Everything You Need to Know About GST Registration For Non-resident Taxpayers

A non-resident taxable person (NRTP) under GST is a person who has no fixed place of residence or business in India but occasionally undertakes transactions involving the supply of goods and services in India. It could be in any capacity, including being a principal or an agent. 

The GST law mandates registration for non-resident taxable persons, irrespective of their turnover. The business has carried out a one-time transaction or is frequently transacting in India.

Obtaining registration

A person or business to whom the provisions listed above apply will need to apply for GST registration at least five days before they commence business. An application will need to be submitted in Form REG-09 on the common GST portal with a self-attested copy of a valid passport. The application has to be duly signed or verified using an Electronic Verification Code (EVC). If the non-resident is a company, then the tax identification number of the original country (or by whatever name it is called, equivalent to a PAN in India), should be submitted. 

The certificate of registration issued by the government shall be valid for a period of 90 days or the period stated in the application for registration, whichever ends earlier. However, the registration period may be extended for a further period of 90 days if the taxpayer shows sufficient cause to the tax officer. The application for extension of registration by an NRTP should be submitted in Form REG-11, electronically, through the common GST portal.

In high sea sales, the taxable person will need to obtain registration in the state or Union territory close to where the nearest point of the appropriate baseline is located. For example, if a high sea sale is carried out near the shore of Mangalore, then GST registration will need to be obtained in Karnataka.

Tax payments 

A non-resident taxable person will need to deposit taxes in advance, equivalent to an amount consisting of the estimated tax liability for the period for which registration is sought. The common GST portal will give the person applying for registration a temporary reference number to pay the advance tax, and an acknowledgement will be issued after the amount has been deposited in the electronic cash ledger on the GST portal. This amount will thereafter get adjusted against the actual tax liability when filing the GST return in Form GSTR-5.

If the taxpayer wishes to extend his registration, he will need to deposit an additional amount of tax, equivalent to the tax liability estimated for the extended period.

Authorised Signatory 

An NRTP will need to appoint authorised personnel to manage the operations of the business being carried out. The authorised signatory should be a permanent resident of India and have a valid PAN. Further, this authorised signatory is required to sign the registration application.

Registration process

The registration process of an NRTP is completely faceless. This makes it far more convenient and easier to obtain registration than visiting a tax department and submitting physical documents. All the taxpayer needs to do is visit the GST portal www.gst.gov.in and provide the necessary details to get the Temporary Reference Number (TRN) auto-issued. Some of the key details which need to be provided are the name of the authorised person, the PAN, the state in which registration is being sought, contact details such as an email ID and mobile number, the legal name of the NRTP, which matches the tax identification number issued by the respective government of that NRTP, etc.

Once the GST officer receives the application, he will review the same and grant the registration within seven working days from the submission date. If the GST officer seeks further information, he can request the same within the said seven working days. The taxpayer is given a further seven working days to submit the requisite information. 

The registration certificate, once granted, displays a 15-digit unique tax identification number. This should be quoted on all official documents by the NRTP.

For any clarifications/feedback on the topic, please contact the writer at athena.rebello@cleartax.in

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