How to comply with GST regulations for freelance services?

The Goods and Services Tax (GST) is a comprehensive indirect tax that applies to most goods and services supplied in India. As a freelancer, you are considered a supplier of services, and thus, GST regulations apply to your freelance income.

GST Registration:

  • Threshold: Freelancers must register for GST if their annual aggregate turnover exceeds ₹20 lakhs (₹10 lakhs for special category states).

  • OIDAR Services: Online Information and Database Access and Retrieval (OIDAR) services, even if supplied from India to recipients outside India, are subject to GST registration regardless of turnover.

  • Registration Process: Registration can be done online through the GST portal ( You’ll need your PAN, Aadhaar, bank account details, and proof of business address.

GST Rates for Freelancers:

  • Standard Rate: Most freelance services are subject to an 18% GST rate.
  • Zero-Rated Services: Certain services, such as exports and services provided to SEZs, maybe zero-rated (0% GST).


  • Mandatory Details: Every invoice must include your name, address, GSTIN, the recipient’s name and address (or GSTIN if registered), a unique invoice number, date of issue, description of services, value, and applicable GST rate and amount.

  • E-Invoicing: If your turnover exceeds a specified limit (currently ₹5 crores, as of April 2024), e-invoicing may be mandatory.

Input Tax Credit (ITC):

  • Claiming ITC: You can claim credit for the GST paid on expenses incurred for your freelance business (e.g., office rent, internet, software).

  • Conditions: ITC can be claimed only if you have a valid tax invoice and the GST has been paid to the government.

GST Returns:

  • Frequency: Depending on your turnover, you may need to file monthly (GSTR-3B) or quarterly (GSTR-1 and GSTR-3B) returns.

  • GSTR-3B: This is a summary return detailing your sales, purchases, and GST liability.

  • GSTR-1: This is a detailed return of outward supplies (sales).

GST Payment:

  • Due Date: GST is usually payable by the 20th of the following month (or quarter).
  • Payment Modes: You can pay GST online through the GST portal using various methods.

Composition Scheme:

  • Eligibility: Freelancers with an annual aggregate turnover of up to ₹1.5 crore (₹75 lakhs for special category states) may opt for the composition scheme.

  • Benefits: Reduced compliance burden and lower tax rates (1% for traders, 5% for restaurants, and 6% for manufacturers).

  • Restrictions: Cannot claim ITC, cannot supply goods outside the state, and must mention “composition taxable person” on invoices.


  • Records: Maintain proper records of all income, expenses, and GST-related transactions.
  • Professional Help: Consider consulting a Chartered Accountant (CA) for complex GST matters and to ensure compliance.

Please note that Non-compliance with GST regulations can attract penalties and interest.

:person_tipping_hand:t6: Pro Tips:

  • Use Accounting Software: Accounting software can help you track your income, expenses, and GST liability efficiently.
  • Stay Updated: GST laws are subject to change. Stay abreast of the latest updates and amendments.
  • Timely Filing and Payment: Ensure timely filing of returns and payment of GST to avoid penalties.

Still, have any doubts? :thinking: Ask by replying below :point_down:t5: if you have any more specific questions!