Case Study 2: Can your Photo Become the Cause for GST Number Cancellation?


Case Study 2: Can your Photo Become the Cause for GST Number Cancellation?
May, 2023
By Vikash Dhanania

Namaskar DOST!


I hope you find this email in the best of your health. This case study is in continuation of the case study series started by us to help spread awareness about GST challenges that might get linked to the upcoming drive by the Government of India against fake GST registrations.


All Central and State Tax Administrations will launch a special all-India drive during May 16th to July 15th.

This drive will be aimed at detecting fake GST numbers.

Based on our past experience, we have seen that numerous legitimate businesses are also harmed during drives like these and it is always a good time to ensure your GST practices are all compliant and you are not at risk of receiving issues from the department.

Let’s talk about the second case study today.


Case Study 2

This case study is a real scenario that resulted in a business’ GST Registration getting cancelled just because of the uploaded photo and contact details.

The mobile number of Rakesh Ji (name changed) uploaded on the portal was not working because of which GST officials could not reach out to talk.

The officials got suspicious that the business was non-existent so they went to the office premises with a printout of the photo that was uploaded during the time of the registration.

Since the image uploaded was of very bad quality, it was difficult to identify Rajesh Ji from that A4 printout because the officer had to increase the size of the photo to print it in the A4 size which further reduced the image quality.

On reaching the office address, the Officer found out the office was locked (total coincidence) and started asking the neighbours about the owner using the A4 size photograph. The neighbours could not identify the owner (Rakesh Ji) from the photo and this scenario led to the cancellation of the GST number.


Some of the reasons behind these challenges are:

  • The maximum file size of the picture upload is 100kb; this makes it really challenging to have a quality which won’t blur out when printed on a large sized paper (A4 size).
  • Business owners often tend to share old passport-size photos that are Cropped and Compressed without using a specific Photo Technologies App to make them of a size smaller than 100kb;
  • Photos are often taken from a mobile phone camera, of another picture clicked sometime in the past;
  • People have changed/stopped using the contact number added to the portal at the time of registration but missed out on updating the new number on the portal;


The biggest challenge linked to this arises when GST officials print the uploaded picture in A4 size in Black and White.

The end result of the image is often too “blurred out” or unclear that it becomes difficult to identify the owner from the picture primarily because the picture was increased in size for print purposes.


Also, in most cases, business owners are often not present at the business premises which leads to further problems.

GST officials often ask neighbours of the property about the owner but the image in most cases is unrecognizable and in other cases, the neighbours are unaware of the business owner.

This can lead to cancellation of the GST number and allegations of fraud by the department.


This is a common scenario and here are the top 6 things you must do today to keep yourself safe from these challenges:

1. Make sure the image uploaded on the portal is current, clear and of high-quality, which leaves no doubt for anyone;

2. Make sure your contact number and details on the portal are up to date and the number shown there can easily be contacted by anyone and is answered properly;

3. Your contact/mobile number should preferably be a postpaid connection;

4. It is advisable to take a landline connection for your business and upload the same on the Contact Details Tab of Principal and Additional Place of Business;

5. Give different and used contact details for every place of business, whether it be the Principal or Additional place of business;

6. Make sure to meet and greet your neighbours so they know you even if you do not come to your business premises often;

These actions should protect you from a lot of problems in the future.


Thank you for reading the email. Meet you in the next one and I hope this email helped you avoid a problem in your business.

Thanks and Regards


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