The Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs has provided a facility of Aadhar authentication for new goods and services tax (GST) registration to be activated from August 21, 2020, with the objective to enhance ease of doing business. For those opting for Aadhar authentication, new GST registration will be issued within three working days and would not need to wait for physical verification. However, new GST registration will continue to be mandatory physical verification or documentary verification which may take up to 21 working days or more if notice is issued, at the place of business in cases where a person chooses not to opt for Aadhar Authentication.

Earlier, the GST council had approved the idea of Aadhar Authentication as a step to assure the ease of doing business in its 39th meeting held on March 14, 2020, but postponed keeping in view the circumstances created due to lockdown and the global pandemic.

This optional compliance of authentication has been introduced with an objective to simplify the problem of verification for new registration and ease of doing business for genuine and honest government taxpayers and curbing tax-evasion malpractices. With the linkage of Aadhar with GST and PAN, there would be a centralized database available with the Government which will facilitate data analytics and will prove to be helpful in preventing tax evasion. Additionally, such strict pre-registration verification measures would be beneficial to provide aid in limiting tax evasion cases by way of regulating fake entities at the beginning itself.

In both cases, the officer concerned needs to act within a specified time which is 3 days for a person opting for Aadhar authentication and 21 days for those opting not to undergo Aadhar authentication. Thus, Aadhar authentication would be a norm for GST registration in the absence of which registration would be granted only after physical verification of the place of business.

How to effectuate Aadhar Authentication?

It is important to ensure that the user has an updated registered mobile number and email for completing the authentication procedure expeditiously within a period of 3 days rather than 21 days period in cases of physical verification.

Following is the step by step guide for those opting Aadhar Authentication for GST registration

a. Log on to www.gst.gov.in and navigate to Services>Registration and click New Registration.

b. At the time of applying for GST registration, the applicant is given an option to select if he wishes to authenticate Aadhar.

c. The applicant can either select a YES/NO for authentication.

d. On clicking YES, an authentication link will be shared on the registered mobile number and email IDs of Promoters/Partners and Authorized Signatories.

e. Upon clicking the authentication link, a screen will come with a declaration where the applicant needs to enter “Aadhar number “and” click validate”.

f. On successful matching of the details in the registration form with UIDAI, an OTP will be sent on the email and mobile registered with the Aadhar that has been entered by the applicant and successfully completed the validation process will be shown on the screen.

Who can avail of this facility?

i. The facility is open for availing by all Indian Citizens. However, the facility is not available to be availed by following-

a. Tax Deductors

b. Tax collectors,

c. Online Information Database Access and Retrieval Services (OIDARs)

d. Taxpayers having Unique Identification Number (UIN) and

e. Non-resident taxpayers.

ii. In the case where the registration application has neither been accepted nor a notice for rejection has been issued after the specified period, the application shall be deemed to have been approved.

Conclusion:

Such kinds of steps will essentially help the business sector in India by encouraging honest and genuine practices and promote ease of doing business for the businesses registered and working under GST.

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