The term OIDAR services, which stands for Online Information and Database Access or Retrieval services, pertains to services provided through the internet or electronic networks with minimal human involvement. The increasing adoption of cloud technology and software-as-a-service (SaaS) products in India has led to the inclusion of a broad range of services within the OIDAR services classification. This article provides an overview of OIDAR services and their impact on the Goods and Services Tax (GST) in India.
What are OIDAR Services?
According to the Integrated Goods and Services Tax (IGST) Act, OIDAR services encompass services delivered through information technology over the internet or electronic networks, with minimal human intervention. These services rely on automation and are only possible with the use of technology. Examples of OIDAR services include online advertising, cloud services, distribution of e-books and digital content, data storage, online gaming, and more.
GST Registration for OIDAR Service Providers
All businesses that provide OIDAR services are required to register for Goods and Services Tax (GST) in India, irrespective of their income and whether they are based within or outside the country. OIDAR service providers fall into various categories that necessitate GST registration. This includes businesses offering services across multiple states, those engaged in electronic commerce, and non-resident service providers. Therefore, even if you are a service provider situated outside of India but catering to Indian residents, GST registration is still mandatory.
GST Registration Process for OIDAR Service Providers
The process of registering for Goods and Services Tax (GST) as an OIDAR service provider varies depending on the location of your business, whether within or outside India.
GST Registration for OIDAR service providers based in India
- Access the GST common portal: Visit the official GST common portal (https://www.gst.gov.in/) which serves as the platform for GST registration and related services.
- Create a GST account: If you don’t have an account on the GST portal, create one by providing necessary details like your name, contact information, and email address.
- Navigate to the registration form: Log in to your GST account and go to the registration section to access the registration form.
- Fill in the required details: Provide accurate information about your OIDAR services, business specifics, and contact details to complete the registration form. Ensure that all mandatory fields are filled.
- Attach supporting documents: Upload essential supporting documents such as copies of the promoter’s valid passport, tax identification number, unique identification number issued by the foreign government, or PAN.
- Submit the application: Review the provided information and submit your GST registration application through the portal.
For OIDAR service providers located outside India
- Obtain Form GST REG-10: Download Form GST REG-10 from the GST common portal or obtain it from authorized sources.
- Complete the form: Fill in the necessary details in Form GST REG-10, including information about your OIDAR services, business specifics, and contact information.
- Attach supporting documents: Gather required documents such as a self-attested copy of the promoter’s valid passport, tax identification number, unique identification number issued by the foreign government, or PAN.
- Appoint a representative: If you lack a physical presence in India, appoint a representative who will handle your GST registration, return filing, and compliance obligations on your behalf.
- Submit the application: To complete your application, please submit the filled Form GST REG-10 and the necessary supporting documents via the GST common portal. Electronic submission is required.
- Timeline: Ensure that you submit the GST registration application at least five days before commencing your business operations in India.
To summarize, the rise of cloud technology has led to the widespread adoption of OIDAR services in India. It is essential for OIDAR service providers to comprehend the implications of GST on their operations and ensure compliance with tax regulations. By obtaining GST registration and fulfilling their GST return filing obligations, OIDAR service providers can effectively navigate the legal requirements associated with delivering services in India. Adhering to GST regulations not only facilitates a streamlined and transparent tax system for OIDAR service providers but also contributes to the overall progress and advancement of the digital economy.