All business entities registering under the GST regime will get a Goods and Services Tax Identification Number, or GSTIN. This 15-digit number is similar to the Tax Identification Number (TIN) that is allotted to business entities registered under a state’s Value Added Tax law. Currently, businesses providing services are also required to obtain a Service Tax Registration Number assigned by the Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC). Under the GST regime, all these different identification numbers required for indirect tax purposes will be replaced by a single umbrella number, the GSTIN. This is expected to make life simpler for business entities, and to improve the government’s tax collection through better tracking of transactions.
GSTIN is allotted through a two-step verification process. Upon registration on the GST Network portal, a business is given a provisional GSTIN. In the second stage, the business entity has to log on to the GSTN portal and provide details of its business, such as the main place of business, additional place of business, directors and bank account details. Of the 83.50 lakh excise, service tax and VAT assesses; 65.6 lakh have registered on the GSTN portal. Of these 65.6 lakh, nearly 13 lakh business entities are yet to complete the second stage of the registration process. The government has allowed traders and businesses to continue their businesses even after July 1 with provisional IDs, until the time they get their final identification numbers.
The first two digits of the 15-digit GSTIN represent the state code as per the Census of India, 2011. The next 10 digits are the taxpayer’s PAN. The The thirteenth digit is assigned based on the number of registration within a state. The fourteenth digit is Z by default. The last digit is the check sum digit code.