What is GSTIN (Goods and Services Tax Identification Number)? | How to identify GSTIN in your Bills/Receipts?

Goods & Services Tax (or) simply GST, has come into effect from 1st July, 2017. It replaces different types of indirect taxes (like VAT, Service Tax, entertainment tax, excise duty etc.,) and henceforth, only GST will be levied on all types of Goods (Products) and Services.

GST is a tax that we need to pay on supply of goods & services. Any person, who is providing or supplying goods and services is liable to charge GST.

GST is a consumption based tax/levy. It is based on the “Destination principle.” GST is applied on goods and services at the place where final/actual consumption happens.

All these years, when you shop in a mall, buy a movie ticket, book flight ticket, or dine in a restaurant and so on..I am sure, you might have noticed that all these bills carry TIN number / S.Tax Number, purchase price and the list of all taxes (like VAT, Service tax etc.,).

So, a typical hotel bill with TIN, VAT, Service tax etc., looks like as given in the below image ;

Bills TIN VAT Service Tax

As per earlier Indirect tax system, a person / entity who is doing business in India can register for TIN, Service Tax etc., and collect the taxes from their customers/clients and deposit the amount to the State/Central Govts.

TIN stands for Taxpayer Identification Number, is unique number allotted by Commercial tax department of respective State. It is an eleven digit number to be mentioned in all VAT transactions and correspondence. TIN number is used to identify dealers registered under VAT. Similarly, a service provider is assigned a Service Tax registration number by the Central Board of Excise and Custom

As GST is the current indirect tax system in India, how to know if your product seller or service provider is charging you based on the new GST tax rates or not? How to identify if the business person/entity has registered under GST or not, by looking at a bill / receipt? Let’s discuss…

What is GSTIN?

It is estimated that there are around 8 million indirect tax-payers in India. All of these business entities have to now migrate to GST system. These entities have to register for GSTIN (Goods and Services Taxpayer Identification Number). GSTIN replaces TIN number / Service Tax number.

Each taxpayer (business entity) will now be allotted a State-wise and PAN-based 15-digit Goods & Services Taxpayer Identification Number (GSTIN). As of now, provisional GSTINs have been issued and the Revenue secretary has recently confirmed that provisional GSTINs would be made as final tax identification numbers under GST.

How does GSTIN look like? 

GSTIN 15 digit code GST Tax identification number PAN

GSTIN number is a 15 digit code. The format of GSTIN is as below ;

  • The first two digits of GSTIN represent the state code.
  • The next ten digits represent PAN number of the business entity.
  • The thirteenth digit will be assigned based on the number of registrations done by the business entity within a state.
  • The fourteenth digit is Z by default, can be allocated in future, based on number of registrations done by the entity.
  • The last digit is for check code.

So, your hotel bill may now look something like this, with GSTIN number and new Tax rates (State GST and Central GST rates) ;

GST Hotel bill receipt with GSTIN State GST Central GST Tax rate

I have observed that some of the retailers in my town are giving back-dated bills (June month, with VAT). When I requested for a bill with GSTIN, they have replied that kindly accept the back-dated bills with old tax rates, as old stocks have not yet been cleared. (We should also keep in mind that GST tax is applicable if the business turnover is over Rs 20 Lakh.)

Some retailers are however issuing bills /invoices without GSTIN, due to ignorance or lack of infrastructure. So, it may take couple of months time for things to settle down.

How about the situation at your location? Have you been issued bills with new GST tax rates? Kindly share your experiences. Cheers!

Continue reading : ‘What is GST (Basics)? What is State GST and Central GST?

(Post first published on 3-July-2017) (Image courtesy : The Economic Times)

  • Satya says:

    Hi Sreekanth,

    My query is .. while registering on ebay, the registration page is asking for TIN and Service Tax numbers.
    Since I am a GSTIN holder, do I need to provide TIN and Service Tax details as well?

    Thanks in advance

  • vijay says:

    Shall a GST registered supplier/vendor say in computer parts is required to provide mandatory GSTIN Bill with tax or without tax and turnover less that 20 lakhs. Kindly explain.

  • Soumya Laha says:

    I am a follower of your blog and I want to congratulate you for doing such wonderful job on finance and taxation field. I have a question on GST Composition scheme.
    What is the format of bill for composition scheme users? Is it just a simple cash memo with GSTN as the composition scheme users are not allowed to collect from buyers ?

  • Prakash says:

    What if the number of registrations in a state are more than 9?

  • Arav Ramakan says:

    Hi Sreekanth,

    Great Post!! Very valuable information about GST and GSTIN is explained, A good step taken by the Indian government to reduce various taxes and concentrate on only one that is GST.


    how to verify that the gstin number of a shop is owned/related by that shop only.

    • Dear Vigneswaran..As per the GST Registration rules, every registered person (or entity) shall display his/her/their certificate of registration in a prominent location at a principal place of business and at every additional place or places of business.

  • Raj says:

    Very informative post. I have a query regarding GST on adsense.

    Can you please clarify whether if someone is earning some part-time income via Adsense on a personal blog then is GST registration compulsory or not?

    If compulsory what is the rate of GST on such income?

    I know my comment is a bit not related to this post. Please do post a separate article on this issue.

    • Dear Raj .. As far as I know, it is not required to get registered under GST system.

      • Raj says:

        Thanks for reply. Got this query because in GST law it is mentioned that inter state supply people have to register compulsorily.

      • Sachin says:

        Can you tell, if the blog is earning from affiliate marketing and getting payments in $$$. Is the registration important for them?

        And also if a person is providing freelancing services on sites like upwork, fiverr, etc needs a registration?

  • >
    Scroll to Top