How to find out fake GST bills in Market

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GST may hard to understand for buyers as well as for shopkeepers especially in bill transaction. As there are many unauthentic bills in the market and it is hard to judge that the invoice is genuine or not.

GST charging not eligible outlet

As per the businesses guidelines every shop cannot charge GST and having annual turnover below Rs 20 lakh does not require GSTIN (GST Identification Number). But, that limit has changed to Rs 10 lakh for business in Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Manipur, Sikkim, Mizoram, Uttarakhand, Nagaland or Tripura.

Some shopkeepers may charge GST even if they are not registered still collecting GST from customer and they are not passing to government. So if you want to check that bill is genuine you can check for central GST. Every bill carrying GSTIN has to show break-up of central GST (CGST) and state GST (SGST).

GST is collecting in old format

In many places shop owner are using old bills to carry value added tax (VAT), taxpayer identification number (TIN) and central sales tax (CST) number instead of GSTIN but still charging GST from customer. GSTIN has to show the break-up of CGST and SGST this is an incorrect practice. Effective from 1 July, GST is mandatory and shopkeepers cannot use this type of bill. Taxpayers must register with GST immediately and use GSTIN on their invoices.

Is provisional GST number sufficient?

In country many shop owners are charging CGST and SGST on their bills without mention of GSTIN. Mostly saying that they have applied for GSTIN and will pay to government once it is verified. But this is not correct practice and GST number is must on bill.

Every show owner has not received their final GSTIN then uses their provisional GSTIN to issue invoices, file returns and other compliances. Provisional GSTIN is final GSTIN number, so there is no change to this number. Thus see Small traders may soon register under GST

So how can customer know if shopkeeper is cheating you or not? If you notice anything at shop then keep the bill in hand and follow these steps to check if GSTN mentioned in the receipt is correct or not. Thus find the below steps to follow.

  • Log on to https://www.gst.gov.in
  • You can see search taxpayer dropdown, then click on search by ‘GSTIN/UIN’
  • If GSTIN is incorrect then message will be displayed invalid GSTIN/UIN or please enter a valid GSTIN/UIN.
  • If GSTIN is correct, GSTIN status will be displayed on screen.
  • State
  • Legal business name
  • Registration date
  • Formation of business – private or public limited company, sole-proprietor or partnership.

Active verification pending

If portal shows Active verification pending message then GSTIN is fine. Even provisional ID is issued to shop owner or business it shows that GSTIN has been applied for. Check How to register at Income Tax Department online

GSTIN structure

You are worried about GSTIN format here we help you.  GSTIN 15 digit number on the bill is standard across the country. Find below important things to remember.

  • First two digits represent state code and every state has unique code. For example Maharashtra state code is 27 and for Delhi is 07.
  • Next PAN number of Shop owner or business
  • Based on registration number 13 digits will be assigned within state and 14 digits will be Z by default.
  • Then last digit will be for check code. It may be number or an alphabet used for internal purpose by tax department. It is very easy to check whether bill is original or not.  First you need to check on bill that breakup for CGST and SGST is there or not.

Other than this you can check through above process and if you feel that seller is not issuing bill in proper format you may raise complaint by writing to helpdesk@gst.gov.in

State codes be first two digits in GSTIN

Andaman and Nicobar Islands 35

Andhra Pradesh 28

Andhra Pradesh (New) 37

Arunachal Pradesh 12

Assam 18 Bihar 10

Chandigarh 04

Chhattisgarh 22

Dadra and Nagar Haveli 26

Daman and Diu 25

Delhi 07

Goa 30

Gujarat 24

Haryana 06

Himachal Pradesh 02

Jammu and Kashmir 01

Jharkhand 20

Karnataka 29

Kerala 32

Lakshadweep Islands 31

Madhya Pradesh 23

Maharashtra 27

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