All about 15 digit GSTIN (Goods and Services Tax Identification Number) format

Now the noise of GST will certainly come down as the GST is a reality from 1st July 2017. There are certain changes in the system. One such change is TIN of VAT regime to 15 digit GSTIN (Goods and Services Tax Identification Number). Let us see what is this number and how to identify it.

Note:– Refer my latest post “How to verify fake GST Bill and GST number?“.

What is this 15 digit GSTIN (Goods and Services Tax Identification Number)?

Earlier, whenever you buy some services or goods, then the seller used to give you the bill. In that bill, you usually find the TIN (Taxpayer Identification Number). This was unique 11 digit number allotted to each business entity which registers with the commercial tax department.

This TIN registration was mandatory for all Manufacturer/Traders /Exporters/Dealer.

Now, after the entry of GST regime, this TIN is now replaced with 15 digit GSTIN (Goods and Services Tax Identification Number).

So this 15 digit GSTIN (Goods and Services Tax Identification Number) is nothing but the replacement of TIN of VAT era.

Let me explain the same by taking an example of two bills. One bill issued prior to 1st July 2017 and another on or after 1st July 2017. The difference is as below (I am not concentrating on the rate changes of VAT to GST).

Difference between TIN and 15 digit GSTIN (Goods and Services Tax Identification Number)

You notice from above image that earlier there used to TIN and VAT charges. Now it is replaced with GSTIN and GST charges.

What is the structure or format of 15 digit GSTIN (Goods and Services Tax Identification Number)?

GSTIN is a 15 digit unique code which is will be assigned to each taxpayer, which will be State-wise and PAN-based. The structure or format of 15 digit GSTIN (Goods and Services Tax Identification Number) will look like below.

Format or Structure of 15 digit GSTIN (Goods and Service Tax Identification Number)

First two Digits-The first digit of GSTIN is state code as per Indian Census 2011. The state codes are as below.

01-Jammu and Kashmir, 02-Himachal Pradesh, 03-Punjab, 04-Chandigarh, 05-Uttarakhand, 06-Haryana, 07-Delhi, 08-Rajastan, 09-UP, 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-Orrissa, 22-Chattisgarh, 23-MP, 24-Gujarat, 25-Daman and Diu, 26-Dadar and Nagar Haveli, 27-Maharashtra, 28-Andhra Pradesh, 29-Karnataka, 30-Goa, 31-Lakshadweep, 32-Kerala, 33-Tamil Nadu, 34-Puducherry and 35-Anadaman and Nicobar Islands.

Next 10 Digits-It is the PAN number of a business entity like your shop, mall or company.

13th Digit-It indicates the number of registrations as a business entity has within a state for the same PAN. It will be an alpha-numeric number (first 1-9 and then A-Z) and will be assigned on the basis of the number of registrations a legal entity (having the same PAN) has within one state.

Let say the company ABC registered in the same state for 5 times for different businesses. In such case, this digit will be printed as 5. Let us assume, the same company registered for around 15 times, then it should be represented as F (1-9 numeric and later on 10th registration be named as A and 11th as B and so on up to Z).

Hence, a business entity can register the GSTIN within a single state for the maximum of 35 times (1-9 and later on A-Z).

14th Digit-It will be by default as Z.

15th Digit-The last digit will be a check code which will be used for detection of errors.

Beware consumers!!

Now you came to know what is GSTIN in the new regime of tax format called GST. Whenever you buy and if some one charges you GST, then make sure to check the GSTIN and its format is matching with the structure I explained above.

Many shopkeepers may simply put some random numbers and collect the tax or even they may not print their GSTIN on the bill. Hence, always check for GSTIN than blindly paying the bills.

105 Responses

  1. Hi sir,
    I am from west Bengal if is supply goods to different state like Bihar do I have to register a GSTIN number

  2. Is GST number required to be put on the purchase order and the letter head ?

    Is CIN number required to be put on invoices and purchase orders ?

    Is PAN number required to be put on invoices and purchase orders and letterheads?

      1. Thank you. But is GST number required even on normal letterhead of the company, which is not a sales invoice or Purchase order. These letterheads might be used for other requiremnets of company.

