How to check GST Registration status
A business that is not registered under GST cannot charge GST.
Every industry in our nation today scrambles to make adaptations to the billing format dictated by the GSTN. This demands that along with the businesses, even the customers understand the changes that will reflect in the bills they receive. The first piece of information that customers need to keep in mind while they get used to this new regime is that the GST act mandates that only those who are registered with the GST Network and have an assigned GSTIN are eligible to charge GST.
While the customers are catching up with these changes, there are a few restaurants that are taking advantage of lack of public knowledge and charging GST even though they are not registered. Take into consideration a situation that was recently brought to light, where a customer found that a restaurant that wasn’t registered was charging 18% GST. When questioned, they agreed to repay the tax amount but they had been charging all their customers the tax for 10 whole days prior to getting called out which is nothing short of a fraud.
As tax paying individuals of the nation, how can you make sure that you are not taken advantage of? You should always know how to identify a fake GSTIN by running a proper GST registration check.
Here is how you can verify a GSTIN’s authenticity
Step 1: Identify if the GSTIN is valid
The GSTIN is not just a random sequence. It is a series of numbers and alphabets ascribed by the GSTN to enable tracking. Understanding this sequence will help you understand if a particular GSTIN has been allocated by the GSTN and that the business is, in fact, registered under GST.
Structure of the 15 digit GSTIN
Here is a sample 15-digit GSTIN: 19ABQAS7629K2Z4
- First two numbers are the state code and it indicates the state of business and registration
- The next 10 digits are the PAN number which has been used to register with the GSTN
- The 13th digit indicates the number of registrations that the business has within that state
- The 14th digit by default is Z
- The 15th digit is a check code used to identify any errors
The state codes assigned by the GSTN are as follows
01-Jammu and Kashmir
25-Daman and Diu
26-Dadar and Nagar Haveli
35-Andaman and Nicobar Islands
Step 2: Check if the GSTIN is authentic
The next step in a GST registration check, is to verify that the GSTIN printed on the bill is associated with the business in question.
This can be done by visiting- https://services.gst.gov.in/services/searchtp
Open the link and enter the GSTIN in the search box given. The search result will show you the details of the business that the GSTIN belongs to.
Step 3: Check if you are being charged the right tax percentage on the bill
The rates to be charged according to the GST act are given below:
- 5% GST for both AC / Non AC restaurants
- 18% GST for restaurants located inside the premises of starred hotels with daily rentals of over INR 7,500.
Please keep in mind that alcohol is exempt from GST. You will be charged VAT on your alcohol and GST on food. And the bill will be segregated in the same manner. The same slab of GST applies on the restaurants irrespective of whether they are serving alcohol or not. Check that the rates charged are right; here is an article that will guide you through the four tax slabs under GST.
Be a smart customer and know your rights; be sure to check the GST registration status of a restaurant the next time you eat out!