Everything you need to know about GST

5 min. read
Jan 24, 2023

What is GST?

GST-Goods and Services Tax is a tax levied on supply of any goods and services (with certain exceptions like petroleum, alcoholic liquor, electricity etc.) by a supplier to the recipient. It was introduced in India on July 1, 2017, subsuming several indirect taxes levied by the central and state governments previously like Excise, VAT, Service tax etc. It is charged by the suppliers (i.e. manufacturers, traders or service providers) in their tax invoices raised to businesses or consumers.
GST is intended to simplify the tax system by providing seamless flow of credit i.e. business would be entitled to avail credit of GST paid on purchases (subject to some exceptions). GST is levied at different rates depending on the type of goods or services supplied. The GST rate in India is divided into 6 slab rates 0%, 3%, 5%, 12%, 18%, and 28%.
Who needs to register and file for GST?
Businesses/individuals would be required to register under GST in the following three cases:
  • Exceeding turnover threshold: Any business or individual whose aggregate turnover at PAN level in a year exceeds a certain amount must register for GST. The threshold is currently ₹ 20 lakhs for most states; for certain northeastern states, it is set at ₹ 10 lakhs (the limit is ₹ 40 lakhs where business/individual are engaged in exclusive supply of goods).
  • Mandatory registration: Certain category of person are required to register under GST mandatorily regardless of turnover this includes all sellers supplying through e-commerce platform.
  • Voluntary registration: Further any business or individual have an option to register under GST voluntarily even though there is no mandate for such person to register under GST.
Any business or individual registered under GST are required to file GST returns on a periodic basis i.e. monthly/quarterly/annually
What are different types of GST?
There are three types of GST in India:
  • Central GST (CGST) - This is imposed by the Central government and applies to intra-state transactions (sales within a state).
  • State GST (SGST) or Union Territory GST (UGST) - This is imposed by the state government and applies to intra-state transactions.
  • Integrated GST (IGST) - This is imposed by the Central government and applies to inter-state transactions (sales between different states).
Why should businesses file GST?
Businesses are required to file GST returns to report their GST liability to the government on account of supply of goods or services made by such businesses. Further, businesses are also required to file returns to claim credit of GST paid on goods or services procured by such business. Non-compliance with such regulatory requirements could attract penal & other severe repercussions.
Further, registering under GST and filing GST returns also has several benefits i.e :
  • Such businesses are legally recognized supplier of goods or services.
  • Such businesses are legally authorized to collect tax
  • Claiming credit of taxes paid on inward supplies. Also, utilizing such credit for payment of outward GST liability.
  • Seamless flow of credit from suppliers to recipients
Documents needed to file GST
Documents generally required for filing GST returns include:
  • Sales register containing invoice wise detail of all the sales made during the tax period
  • Input credit register containing invoice wise details of GST paid on purchases (to claim the Input Tax Credit)
  • RCM register with invoice wise details of inward supplies liable to GST under RCM.
  • Invoices and bills of all sales and purchases made/received during the tax period to support the information on the GST return.
Steps for filing GST
  • Register for GST by applying on the GST portal (
  • Obtain a GSTIN (Goods and Services Tax Identification Number). Refer FAQ 5 below for more details.
  • Regular taxpayers file following GST returns regularly (monthly or quarterly, depending on your turnover and registration status) using the GST return filing portal [>>Services>>Returns>>Returns dashboard]
    • GSTR-1: A more detailed FAQ and manual for GSTR-1 is provided on the GST tutorial. The same can be accessed here.
    • GSTR-3B: A more detailed FAQ and manual for GSTR-3B is provided on the GST tutorial. The same can be accessed here
  • Pay GST liability using payment methods such as NEFT, RTGS, or net banking
  • Keep proper records and maintain documentation of GST transactions
  • File the Annual GST return (Form GSTR-9)
Is GST Registration free?
GST registration is free for all businesses and there is no as such registration fee liable to be paid at the time of submitting application for obtaining GST registration.
How much time does it take to register for GST?
The time it takes to complete GST registration can vary depending on several factors, such as the completeness of the application and the volume of applications being processed by the GST department at the time of your application. Ideally, where registration application is completed in all respect and no further documents are required, GST registration can be obtained in maximum 7 days. However, for applications where further information or document or clarification is sought, it may take upto 15-20 working days for GST registration to be completed once the application is submitted and all the required documents are in order. Accordingly, the process of obtaining registration can be completed faster if the application and supporting documents are complete and accurate, this process may take longer if there are discrepancies or missing information in the application.
It's important to note that GST registration is done online.
What are the exempted categories for GST?
Several goods and services are exempt from GST, which means businesses do not need to charge GST on these items. Some examples of GST exemptions are:
• Raw agricultural products, like unpackaged grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, etc
• Educational services, such as school fees, college fees, etc
• Healthcare services, including doctor consultation and hospitalization
• Certain basic goods, such as food grains, milk, and salt
• Government services such as passport and visa services
What is GST jurisdiction?
Each registration is assigned a jurisdictional officer at the time of registration. Such jurisdictional officer is responsible for assessing, auditing, and enforcing GST compliance. The jurisdictional officer is determined based on pin-code and area.
What are the steps for GST approval?
The steps in the GST registration approval process are as follows:
• Application for GST registration: The business owner submits an application for GST registration on the GST portal along with the required documents.
• Verification of application and documents: The GST department verifies the application and records submitted by the business owner. This includes checking for the information's completeness, accuracy, and authenticity. Additionally, for selected taxpayers, physical verification of premises is required [This is currently restricted to the state of Gujarat].
• Allotment of GSTIN: Once the application and documents are in order, the GST department allocates a GSTIN (Goods and Services Tax Identification Number) to the business.
• Issuance of GST registration certificate: The GST registration certificate in Form GST REG-06 is issued to the business owner, which serves as proof of GST registration.
• Approval and activation of GST registration: Once, the GST registration is approved and activated by the GST department, the business owner can start filing GST returns and paying GST.
What to do if your application gets rejected?
The GST registration application gets rejected for one of the two reasons:

- Non-reply to notice: In case of deficiency in registration application, Authorities communicate the deficiency through notice. Notice maybe issued seeking for any additional information or any document required or for seeking clarification on the information and documents already submitted. Where no clarification or information or documents is provided within 7 working days, the registration application would get rejected.
- Non-satisfactory reply to notice: Where authorities are not satisfied with clarification or information, or documents so submitted as a result of notice issued, in such case also the application gets rejected (Authorities would often provide reasons for rejection in the rejection order).

One can take the following steps if the GST application is rejected basis reason of rejection:

Non-satisfactory reply to notice:
• Review the reasons: The GST department provides the reasons for rejecting your application. Review the reasons and ensure they are addressed while resubmitting.
• Contact the department: If you are unsure about the reasons for rejection or no specific reason is mentioned or need more information, contact the GST department for clarification.
• Appeal to higher authorities: If you are not satisfied with your rejection order, you can appeal the rejection order to higher authority i.e., Appellate Authority.

Non-reply to notice:
• Correct/Provide and resubmit the application: Make any necessary corrections and resubmit your application, along with the required documents.
• Provide additional documents: If the GST department has asked for additional documents, submit them as soon as possible.
How do I download the GST certificate?
Here is how to download GST certificate:
• Go to the GST portal (
• Click on ‘Login’. Login to the GST portal using username, password and captcha code.
• Click on the 'Services' >> 'User Services' >> ‘View/Download Certificates’
• Download Form No. GST REG-06 i.e., Registration Certificate [There can be multiple forms available for download, registration certificate is issued in Form GST REG-06]


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