Barely four months after President Pranab Mukherjee gave his assent to the Goods and Services Tax (GST), the enrollment procedure for the same is in full swing. From January 9 to January 31, 2017, all service tax assessees, as per the directives of the Central Board of Excise and Customs, must migrate to GST.
With more than 1 million such assesses registered under the Service Tax Law, the procedure is set to only gain further momentum as the department sets its eyes on ensuring proper roll out of GST by June 1, 2017. For all GST Enrollment for Service Tax Assessees, here’s the technical know-how of the procedure.
GST Enrollment for Service Tax Assessees
The GST enrollment/registration procedure for existing service tax assessee shall start from January 9, 2017. The procedure must be completed by the end of January. While there are no fallouts if you miss the deadline, it is advisable for all assessees to enroll under the procedure as soon as possible.
The enrolment is mandatory. The main clause in this entire procedure is the fact that it is simply a migration for all those registered taxpayers. All those registered as VAT payers, service tax payers and central excise tax payers will have to migrate to GST at the earliest.
Irrespective of how much your annual turnover is, the enrolment for GST is mandatory (go here to read about GST eligibility). Therefore, if you are liable to collect service tax or VAT, you will have to apply for service tax or VAT registration, as per the nature of your business, and then convert this registration to GST later.
GST ENROLLMENT PROCEDURE
As soon as you log on to CBEC’s ACES web portal, you will be directed to access the provisional login ID and passwords given by the Goods and Services Tax Network (GSTN).
In case you face trouble with getting the provisional ID and password, it means that you have not filed service tax returns, which is due on half-yearly basis.
However, if the aforementioned lapse is not the case, you must immediately contact the concerned department and get the issue resolved.
While the process may be simple, there are certain documents that are a pre requisite for the enrollment procedure:
1. Provisional ID
3. Digital Signature (explained in point)
4. Valid email Address
5. Valid Mobile Number
6. Bank Account number
7. IFSC code
Additionally, a few more documents are required to be uploaded on the site:
First, the user has to provide proof of constitution of business:
a. In case of Partnership deed – Partnership deed (PDF or JPEG form, maximum size of the file allowed is 1 MB).
b. In a case of others: Registration Certification of the business entity (PDF or JPEG form, maximum size of the file allowed is 1 MB).
Secondly, photograph of promoters/partners/karta of HUF (JPEG format, maximum file size being 100 KB).
Thirdly, proof of appointment of authorised signatory (PDF or JPEG form, maximum size of the file allowed is 1 MB).
Fourthly, photograph of Authorised Signatory (JPEG format in the maximum file size of 100 KB).
Finally, the opening page of the passbook containing the bank account number, address of the branch, address of the account holder, and a few transaction details. (All in PDF and JPEG format in maximum file size of 1 MB).
THE USE OF DIGITAL SIGNATURE
The entire process is authenticated by a digital signature. Once you log on to the GST common portal, the dashboard has an option for uploading your approved digital signature.
What are digital signatures?
It’s equivalent to your handwritten signature, the only difference being this one happens via software. The digital equivalent to your regular signature was brought into place to ensure more security and do away with the possibility of any forgery. There are many benefits of such signatures, a few being:
1. Income tax returns can be signed using digital signatures
2. DSC can be used for registering companies
3. Filing a tender online, and signing invoices electronically can also be done using a digital sign
Once you’re done with all of the aforementioned steps, including authenticating the application with your digital signature, an ARN number will be generated. The number would enable you to check the status of your application, which should soon say that you’ve ‘migrated’ to GST.