GST Registration
GST Registration

GST on Freelancers – Applicability & Rates

calendar01 Apr, 2024
timeReading Time: 4 Minutes
GST on Freelancers

The global freelancing landscape has been profoundly altered by the Goods and Services Tax (GST) implementation, especially in nations where GST or its equivalent is imposed. The tax system that is applied to self-employed people who provide independent services is known as GST on freelancers. This taxation structure aims to ensure that freelancers contribute fairly to government revenue by streamlining the taxing procedure. The GST’s applicability to independent contractors varies based on several variables, including annual turnover, the kind of services rendered, and local laws. Freelancers must comprehend the rules and regulations of GST to properly comply with their tax obligations. The tax system for freelancers includes various GST rates that apply to different services. This article examines the GST rates and applicability to independent contractors, highlighting the ramifications and compliances amongst freelancers. 

Eligibility of Freelancers for GST Registration

The freelancers must register for GST if they fall under the following criteria –

  • In general cases, if the turnover is more than Rs 20 Lakhs, they must get the GST registration.
  • GST on Freelancers of North-East states is levied if their annual turnover crosses Rs 10 Lakhs.
  • If the services provided them come under the category of Online Information and Database Access and Retrieval (OIDAR).
  • If there is any export of services from one state to another then also GST on Freelancers is to be applicable.

Tax Rate of GST on freelancers

Tax Rate of GST on freelancers is the same as applicable on other goods and services. This rate of GST on freelancers is 0%, 5%, 12%, 18%, 28%. Just like other applicability of rates, GST on freelancers is also levied based on the services and goods provided. In case there is no specification given for the type of service, 18% GST will be charged as a standard rate.

Input Tax Credit

The freelancers are also allowed to Input Tax Credits as other businessmen in the country. They can claim the GST back from the authorities if they are registered on the GST portal. So, in case a person has bought a laptop for his work, he would have paid GST on that laptop, but he can claim that GST back while filing the GST returns.

Benefits of GST Registration for Freelancers

The benefits of GST registration for freelancers are –

  • GST registration for freelancers helps them in complying with the law which helps them in avoiding penalties and legal complications during their business.
  • Freelancers who are above the registration threshold limit and get registered under GST get to claim the benefits of Input Tax Credit where they can claim back the GST paid on items bought for proceeding with the business activities.
  • It helps the freelancers grow their businesses rapidly since GST compliance gives their businesses credibility, which in turn helps them maintain a client base for future projects.
  • GST on freelancers is mandatory if they are dealing in interstate transactions; hence, getting the registration done will make them reach more clients and diverge their goods and services to more places.
  • GST registration can help these individuals take advantage of certain government policies and benefits that are introduced from time to time to help struggling business individuals.
  • E-commerce companies mostly require a GST number to register their business online and having a GST registration can benefit the freelancers to move towards the online platform of business which will help more in getting the clients facilitating business growth.
  • GST registration helps freelancers streamline their process of tax return filing and annual return filing. This helps them comply with the regulations set by the regulatory authorities thereby assisting the business name and growth.
  • Some clients want authenticity, and GST registration of businesses gives them that; hence, freelancers having GST registration get its benefit, and more and more clients are attracted towards them.

What are the Taxation penalties of GST on freelancers?

Taxation penalties of GST on freelancers for late filing or not registering are –

  • A Rs 200 late fee will be charged.
  • 18% interest on the to-be-paid tax will be levied from such person.
  • A penalty of a minimum of Rs 10,000 will be taken from such a person if tax is unpaid.   
  • The maximum penalty that can be levied is 10% of the total tax due.


In conclusion, it is critical to comprehend and navigate the complexities of tax legislation in the freelance economy, given the applicability and rates of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) on independent contractors. The need to comply with GST duties becomes critical for both legal compliance and financial viability when independent contractors work in various industries and jurisdictions. Despite the difficulties and administrative responsibilities brought on by GST, independent contractors can efficiently expedite compliance procedures by using proactive tactics including utilizing technology and consulting experts. Freelancers can confidently navigate GST requirements by keeping up to date on rules, adjusting to changes, and putting effective tax management strategies into place. In the end, having a solid grasp of GST rates and applicability enables independent contractors to stay compliant, effectively handle their money, and prosper in the ever-changing independent market.

Corpbiz can help these individuals get the registration of GST on freelancers in a very short period and with minimal effort. The applicant just has to provide us with all the relevant documents needed for registration and our executives will make sure that he/she gets the certification done on time.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Which services are included in OIDAR services?

    The services that are included in OIDAR services are services that are cloud-based, digital marketing and online gaming services, sale of intangible items like movies, software, songs, e-books, etc, and online data or information-providing services that involve a digital network.

  2. Is the Composition Scheme available for freelancers?

    Yes, the Composition Scheme is available for freelancers. The Composition Scheme was introduced in 2019 for businesses having a turnover of less than Rs 50,00,000.

  3. What are the invoicing rules?

    The freelancers are required to provide the invoice of purchase to the customer, and that invoice should contain the name and address of the Service provider, along with the GST number, date, the price of the service or good, SAC of services, stamp, and other important things as well.

  4. What are the consequences of not getting GST registration?

    The consequences of not getting GST registration from the freelancers can be severe. The individuals or the business can be charged with various late fees, penalties, and fines. Along with these monetary compensations, the person can even with charged legally.

  5. Are freelancers allowed to avoid Tax?

    No, freelancers are not allowed to avoid tax as other individuals and they will be charged with the same penalties in case of non-compliance with the tax rules and regulations. However, they can claim certain deductions as per the act if they fall into that segment

  6. Why do freelancers need to pay GST?

    The freelancers need to pay GST since they are residing in the country and Goods and Service Tax was introduced and implemented in the whole country and for every individual. Freelancers do their freelancing business in the country and hence they are obliged to pay taxes as required by other businessmen.

  7. What is TCS under GST on freelancers?

    The TCS is a tax collected at source in GST on freelancers. 1% of the service's net taxable value is the TCS.

  8. What is the GST rate for professional fees?

    Individuals charging professional fees are also required to go through the Process for GST Registration for Freelancers. The standard rate of GST rate for a professional fee is 18% throughout the nation

  9. Is it illegal to not pay GST when found eligible for it?

    Yes, paying GST is mandatory if you are eligible for the same as per the rules and regulations of the Goods and Service Tax in India.

  10. Do we require an import-export code for providing services across nations?

    No, a freelancer does not require an import-export code to provide services across nations, but it becomes necessary when the individual claims a SEIS scheme benefit or if he/she is providing services concerning national security.

Read Our Article: Consent Letter For GST Registration

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