GST Rules for Freelancers, Bloggers and Digital Marketers in India.

GST has changed the overall scenario of business for businessman as well as freelancers. Many online entrepreneurs were shutting down their business because of GST complexities. A freelancer who is earning one lakh per year can’t afford a C.A to keep GST compliance. 
Now Government has amended certain rules to help startup level entrepreneurs.
  • Exemption from GST registration if aggregate turnover is less than 20 Lakh per year (10L for special states).
  • 20L exemption rule is application even for inter-state services (Adsense and Affiliate Marketing etc).
  • Quarterly filing of GST returns.
If the annual income of a freelancer is below 20L then he/she can avoid GST compliances. Export income is still exempted from the GST. For example if you are an affiliate marketer whose entire income comes from a foreign registered company, then you don’t have to collect GST. But still you have to file GST returns for 0% GST. There would be two options
1. Claiming refund on GST payments for export services
2. Furnishing bond or Letter of Undertaking for export services.
If you are getting income from an Indian company then you must be worried about GST asap. The standard rate of GST is 18% for services provided online – like writing, designing, digital marketing and advertisements.
You have to collect GST from your clients and deposit to the Government.
There are 2 sub-components of GST
1. Center GST – 9%
2. State GST – 9%
Following state registered businesses get the exemption upto annual revenue of 10L.
  1. Arunachal Pradesh
  2. Assam
  3. Manipur
  4. Meghalaya
  5. Mizoram
  6. Nagaland
  7. Sikkim
  8. Tripura
  9. Jammu & Kashmir
  10. Himachal Pradesh
  11. Uttrakhand
  • Freelancers who are providing services (writer, designer, developer or digital marketer) of more than 20L annually are eligible for GST.
  • If you are making online income through blogging then you are eligible for GST.
  •  If your income comes from any affiliate marketing network based in India (Vcommision, Mindtech, Optimise,, Flipkart) then you have to pay GST.
  • If you are a Youtuber have to register for GST.
  • Anyone selling through online market places or their own e-commerce website has to pay GST.
There are big penalties for non-compliance of GST rules.
At present the scenario looks like below but it may change at anytime.
  • Non-registration : 25,000
  • Late filing of GST return : Rs. 100 per day
  • Non-tax payment or tax evasion : 10% to 100% of tax with minimum Rs. 10,000.
GST application process is totally online.
You can register for GST at URL –
You can start with filling up PAN number and the state where your business is registered. If you are running a proprietor business then fill up your own name in Legal Name of Business column.
You will be allotted Temporary Reference Number and will be able to complete the application by login through OTP received on your mobile.
In the next screen, you can fill up your business name under the column ‘Trade Name’.
You have to submit the application within 15 days after you start the procedure. Be prepared to upload your documents for address/business proof.
You will get your GST number upon approval of your application. I heard that TRN number can be also be used as GST number till your application is approved.
If you have a GST Registration No. you are also required to file GST Returns every month. Even if your sale for the whole month was Rs. 0 – you still have to file GST Returns every month.
For example, for the August Business, you have to file the returns as mentioned below
  1. GSTR 1 – 10th Sept (Details of all sales made in the month)
  2. GSTR 2 – 15th Sept (Details of all business expenses made in the month)
  3. GSTR 3 – 20th Sept (Monthly Return and payment of tax)
    You can bookmark this article. I will keep you updated about the GST rules. 


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