Enforced since July 2017, the Goods and Service Tax (GST) is the biggest indirect tax reform India has witnessed. Under the ‘One Nation, One Tax’ initiative, GST subsumed various taxes levied by the center and states such as central excise, service tax, state VATs, entry tax, luxury taxes, etc.
The replacing of multiple indirect taxes with one standard tax has cut down paperwork significantly, thereby directly reducing the burden of the taxpayer. In this article, some of the key concerns and regulations have been highlighted to increase your awareness of GST.
When is GST Registration Required?
Any business which falls under the categories listed below is liable to register for GST:
- E-commerce businesses, irrespective of their turnover.
- Intra-state businesses with an annual turnover of Rs.20 lakh and above.
- Intra-state businesses for the special category states of North East, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, and Jammu and Kashmir, with a turnover of Rs.10 lakh.
A Goods and Service Tax Identification Number (GSTIN) is required in order to claim Input Tax Credit. It is a unique 15 digit number that is assigned to each taxpayer registered under GST and represents you on the GST tax system. Only once your registration is complete you will be assigned with a GSTIN.
Who can claim for Input Tax Credit:
- A business should have GSTIN, regardless of its annual turnover.
- In case of multiple businesses in different states, separate registrations are mandatory.
- A casual taxable person making a taxable supply.
- A non-resident taxable person making a taxable supply.
- People who are required to pay tax under reverse charge.
How to Register for GST Online?
Paying GST online has now become an extremely simplified process. To get started, obtain the following documents:
- PAN Card
- Aadhaar Card
- Business registration certificate
- Incorporation certificate
- Bank Account statement
- Digital Signature
To begin the GST online registration process follow these steps:
- Open a browser and proceed to the GST Portal website (www.gst.gov.in)
- Select the ‘New User’ login tab.
- Choose the GST form required for your business.
- Fill in all the details and submit the GST form.
- Some documents are to be uploaded along with the form.
- Once completed, an Application Reference Number (ARN) will be automatically generated.
The ARN is a temporary number valid until you obtain your GSTIN, the ARN can be used to track the status of your registration on the Portal. Once your application is approved, the GSTIN will be generated which can be used for future logins.
- The password will be sent to your registered email address, open the email and follow the link.
- You will be redirected to the GST Portal login page.
- Enter the credentials and use the password sent to your email address.
- Once granted access, you can change your user ID and password if needed.
How to Track the Status of Your GST Application?
Once you have registered for GST, you can track the status of your application in different ways, some of them are listed below.
Checking Application Status on the GST Portal
The GST Portal updates the status of your application.
- Open the website and login.
- Select ‘Registration’ from the list displayed.
- Select ‘Services’, the option ‘Track Application Status’ should appear.
The current status of your application should be displayed.
There are different application status types that you must know, as follows:
- ARN Generated – Status of Temporary Reference Number (TRN) on submission of the registered application.
- Pending for processing – Registered application filed successfully.
- Provisional – Status of GSTIN, when the creation of challan is initiated (for a casual taxpayer) until the registered application is approved.
- Pending for validation – On submission of the registered application until the ARN is generated.
- Validation Error – In case the validation fails, on submission of the registered application until the ARN is generated.
Checking Application Status Without Logging on to GST Portal
In case you have submitted your application without logging on to the GST Portal, you can still track the status by using the ARN.
- Open the GST portal, select ‘Registration’, then ‘Services’.
- A ‘Track Application Status’ option will be displayed, go ahead and select.
- Once opened, select the option ‘Track Application with ARN’.
- There will be a horizontal column displayed where your ARN should be entered.
- Enter the same ARN sent to your registered email address.
- Proceed to fill in the captcha text and click on ‘Search’.
How to Download a GST Certificate?
A GST certificate is issued to taxpayers who are registered under GST. This certificate must be displayed at the taxpayer’s place of business. The process for downloading a GST certificate is listed below:
- Login to the Portal (www.gst.gov.in)
- Select on ‘Services’, then ‘User Services’.
- The option ‘View/Download Certificate’ will be displayed.
- Click on the download link and save the file.
Validity of GST Certificate
A GST certificate issued to a regular taxpayer does not expire as long as the GST registration is not surrendered or canceled by GST authority.
In the case of a casual taxpayer or a non-resident taxpayer, the validity of the certificate is for a maximum of 90 days. It can be extended or renewed at the end of its validity period.
In case of changes to GST Certificate
If any information on the GST registration certificate is wrong, the taxpayer can initiate an amendment on the GST portal. This amendment will require approval by the tax officials.
Some of the changes allowed in a GST registration certificate are:
- Changes in the legal name of the business, without involving a change in PAN.
- Changes in the principal place of business.
- Changes in additional places of business (other than a change within the state).
- Changes in the addition or deletion of business partners, managing directors, the board of trustees, the CEO or equivalent, etc.
Once the amended application is approved or rejected, you will receive an email or a notification through SMS. Also, the amended registration certificate with the corrected details will be available for download.