In any tax system registration is the most fundamental requirement for identification of tax payers ensuring tax compliance in the economy. Registration of any business entity under the GST Law implies obtaining a unique number from the concerned tax authorities for the purpose of collecting tax on behalf of the government and to avail Input tax credit for the taxes on his inward supplies. Without registration, a person can neither collect tax from his customers nor claim any input tax credit of tax paid by him.

Need and advantages of registration

Registration will confer the following advantages to a taxpayer:

  • He is legally recognized as supplier of goods or services.
  • He is legally authorized to collect tax from his customers and pass on the credit of the taxes paid on the goods or services supplied to the purchasers/recipients.

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Liability to register

GST being a tax on the event of “supply”, every supplier needs to get registered. However, small businesses having all India aggregate turnover below Rupees 20 lakh (10 lakh if business is in Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Manipur, Mizoram, Sikkim, Meghalaya, Nagaland or Tripura) need not register. The small businesses, having turnover below the threshold limit can, however, voluntarily opt to register.

The aggregate turnover includes supplies made by him on behalf of his principals, but excludes the value of job-worked goods if he is a job worker. But persons who are engaged exclusively in the business of supplying goods or services or both that are not liable to tax or wholly exempt from tax or an agriculturist, to the extent of supply of produce out of cultivation of land are not liable to register under GST. Also, if all the supplies being made by a supplier are taxable under reverse charge, there is no requirement for such a supplier to register in light of Notification No. 5/2017-Central Tax dated 19.06.2017.

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Nature of Registration

The registration in GST is PAN based and State specific. Supplier has to register in each of such State or Union territory from where he effects supply. In GST registration, the supplier is allotted a 15-digit GST identification number called “GSTIN” and a certificate of registration incorporating therein this GSTIN is made available to the applicant on the GSTN common portal. The first 2 digits of the GSTIN is the State code, next 10 digits are the PAN of the legal entity, the next two digits are for entity code, and the last digit is check sum number. Registration under GST is not tax specific which means that there is single registration for all the taxes i.e. CGST, SGST/UTGST, IGST and cesses.

A given PAN based legal entity would have one GSTIN per State, that means a business entity having its branches in multiple States will have to take separate State wise registration for the branches in different States. But within a State an entity with different branches would have single registration wherein it can declare one place as principal place of business and other branches as additional place of business. However, a business entity having separate business verticals (as defined in section 2 (18) of the CGST Act, 2017) in a state may obtain separate registration for each of its business verticals. Further a unit in SEZ or a SEZ developer needs to necessarily obtain separate registration.

  • Generally, the liability to register under GST arises when you are a supplier within the meaning of the term, and also if your aggregate turn over in the financial year is above the exemption threshold of 20 lakh rupees (10 lakh rupees in special category states except J & K). However, the GST law enlists certain categories of suppliers who are required to get compulsory registration irrespective of their turnover that is to say, the threshold exemption of 20 lakh rupees or 10 lakh rupees as the case may be is not available to them. Some of such suppliers who need to register compulsorily irrespective of the size of their turnover are those who are, -
  • Inter-state suppliers; However, persons making inter-state supplies of taxable services and having an aggregate turnover, to be computed on all India basis, not exceeding an amount of twenty lakh rupees (ten lakh rupees for special category States except J & K) are exempted from obtaining registration vide Notification No. 10/2017-Integrated Tax dated 13.10.2017.

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