Starting April 1, 2017, Goods & Services Tax (GST) will apply to all Indian service providers (including freelancers), traders and manufacturers, once their supply turnover crosses Rs. 20 lakh. The GST is an all-in-one tax that subsumes a variety of state (VAT, Entertainment Tax, Luxury Tax, Octroi) and central taxes (CST, Service Tax, Excise Duty). GST is to be charged at every step of the supply chain, with complete set-off benefits available. The procedure for GST is completely online and requires no manual intervention. There will also be a composition scheme under GST for businesses with a supply turnover of less than Rs. 50 lakh.
Features of GST Registration
Taxes Subsumed by GST
The GST will consolidate Central Excise Duty, Service Tax, VAT, Central Sales Tax, Customs Duty, Central Surcharge & Cess, Octroi, Luxury Tax, Entertainment Tax, Purchase Tax and a few other indirect taxes. The GST will apply on all goods and services. Even petrol and petroleum products will eventually be subject to it.
The GST council has decided on a four-tier structure. The GST rate will depend on the type of goods and services. Currently, the slab rates are 5%, 12%, 18% and 28%. The rate for gold is yet to be decided, and will likely to be the lowest of all.
CGST & SGST
GST will have a central component (Central Goods and Services Tax or CGST) and a state component (State Goods and Services Tax or SGST). Therefore, centre and state will levy GST on all entities. Inter-state transactions will attract the Integrated Goods and Services Tax (IGST), to be levied by the centre.
Businesses with a supply turnover of over Rs. 20 lakh must register for GST. The key word here is supply, which takes into consideration any turnover, including stock-taking, discounts and freebies. In fact, even those supplying non-taxable goods must register for GST. Business making sales to other states must register for GST, regardless of turnover.
Documents Required for GST Registration
The list of documents required for registration of GST for various business are as follows:
PAN Card and address proof of proprietor
PAN Card of LLP
Partners’ names and address proof
PRIVATE LIMITED COMPANY
Certificate of Incorporation
PAN of Company
Articles of Association
Memorandum of Association
Resolution signed by board members
Identity and address proof of directors
FAQs on Goods & Service Tax Registration
1) Can I apply for GST registration online?
Yes, you can apply for GST Registration online. You can simply register your business on the official GST portal and then scan and upload all the required documents. You will then receive an acknowledgement. A GSTIN will be generated on acceptance of the application and a temporary password and login will be sent. GSTIN is a unique 15-digit ID.
2) Is the GST threshold limit the same for all Indian States?
The exemption limit is a supply turnover of Rs. 20 lakh for businesses in all but the Indian states in the northeast region. Businesses in Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Meghalaya, Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland and Tripura must get a GST registration if their supply turnover exceeds Rs. 10 lakh. As mentioned above, this threshold limit applies only to businesses that operate within their home state. A business that conducts trade with another state must seek registration regardless of turnover.
3) How will the composition scheme work under GST?
The composition scheme would be applicable to businesses with a turnover of up to Rs. 50 lakh. Such taxpayers would pay a fixed percentage of its turnover and cannot avail of the benefits of input tax credit. Such businesses cannot collect tax from its customers. The floor rate of tax cannot be less than 1%.
4) Does GST apply to all businesses?
Yes, GST applies to all service providers, manufacturers and traders. It extends to any dealers, bloggers, and writers, earnings from Google AdWords through PayPal, import-export businesses, all kinds of startups and companies, whether they are LLPs, proprietorships, partnerships or private limited companies. It also applies, regardless of the threshold limit, to: 1. Businesses operating outside their home state 2. A business not registered to the state 3. Businesses paying a reverse charge 4. Input service distributor 5. E-commerce operators 6. Aggregators selling services under own brand name (Ola, for example) 7. Online sellers 8. Suppliers or agents