  3. How to identify that GST NO. which is getting printed in our bills are not fake and is completely genuine?

  4. How to identify SEZ Units from their GST No.s. In the case of SEZ’S if the supply is with in the state the supplier have to billed in IGST according to GST Laws.So this is difficult for us to identify whether it is Sez or not.Pls help.

  5. Hello Mr. Basu, I wanted to know if there is a firm from Delhi who got railways work contract in Kerala, do we have to apply for or get a new gst number from Kerala state?

  6. Dear Sir,

    Please let us know should foreign company be registered in GSTIN? We are going to participate in tenders in India.

  7. Hello sir,
    Sir i had purchased a weapon a month ago, but when today m checking out their gstin no. which is mentioned on the Invoice its showing invalid gstin no. Please sir guide me what to do. looking forward for your precious reply.

  8. Hi
    I have a question,
    If entity has GST registration in state A and B
    Is it necessary that this entity should use the same state GSTN while billing in that state ???
    eg :- Can this entity bill in state B Using his registration of State A , when he already has a registration in state B ??

  9. Is the 15th block should be covered with letter alphabet or numarical digit or either any one? thanks for your info blog..


  10. really unknown about this GSTIN number fact, till reading your article. Thank you for awareness and illustration.

    1. Sir , the link you shared is not opening in browser.
      And it is showing a message”the security certificate of this site is expired or untrusted.”

        1. Though it is working,but prior opening the link , I received a message in my browser that “the security certificate of this site is expired or untrusted.”

                1. Well site is opening but prior to that message is still there .
                  I think you should also try the link in chrome or if browser

  11. In our GSTIN No. of Registration is shown as 2 but we have not registered for any branch. How to correct the GSTIN

  12. GST NO.27AAACZ4200EIZH
    the last digit of the GST no. is in alphabet order… how it would be sum of all digit if it is in alphabetical order…
    plz help???

      1. I Confused as clarification on last digit in GSTIN 33AADFH3805K2ZK (from which formula or calculation behind last letter ?) Please justify…

          1. Sir, would you please justify the above GSTIN number on which discussed earlier are (33AADFH3805K2ZK) correct or not?

              1. Sir, thanks for your helpful information.

                I had been checked the GSTIN with the help of above link, then I found that it was a correct information.

                Sir, one more request
                Can I check whether tax paid by the company against the particular Bill ? if so, please let me know the procedure..

                It is requested to please consider on my point. Your suggestion on this regard is highly appreciated. Thanks

  13. can anyone explain me how to apply for GSTIN no ,as i am a student wants to open an e commerce business,so i needed GSTIN no ,expecially in amazon,reply would be highly appreciated,or suggest me any idea please…..

        1. Sued-If you have two businesses running, then you have to register for two GSTIN. However, if you single business, then how can you register multiple times? Also, why the question of multiple GSTIN? If you are running multiple businesses under single PAN then you must register all under different GSTIN.

  14. Is the penultimate charecter always Z?
    One of my clients who is a company in SEZ has sent me a GSTN with a number in place of Z
    Tally warns you that its not the right format..but client claims it is correct
    Do SEZ have different penultimate charecter?

  15. Hello Basu,

    As always your posts are useful and most importantly they are simple to understand. Here I would like to request an answer from you. As per GST rules, is it required that an Individual doing software consultancy do the registration? and charge GST for his/her services? The registration process does not seem to handle individuals, it is tuned for an entity registration. Not sure if this the forum for the question.


  16. What is the effect of GST on real estate? I was paying 4.5% tax on the installment payment of a new flat. How much tax I have to pay now under GST regime?

  17. If 14 Digit is number 2, is the GSTIN wrong?
    if its wrong then this GSTIN accepted in eSugam Karnataka site.
    Then please justify your comment.

  18. Hello Sir,Since long time I m reading your articles and i am impressed with your writings and thankful to you for spreading Financial awareness to the readers.I must say i have come across a good guide and Financial guru to my day to day financial queries.Thanks for educating and updating me about Finance from your articles.You clearly describes the current market Financial activities through your writings.I wish that you continue with your such knowledgeable writing always .

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

For Unbiased Advice Subscribe to our Fixed Fee Only Financial Planning Service

Recent Posts