Blog

2017

Need for Consumer Awareness in the GST Regime

Goods and Services Tax is a game changer tax reform in India. Though Government has tried to keep the tax structure simple, there are still many misconceptions prevailing amid consumers. Not just businesses or tax professionals, the common consumers must also keep them well informed about GST so that we can discourage the malpractices by traders post GST implementation.

Charging GST over and above MRP Value:

Some shop keepers are found charging GST over and above MRP of the products. This is especially true in rural areas where consumer awareness is lower regarding GST rules. Please make sure you only pay the MRP. If any shop keeper is found charging GST over and above MRP, refuse to pay the same. Also, inform about such incidences to National Consumer Forum on toll free number or online.

Check if the GSTIN is mentioned in the Invoice or not:

As per rules it is mandatory for all registered businesses to mention GSTIN on the invoice. In case if GSTIN is not mentioned, the business cannot charge GST. No GST number on Invoice implies that the business is not yet registered with GST department and cannot charge GST.

Verify the GST Number (GSTIN) of the business you buy from:

In case, GST number is mentioned on the invoice, it may not necessarily be genuine. Many businesses are found to be using fake GSTIN on their invoices to charge GST from the consumers without registering with GST department. As an aware consumer, we can protect ourselves from such cheating by verifying the GST number of the business before making payment.

How to Verify GSTIN of a business?

The best way to make sure whether a business is register with GST Department or not is to verify the GST Identification Number (GSTIN) online. Follow the below mentioned steps to verify the GST Identification Number of any business. Follow below steps to verify the GSTIN of any business:
  1. Visit GST Portal www.gst.gov.in
  2. Go to “Search Tax Payer” drop down
  3. Click on “Search by GSTIN / UIN”
  4. Enter the GSTIN Number that you wish to verify.
  5. Enter the Captcha Code and click on “Search” button to see the details of the tax payer.

Know the GST Rates to make sure you are not charged higher:

Refer to our earlier blogs on GST to know the GST rates for specific commodities. Make sure you are not charged higher GST than the rate. If it is the case, inform the trader about the same and get it corrected before making payment.

Conclusion:

GST is truly a gigantic tax reform in the history of India. In the long run, it will be very helpful for growth and prosperity of Indian Economy. With GST implementation, the system of indirect taxation will also be more transparent to both government as well as businesses. However, we must deal smartly with the initial hiccups suffered during the implementation phase in the form of frauds in the name of GST. We can prevail this by keeping ourselves well informed and aware about GST Rules. If you come across any such incidence as stated above, you can file your complaint to the anti-profiteering authority. Alternatively, you can inform National Consumer Forum on toll free number or register your complain online.

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