Filing Nil Return on GSTR-1 via SMS

Table of Contents

Now any tax-payer registered under GST can file for Nil Return on GSTR-1 through SMS. This can be only through the register’s phone number of the taxpayer. Even if zero economic activity has happened, every GST registered person has to file zero GSTR-1. It applies to SEZ units, casual taxpayers and developers.

When can you file a Nil Return?

Nil Return can be file after the 1st month following the tax period (month/ quarter). For April 2020, a nil return can be file on or after 1st May 2020, and 1st July 2020 for Q1 of FY 2020-21. Any effort to file prior to this deadline will result in an error.

While sending an SMS, a monthly taxpayer must mention the relevant filing month or return period โ€œMMYYYYโ€ format. A quarterly taxpayer must mention the last month of the quarter, for instance, June 2020 for April-June 2020 quarter is type as โ€œ062020โ€ while sending out the SMS.

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Filing GSTR-1 via SMS

Steps to filing a Nil Return on GSTR-1 via SMS

1. The registered taxpayer needs to send a text message or SMS toย  โ€˜NIL(space)R1(space)GSTIN(space)Tax period in MMYYYYโ€™ to first activate the SMS facility.

Eg – Monthly GSTR-1 for April 2020 must type โ€˜NIL R1 09AGBPS5577MSZC 042020โ€™

Quarterly GSTR-1 for Apr-Jun 2020 quarter must type โ€˜NIL R1 07AQDPP8277H8Z6 062020

The taxpayer will get six-digit verification code as SMS on the same mobile number and remain valid for up to thirty minutes

2. The taxpayer needs to use the code and confirm the Nil Return GSTR-1 by sending an SMS to 14409 as follows: โ€˜CNF(space)R1(space)Codeโ€™. This step should be complete within thirty minutes of receiving the verification code.

For example, CNF R1 342917. Thereafter, the nil GSTR-1 will be file after due validation by the GSTN, and the user will get back an Application Reference Number (ARN) via SMS and on the register’s email ID of the primary authorized signatory. The status of filing GSTR-1 for the particular tax period gets updated as โ€˜Filedโ€™.

List of errors while sending SMS for Nil Return on GSTR-1



“Invalid input.”

Resend SMS by ensuring that “NIL, CNF or HELP” is used in the correct format.

“Request failed. Incorrect message format.” “Request failed. Incorrect return type.”   or    “Request failed. Invalid GSTIN. Please retry registered GSTIN.”

Resend SMS by cross-checking the usage of registered GSTIN, return period or return type in the standard format.

“Request failed. Mobile number not registered for <GSTIN>.”   or   “Request failed. Same mobile number is registered for multiple signatories of <GSTIN>.”

Register a unique mobile number for a particular GSTIN on the GST portal. In case the same mobile number was registered for multiple signatories of the same GSTIN, make a suitable non-core amendment.

“Request failed. The incorrect format or Code Mismatch.”

Resend SMS in the standard format and with the correct validation code.

“Request failed. GSTR1 for requested tax period <Tax period in MMYYYY> is already submitted/filed for <GSTIN>.”

Nil GSTR-1 cannot be filed through SMS for that particular return period since it is already filled for the requested period.

“Request failed. Invalid or expired Code.” when either the code had expired or the user had skipped initiate filing (step-1).

Ensure that step-1 is followed before coming to step-2 and complete step-2 within 30 minutes of receiving the code.

“Request failed. Incorrect form type” received when an attempt to file nil GSTR-3B instead of nil GSTR-1.

Resend SMS using the right form type “R1”.

“Request failed. Quarterly taxpayers to file a return for the third month of the quarter. Retry as: To file NIL R1 for Q1 2020: NIL R1 07CQZCD1111I4Z7 032020 Send to 14409.”

A quarterly filer of GSTR-1 must file by mentioning the last month of the quarter in “mmyyyy” format.

“Taxpayer <GSTIN> has not selected return filing frequency for the financial year.”

Login to the GST portal to select the filing frequency for the relevant financial year pertaining to the tax period for which the SMS request was attempted.

“Request failed. <GSTIN> is not a regular taxpayer during the requested tax period. Please retry with another GSTIN or tax period.”

Cross-check on the GST portal if the GSTIN is a normal taxpayer or not for the particular tax period. If the GSTIN was not a normal taxpayer that period, then the user can file nil GSTR-1 for any other period in which that GSTIN was a normal taxpayer.

“Request failed. <GSTIN> was canceled prior to the requested tax period <MMYYYY>. Please retry with another GSTIN or tax period.”   or    “Request failed. The requested tax period <MMYYYY> is prior to the date of registration for <GSTIN>. Please retry with another GSTIN or tax period.”

Nil GSTR-1 for tax periods when GSTIN was active is only allowed.   A user cannot file a return via SMS for a tax period where the GSTIN’s registration was canceled or not obtained at all.  

“Request failed. Please activate your User ID on GST portal. Retry as below: To file NIL R1 of GSTIN for Mar 2020: NIL R1 07CQZCD1111I4Z7 032020 Send to 14409.”

Ensure that the user ID is activated for that particular GSTIN on the GST portal in case a return is being filed for the first time or reactivated in case there is a change in authorized signatory.

“Request failed. 11AAAAA1111A1ZA not eligible to file nil return for tax period 0402020 via SMS. Please continue return filing on the;

Cross-check the eligibility to file nil GSTR-1 via SMS

“Request failed. Saved data exist for tax period 042020 for 11AAAAA1111A1ZA. Please continue return filing on;

Since the message indicates that some data is already saved on the GST portal, continue to file online on GST portal.

“Please confirm the Nil filing using code received. In case of non-receipt of code please try again after 5 min.”

Wait for 5 minutes before resending another request for the generation of code.

In case the taxpayer needs assistance with filing a Nil Return on GSTR-1 via SMS, he/she can type โ€˜HELP(space)R1โ€™ from the registered mobile number.


Check out our other blogs: GST FAQs, GSTR-1, GSTR-3B, Budget 2022 highlights.
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