__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
| 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 03-Punjab 04-Chandigarh 05-Uttarakhand 06-Haryana 07-Delhi 08-Rajasthan 09-Uttar Pradesh 10-Bihar 11-Sikkim 12-Arunachal Pradesh 13-Nagaland 14-Manipur 15-Mizoram 16-Tripura 17-Meghalaya 18-Assam 19-West Bengal 20-Jharkhand 21-Odisha 22-Chhattisgarh 23-Madhya Pradesh 24-Gujarat 25-Daman & Diu 26-Dadra & Nagar Haveli 27-Maharashtra 29-Karnataka 30-Goa 31-Lakshdweep 32-Kerala 33-Tamil Nadu 34-Pondicherry 35-Andaman & Nicobar Islands 36-Telangana 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:-
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Next ONE Digit (i.e. 13 | Must be Numeric | It denotes Entity number of the same PAN holder in a state
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Next ONE Digit (i.e. 14
| Must be Alphabet “Z” | That means in any GSTIN Fourteenth Digit must be “Z” and nothing else. | ||||||||||||||||||||||

Last ONE Digit (i.e. 15 | 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 |

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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