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What is a GSTIN?

GSTIN, or Goods and Services Tax Identification Number, is a 15-digit alpha-numeric code that your firm gets after being registered under the GST regimen of India. If the annual turnover of your business exceeds the threshold limit or the firm does inter-state business, you should mandatorily apply for the firm’s GSTIN. 

Structure of GSTIN

GSTIN number is a 15-digit code representing several particulars about the business, including its PAN number, state of business, etc. Following is the breakdown of the GSTIN structure:

 

  • First two digits indicate the state where the business is located.

  • Following ten digits are the PAN number of the business or its owner.

  • Next digit is the entity number under the same PAN number.

  • The 14th number is ‘Z’ by default.

  • The last number is a check code that helps in detecting errors.

Importance of GSTIN 

Here is why it is important to have a GSTIN number for your business:

 

  • Getting input tax credit: Every time you purchase raw ingredients/equipment or avail a service for your organisation, you must pay GST or input tax credit (ITC). However, after selling your manufactured products, you can balance your paid ITC with the output tax given by your customers. This way, the ITC saves you from double taxation. You will not be able to get this benefit if your firm does not have GSTIN.

  • Restriction-free sales within the country: For interstate sales of your products or financial transactions, you need to have a GSTIN number. This is why it becomes extremely important to have a GSTIN if you are looking to scale up your business.

  • GST returns: According to the GST Act, you must file GST returns, including GSTR-1, GSTR-3A, GSTR-9, etc., in a timely manner. During the application process, you need to submit your firm’s GSTIN. This number helps the government to get the necessary details about your services or products.

Besides these, GSTIN also helps function as legal recognition of your business. You can use this record as lawful proof of your business ownership.

Details Required to Apply for GSTIN

Here is the list of details you need to keep handy before starting the application process for GSTIN:

 

  • PAN number 

  • Mobile number

  • Email ID

  • Name of the firm

  • Bank account details

  • IFSC code of your bank

  • Name of your trustee or partner

  • PAN number of your business partner

  • Name of the authorised signatory

  • The date of starting your business operation

How to Apply for GSTIN Online?

Here is a step-by-step process to apply for GSTIN online:

 

  • Step 1: Log in to the GST portal of India (services.gst.gov.in).

  • Step 2: Click on ‘New Registration’.

  • Step 3: Enter necessary details, including your name, mobile number, email ID, etc.

  • Step 4: Complete the verification process by entering OTPs received on your mobile number, email ID, etc.

  • Step 5: Collect and note down your ARN (Application Reference Number) from your mobile number or email ID.

  • Step 6: Fill in the Part B Application form for GSTIN.

  • Step 7: Attach necessary documents, including proof of business, bank statement, residential proof, PAN card, certificate of incorporation, partnership deed, etc.

  • Step 8: Submit your duly filled application form with all the necessary documents attached with it.

After this, it should take around three working days for the verification of your application. You will receive the GST REG 06, if your application gets approved.

How to Apply for GSTIN via GST Seva Kendra?

As an alternative to the online application process, you can also visit GST Seva Kendra to get the GSTIN. The Indian Government has founded several local GST offices to make registration easier and help residents with GST-related challenges. To register your business for GST, you need to visit your nearby GST Seva Kendra and ask for the offline application form. Then, you will have to submit the duly filled application form with all the necessary documents.

Benefits of Getting a GSTIN 

Getting a GSTIN for your business allows you to enjoy a plethora of different benefits. Wondering what they are? Here’s a quick look at a few of the most important advantages that you get to enjoy. 

  • Ensures Legal Compliance 

If you’re a business with a turnover exceeding the threshold limit, getting a GSTIN will ensure that you’re legally compliant with the law. As a business this is very important since the penalty for non-compliance with GST laws can be quite severe. 

  • Lets you Claim Input Credit

When you have a GSTIN and you purchase raw materials or other goods and services from a GST-registered dealer, you can claim input credit for the GST paid by you on your purchase. By setting off input credit, you can reduce your GST liability significantly. 

  • Lets Others Claim Input Credit 

When other GST-registered dealers purchase goods and services from you, they can claim the GST paid by them to you as input credit. Thanks to being able to claim input credit on purchases, your customers are much more likely to favour you over other dealers. 

  • Allows You to Partake in Inter-State Sales

GSTIN allows you to conduct inter-state sale of goods and services smoothly and without any restrictions or legal repercussions. 

  • Enhances Your Scope of Business 

With a Goods and Services Tax identification number, you can get into the world of e-commerce without any restrictions whatsoever. Doing so can help enhance your business and take it to the next level. 

  • Enhances Visibility and Reputation

Applying for a GSTIN number gives you legal recognition, which ultimately helps improve your visibility and reputation in the business world.  

How to Verify GSTIN

You can check whether a GSTIN is authentic by undergoing the following steps:

  • Step 1: Visit the GST portal.

