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GSTIN is a unique 15-digit code allotted to every taxpayer registered under GST
GSTIN is mandatory for businesses with annual turnover exceeding Rs.20 lakhs
Why do you need a GSTIN
How to apply for a GSTIN
The Goods and Services Tax (GST), which was launched on 1 July 2017 in a historic event in the Parliament aimed at simplifying the existing tax structure of India. The main aim of implementation of new tax regime is one nation, one tax, one market. GST has replaced a dozen of central and state levied taxes such as excise, VAT, and service tax.
As a result, business entities will now need to register under GST and obtain a unique 15-digit Goods and Service Tax Identification Number (GSTIN). This will replace the previously existing Tax Identification Number (TIN) which was allotted to businesses by respective state tax authorities for registering under VAT.
In the new GST regime, all registered taxpayers will be consolidated on to a single platform for compliance and administration purposes and will be registered under a single authority. Around 8 million tax payers were migrated from various platforms on to GST.
A unique code known as GSTIN is assigned to each tax payer, which will be state wise and PAN based. Here is the breakdown of the 15-digit GSTIN format:
The first two digits represents the state code as per Indian Census 2011. Every state or Union territory has a unique code. For example, 27 stands for Maharashtra and 09 is for Uttar Pradesh.
The next ten digits are the PAN number of the taxpayer or business house
The 13th digit indicates the number of registrations in a state for the same PAN. It will be an alpha-numeric digit (first 1-9 and then A-Z)
The 14th digit will be alphabet ‘Z’ by default
The last digit will be a check code to detect errors. It can be an alphabet or a number
GST registration is critical for business entities to avail various benefits that are available under the GST regime. A GSTIN is mandatory by the government for businesses with annual turnover exceeding Rs.20 lakh. If you are a registered dealer, you need to file GST returns and make a payment if GST liability exists. Also, if the GST paid by you is more than the GST liability, you can claim a refund through your GSTIN.
Additionally, a GSTIN also helps when you are looking to avail a loan to fund your business. Financiers such as Bajaj Finserv provides Business Loans for businessmen to buy inventory, expand commercial space and grow their business. Your business should be registered with the Government of India and have a valid GSTIN to be eligible for a business loan.
Additional Read: How to Calculate GST
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If you have your GSTIN, you can verify any GSTIN with a single-click on the GSTIN search tool. anyone free of cost
Checking for authenticity
Prevention against association with vendors using fake GSTINs
Correction of any potential errors in reporting GSTIN
Use the tool by following the below steps-
1. Enter a valid GSTIN number in the search box
2. Click on “Search” button
If the GSTIN entered is correct, you can verify the below details-
The business’ legal name
Date of registration
GSTIN status / UIN status
Constitution of business – company, sole-proprietor or partnership
Taxpayer type – regular taxpayer or composition dealer
Registering for GST and obtaining a GSTIN is free of cost by the government of India. There are two ways for taxpayers to register under GST:
- Register on GST online portal
- Visit GST Seva Kendra set up by the Government of India
Needless to say, applying online is the easier option. You can follow these steps to do so.
Log on to https://www.gst.gov.in/, click on the ‘Services’ tab, hover over ‘Registration’ and then click on ‘New Registration’.
Once the page refreshes, select ‘New Registration’ and fill in the details carefully into the form. Take care to enter information in all the fields marked with a red dot as providing this information is compulsory. Also enter your email ID and phone number diligently as you’ll receive an OTP on both.
Once filled, click on ‘Proceed’. Next, enter the two OTPs that you have received on your email ID and phone number, respectively. You have a window of 10 minutes to do so, after which the OTP expires and must be regenerated.
The screen will then display a TRN or Temporary Reference Number. Note this, and then go back to the home page, click on the ‘Services’ tab, hover over ‘Registration’ and then click on ‘New Registration’.
This time, when the form is presented to you, click on ‘Temporary Reference Number’ instead of ‘New Registration’. Enter the TRN and the CAPTCHA code as well as a new OTP that will be generated.
Once you’re directed to the ‘My Saved Application’ page, you will be able to access a form which you must fill and submit within 15 days. The form has 10 sections, so once you open it, be sure to fill in details in each section and affix scanned copies of your bank account number, IFSC code, proof of business incorporation, etc.
Next, fill the enrolment form. Once again, take care to provide information for all fields that are marked mandatory. Then, click on ‘Save and Continue’. Similarly, fill in details that are mandatory as listed in the ‘Business’ and ‘Promoters/Partners’ tab while providing proof of constitution.
Lastly, provide information under the ‘Authorized Signatory’ section. If you’re keen on e-signing the form, make sure to use the mobile number and email ID of the signatory. Similarly, to sign via DSC, ensure that the signatory’s PAN is linked with DSC.
Then, continue to fill the rest of the tabs, namely ‘Primary Place of Business’, ‘Goods and Services’, ‘Bank Accounts’, etc. using data from relevant documents such as first page of a passbook or bank statement and proof of primary place of business.
An important aspect is to digitally sign your application via e-signing, DSC or EVC. This is compulsory for companies and LLPs, and the signature of the authorised signatory, as stated in the registration form, must be used. Then you can submit your application.
You will receive an Application Reference Number or ARN on your mobile number and email ID shortly after, to help you track your application.
Once the application is approved by the GST officer, you’ll be assigned a unique GSTIN for your business. You will be notified of this via email and a text message. You will also receive a temporary username and password that you can use to log in. Once you do, click on ‘First Time Login’ to create your own username and set a new password.
After 3–5 days have passed, you can download your registration certificate by navigating to the ‘Services’ tab. Click on ‘User Services’ and then on ‘View or Download Certificates’ to do so.
There is a two-step verification process to complete the GST registration process by the businesses. Once the application is approved by the GST officer, you’ll be assigned a unique GSTIN for your business.
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