03 Jul 2019Posted By: Mudit Handa

What are the rules of GST for Freelancers in Digital Marketing?

It is beyond any doubt that the Goods & Service Tax has altogether changed the way we used to conduct our business. The GST regime has simplified compliance in almost every kind of business.

Now, if we talk about the freelancer business, it has really become a profitable economic activity these days. The advent of the GST regime has made this an even more lucrative business for young entrepreneurs. The freelancers having GST registration have much more scope than the unregistered ones.

Let us see how GST has benefitted the freelancers in recent years. 


1. Who is a freelancer?

A freelancer is someone who independently performs various short-term as well as long-term jobs on a contractual basis. This means that he is not employed by anyone anywhere yet he earns a certain income for his services. Since freelancing is also a kind of service, the government has included it under the ambit of GST. 


2. Which Freelancers have to get GST registration?

Freelancers who are offering services to their clients and are having a turnover beyond ₹20 lakhs must get GST registration. 


3. Which Freelancers need not get GST registration?

Those who are having a turnover up to ₹20 lakhs and whose services are restricted within their state are exempted from GST Registration.  


4. How does GST apply on freelancers in special category states?

The applicability of GST law is however different for the freelancers in the North-east states of Uttarakhand, Jammu & Kashmir, and Himachal Pradesh. In these special category states, you must have a turnover up to ₹20 lacs annually to be exempt from GST Registration. Besides, you must provide your services to the clients within your states to be eligible for GST exemption.


5. How does GST apply to freelance writers?

One such profession that has flourished these days is of independent professional bloggers or freelance content writers. However, the applicability of GST is doubtful in this case.

  • Now, it’s important to remember that the service provided is of advertisement. A freelancer basically sells space on your blog section to various companies. 
  • The advertisers may belong to the same state or may be located beyond the state boundaries.
  • If they belong to a different state the GST rules for services would apply. 
  • In case, the advertising space is provided to companies using Google Adsense, there might not be any information about such companies. Some of them may be located abroad. In such a case, the GST invoice can’t be raised. 

From May 2018 onwards, the GST law hasn’t made clear as to GST would apply in this case.


6. How has freelancing become easier after GST?

Earlier, in the service tax regime, it was mandatory to get tax registration if turnover exceeds ₹9 lacs. Now, GST registration is required if turnover exceeds ₹40 lakh (₹20 lakh in case of North-east states). Hence, there is much relaxation to the freelancers. 

However, those who provide services via e-commerce, have to compulsorily get GST registration, irrespective of their turnover.

If you need any sort of assistance on the GST registration, please feel free to contact our business advisor at 8881-069-069.

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