Fundamentally, the Goods and Services Tax Identification Number (GSTIN) is a 15-digit number given to GST registered dealers and providers of goods and services in India.
Do you need to get a GSTIN?
Many individuals and businesses seem to ponder this idea. If your business sees a yearly turnover of Rs. 40 Lakhs and above, you will have to complete the GST registration process and get a GST number. This annual turnover threshold is Rs. 20 Lakhs in special category states.
Why is a GST number Important?
The importance of a GST number lies in the following reasons:
- Having a GST number allows you to get recognized as a legitimate supplier of goods and services. If you pay taxes consistently and on time, your credibility is likely to go up in the eyes of the market and government.
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- Secondly, GST has made provisions for Input Tax Credit (ITC). You may claim your ITC so long as you consistently make tax payments under the GST rules.
- Finally, if you want to reach out to your untapped market and engage in E-commerce and inter-state sales, you will need to get a GSTIN for your business. Be sure to register as soon as possible and expand your market.
What is the format of GSTIN?
Here’s how the GSTIN is structured:
- The first two characters of the GSTIN denote the State Code
- Your Personal Account Number (PAN) occupies the following ten characters
- A couple of characters after that are for the entity code
- The last character of the GSTIN is a checksum character
Going about GST Number Verification
GST Registration is now compulsory for businesses and vendors. It is not heard of to find that many companies use fake GST numbers and fake GST invoices to evade taxes. As a precautionary measure, always verify your GSTIN and that of the company you are dealing with. Here’s how you do it:
- Start by heading to the GST portal online and clicking on the search taxpayer option.
- Then, type the GSTIN in the search bar to determine if it is legitimate or not.
- If it is legitimate, you can expect to receive details on the company. You will get information like the registered name of the company, date of registration, and so on.
- However, if you get an error, it means the GSTIN is fake.
The Advantages of GST Number Registration and Verification
As mentioned earlier, you can check a GST number to determine the company’s authenticity or that of the vendor. In other words, GST number registration and verification prevents fraud. It also reduces the instances of manipulation and tax evasions and promotes transparency.
How do you perform Online GST number Verification
Fortunately, numerous tools allow you to check your GSTIN online free of charge. Here are a few tools:
Clear Tax for GST allows you to search the GSTIN and verify it quickly. Enter your GSTIN and hit the search button. Once you verify it, you will see details like date of registration, legally registered name of business, constitution of business, type of taxpayer and so on.
TaxAdda is another tool that allows you to check the existence of the GSTIN. If the GSTIN in question does exist, it will allow you to check its structure and legitimacy using the 15-digit format. Keep in mind that this tool integrates all these details from the GST portal and makes use of the government’s Application Programming Interface (API). You can expect the following information from TaxAdda:
- The legal name of the business
- Date of registration
- Type of business
- Type of Entity
- Trade name
- Status of business
- Type of dealer
KnowYourGST is another excellent tool that provides the bulk GSTIN search tool, along with the GSTIN verification API. You can use up to 150 API calls during its trial period, after which you will have to pay. The free version of KnowYourGST allows you to verify a maximum of five GST numbers at a time.
There you have it – a simple guide to the importance and working of GST number verification.