Home / News / India /  How to check the authenticity of your GST bill?

The Goods and Services Tax system that was implemented to ease the taxation system, has also become a tool for tax evasion by fraudsters. The rampant fraud in the name of GST invoices can be a trouble for smaller businesspersons as well as customers. Fake GST bill also helps the scammers in pocketing the money paid by customers in the name of tax.

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Many times, the GST bills are for settling claims and filing for Income Tax Credits. To avoid getting duped by shopkeepers and firms in the name of an authentic bill, customers can simply do a quick check to find out whether the bill handed over to them is original or not.

What is a GST invoice?

A goods and services tax invoice is generated by a supplier or a seller to the buyer of the goods and services. The document, which is a bill, helps in identifying the parties involved in the purchase of goods and services. It contains the name of the product, description, quantity of goods/services purchased/ details of supplier, date of purchase, discount, etc.

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What is a fake GST invoice?

According to the circular issued by the Ministry of Finance for the identification of fake GST invoices, a fake GST bill is generated even without any actual supply of goods or services or GST payment. Fake GST bills can be produced for GST evasion, converting Income Tax credit into cash, booking fake purchases, and money laundering.

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How to identify a fake GST invoice?

Checking the GSTIN format

One of the easiest ways to identify a fake GST bill is by understanding the basic structure of the 15-digit GSTIN number assigned to the supplier/dealer/shopkeeper. The first two digits of the GSTIN indicate the state code, the next ten digits are the PAN number of the seller or supplier, 13th digit is the entity number of the same pan holder in the state. The 14th digit in the GSTIN is the letter ‘Z’, and the 15 digit is the ‘checksum digit’. Any mismatch in the GSTIN format can help in identifying discrepancies in the GST invoice.

Basic format of the GSTIN allotted to registered suppliers and shopkeepers.
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Basic format of the GSTIN allotted to registered suppliers and shopkeepers.

GST website

Another way to check the authenticity of the invoice is by checking the GSTIN on the GST website. Visit the official website of the Goods and Services Tax https://www.gst.gov.in/. Click on the option of ‘Search Taxpayer’ to check the GSTIN number mentioned in the GST invoice. Opt for the option of ‘Search by GSTIN’ and enter the GSTIN in the search box. In the case of an authentic GSTIN, the details of the supplier will be shown on the website.

How to file a complaint of GST fraud?

There are different ways of raising complaints about fake GST invoices. People can visit the official portal of GST, then click on CBEC Mitra Helpdesk and ‘Raise Web Ticket’. People can also send emails to cbecmitra.heldesk@icegate.gov.in. Another way to flag a complaint is to reach out to the authority on Twitter. Their official Twitter handle is GST (@askGST_GoI) and the Finance Ministry (@FinMinIndia).

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