Table of Contents

Introduction

The implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) in India stands as a significant overhaul in indirect taxation. This transformative tax system became operational nationwide on July 1, 2017, and is structured on the concept of destination-based consumption taxation.

However, dealing with GST procedures can be a bit tricky for businesses. Fortunately, the Indian Government has set up an online portal to make things easier. When you register your company here, you get an ARN. Wondering what’s the use of it and how to check the status of your GST registration? 

This article breaks down the importance of ARN tracking and guides you on checking your GST ARN application status with ease. So, stay tuned till the end.

What is an ARN Number?

ARN, abbreviated for “Application Reference Number,” is a unique reference code created upon the successful submission of a GST registration application or any other GST-related form. This special code is essential for tracking the application’s status and serves as a reference for communication with the GST authorities regarding the specific application.

What is the format of ARN?

The ARN follows a specific 15-digit alpha-numeric format. Here is a breakdown of the format:

  1. First Two Codes (Alphabetical)

The initial two characters of the ARN are alphabetical.

  1. Next Two Digits (State Code)

Following the alphabetical characters, the next two digits represent the code of the state.

  1. Subsequent Four Codes (Month and Year)

The next four codes indicate the month and year of the application.

  1. Following Six Digits (Unique System-generated Numbers)

The next six digits are unique system-generated numbers that distinguish each application.

  1. Last Code (Checksum Digit)

The last code in the ARN is the checksum digit, which is used for error detection in the ARN.

Also Read: What Is The ARN In Processing?

What is the Importance of GST ARN?

In summary, the GST ARN number is vital for tracking the status of the registration application, establishing the authenticity of businesses, facilitating smooth business transactions, and serving as an authentic identification for financial intermediaries.

The GST ARN is crucial for several reasons:

  1. GST Registration Status Check

The ARN number is essential for checking the status of the GST registration application. It serves as a reference throughout the application process.

  1. Valid ID during Application Processing

After submitting the GST registration application, it takes approximately 15 days for the process to complete. During this period, the ARN number acts as a valid identification for the taxpayer until the GST Identification Number (GSTIN) is generated.

  1. Establishing Authenticity and Legitimacy

The information provided during the GST number application, including Memorandum of Association (MOA), cancelled cheque, PAN card, etc., helps establish the authenticity and legitimacy of the sellers. This is crucial for ensuring that businesses comply with the GST regulations.

  1. Business Transactions

The ARN number plays a significant role in business transactions. It is used as a reference in various dealings, and vendors can use it to provide products and services even before obtaining the GSTIN. However, they must update their invoices with the GSTIN details once they are issued.

  1. Identification for Financial Intermediaries

The ARN serves as an authentic ID for mutual fund advisors, fund agents, distributors, and mediators involved in financial transactions. This identification is important for regulatory and compliance purposes in the financial sector.

The Significance of Tracking Your ARN Number

Application Reference Number tracking isn’t simply an option; it’s a valuable tool that unlocks several benefits:

  1. Transparency in Progress

Just like watching the estimated arrival time of an online order, tracking your ARN gives you real-time insights into your application’s movement. You’ll see if it’s being processed or approved or even facing any hurdles. This transparency empowers you to stay informed and proactively address any delays.

  1. Troubleshooting Delays

Sometimes, applications get stuck in limbo. By keeping an eye on your ARN, you can identify any roadblocks or pending actions hindering the process. This allows you to take proactive steps, like contacting the GST authorities for clarification or assistance, ensuring your application doesn’t languish unnoticed.

  1. Compliance Compass

Timely registration is crucial for avoiding penalties and maintaining good standing with the GST authorities. ARN tracking ensures you stay on track for registration, avoiding potential compliance hiccups and legal issues that could arise from delayed registration.

  1. Vendor Verification Made Easy

Trust is the most important factor in any business. ARN allows you to build that trust by letting you verify the authenticity of a vendor’s GST registration. Simply plug their ARN into the GST portal and gain valuable insights into their compliance status. This will allow you to make informed decisions about your business partnerships.

Where to Find Your ARN Number?

Here’s where you can find your ARN Number in GST:

Immediately After Submission

  1. GST Portal

Upon successful submission of your GST registration application on the GST portal, a confirmation screen will display your 15-digit ARN number.

  1. Email Notification

An email confirmation containing your ARN number is also sent to the registered email address associated with your application.

