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What is a GST Number? Example and Format of 15-Digit GSTIN

If you’re a business owner or taxpayer in India, you’ve likely heard about GST numbers. But what exactly is a GST number, and why is it important? In this guide, we’ll break down everything you need to know about GST numbers, including their example, format, and significance.

Understanding GST Number

A GST number, also known as GSTIN (Goods and Services Tax Identification Number), is a unique 15-digit alphanumeric code assigned to businesses registered under the Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime in India. It serves as a unique identifier for taxpayers and is used for various GST-related transactions, including registration, filing returns, and claiming input tax credit.

Example of GST Number

Let’s break down a sample GST number to understand its components:

  • Example GST Number: 12ABCDE3456F7Z8

Now, let’s dissect this GST number to understand its format and components:

  1. State Code: The first two digits represent the state code of the taxpayer as per the Indian Census 2011. Each state and union territory has a unique two-digit code assigned to it. For example, the state code for Maharashtra is “27,” while for Delhi, it is “07.”
  2. PAN Number: The next ten digits correspond to the PAN (Permanent Account Number) of the taxpayer. PAN is a unique alphanumeric code issued by the Income Tax Department of India. It serves as the primary identifier for taxpayers across various tax regimes.
  3. Entity Code: The thirteenth digit of the GST number represents the entity code. It can be any digit from 1 to 9, assigned based on the number of registrations within the same state under the same PAN. For example, if a taxpayer has only one registration within a state, the entity code would be “1.”
  4. Check Digit: The last digit of the GST number is known as the check digit. It is calculated using a mathematical formula based on the preceding 14 digits of the GSTIN. The check digit is used for error detection and validation purposes.

Format of GST Number

Based on the example provided above, the format of a GST number can be summarized as follows:

What is a GST Number?

  • XXABCDE1234F5Z6
  • XX: State Code (Two Digits)
  • ABCDE1234F: PAN Number (Ten Digits)
  • 5: Entity Code (One Digit)
  • Z: Check Digit (One Digit)

Significance of GST Number

A GST number is essential for businesses and taxpayers for several reasons:

  • Registration: A GST number is mandatory for businesses with an annual turnover above the prescribed threshold to register under the GST regime.
  • Tax Compliance: GST number is used for filing GST returns, making tax payments, and claiming input tax credit, ensuring compliance with GST laws and regulations.
  • Business Transactions: GST number is required for conducting business transactions, such as issuing tax invoices, making interstate supplies, and availing tax benefits.

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