This article is for bloggers, freelancers, entrepreneurs and digital marketers in India. If you reside outside India, do browse our archive to discover more relevant stuff.
Note: This is neither a tax advice nor a detailed guide on GST. This list is compiled for Indian taxpayers who are in the online business and have a GST number or are about to get one. If there is any correction that this article requires or you want to suggest more ideas/tips, you can email me directly on harsh[at]shoutmeloud.com.
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I’m not sure about you, but I am tired of hearing about GST. Even though it has been a year since GST was implemented, a lot of us are still confused about its functionality and calculation. Fact is, I’m not a master of GST either. It is something I’m learning along with all of you. Therefore, use this article as the first step and also do your research for a better, more detailed understanding.
TLDR: As an online marketer if you are paying for services online or receiving payments from overseas, you can claim the ‘Input Tax’. This is applicable when your annual turnover is more than Rs 20 lakhs (Rs 10 lakhs for North Eastern and hill states). If you are not doing this, you are missing out on a lot of money. For more on GST, you should read:
As a blogger, you may be using a lot of services to pay for your hosting, email or similar services. You might also be using services like PayPal, Payoneer or many others to receive payment from overseas.
According to Shopify:
GST registration is mandatory if,
- your turnover in a financial year exceeds Rs 20 lakhs (Rs 10 lakhs for North Eastern and hill states)
- your business is registered under an earlier law, such as Service Tax or VAT
- you are involved in the inter-state supply of goods
- you sell on online marketplaces.
This is not a complete list. Talk to your tax consultant to understand your requirements.
This is a quick checklist for you where you should be adding your GST number. This way, all the services collecting and paying GST under your name will be submitting GST with your GST number and you can claim the input tax.
As I find more websites, I will keep updating you.
List of websites that offers GST Input Tax for Indian Bloggers, Freelancers, Marketers
Here is the list of websites with my remark.
Add GST to your bank account
If you receive remittance directly to your bank account in foreign currencies, you should definitely add GST here. If you use a savings account, you can’t add the GST number to it. At least, it’s true for ICICI bank.
You have two solutions here:
- Either open a current bank account under your name. (First, check whether or not your bank lets you add GST number to your saving account)
- Open an LLP or Private limited and start doing business under the company name
The 2nd option is appropriate when you are generating a decent income stream from your blogging and digital marketing efforts, at least a lakh a month or so in the form of inward remittances. In fact, I finally transitioned everything from my name to an LLP to streamline the finances of my online empire. I will share more on this in the near future.
If you are using Paypal to receive payments, you should add your GST number there. Just to give you an idea, I received almost $12000 in the month of February using PayPal. The GST I could claim is about 7000 INR. Yearly, this is more than 75k INR.
I remember PayPal sending out an email to add the GST number. If you can’t find how to add it, login to your PayPal account and contact PayPal. Here is the direct link. You can also contact PayPal using their phone support.
I have talked about Google playbook earlier for publishing books. If you are also selling your books on Google playbook store, simply log in to your account, click on Payment center and edit it to add your GST number.
Most of the web hosting companies now let you add the GST number. Depending on the hosting account you are using, login to your control panel and add GST number. When you pay your bill next, you will be able to claim GST credits. To add GST number to your Hostgator account:
- Login to HostGator portal at portal.hostgator.com
- Click on Account > Settings
- Scroll down and enter your GST number
Bluehost is the #1 choice among bloggers on WordPress. Bluehost and HostGator have the same parent company and offer the ability to claim GST by adding GST number.
To add GST number in Bluehost, login to your Bluehost Panel (Bluerock) and click on profile > Billing and scroll down to add your GST number.
Digital Ocean is a cloud hosting company and one of the idle choices among developers and tech-inclined users who are looking for unmanaged VPS. If you use DigitalOcean hosting, login to the panel and add the GST number under the billing option.
If you use any other hosting company, log in to their panel and check whether or not they have added the GST option. If not, ask the customer support (contact billing/finance department) and see if they are going to add GST support in the future.
I will update the list as soon as I learn about more hosting companies supporting GST.
Updated list of services that let you add GST number:
I will keep updating the list as I discover more websites used by bloggers that let us add the GST number.
For now, let me know if there are other websites that let us claim GST. If you have more tips/ideas and suggestions, let me know in the comment section below or write to me directly at harsh[at]shoutmeloud.com.