Under the newly implemented Goods and Services Tax system in India, we come across various new terms every day. This makes it hard for common people to understand the new structure and processes. One of these terms is GSTIN. We all see this written on bills, receipts, etc and the question arises what is it? What is its significance? How to get GSTIN?
What is GSTIN?
GSTIN, is short for Goods and Services Tax Identification Number a unique identification number that has been assigned to various dealers and service providers. The concept of GSTIN is being introduced basically for the facilitation of the people as well as government authorities involved in the taxation system throughout the country.
Earlier, under the state VAT system, all registered dealers were assigned a TIN number and Central Board of Excise and Custom was responsible to assign various service providers their service tax registration number. But under this new taxation system, all taxpayers are brought together under one single umbrella to smooth the way for various administrative processes. Therefore, all taxpayers will be assigned with a GSTIN.
GST number format
Now, comes the question – what is the structure of GSTIN? How it differs from one state to another in India?
GSTIN is a 15-digit number, which is unique for every taxpayer. The first two digits of it are state code according to the Indian Census 2011. Every state of India has a unique code assigned to it. The next ten digits of GSTIN comprises of PAN number of the respective taxpayer. The next digit, that is, the thirteenth digit of GSTIN will be the entity of the same taxpayer in a state. The fourteenth character will be Z by default for everyone. The last character of GSTIN will be either a letter or a number, it is basically a check code. The alphanumeric code that is created as a result is the GSTIN.
How to register your business to get GSTIN?
The next thing in which most of the businessmen, dealers and service providers find difficulty is obtaining GST number. It is very obvious to be perplexed about new procedures and requirements until and unless you find the right information about things.
Obtaining GSTIN is a very easy process, once your application for the same gets approved by the GST officer, you’ll be allocated with a unique GST number. Now the question comes of how to get GST number in India? Where to apply for it? What all documents are required for it?
To obtain your unique GSTIN, you are required to register yourself. The registration can be done on GST Online Portal or GST Seva Kendra set up by the Government of India. To register, a set of documents are required which include-
- Permanent Account Number (PAN)
- Indian mobile phone number
- E-mail address
- Place of business
- Registration application with all mandatory details
- Jurisdiction details
- Bank account number from India
- IFSC code of same branch and bank
- At least one Proprietor/ partner/ director/ Trustee/ Karta/ Member with valid PAN
- An authorized signatory who is a resident of India with valid details and PAN
Once, this GST registration procedure is done and the GST officer approves your application, you’ll be assigned a GSTIN in the prescribed GST number format. It should be noted that the registration fee for obtaining GSTIN is nil. It is absolutely free of cost.
How and where to verify the GST number?
To verify the GSTIN you can visit the official website of Goods and Services Tax, click on Search Taxpayer option. Enter GSTIN in the correct GST number format or UIN of the Taxpayer, after that enter the captcha and submit it. Registered name of the business whose GST number you have entered will appear under ‘Legal Name of Business’.
In case you are a businessman, dealer or service provider and you’ve recently registered your business to obtain GSTIN according to the procedures mentioned above, then you’ll be assigned a provisional ID on a temporary basis till the time you don’t get your GSTIN.
It is important to report a fake GSTIN!
It is of utmost importance to understand that only registered GSTIN holders are liable to charge under GST norms. Those business owners, dealers or service providers who are not registered and do not owe a GSTIN cannot charge GST.
As responsible citizens, we should stay aware of all these things and if someone is illegally charging GST without a Goods and Services Tax Identification Number then it is our responsibility to report such illegal activities to the concerned authorities.
You can use email to report any such fake registrations. The GST complaint email id is firstname.lastname@example.org. There are various GST helplines also to file a complaint and for any type of queries: 0124-4688999 or 0120-4888999.
Assigning GSTIN to businessmen, dealers and service providers is simply to maintain transparency and to reduce delays in the taxation system due to lengthy processes. Less paperwork is required now, almost everything is available online.
One time registration makes things easier for the business owners. GSTIN is nothing but an identity given to registered business owners, service providers, and dealers. A prescribed GST number format brings uniformity in the taxation system.
The registration procedure and concept of GSTIN are very easy to understand and it was designed in such a way to cause fewer problems to GSTIN holders. Register yourself and obtain your GSTIN as soon as possible in a hassle-free manner.