GST Registration Online: Eligibility, Process, Cancellation, & FAQs

|Updated on: June 14, 2024

Table of Contents

Traversing India’s intricate tax landscape has often felt like threading through a maze blindfolded—until GST emerged as a game-changer in 2017. The Goods and Services Tax (GST) didn't just replace a myriad of confusing indirect taxes; it rewrote the rules of taxation across the nation. It works as a master key in eliminating the complexity of India's tax system, ushering businesses into a unified ecosystem where compliance is streamlined, and the cascading effect of taxes is a thing of the past.

Importance of GST Registration for Businesses

For businesses in India, GST registration is not merely a legal requirement but also a strategic move. It enhances credibility in the market, enabling seamless interstate trade and access to input tax credit (ITC). Moreover, being GST compliant enhances competitiveness and paves the way for growth in a structured tax environment. Whether a small startup or a large enterprise, GST registration fosters transparency and efficiency, crucial for sustainable business operations.

Eligibility for GST Registration

Skim through these nuances of GST registration—from mandatory thresholds to voluntary benefits to understand the tax landscape and compliance requirements for businesses in India.

Turnover Limits for Mandatory Registration

Mandatory GST registration kicks in when businesses surpass the turnover threshold. For most states, this threshold is set at ₹40 lakhs (₹10 lakhs for special category states). However, certain businesses—like those engaged in interstate supply or selling goods through e-commerce platforms—must register irrespective of turnover, ensuring broader tax coverage and compliance.

Special Cases Requiring Registration

Businesses involved in interstate supply of goods/services or supplying goods through e-commerce platforms are mandated to register for GST, regardless of turnover. This ensures tax compliance across state borders and regulates the burgeoning e-commerce sector under a unified tax framework.

Voluntary Registration Benefits

Opting for voluntary GST registration presents strategic advantages. It allows businesses to avail input tax credit (ITC) on purchases, thereby reducing overall tax liability. Moreover, voluntary registration enhances market credibility and enables businesses to participate in larger tenders and contracts, bolstering growth prospects.

Documents Required for GST Registration

Whether you're an individual entrepreneur, a company, or part of a partnership, understanding the specific documents needed—and their format—is crucial for a seamless registration process.

For individuals, essential documents include:

  • Aadhaar card
  • PAN card
  • Passport-sized photograph
  • Address proof (e.g., passport, driving license, utility bills)

For companies:

  • Certificate of incorporation
  • PAN card of the company
  • Address proof of the company's place of business
  • Bank account statements

For partnerships:

  • Partnership deed
  • PAN card of the partnership firm
  • Aadhaar card of partners
  • Address proof of the principal place of business

Ensuring these documents are correctly formatted and meet the specified requirements ensures a smooth GST registration process, setting your business up for success in the unified tax regime.

GST Registration Fees and Process

Here’s a step-by-step guide to online registration that you can help you navigating through the process easily:

Step 1: Visit the GST Portal

Begin by accessing the official GST portal (www.gst.gov.in).

Step 2: New Registration

Select the "New Registration" option under the "Services" tab.

Step 3: Fill Application Form

Provide details such as business name, address, PAN (Permanent Account Number), and contact information.

Step 4: Upload Documents

Upload necessary documents (refer to Section 3 for details) in the specified formats.

Step 5: Verification

After filling out the form and uploading documents, a verification code (OTP) will be sent to the registered mobile number and email of the primary authorized signatory.

Step 6: Submit Application

Once verified, submit the application using Digital Signature Certificate (DSC), Electronic Verification Code (EVC), or Aadhaar OTP.

Tips for a Smooth Registration Process

  • Prepare Documents in Advance: Gather all required documents beforehand to expedite the process.
  • Double-check Information: Verify all details entered before submission to avoid discrepancies.
  • Monitor Application Status: Keep track of your application status on the GST portal for updates.

Verification & Approval

After you've submitted your GST application, it undergoes a meticulous verification process by GST authorities. Here’s what happens next and how you can ensure a smooth approval:

Verification Process by GST Authorities

  1. Document Scrutiny: GST authorities examine the documents submitted along with the application to verify their authenticity and accuracy.
  2. Physical Verification (if required): In some cases, GST authorities may conduct a physical verification of the business premises to validate the information provided.
  3. Background Check: Authorities may perform background checks to ensure compliance with tax laws and regulations.

