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GST for freelancers/agencies in India

Active Member
Kamal Kumar S Member Since: Aug 23, 2018
21 of 105

but i dont have an GSTIN number so can i select there "I am not registered with GSTIN". Would it anyway stop me from getting payment. As you said that we pay GST to our other vendors. I have no problem in paying GST for your services. But how will you collect? 

Active Member
Sumitra M Member Since: Apr 22, 2016
22 of 105

Yes we need a detailed explanation from Upwork on this issue and from GST/Tax consultant in india.Most of the freelancers are not registered under GSTIN as we pay income tax instead.

1) Will GSTIN number will be mandatory to work on Upwork or it will be optional?.

2) Is 1% additional deduction by upwork is applicable for all as we have slab of annual turnover 20L/40L to be  eligible to register for GST.

3) Does Upwork Freelancer will be liable to register for GSTIN?,99% clients on upwork are outside india, though we receive payment from Upwork not client directly.We cannot charge our foreign clients GST.So main question,is any freelancer having all clients outside india required to register under GST and need to submit gst returns considaring eligibility slabs provided by Indian GST law 20L/40L?.

4) If we register for GSTIN number (currently cancellation not possible) then ideally GST rate is 18% for freelancers and we have to fill 37 reurns in year,so its not easy change,all this money will go from our pocket/hard earned money.

So a brainstorming is required on this issue.

Active Member
Nishanth K Member Since: Jan 10, 2020
23 of 105

I would like some information on whether GSTIN is necessary.

I'm just an individual in India doing some freelancing. I do not have a company. Hence do I need to get a GSTIN or is a W8BEN form enough for tax purposes?

Aleksandar D Moderator Member Since: Mar 23, 2019
24 of 105

Hi Nishanth,


The W-8BEN form under Settings > Tax Info is to confirm you're not a US taxpayer. You can use your own legal name as it appears in your passport or other official documents. For your other question, you need to consult with a local tax advisor.


Thank you.

~ Aleksandar
Active Member
Nishanth K Member Since: Jan 10, 2020
25 of 105

Thank you for the reply. 


I will definitely consult with a local professional but I think the question I need answered is whether adding a GSTIN is mandatory or not on Upwork. 


If my tax consultant says getting a GSTIN for freelance work is not necessary but Upwork says that it is mandatory means I'll have to change my game plan. 


So yeah, that is the questions. Smiley Happy 

Active Member
Saswata D Member Since: Dec 5, 2019
26 of 105

Its not mandatory. The idea is: If you are registered under GST in India, provide your gstin. If you are not registered no need to provide number, just mention you are not registered under gst.

Active Member
PRADEEP K Member Since: Oct 31, 2016
27 of 105
Just got this mail from upwork that means are they going to charge 1% of total money freelancer makes on upwork ?????????? So that means if someone is making 6k usd on upwork a month he will have to pay 600 usd ???? This is crazy!!!!! We are already paying taxes to goveremnt the way they want then what is this ?????????? Someone from upwork should post back specifics asap

We are writing to let you know that starting in early 2020 we will begin collecting the Indian Goods and Services Tax (GST).

As an e-commerce operator, Upwork will collect 1% on any earnings that are subject to the tax, per Indian law.

While we will follow up with specifics and a more detailed timeline regarding the collection, we do ask that you provide your GST tax id number now, if you have one.

To provide your GST number, click here. GST number, click here.

Important things to remember:
• At this time we are only asking you to provide your GST number (if you have one).
• The 1% tax on Upwork earnings will not be charged until early 2020.
• Once we start collecting GST on the earnings that are subject to withholding, we will remit that tax to the Indian government, as required by law.
If you have questions about the GST or do not currently have a GST number, you may wish to consult with a trusted tax expert or advisor. Upwork cannot provide tax advice.

Thanks in advance for taking the time to provide your GST information. And thanks for using Upwork!
Ace Contributor
Munendra P Member Since: Dec 11, 2016
28 of 105

It's 1% that means for $6k it will be $60. And that too will go to Government and not Upwork as we are already saving a lot by being a consultant in taxes! I believe that's a good thing, no?


Anyway, this will only be applicable once Upwork register in India which I believe would be very soon.

Active Member
PRADEEP K Member Since: Oct 31, 2016
29 of 105

Yep Sorry i calculated it later $60 is fine i guess and that will cover a lot of freelancers like me when i woke up this email immediately prompted at my face so you can well imagine how that extra 0 came after 60 Smiley Very Happy anyways tks for replying back its great to keep this thread active as now upwork is gearing up for GST india so alot of people like me will be jumping here 

Ace Contributor
Munendra P Member Since: Dec 11, 2016
30 of 105

Totally understand, If there was an extra 0, I would have been jumping too. Smiley Happy.


Also, I think full details are yet to come out. This GST amount should be on Upwork services sliding fee (20%, 10%, 5%) and not on total earning. Once Upwork register in India, they have to pay taxes to the Indian Government based on what they earn from us in fees. For more details, you can search for Australia and EU GST thread.


Well, I am also waiting for full details as of now.