Since the execution of the Goods and Services Tax system in India, several new terms such as GSTIN have been heard quite often. This has proved to be confusing for a number of taxpayers. Hence, this is an attempt to simplify the concept of GSTIN or GST Identification Number and the procedure to obtain it.
What is the Goods and Services Tax Identification Number (GSTIN)?
GSTIN is a unique identification number that is assigned to various dealers, suppliers, and service providers registered under the GST scheme. The concept of GSTIN has been introduced for the ease of the Government and taxpayers in the process of taxation.
Earlier under the VAT system, a Temporary Identification Number (TIN) was assigned to all authorized dealers and businessmen. The Central Board of Excise and Customs was previously responsible for assigning a Service Tax registration number to registered service providers. However, under the new taxation system, all taxpayers are brought under one pan India tax structure. This helps in the smooth completion of various administrative processes involved in taxation. Therefore all taxpayers will be assigned a GST number.
What is the Structure of a GST Number?
The GSTIN is a 15-digit unique identification number assigned to every taxpayer.
- The first 2 digits comprise the unique state code of the resident’s state.
- The next 10 digits of the GSTIN is the PAN card number of the respective taxpayer.
- The 13th number is the entity of the same taxpayer in his or her state.
- The 14th character will be the same for everyone by default i.e. ‘Z.’
- The 15th character is either a number or a letter which is basically a check code.
The alphanumeric code formed as a result of the rules stated above is the unique GSTIN of every taxpayer.
How to Register on the GST Portal?
Several businessmen, service providers and dealers face difficulty in obtaining a GSTIN for their business. To obtain your unique GST identification number, you have to register yourself. The GST registration can be done through the GST Online Portal or “GST Seva Kendra” set up by the Indian Government. The documents required for GST registration are:
- Permanent Account Number (PAN) of the applicant.
- Indian mobile phone number of the taxpayer.
- Applicant’s Email address.
- Place of business operation of the applicant.
- Application for registration filled with all the mandatory details.
- Jurisdiction details.
- Bank account number from any Indian bank.
- IFSC code of the same bank and branch.
- Details of at least one of the following persons (proprietor, partner, director, trustee or karta).
- An authorized signatory who is an Indian resident with their valid details and PAN card.
Once this procedure for GST registration is complete, a GST officer will approve your application after which you will be assigned with an official GSTIN. Taxpayers must remember that there is no registration fee for obtaining a GSTIN.
How to Verify Your GST Number?
To verify a GST Identification Number, you can visit the official website of Goods and Services Tax and click on the ‘Search Taxpayer’ option. After this, you can enter the GSTIN in the correct format or the UIN of the taxpayer that you want to verify. Complete the captcha that follows and select ‘Next.’ The registered name of the business whose GST number has been entered by you will pop up under the ‘Legal name of Business’ tab.
In case you are a dealer, businessman, supplier or service provider who has recently registered for obtaining a GST number, you will be given a temporary or provisional ID until you are assigned your permanent GST Identification Number.
The Authenticity of a GST Identification Number
It is imperative to understand that GST can be charged following the GST norms only by registered GSTIN holders i.e. those service providers and dealers who have a registered GST number. The business owners, dealers, or service providers who are not registered for GST and do not own a GSTIN cannot charge GST for their products and services and will be considered a criminal offense if they do so.
As a responsible citizen, you should be aware of fake GSTIN and such other fraudulent and misleading things. If a dealer or a service provider charges GST without having a legal Goods and Services Tax Identification Number, then it is your duty as a responsible citizen to report such illegal and fraudulent activities to the concerned authorities.
To report a fake GSTIN, you can send an email to email@example.com. There are various helplines for GST related queries where you can file a complaint. Incase you have any concerns with GST registration, navigate to the GST FAQ page or download Khatabook, India’s leading app for solving all your GST problems.
The registration process and concept of GSTIN is quite easy to understand. It was designed to cause fewer problems to legal GST taxpayers and GSTIN holders. Through this online method, the lengthy processes of paperwork can be eliminated and all business owners are brought under a common structure and procedure irrespective of their place of residence in India.
If you are a business owner or service provider, get your GST registration done as soon as possible and obtain your GST Identification Number in a hassle-free way.