1. What is GSTIN?
Before GST was implemented, all dealers registered under the state VAT law were assigned a unique TIN number by the respective state tax authorities. Similarly, service providers were assigned a service tax registration number by the Central Board of Excise and Custom (CBEC).
Under the GST regime, all registered taxpayers are consolidated into one single platform for compliance and administration purposes and are assigned registration under a single authority. It is expected that 8 million taxpayers will be migrated from various platforms into GST.
All of these businesses will be assigned a unique Goods and Services Tax Identification Number (GSTIN).
Verification of GSTIN can be done on the ClearTax GST Search Tool.
2. Structure of GSTIN
Each taxpayer is assigned a state-wise PAN-based 15-digit Goods and Services Taxpayer Identification Number (GSTIN).
Here is a format break-down of the GSTIN:
- The first two digits represent the state code as per Indian Census 2011. Every state has a unique code. For instance,
- State code of Karnataka is 29
- State code of Delhi is 07
- The next ten digits will be the PAN number of the taxpayer
- The thirteenth digit will be assigned based on the number of registration within a state
- The fourteenth digit will be Z by default
- The last digit will be for check code. It may be an alphabet or a number.
3. How to apply for GSTIN?
It is part of the GST Registration process. Once the application is approved by the GST officer, a unique GSTIN is allocated to the dealer.
There are two ways to register for GST:
- via GST Online Portal or
- via GST Seva Kendra set up by Government of India
The following details are required to apply for GST :
4. What is the cost of obtaining GSTIN ?
Obtaining GSTIN and Registering for GST are free of cost.
5. How is GSTIN different from GSTN?
Do not get confused between GSTIN and GSTN. GSTIN is a tax registration number under GST.
Whereas, the Goods and Service Tax Network (or GSTN) is an organization which manages the entire IT system of the GST portal. This portal will be used by the Government of India to track every financial transaction, and will provide taxpayers with all services – from registration to filing taxes and maintaining all tax details.
Once you have a GSTIN, you will need to :