  • Step 2: Click on ‘Search Taxpayer’.

  • Step 3: Enter the GSTIN number.

  • Step 4: Enter the CAPTCHA code.

 

Upon completing these steps, you will get the GST registration details of the business on your next screen only if the GSTIN is valid. Following are the details you will be able to see on your screen after completing these steps:

 

  • Status of business (active/inactive)

  • Legal name

  • Date of registration 

  • Structure of the business

 

If the GSTIN is not authentic, you will see an ‘error’ message.

Difference Between GSTIN and GSTN

The meaning of GSTIN and GSTN can be confusing at first. In fact, both these are related to GST. GSTIN refers to the registration number of your taxpaying organisation.

 

Contrarily, GSTN or Goods and Services Tax Network is an IT infrastructure that oversees the portal of GST. It helps all the stakeholders associated with GST, including state and central governments, taxpayers, etc., to get successfully synchronised with this singular indirect taxation. It also helps the government to track financial transactions within the country.

 

So, if you are running a business, you should ideally register your enterprise under the GST rule, especially if its annual turnover is over a certain threshold amount. After registration, you get a 15-digit GSTIN which you should mention in your GST invoices. With the help of this number, you can ensure that the government gets the right amount of input tax from your end. Besides this, GSTIN is an important identifier of your business. This is why it can also help your business establish its credibility in the market. 

GSTIN Authenticity

As a customer of a business, you can claim the benefits offered by GSTIN only if the business provides you with an authentic number. There have been multiple instances where businesses have provided their customers with fake GSTIN numbers. 

 

Through such unethical practices, the businesses collect tax under the pretext of GST and don’t submit the same to the government. Therefore, it is important to verify the GSTIN of a business to ascertain the veracity and authenticity of the number before purchasing goods or services from them. 

Spotting Fake GSTIN

Although it might be possible to spot fake GSTINs by simply looking at them, in most cases it can lead to you mistaking it for the real thing. 

 

Now, the best way to spot and identify fake numbers is by running it through a GSTIN search tool. There are plenty of free official and third-party online tools that are designed to quickly verify the number. 

 

You can follow the below mentioned steps to verify if a Goods and Services Tax Identification Number is authentic or not. 

 

  • Step 1: Visit https://www.gst.gov.in/. 

  • Step 2: Click on ‘Search Taxpayer’ and then on ‘Search by GSTIN/UIN’.

  • Step 3: Enter the GSTIN of the business in the relevant field.

  • Step 4: Click on the ‘Submit’ option after entering the Captcha code. 

 

If the GSTIN is authentic, you should receive a plethora of details of the business such as its legal business name, place of business and date of registration, among others. If the number is found to be fake, you wouldn’t get any result. 

FAQs About GSTIN

  • ✔️Can I have multiple GSTIN numbers?

    Yes, you can have multiple GSTIN numbers linked to your single PAN card number if you have a trading business in different states. Besides this, you can have several GSTINs, if you run multiple organisations in different business verticals.

  • ✔️Is it mandatory to mention GSTIN in GST invoices?

    Yes, you should mandatorily mention your firm’s GSTIN number on GST invoices. Furthermore, if the recipient of your bill is registered under GST, the invoice also needs to include your client’s GSTIN as well.

  • ✔️Can we get the address of a company through GSTIN?

    You can know the state where the business is located through GSTIN.

  • ✔️When will the GSTIN be allocated?

    The GSTIN number will be allocated to you as soon as your GST registration application is successfully processed by the tax authorities.

  • ✔️How can you check whether the GSTIN number is active or not?

    You can do a quick GSTIN check by following the below mentioned steps. 

     

    • Step 1: Visit the website https://www.gst.gov.in/. 

    • Step 2: Click on the ‘Search Taxpayer’ option.

    • Step 3: Click on the ‘Search by GSTIN/UIN’ option.

    • Step 4: Enter the GSTIN of the business in the relevant field.

    • Step 5: Click on the ‘Submit’ option after entering the Captcha code.

  • ✔️How can you search for a GSTIN by PAN?

    To find out the GSTIN using a Permanent Account Number (PAN), all that you need to do is follow the steps outlined below. 

     

    • Step 1: Visit the website https://www.gst.gov.in/. 

    • Step 2: Click on the ‘Search Taxpayer’ option.

    • Step 3: Click on the ‘Search by PAN’ option.

    • Step 4: Enter the PAN in the relevant field.

    • Step 5: Click on the ‘Submit’ option after entering the Captcha code.

  • ✔️What GST details will I get after searching for the GST/GSTIN number via PAN?

    When you search for a GSTIN using a Permanent Account Number, you should receive a host of details such as the GSTIN of the registered entity, date of registration, the business’ legal name, place of business and jurisdiction.