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Tax Identification Number (TIN) - Definition and Meaning

Tax Identification Number (TIN) - Definition and Meaning
April 07, 2017
Any start-up or small medium enterprise that is looking to sell a product or service require what is called Taxpayer Identification Number or TIN. It is sometimes called VAT number when it used for intra state sales.

What is TIN Number?

Tax Identification Number (TIN) is part of the "Tax Information Network" initiative created by Income Tax Department of India to make the process of collection, processing, accounting and monitoring of direct taxes completely online.

An important goal of any government is to have a single repository of all tax related information that can be accessed at any time and from anywhere in the country. Such a repository will help create a system of tracking taxpayers and their sources of income, ultimately helping create transparency and accountability. TIN number registration is required for Manufacturers, Traders, Exporters and basically any start-up or small medium enterprise that is looking to sell a product or service.

The TIN Number is issued as a token of identification of the business being registered under VAT. Any eligible entity can register for it online with NSDL by filling up the Registration Form as per the instructions provided on their website. The details are available on their website. Once your details are submitted, an acknowledgment screen containing a unique 15-digit acknowledgment number will be displayed.

This acknowledgement needs to be saved and printed. You then have to sign and send it to NSDL along with proof for fulfillment of eligibility criteria, due diligence certificate and payment of the application fee made either by Cheque or Demand Draft in favor of 'NSDL - ERI' for Rs. 4,600. The documents that you will need to provide include the standard ID proof, address proof, PAN card of the proprietor and 4 to 6 photographs. You will also need to provide address proof of business premises, 1st Sale or Purchase Invoice, copy of LR/GR & payment/collection proof with bank statement. In some cases, a reference or some form of security may also be required.

Once the requisite documents are applications are received and the payment has cleared, NSDL will assign a user-id and password. This user-id & password along will be sent to the email address provided in the application form. Login to the ITD site and conduct the data transmission test as per the directions provided. After completing the test successfully, you can start filing of e-Returns using a unique e-Return Intermediary Identification Number (ERIIN) and password. The status of your application, i.e., whether it is accepted or rejected will be sent by e-mail.

Under the Electronic Return Acceptance and Consolidation System (ERACS) taxpayers can access an online for upload of electronic returns of TDS, TCS and Annual Information Return (AIR) to the central system of TIN. In the Online Tax Accounting System (OLTAS), details of various TAX related information from tax collecting branches across the country can be accessed.

For any legitimate business organization, registering for a Taxpayer Identification Number is absolutely critical. It is a document that will be required at every step of the way.

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