The GST or Goods and Services Tax, which is said to revolutionise the way India does its taxes, has gripped the attention of the nation. While industries and accountants are tussling with understanding GST and complying, for the publishing industry, the ball game is entirely different. Book Link asks Gopal Krishna Agrawal, National Spokesperson BJP (Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) on economic affairs, how GST affects the publishing industry. In the case of exemption, is it still mandatory for Publishers to get themselves registered under GST? Also, do they need to upgrade their accounting software as well?

Gopalji: No, any person or company who is exclusively engaged in the business of supplying goods or services that are wholly exempt from tax under GST is exempted from the registration under GST. Also there is no need for them to upgrade their accounting software. But if they are recipient of goods and services and are required to pay Reverse Charge they have to get registered.

Some online retailers like Flipkart have made it mandatory for Publishers as well as Book Distributors to get a GST registered number to continue their services. In fact, they had also issued a notice for the same.

Yes, GST registration is required for any supplier who supplies goods or services through electronic commerce operators (which means, GST will be applicable for e-books).

GST Registration application can be made using Form GST REG-01 on, GST Common Portal or through a GST Facilitation Centre. The applicant must provide his PAN, mobile no, email address and state of registration. Then the applicant must complete Part B of the form along with necessary documents.

A publisher has asked, ‘Although we didn’t fall under the sales tax regime as our turnover was less than 20 lakhs. We had to do so to sell online on Amazon and Flipkart. We have also migrated to the new GST regime. Now the question is if we make offline sales do we still have to file GST for those particular items even though our annual turnover is less than 20 lakhs pa?’

Gopalji: If you are making Online and Offline sales both, then you will have to get yourselves registered, even if your turnover is less then 20 lakhs per annum. But if you are doing only offline sales then you don’t have to get registration under GST if your sales is less then 20 lakhs per annum.

But if any company falls under any of the following criterion, then it would have to get itself registered under even if the aggregate turnover is less then 20

lakhs per annum:
  1. If the person is supplying goods or services to persons outside the State.
  2. A person who occasionally undertakes supply of goods and has no fixed place.
  3. Any person who is recipient of goods or service is required to pay tax under reverse charge.
  4. Any nonresident making taxable supply
  5. Persons who are required to deduct tax under GST
  6. Persons who make taxable supply on behalf of others like brokers, dealers, etc.
  7. All economic commerce operators are required to obtain registration irrespective of turnover.
  8. Person supplying online information and database access
  9. Person who supply goods or services through electronic commerce operators.

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