Common Reasons for Application Rejection and How to Avoid Them

  • Incomplete Information: Ensure all mandatory fields in the application form are filled correctly, and all required documents are uploaded.
  • Discrepancies in Documents: Double-check that documents such as PAN card, address proof, and business registration certificates are valid and match the information provided in the application.
  • Incorrect Details: Accuracy is key. Verify all details such as business name, address, and contact information before submission.
  • Non-compliance Issues: Ensure your business meets all eligibility criteria and complies with GST regulations regarding turnover thresholds and mandatory registration.

Tips for a Successful Verification Process

  • Maintain Communication: Respond promptly to any queries or requests for additional information from GST authorities.
  • Stay Informed: Monitor your application status regularly on the GST portal and stay updated on any communication from authorities.
  • Follow-up if Required: If there are delays or issues, follow up with GST authorities through official channels for clarification and resolution.

 

Post-Registration Compliance

Once you’ve obtained your GSTIN, then next step is to focus on staying compliant and confident in your tax obligations:

Filing GST Returns and Maintaining Compliance

  • Frequency: GST returns need to be filed monthly, quarterly, or annually, depending on your turnover and type of business.
  • Process: File returns online through the GST portal, ensuring accurate reporting of sales, purchases, and tax liabilities.
  • Importance of Timely Filing: Late filing attracts penalties and interest, impacting your compliance record and financial health.

Important Deadlines and Penalties for Late Filing

  • Deadlines: Stay informed about due dates for filing GST returns to avoid penalties.
  • Penalties: Late filing incurs a penalty of Rs. 50 per day (Rs. 20 for taxpayers having nil tax liability) up to a maximum of Rs. 5,000.

GST Registration Cancellation

Understanding when and how to cancel GST registration is essential for managing your tax obligations effectively.

Scenarios Where Cancellation is Applicable

  • Business Closure: If your business ceases operations.
  • Transfer of Business Ownership: Change in business ownership or structure.
  • No Longer Eligible: No longer meeting turnover thresholds mandating registration.

Step-by-Step Guide to Cancel GST Registration

  1. Access GST Portal: Log in to the GST portal with your credentials.
  2. Navigate to Cancellation Form: Select the "Application for Cancellation of Registration" under the Services tab.
  3. Provide Reasons: Specify reasons for cancellation and details of any pending tax liabilities.
  4. Submit Application: After completing the form, submit it online. Acknowledgement will be sent upon successful submission.

Consequences of Cancellation and How to Manage Them

  • Clearing Tax Dues: Pay any outstanding tax liabilities before cancellation.
  • Handover of GSTIN: Surrender GSTIN and related documents to tax authorities.
  • Impact on Input Tax Credit: Loss of unutilized input tax credit post-cancellation.

GST Registration FAQs

Is GST registration mandatory?

Yes, GST registration is mandatory for businesses whose turnover exceeds the prescribed threshold limits, which vary based on the nature of the business and its location.

Who is eligible for GST?

Any individual, business, or entity involved in the supply of goods or services and meeting the turnover criteria must register for GST.

How much will it cost for GST registration?

In most cases, GST registration is free. However, businesses opting for the composition scheme or certain special categories may incur nominal fees.

Who is not eligible for GST?

Businesses whose turnover does not exceed the prescribed threshold limit and those engaged exclusively in exempted goods or services are not required to register for GST.

Can I get multiple GST registrations within a state?

No, a taxpayer can have only one GST registration per state or union territory, irrespective of the number of business verticals.

Who can register for the composition scheme under GST?

Small taxpayers with a turnover up to Rs. 1.5 crore (Rs. 75 lakhs for certain special category states) can opt for the composition scheme, which offers simpler compliance and lower tax rates.

What turnover should be considered for the GST registration threshold limit?

The turnover threshold for mandatory GST registration is generally Rs. 40 lakhs (Rs. 10 lakhs for special category states). However, certain businesses must register irrespective of turnover, such as those engaged in interstate supply.

Know More about GST Registration

GST Registration Eligibility, GST Registration Certificate, Documents Required for GST Registration, How to Check GST Registration Status, GSTIN

GST

GST Software, GST Calculator, GST on Freight, GST Exempted Goods & Services, Reverse Charge Mechanism in GST, GST Declaration

GST Rates & Charges

GST Rates, GST Rate Finder, HSN Codes, SAC Codes, GST State Codes

GST Returns

GST Returns, Types of GST Returns, New GST Returns & Forms, Sahaj GST Returns, Sugam GST Returns

TallyPrime Blog banner

Compliance is NO MORE complex! Ease of e-invoicing & accurate GST return filing with TallyPrime!