Navigating GST and GST numbers? Here’s how

Running a business in the Goods and Services Tax (GST) era requires you to have a basic understanding of GST and its related sub-topics. Chances are you are here because you haven’t a clue on how GST in India works. Fortunately, all it takes is a quick guide like this to get the ball rolling as you navigate the GST world as a business owner.

The Goods and Services tax was enforced in place of the old tax structure, which had a bunch of indirect taxes that you would have to pay at different stages. GST is a single, comprehensive tax that subsumes all the other indirect taxes.

Understanding GSTIN

The Goods and Services Tax Identification Number (GSTIN) is a 15 digit number you get assigned after you complete your GST registration online in India.

Why would you need a GSTIN?

Here’s why having a GSTIN is vital for you as a business owner:

Easy to claim Input Tax Credit (ITC)

Unlike the previous tax structure, GST has made provisions to claim your Input Tax Credit. If you make your tax payments regularly, you can claim your ITC without an issue so long as you enter the correct GSTIN.

Increasing your Credibility as a Business Owner

Having a GST number can do well to increase your chances of coming across as a legitimate and credible provider of goods and services so long as you conduct your operations with transparency and make sure there are no discrepancies in your GST return filing.

Broaden your Target Audience

If you want to be effective in supplying goods and services, you need to be able to reach out to your target audience and current customers. Using E-commerce and excellent logistics for inter-state transactions are two of the best ways to do so. However, you need to have a GSTIN to make this happen.

Easy-to-follow steps for GST registration

Now that you’ve considered registering for a GSTIN, here’s how you go about the GST registration process:

  • The first step involves going to the GST registration portal and signing in with your account details.

  • You follow this up by going to the services tab, hitting the new registration option, and submitting your essential data like Personal Account Number, phone number, and email address. Proceed to the next step

  • If you’ve done this, you should get a One time Password (OTP) on your phone. Once you enter this OTP and confirm your details, you will receive a Temporary Reference Number (TRN).

  • Now, get back to the services section, click on the registration tab, and hit new registration. Enter your TRN, the captcha code, and continue to the next step.

  • You will get an all-new OTP at this point and get redirected to the saved applications page. Click on edit and proceed.

  • Now, you will have to submit all business-related details like the location of the business, partners, bank account details, and a variety of documents to supplement these details as proof. Once this is done, submit your application by verification through an E-signature, Digital Signature Certificate, or Electronic Verification Code (EVC). After this, you will receive your Application Reference Number (ARN).

GST Number Checking

It is vital to check GST numbers whenever you are dealing with suppliers of goods and services because you can never be sure of their legitimacy until you look them up. Some companies have reportedly generated fake GST invoices to avoid paying taxes. Here is how you can check a GST number:

GSTIN Search using Personal Account Number

GST number check by using your PAN is a simple process to follow. All you have to do is head to the GST portal, hit the search taxpayer tab that shows up on the menu, and use the search by PAN option to get the GST number check done.

GST Number check Via name

Performing a GST number check using a name is another option at your disposal. However, you will have to make use of a tool like Know Your GST or Masters India.

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