Viewing Later

  1. Log in to the GST portal. 
  2. Go to the “Services” tab.
  3. Select “Track Application Status.”
  4. Enter your Temporary Reference Number (TRN) or email address used during registration.
  5. Click “Track Status.”
  6. Your ARN number will be displayed alongside the application status.

If you have a printed or saved copy of the registration acknowledgement generated after submission, your ARN number will be printed on it as well.

Some Important Things to Remember

Remember the following things to deal with ARN in the smoothest way possible:

  1. ARN is temporary: It’s only valid until your GSTIN is issued.
  1. Secure storage: Keep your ARN number safe for future reference and tracking purposes.
  1. Note the ARN immediately: Upon receiving it, make a note of your ARN number in a secure location for easy access.
  1. Regular tracking: Check the status of your application using the ARN frequently, especially during peak registration periods.

Steps to Track Your ARN Number

Here are the steps to track your ARN (Application Reference Number) for GST registration in India:

  1. Access the GST Portal

Visit the official GST portal at https://www.gst.gov.in/.

  1. Navigate to Track Application Status

Look for the “Services” tab in the main menu. Under “Services,” click on “Track Application Status.”

  1. Select the Module

You’ll see a dropdown menu labelled “Module.” Choose “Registration” from the dropdown options.

  1. Enter the ARN Number

Locate the field where you can input your ARN number. Carefully type in the 15-digit ARN number you received upon submitting your GST registration application. This number is typically sent to your registered email address.

  1. Complete CAPTCHA

Enter the CAPTCHA code displayed on the screen to verify your identity.

  1. Click Search

Press the “Search” button to initiate the tracking process.

  1. View Status

If the ARN number is valid and recognized by the system, a pop-up window will appear, indicating The status of your GST registration application (e.g., “Pending for Approval,” “Approved,” “Rejected”)

  1. Download Acknowledgement (Optional)

If you wish to obtain a downloadable acknowledgement of your application status, click on the provided hyperlink.

Some Important Things to Remember

  1. Tracking without Login: You can check ARN status without logging into the GST portal. However, certain features, such as downloading the acknowledgement, may require login credentials.
  1. Multiple ARNs: If you’ve submitted multiple GST applications, you’ll need to track each one using its respective ARN number.
  1. Contacting Helpdesk: If you encounter any difficulties or have further queries, you can reach out to the GST helpdesk for assistance.

Common Issues in Tracking ARN

Here are some common issues you may encounter when tracking your GST ARN, along with potential solutions and helpful tips:

  1. Incorrect ARN Entry

If the ARN entered is inaccurate, the system will not be able to retrieve the correct information related to the application status. To address this issue, do the following:

  • Double-check the ARN: Meticulously verify that you’ve entered the 15-digit ARN correctly, without any typos or extra spaces.
  • Review email: If unsure, refer back to the email you received upon application submission, which contains the accurate ARN.
  1. Portal Downtime or Maintenance

During periods of portal unavailability, you won’t be able to access the tracking feature or retrieve real-time information about the GST ARN status. In such cases, do the following:

  • Try later: If the GST portal is experiencing technical difficulties or scheduled maintenance, attempt to track your ARN again after a few hours or the next day.
  • Official updates: Check the GST portal’s homepage or social media channels for announcements regarding downtime or maintenance schedules.
  1. Delayed Updates

It’s not uncommon for status updates to take some time to reflect on the portal. So:

  • Allow time: Exercise patience and check back after a reasonable interval.
  • Contact helpdesk: If the delay seems excessive, reach out to the GST helpdesk for clarification.
  1. CAPTCHA Issues

CAPTCHA (Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart) is a security feature implemented on websites to ensure that the user is a human and not a computer program. Incorrectly entered CAPTCHA codes can result in failed attempts to access the tracking feature. To resolve this issue, try the following:

  • Refresh CAPTCHA: try refreshing the page to generate a new image.
  • Check browser compatibility: Ensure your browser is compatible with the CAPTCHA system.
  • Clear cache and cookies: Sometimes, clearing your browser’s cache and cookies can resolve CAPTCHA issues.
  1. Browser Compatibility

Certain web browsers may not be fully compatible with the GST portal, leading to functionality or display issues when attempting to track the ARN. So, do the following:

  • Use recommended browsers: Opt for browsers that are known to work well with the GST portal, such as Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox.
  • Update browser: Keep your browser updated to its latest version for optimal compatibility.
  1. Network Connectivity Issues

Poor or intermittent network connectivity can lead to delays, timeouts, or errors when attempting to use the tracking feature on the GST portal. Thus, you must do the following:

  • Check your internet connection: Verify that your internet connection is stable and working properly.
  • Try a different network: If possible, attempt to access the portal using a different network to rule out connectivity problems.

