Before we begin delineating the steps to get a GST number, it is important we explain GST in the simplest words possible.
What is GST?
GST or Goods and Services Tax is an indirect tax system that has subsumed numerous other indirect taxes like excise duty, VAT, Service tax etc. This comprehensive tax system is levied throughout the country on the manufacture, sale and consumption of goods and services. The GST came into effect on 1st July 2017 through the one hundred and first amendment act.
The GST helps avoid the cascading effect since the tax is levied at every point of sale.
Who should get registered under GST
Following are some of the people who should mandatorily register for GST:
- Individuals who were registered under the pre-GST law that is an excise, service tax etc.
- Businesses with turnover greater than the threshold limit
- Every e-commerce aggregator
- People who supply through e-commerce aggregator
- People paying under the reverse charge mechanism
- Non-resident taxable person
- Casual taxable person
- Person supplying online information or engaging in database access or retrieval services
What is GST number or GSTIN?
GSTIN or GST identification number is a 15 digit pan based unique identification number that is allotted to every person who is registered under GST. The GST number of all registered users is public information. Hence it can be used to search and check the authenticity of a vendor and the invoice. Another way of matching the GST number is by comparing the PAN number with the numbers between the 3rd and 10th digit of GSTIN.
Note: You can look up GST numbers by name or PAN using one of the countless online tools.
GST identification number structure
- First 2 numbers: Registered person’ state code
- Next 10 characters: Registered person’s PAN
- Next number: PAN’s entity number
- Next character: Default alphabet Z
- Last number: Checksum digit used for detection of errors
To get your GST number you need to get registered. Following is a quick step by step guide for GST registration:
- Go to GST portal
- Fill up Part A of GST registration. You will receive a Temporary Reference Number (TRN)
- Fill up Part B of the GST registration application. After part B you obtain the Application Reference Number (ARN)
- Once the registration process is complete you can download the GST registration certificate.
- In the registration certification along with all the other essential details, you can also find information on GSTIN.
What documents are required for the GST registration process?
- Your Aadhaar card
- Your Pan card
- Your digital signature
- Your bank account statement( or cancelled cheque)
- Your identity and address proof of promoters
- Your proof of business registration or incorporation certificate
- Your address proof of the place of business
- Letter of authorization (Board Resolution for the authorized signatory)
Can you get penalized for not registering under GST?
In case an offender has not paid tax or is shortchanging the tax money due to genuine errors then they are to pay a penalty of 10% of the total tax amount with a minimum amount being Rs. 10,000
However, if a deliberate attempt has been made to evade taxes then a penalty of 100% of the tax amount is charged.