Check GST Number to Find Fake or Real GSTIN

Last Update Date : November 27, 2018

Online GST Number Verification

Most small and medium enterprises do not want to opt for a GSTIN to avoid the compliance cost that comes with it. However, it is very difficult for businesses to operate without a GST number as nobody wants to deal with an unregistered dealer. This ultimately leads to fake GSTINs being printed on an invoice by such dealers.

GST offers various benefits to businesses and a very important benefit is input tax credit. However, for a business to smoothly avail input tax credit, just being compliant is not enough. It also needs to ensure that its business partners i.e. vendors/suppliers are also GST compliant. If they are not registered under GST and use fake GSTIN on their invoices, your business can face problems while filing GST returns and it will not be able to claim input tax credit. Therefore, it is important for you to verify the GSTIN of all your vendors/suppliers.

Format of GST Number

Format of GST Number

It’s an important point to know that GSTIN is of 15 characters which is a combination of numbers and characters. These 15 digits are broken into 5 parts as follows:

  • First 2 digits are state code where the business is registered
  • Next 10 digits are PAN number of the business
  • The 13th digit is registration number of that store or business with same PAN number
  • The 14th digit is Z by default for right now
  • The last i.e. 15th digit is a checksum digit code. It may be an alphabet or a number

[ Read: What is GSTIN? ]

How to Verify GST Number using GSTN Portal?

Verifying GST Identification Number online is a very simple procedure. First, you need to check the GST Identification Number on the receipt. It’s 100% mandatory to mention GST number on the invoice or bill. If someone is charging GST, without mentioning the GSTIN, then it’s illegal. Earlier it was service tax registration number / VAT TIN number, now its GSTIN which must be mandatorily put on the invoice.

Detailed Steps to Check the Validity of GSTIN

  • Visit the GST Portal @ www.gst.gov.in (1)
  • Click on “Search Taxpayer” on the menu bar

Step 2: GST Number Search

  • Enter GSTIN in search box

Step 3: Find Taxpayer using GST Number

  • If the GSTIN is correct you will be able to see the information of the dealer
    1. Legal name of business
    2. GSTIN / UIN Status
    3. Date of registration
    4. Constitution of business – company, sole-proprietor or partnership
    5. Taxpayer type – regular taxpayer or composition dealer or SEZ unit
  • If the GSTIN is incorrect, an error message will be displayed. In this case, you will have to contact your vendor and get the correct GSTIN.

Message shown on entering Fake GSTIN

How can H&R Block help you?

GST Number Search Tool

Although you can verify GSTIN of any person on the GST common portal, the task could be tedious if the list is long. As a business, you may have a long list of vendors and you may want to verify their GST numbers to avoid any trouble while filing returns. H&R Block gives you access to an advanced GSTIN Verification Tool which can help you verify GST Identification Numbers in bulk. You can either verify the numbers yourself or share the complete list with us and we will do it for you.

Ways in which GSTIN is Misused

Some businesses still don’t have the registration number confirmed, but they have the provisional GSTIN with them, so you can also check the provisional GSTIN online and verify them.

Some shopkeepers and business owners are playing the trick of “I have already applied for GSTIN, Its not yet approved?” This is to give a feeling to customer that they are rightfully charging GST. But this is again a fraud. When they apply for GSTIN, they get a provisional GSTIN anyways and they need to either put a GSTIN or provisional GSTIN on the invoice/bill. Don’t fall for this trap and demand to see the GSTIN.

Consequences of using a Fake GSTIN

Offences

The offences relevant to fake GSTIN are as follows:

  • Making a supply without invoice or with false/ incorrect invoice
  • Failure to register despite being liable to be registered
  • Issuing invoice or document using GSTIN of another person

Penalties

For all the three cases above the highest penalty leviable shall be 100% of the tax evaded or Rs 10,000 whichever is higher. In a case where any person aids in committing these offences the penalty may extend up to Rs 25,000.

Prosecution

Tax amount evaded Imprisonment
100 to 200 Lakhs Upto 1 year and fine
200 to 500 Lakhs Upto 3 years and fine
Above 500 Lakhs Upto 5 years and fine

[ Read: Offences and Penalties under GST ]

Where and How to Complain about Fake GSTIN?

GST department has dedicated the helplines for you to complain or ask any queries regarding GST. Here are the emails and phone numbers:

  • GST Complaint mail id: https://selfservice.gstsystem.in/ or helpdesk@gst.gov.in
  • GST Helpline Number: 011-23370115 or 0124-4688999 or 0120-4888999

People also ask

Q. What is the time limit for taking registration under the GST law?

A. A person must apply for registration within 30 days of becoming liable to registration.

Q. Is it mandatory to print GST Number on an invoice?

A. If the person is registered under GST and has been allotted a GSTIN, it is mandatory to print the GSTIN on the invoice issued.

Q. Quickest way to verify if the GST Number is fake?

A. Count the number of digits of the GSTIN. If it is not 15 digits, then it is definitely fake.

Focus on your business, not GST. Leave that to earlyGST Block experts.