Spate of Statutory Pronouncements

Section 95 of Finance Act 2019 inserted sub sections 25(6A) to (6D) which were made effective from 01-01-2020 by NN 1/2020 dated 1-1-2020. Section 25(6A) to (6D) provided for scheme of aadhar authentication. Notification 16/2020 dated 23-03-2020 brought the rules to put relevant sections into action. Notification 17/2020 dated 23-03-2020 provided for persons exempted from aadhar authentication. Notifications 18/2020 dated 23-03-2020 and Notification 19/2020 dated 23-03-2020 set out the 01-04-2020 as the date from which aadhar authentication of Individuals shall be carried out. However no aadhar authentication process was rolled on the portal. Now the detailed process of aadhar authentication has been rolled on portal supported by NN 62/2020 dated 20-08-2020 by amending Rules 8,9 and 25.

GST Registration

The summary of aadhar authentication introduced through above statutory pronouncements is as under:

i. Aadhaar Authenticatiobn process has been introduced, for the persons applying for GST registration as Normal Taxpayer/ Composition/ Casual Taxable Person/ Input Service Distributor (ISD)/ SEZ Developer/ SEZ Unit etc, in Form GST REG 01.

ii. Aadhar Authentication or alternate and viable identification means for already registered persons. Non authentication shall result in existing number being declared invalid. However no form or manner of aadhar authentication in existing registered persons has as yet been introduced.

iii. For Individuals and non individuals, aadhar authentications of individuals and authorized signatories, managing and authorized partners, Karta of HUF has been made effective for applications being submitted from 21-08-2020.

iv. MD, WTD or other directors who are not authorized signatories, Partners of firm who are neither managing partners not authorized signatories, members of managing committes or board of trustee who are not authorized signatories need not go for aadhar authentication. Non citizens/ Non residents even if they are authrorized signatories are also exempted from aadhar authentication because as per section 3(1) of the The Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Act, 2016, only residents are entitled to obtain aadhar. As per section 2(1)(v) of Aadhar Act, “Resident” means an individual who has resided in India for a period or periods amounting in all to one hundred and eighty-two days or more in the twelve months immediately preceding the date of application for enrolment;

Process of aadhar authentication

Once registration application is submitted, an authentication link will be shared on GST registered mobile numbers and email ids mentioned in the GST application. On clicking the verification link, a window for Aadhaar Authentication will open where Aadhaar Number was entered and the OTP shall be received by applicants on the mobile number linked with Aadhaar. Taxpayer need to complete Aadhaar authentication of all Promoters/ Partners/ Authorized Signatories/ Karta etc. as mentioned in the application to avail this option. Applicant can access the link again for authentication by navigating to My Saved Applications > Aadhaar Authentication Status > RESEND VERIFICATION LINK.

Mobile Number can be updated/corrected through Aadhar enrolments/updation/correction form by visiting aadhar enrolment centre.

Deemed Aproval/Clarification on registration applications

If aadhar authentication is done succesfully If Aadhar Authentication is not opted or Aadhar authentication is opted but Aadhar authentication fails
Deemed grant of registration, if no action is taken after 3 working days from earlier of :

a) Date of Aadhar Authentication or

b) 15 days from submitting Part B of REG-01.

Say aadhar authentication is done on 16th or 17th day from submitting part B of REG-01, then deemed approval shall still be granted on 18th day and also clarification, if any can also be issued till 18th day.
If aadhar authentication is done on say 19th, 20th, 21st Day from date of submission of Part B of REG-01, still deemed approval shall take place on 18th day.[R.8(4A) + 9(5)(a)] and also clarification, if any can also be issued till 18th day. [R.9(2)]
As per Rule 8(4A), date of submission of application is 15 days from submitting Part B of REG-01.

If aadhar authentication is not opted or opted but fails, then

1. The registration shall be granted only after physical verification of the place of business in the presence of the applicant. [Proviso to R.9(1) + R.25]

2. The verification report along with the other documents, including photographs, shall be uploaded in FORM GST REG-30 on the common portal within a period of fifteen working days following the date of such verification. [R.25]

3. With approval of officer not below the rank of Joint Commissioner, proper officer may for the reasons to be recorded in writing in lieu of the physical verification of the place of business, carry out the verification of such documents as he may deem fit. [2nd Proviso to R.9(1)]

4. Extended period of 21 days from date of submission of application i.e. after 15 days from submission of Part B of REG-01 shall apply for deemed approval of application, in case of in action or issue of any clarification in REG-03. Hence the period shall get extended to 36 days. [R. 8(4A)+9(5)(b) and 9(5)(c)].

5. Though aadhar authentication is effective from 01-04-2020 but extended period for deemed approval/clarification have been made applicable from 21-08-2020, hence the extended period should not apply to applications pending on portal on 20-08-2020.

For deemed approval on account of any clarification due to in action , the period continues to remain 7 working days from date of receipt of REG-04. [R. 9(5)(d)]

Rejection of Application

Rejection of application on account of no response or unsatisfactory response has been made optional. Earlier it was mandatory to reject the registration by issuing REG-05. [R. 9(4)].

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