I am compelled to write this post even though on the issue of registration by freelancers working for outside agencies or foreign enterprise[ i.e export of service by freelancers] is already published in an article titled Are India based freelancers on Upwork or Fiverr etc free from iGST tax ? . The need for comprehensive article arose when a reader pointed out that on 5th August , an esteemed newspaper has published the article titled GST: Freelancers exporting software to take a hit . Similarly it seems that confusion is deep rooted . A google search shows that on community website run by association of IT services in India , the answer to following question[under heading Registration and refunds for exporters] is erroneous .
We are in a startup phase. We build products. All our sales are outside India only. Currently, we have no service tax number nor do we take any export benefits anywhere.
Do we need to register for GST?
Answer : Yes ……. Exports would also be covered within the meaning of the term “inter-State supply” – which means, even if you are just an exporter of goods (assuming that there are no local supplies), you are required to obtain registration under the GST law.
If you search for registration under GST for exporter , you will get generally the answer as ” Yes” .
I presume the answer to such a question in affirmative is based on the ground that export is deemed as inter-state supply as per IGST and section 24 of CGST makes it compulsory to register for a supplier involved in inter-state supply
I beg to differ and in my opinion Experts have missed a vital provision under CGST Act in this regard.