Conclusion

Now that you have a comprehensive understanding of an ARN number, its format, its significance in GST processes, and how to track it, you are well-equipped to manage this aspect of your business independently. ARN tracking becomes a straightforward process by following the provided steps and being aware of potential issues and solutions.

Remember to keep your ARN handy, exercise patience during delays, and use the recommended browsers for optimal compatibility. With this knowledge, tracking your ARN number on the GST portal should be a seamless and manageable task, contributing to the transparency and efficiency of your business processes. Additionally, consider bookmarking the “Track Application Status” page on the GST portal for easy access.

Also Read: How to Calculate GST in an Excel Sheet: Step-by-Step Guide

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is ARN for GST?

The ARN for GST, known as the Application Reference Number, is automatically generated on the GST Portal upon the submission of a GST registration application.

  • How do I Find my GST ARN Number?

Your ARN can be located subsequent to the submission of your GST application on the official GST portal, serving as a distinctive identifier for your application.

  • Is ARN Number and GST Number the Same?

No, the ARN number and GST number are distinct. The ARN, or Application Reference Number, is automatically generated on the GST Portal upon submission of the GST Registration Application. On the other hand, the Goods and Services Tax Identification Number (GSTIN) is a unique identifier specifically assigned to a business registered under the GST Act.

  • How Long Does it Take to Get GST After the ARN Number?

Once you’ve applied for GST registration and obtained the Application Reference Number (ARN), the processing of your GST Registration Application takes approximately 15 days. However, during this period, you can track the status of your GST registration online through the GST Portal.

  • What to do After ARN is Generated?

After the generation of the GST ARN Number, it allows the entity to verify the status of the GST ARN online through the GST portal.

  • Can we use the ARN Number Instead of GST?

The ARN number and GSTIN are distinct and cannot be substituted for each other. The ARN serves as a temporary identification number until the issuance of the permanent GSTIN. It is permissible to use the ARN number during this interim period, but once the GSTIN is provided, the usage of the ARN should cease.

  • What is the Difference between TRN and ARN?

TRN, or Temporary Reference Number, is acquired by a new user upon registration on the GST portal. On the other hand, ARN, or Application Reference Number, is obtained after the successful submission of the GST Registration Application.

  • How do I Reply to ARN Status in GST?

To respond to the ARN status in GST, log in to the GST Portal. Go to Dashboard > Services > User Services > My Applications > Refunds > Search ARN > Choose ARN > Select the Replies option.

  • What is an Invalid Format for ARN?

If you encounter the error message “INVALID FORMAT FOR ARN” on the page, it typically indicates a mismatch in the user’s profile information. To resolve this issue, ensure that the details filled in the form align accurately with the information in your profile.

  • What is GST ARN Status Pending for Clarification?

The status “Pending for Clarification” in GST ARN indicates that the Tax Official has requested additional information or clarification regarding the Registration Application. This status is assigned when the Tax Official is not satisfied with the provided information or attached documents, prompting them to seek clarification from the taxpayer.

author avatar
Rinkle Dudhani Intern
Meet Rinkle Dudhani, a diligent law student on the path to earning a BBA LLB degree in June 2024. Armed with a solid academic background in company law, taxation laws, and finance fundamentals, Rinkle possesses a deep understanding of legal and financial concepts. As a seasoned content writer with over 3 years of experience, she has collaborated with prominent brands and consistently delivered high-quality content with a focus on thorough research.

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This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. paper trading app

    Thank you for providing guidance on tracking GST ARN numbers! Your clear instructions on where to track GST ARN numbers are invaluable for businesses navigating the complexities of GST compliance. Your expertise in simplifying tax-related processes is greatly appreciated. Keep up the informative content!

    1. CaptainBiz

      Thank you for your kind words! We’re delighted to hear that our guidance on tracking GST ARN numbers has been beneficial for you.