The Goods and Services Tax (GST) is a comprehensive indirect tax that was introduced in India in 2017, replacing a complex system of multiple taxes. Obtaining a GST number is essential for businesses operating in India, as it is mandatory for tax compliance. While there are service providers that charge a fee for assisting with the GST registration process, it is entirely possible to obtain a GST number for free. In this article, we will guide you through the steps to get a GST number in India without incurring any costs.
Knowing the basics of GST is crucial before beginning the registration procedure. GST is a consumption-based tax levied on the supply of goods and services at each stage of production or distribution. It is designed to streamline the taxation system and create a unified market throughout India.
Who Needs a GST Number?
GST registration is mandatory for the following individuals and entities:
- Businesses with an aggregate turnover exceeding Rs. 20 lakhs (Rs.10 lakhs for states in special categories) every fiscal year
- Casual taxable persons and non-resident taxable persons.
- Input Service Distributor (ISD).
- E-commerce operators.
- Businesses involved in inter-state supply.
- Individuals and entities liable to deduct tax at source (TDS) and collect tax at source (TCS).
Now, let’s explore how to obtain a GST number in India for free.
Steps to Get a GST Number for Free
The first step is to determine whether your business is eligible for GST registration based on the criteria mentioned above. If you meet the eligibility criteria, you can proceed with the registration process.
GST Common Portal:
To register for GST, you need to visit the official GST portal (https://www.gst.gov.in/).
On the GST portal, click on the “Services” tab and select “Registration,” then click on “New Registration.”
Part A – Fill Application Form:
- Choose your type of taxpayer (e.g., Regular, Composition, etc.).
- Fill in the required details, including your legal name, trade name, PAN, email address, and mobile number.
- Click on “Proceed.”
An OTP (One Time Password) will be sent to the email and mobile number you provided during registration. Enter these OTPs to verify your identity.
Temporary Reference Number (TRN):
After successful verification, a Temporary Reference Number (TRN) will be generated.
Part B – Fill Application Form:
- Go back to the GST portal and click on “Services” > “Registration” > “New Registration.”
- This time, select the “Temporary Reference Number (TRN)” option.
- Enter the TRN and captcha code.
- Click on “Proceed.”
Verification and Submission:
- You will receive an OTP on your mobile and email again.
- After OTP verification, you will be directed to the GST registration form.
- Complete the form by providing details such as business type, constitution, principal place of business, and bank account information.
- Upload the required documents, including PAN, proof of constitution, bank details, and authorized signatory’s photo.
- Once all information is filled correctly, click on “Save and Continue.”
The GST portal will verify the details you’ve provided, which may take a few days. You can check the status of your application on the portal.
Once your application is approved, you will receive a GST Identification Number (GSTIN) on your registered email and mobile number.
Download GST Certificate:
You can download your GST certificate from the portal once your application is approved. The certificate is proof of your GST registration.
Start Filing Returns:
After obtaining your GSTIN, you are required to file regular GST returns, which can also be done for free on the GST portal.
Getting a GST number in India is a crucial step for businesses to comply with tax regulations and operate smoothly. While there are service providers who charge for assistance with GST registration, the process can be completed for free on the official GST portal. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can obtain your GST number without incurring any costs, ensuring that your business is GST compliant and legally operating in India. Remember to keep your GST certificate handy and file your GST returns on time to avoid any penalties or legal complications.
Top 10 Questions and Ans on GST Number
What is a GST number, and why is it important for businesses in India?
A GST number, also known as the Goods and Services Tax Identification Number (GSTIN), is a unique 15-digit alphanumeric code assigned to registered taxpayers in India. It is essential for businesses as it is the primary identifier for taxation purposes under the GST regime. Having a GST number is mandatory for businesses with a certain level of turnover or those engaged in specific activities. It allows businesses to collect and remit GST, claim input tax credits, and comply with GST regulations.
Who needs to register for GST in India?
GST registration is mandatory for various individuals and entities, including businesses with an aggregate turnover exceeding Rs. 20 lakhs (Rs.10 lakhs for states in special categories) every fiscal year. Other entities such as casual taxable persons, non-resident taxable persons, Input Service Distributors (ISDs), e-commerce operators, businesses involved in inter-state supply, and those liable to deduct tax at source (TDS) and collect tax at source (TCS) also need to register for GST.
How can I check if my business is eligible for GST registration?
To check if your business is eligible for GST registration, you need to assess your aggregate turnover and ensure it exceeds the threshold limit applicable to your state.. It’s important to note that even businesses below the threshold limit can voluntarily register for GST to avail of benefits such as input tax credit.
Is it possible to get a GST number for free in India?
Yes, it is entirely possible to get a GST number for free in India. The government provides an online portal where businesses can register for GST without incurring any charges.
What are the steps involved in obtaining a GST number for free?
Obtaining a GST number for free involves the following steps:
- Eligibility checks to ensure your business qualifies for GST registration.
- Accessing the GST portal (https://www.gst.gov.in/).
- Fill out the GST registration application form in two parts (Part A and Part B).
- Providing necessary details, uploading documents, and verifying your identity through OTPs.
What documents are required for GST registration?
When applying for GST registration, you will need to provide several documents, including:
- PAN card
- Proof of constitution (e.g., partnership deed, certificate of incorporation)
- Bank account details
- Address proof of the principal place of business
- Photograph of the authorized signatory
These documents are essential for verifying your business’s identity and eligibility for GST registration.
How long does it take to obtain a GST number after applying?
The time it takes to obtain a GST number can vary, but it usually takes a few working days. After completing the application, it undergoes a verification process by the GST authorities. . It’s important to check the status of your application on the GST portal regularly.
What responsibilities come with having a GST number?
Having a GST number comes with several responsibilities, including:
- Charging the correct GST on your supplies.
- Filing regular GST returns on time.
- Maintaining accurate and up-to-date records.
- Complying with GST regulations and rules.
- Maintaining proper invoices and documentation.
- Reconciling input tax credit and output tax liability.
Failure to fulfill these responsibilities can lead to penalties and legal consequences.
Can I cancel my GST registration if my business no longer qualifies?
Yes, you can cancel your GST registration if your business no longer qualifies for it. There are various reasons for cancellation, such as discontinuation of business operations, a change in the business’s structure, or a reduction in turnover below the threshold limit. You can apply for cancellation through the GST portal. It’s important to follow the prescribed procedure and comply with the rules and requirements for cancellation.
What happens if I don’t obtain a GST number or fail to comply with GST regulations?
Failure to obtain a GST number or comply with GST regulations can lead to legal consequences. The GST authorities can impose penalties, initiate tax audits, and even prosecute non-compliant businesses. It’s crucial to understand that GST is a legal requirement, and non-compliance can result in financial and reputational damage. Therefore, it is in the best interest of businesses to obtain a GST number and adhere to GST regulations.