GST for Freelancers, Goods and Services Tax, GST rates, GST registration, GST returns, Ebizfiling

Understanding GST for freelancers in India 


GST is a tax that is levied on the supply of goods and services in India, and it replaced several other indirect taxes such as VAT, excise duty, and service tax. As a freelancer, you’re self-employed and are responsible for managing all aspects of your business. One aspect of your business that you need to be familiar with is the Goods and Services Tax (GST). By understanding the rules and regulations surrounding GST, you can ensure that you comply with the law and avoid any legal consequences.

What do you mean by GST?

GST stands for goods and service tax. The goods and services tax is a value-added indirect tax levied on most goods and services sold for domestic consumption. The GST is paid via GST Returns by consumers, but it is remitted to the government by the businesses selling the goods and services. GST registration is mandatory for businesses that are involved in the supply of goods and services in India.  If a business has submitted false information while applying for GST registration or while filing GST returns, the GST registration can be suspended.

Do Freelancers Need to Register for GST?

If you’re a freelancer in India and your annual turnover exceeds Rs. 20 lakhs, you need to register for Goods and Services Tax. If you’re providing services in the North-Eastern states or Jammu and Kashmir, the threshold is Rs. 10 lakhs.

What is the GST Rate for Freelancers?

The GST rate for freelancers is 18%. However, some services such as legal services, healthcare, and education are exempt from GST.

How to Calculate GST?

Goods and Services Tax is calculated on the value of the supply. The value of the supply is the amount that the freelancer charges the client for the goods or services provided. To calculate the GST on your services, you can use a GST calculator or multiply the amount charged to the client by 0.18. For example, if you’re a graphic designer and you charge Rs. 10,000 for a project, the GST on this would be Rs. 1,800. So, the total amount that you’ll invoice the client will be Rs. 11,800.

What are the GST Rules for Freelancers?

To comply with the GST rules, you need to issue a GST invoice to your clients for the services rendered, maintain records of all your GST-related transactions, pay the GST collected from your clients to the government, and file GST returns on a regular basis. As a registered GST taxpayer, you’re also eligible for input tax credit (ITC), which means that you can claim a credit for the GST paid on the goods and services purchased for your business. In some cases, the client is responsible for paying the GST instead of the freelancer. This is known as a reverse charge.

What are the Consequences of Not Registering for GST?

If your annual turnover exceeds the threshold for GST registration and you fail to register for GST, you will be liable for a penalty of up to 10% of the tax due or Rs. 10,000, whichever is higher. You may also face legal action.


In conclusion, the introduction of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) in India has had a significant impact on freelancers. The new tax regime has brought about both challenges and opportunities for this segment of the workforce. One of the main challenges faced by freelancers is the increased compliance burden under GST. They must register themselves under the new system, maintain proper records of their transactions, and file regular returns, which can be time-consuming and complex. As the country continues to evolve and adapt to the new tax regime, it is likely that freelancers will continue to play an increasingly important role in the Indian economy.

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