GSTR-5A filing process:

  1. Access the GST Portal: Visit the official GST portal here and log in using your GSTIN and password.
  2. Select ‘GSTR-5A: Click on the “Services” tab, then navigate to “Returns” > “Returns Dashboard” and choose the GSTR-5A option.
  3. Review Details: Your OIDAR service-related details will be auto-populated in GSTR-5A. Carefully review all the information for accuracy.
  4. Add Missing Information: If any transactions or details are missing, ensure to add them manually.
  5. Save and Verify: Save the entered data and verify it before proceeding.
  6. Submit GSTR-5A: After ensuring all details are accurate, submit GSTR-5A on or before the 20th of the following month.

Government Portal and References

For official information and updates on GST regulations, refer to the government portal for GST here. The portal provides access to all GST-related resources, including forms, notifications, and FAQs.


Complying with GST regulations, especially GSTR-5A filing, is essential for MSMEs providing OIDAR services in India. By understanding the filing process and adhering to the due dates, MSMEs can avoid penalties and ensure seamless compliance with GST regulations.

Stay informed about any updates or changes in the GST framework to ensure continued adherence to the law. Utilize the official GST portal and seek professional assistance if needed to ensure a hassle-free filing experience.

By following this comprehensive guide and utilizing the government portal for reference, MSMEs can confidently navigate the complexities of GSTR-5A filing and focus on growing their businesses while remaining GST compliant.

Also Read:- A Comprehensive Guide to Filing GSTR-5: GST Return Filing for MSMEs with Foreign Business Transactions

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