PAN must for migration from excise and service to GST

Central excise and service tax assessees without a valid PAN number need to obtain valid PAN numbers and update the registration details on the ACES portal for migration to the new goods and services tax (GST).

The Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) has made it mandatory for excise duty and service taxpayers to obtain a valid PAN number despite the political impasse that could delay the planned rollout of the new tax regime from 1 April as the groundwork has to be done with 1 April as the target date.

While a bill to replace central excise and service tax with GST has been delayed because of differences among states and the centre on the introduction of the new tax regime, CBEC has initiated the process of migrating taxpayers to the new regime through issuance of a provisional registration number.

"Every person registered under any of the earlier laws and having a valid PAN shall be issued a certificate of registration on a provisional basis," CBEC said in an order.

For excise and service tax assessees without a valid PAN number, CBEC said "the assessee needs to obtain the PAN number and update the registration details on the ACES portal before the assessee can be migrated to GST".

The provisional registration, which will be generated on the basis of PAN, will be called Goods and Services Tax Identification Number (GSTIN). Also, a provisional ID and password will be provided which the excise and service taxpayers must use to log in to the GST portal -- -- and fill the required details and upload the supporting documents, it said.

After providing the requisite details, an ARN (Application Reference Number) would be communicated to the assessee by GSTN (GST-Network). Once an ARN is communicated, the assessee "would migrate to GST on the scheduled GST rollout date with the issue of provisional certificate", it said, adding that CBEC is making all-out efforts for smooth implementation of GST by April 1, 2017.

Under the GST regime, one unique registration for a single PAN will be issued and the existing assessees will be given one provisional ID per state where the place of business is registered in the current excise or service tax regime. The remaining registrations in a state could be added as additional place of business on the GSTN portal.

CBEC has also asked its field offices to launch awareness campaign and outreach programmes to facilitate migration of all excise and service taxpayers to the GST network by January-end.

While the government was looking to roll out GST by April 2017, issues like jurisdiction over assessees and taxation rights over high seas are yet to be sorted out and as things stand, have become sticking points at the GST Council deliberations. The Council will meet on January 16 to thrash out a consensus on the vexed issues.