NRIs must register for Goods and Services Tax in India

Friday 2 March 2018 2:07 AM UTC

By Jeevan Vipinachandran

The Goods and Services Tax (GST) may be the most revolutionary change to happen to India’s national commercial market in decades. NRIs would be wise to take advantage of it for business and commerce.

GST has unified the country from nearly two dozen individual markets into a single market. The economic benefits will be immeasurable. No longer will transport trucks have to wait at checkpoints for hours at the borders between Indian states.

There will be significantly lower levels of levels of bureaucracy, which means that corrupt officials will find it harder to line their pockets and tax evasion has got much harder.

True to Indian tradition, there is a bureaucratic process that NRI investors in India must abide by. Any individual doing business with an annual turnover of more than 20 lakhs rupees will be expected to register for GST in India.

This applies to NRI business owners too. GST registration must be obtained within 30 days of the application.

Under the GST system, a non-Resident who carries out business in India, but does not have a fixed place of business or residence in India must register as a non-resident taxable person (NRPT).

A non- resident taxable person is not eligible for tax threshold (they will pay tax regardless of their earnings) limits. Please see the bullet points below for more information on the registration process.

 A non-resident taxable person needs to electronically file an application for registration using the GST REG-10 form along with a self-attested copy of his or her passport (Many Indian sites wrongly report this as a GST REG-9 form, which is actually for diplomatic workers).

 The application must be done through the GST portal.

 It must be submitted at least five days prior to the commencement of business.

 If you are registering your business for GST, and the business is registered or incorporated outside India, then the application for registration must be submitted along with the tax identification number of that country (similar to PAN).

 An advance deposit of tax (based on your own rough estimation) must also be submitted along with the application.

 To extend the period of GST registration, the form to be sent in is the GST REG-11, pending approval of this you or your business will be registered under the Goods and Services Tax.

If it turns out that you have overpaid your tax, you can apply for a refund under GST. However an advance estimate of tax must be deposited with your application as above.

The application for registration must have been signed by an authorised signatory who will be an Indian resident with a valid PAN number. He or she could be a family member or more likely the local business partner of the NRI.

One the process of registration is done, one can then proceed with business in India as usual.

Please see below some useful links on GST registration for NRIs:

gst.gov.in (GST Portal)

http://gstblog.i-tax.in/Forms/Registration/10.pdf /(GST REG 10 form)

Jeevan Vipinachandran is a political analyst and writer, specialising in political violence and counter-terrorism. He graduated from LSE with a Masters in Comparative Politics: Conflict Studies.

He has written for the Conservative Party, Future Foreign Policy and the Times of Israel. Regular updates can be found on Twitter on @jeevanvc  and www.jeevanvc.com. Jeevan also blogs on business development and holistic lifestyle growth at www.my-wise-owl.com.

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