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How to check Structural Errors in GST Number(s) before uploading data on GST Common Portal?

GST (Goods and Service Tax) is India’s biggest tax reform since independence. It has been regarded as Good and Simple Tax by our Hon. Prime Minister of India. However, the small businessman are facing many difficulties in initial period of implementation of GST. One such difficulty is quoting of wrong GST Identification Number (in short GSTIN) by the transacting party. It may be a genuine mistake or it can simply be a clerical mistake in typing, but GST Common Portal does not accept wrong/ incorrect GSTIN during return filing process. As a result the transacting party will find it difficult to get proper credit in due time.

Why check for Structural Errors when GST Common Portal has Search Taxpayer option

Although one can search taxpayer by GSTIN on GST common portal and verify the correctness of GSTIN but portal does not permit bulk checking of GSTIN. So excel is better option to check structural correctness of GSTIN.

Let us see what is the structure of GSTIN (GST Identification Number) and how can we check the structural errors in advance so as to avoid errors at the time of return filing.

Structure of GSTIN (GST Identification Number)

GSTIN is a fifteen (15) digit alphanumeric code. That means it contains only alphabets (A to Z) and numeric’s (0 to 9). Please note that it does not contain any special characters like “ – / * \ ~ ! @ # $ % ^ & *   { } [ ] ”.

Example GSTIN is  2 4 A A A A A 0 0 0 0 A 1 Z 8

Structure of GSTIN
2 4 A A A A A 0 0 0 0 A 1 Z 8
State Code Income Tax

Permanent Account Number

Entity number of the same PAN holder in a state Alphabet “Z” by default Check sum digit

Following is a structural conditions applicable to every GSTIN.

Digits Condition Remark
Full GSTIN Total length must be 15 Total length of GSTIN must be 15. It’s length cannot be more or less than 15.
First TWO Digits

(i.e. 1 and 2 digit)

Must be Numeric’s It does represent a state from given state list. For example 24 represent “Gujarat”. That means assessee is registered in Gujarat State.

Following is a list of valid state codes.

01-Jammu & Kashmir

02-Himachal Pradesh







09-Uttar Pradesh



12-Arunachal Pradesh







19-West Bengal




23-Madhya Pradesh


25-Daman & Diu

26-Dadra & Nagar Haveli






33-Tamil Nadu


35-Andaman & Nicobar Islands


37-Andhra Pradesh

97-Other Territory

It means first two digits of GSTIN must be from above list. It can not be anything else.

Next TEN Digits

(i.e. 3 to 12 digits)

Must be Alphanumeric It represent Income Tax P.A.Number (PAN) of legal entity.
PAN can further be verified by following conditions:-

(1) First Five digits of PAN must be Alphabets

(2) Sixth to Ninth digits of PAN must be Numeric

(3) Tenth digit of PAN must be Alphabet

It is relevant to mention here that Fourth Digit of PAN (that means Sixth Digit of GSTIN) can be out of following alphabets  only:-

Character Represents
A Association of Persons (AOP)
B Body of Individuals (BOI)
C Company
F Firm
G Government
H HUF (Hindu Undivided Family)
J Artificial Juridical Person
L Local Authority
P Person
T AOP (Trust)



Next ONE Digit

(i.e. 13th digit)

Must be Numeric It denotes Entity number of the same PAN holder in a state


Next ONE Digit

(i.e. 14th digit)


Must be Alphabet “Z” That means in any GSTIN Fourteenth Digit must be “Z” and nothing else.
Last ONE Digit

(i.e. 15th digit)

Must be Alphabet  (A to Z) or Number (0 to 9) It is a Check Sum Digit used to detect structural error in GSTIN. Generation of Check Sum digit involves complex mathematical operation (like factoring and modulo) on each digit of GSTIN which is outside purview of this article.

For advanced users I would like to share following link which contains link to excel file that checks the correctness of Check Sum Digit of GSTIN:-

One can easily check all the aforesaid conditions on GSTIN(s) in Microsoft Excel by using formulas and find out structural errors beforehand. If any GSTIN does not satisfy any of the aforesaid condition then we can safely say that the GSTIN is structurally incorrect and that GSTIN can be replaced by correct GSTIN before uploading to GST common portal.

It is better to check the structural correctness of all GSTIN received through emails, sms etc. before uploading to GST common portal as it can save lot of time which eventually waste after generation of error file on GST common portal.

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May 2024