Cancelling GST Registration for a Sole Proprietor after Death


    As a business owner in India, it is crucial to understand the legal and regulatory requirements for Goods and Services Tax (GST) registration. GST registration is mandatory for businesses with an annual turnover above a certain threshold, and failure to comply with registration requirements can result in penalties and legal repercussions. 

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    In the event of a sole proprietor’s death, it is important to cancel their GST registration to ensure compliance with government laws and regulations. This involves following a specific procedure outlined by GST laws and regulations, which may require submitting relevant documents and evidence, such as death certificates, and notifying the GST authorities of the proprietor’s death. Seeking professional assistance can ensure that the process is completed accurately and efficiently. By understanding the process of cancelling GST registration for a sole proprietor after their passing, business owners can ensure compliance with GST laws and regulations and avoid any potential legal consequences.

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    Understanding the GST Registration Cancellation Process

    To cancel the GST registration for a sole proprietor after their death, a few steps need to be followed. Firstly, it is essential to inform the GST department about the sole proprietor’s demise by submitting a written application along with a copy of the death certificate. Upon receiving the application, the GST department will initiate the cancellation process, which typically takes around 15-20 days to complete, depending on the department’s workload.

    Documents Required for GST Registration Cancellation

    To cancel the GST registration of a business after the death of a sole proprietor, the following documents are required:

    A Successor’s Registration

    Under Section 22 of the CGST Act of 2017, it is mandatory for the successor of a sole proprietor who has passed away to register their business with the government from the date of succession. The registration process involves submitting Form GST REG-01 online, which is similar to the usual registration process. The complete procedure can be found on the government website. However, when filing for registration, it is necessary to mention “death of the proprietor” as the reason for obtaining registration.

    Transfer of Tax Liability and Input Tax Credit

    Section 18(3) of the CGST Act 2017 permits the transfer of Input Tax Credit (ITC) if the liabilities of the firm are transferred in compliance with Rule 41. In the case of transfer, both the transferor and the transferee are jointly and severally liable for any unpaid tax, interest, and penalties as per Section 85(1) of the Act. Additionally, as per Section 93(1), the person who carries on the business of the deceased is liable to pay any outstanding tax, interest, or penalty liabilities.

    To summarise, if a successor wants to continue a sole proprietor’s business and utilise the ITC available in the proprietor’s electronic credit ledger, he would also be responsible for paying any outstanding tax debt owed by the proprietor.

    How to Transfer an ITC to a Successor?

    To transfer the Input Tax Credit (ITC), Rule 41 of the CGST Rules must be followed. The jurisdictional GST officer must be provided with the sole proprietor’s death certificate and the succession certificate as documentary evidence by the successor or legal heir. The competent officer will add the successor as the authorised signatory of the sole proprietor.

    The legal guardian will be the designated signatory if the successor is a minor. The GST portal will provide a temporary username and password to the newly added authorised signatory’s email address. The successor can access the sole proprietor’s account using this temporary login information and the first-time login link. He must update his login and password after logging in.

    Next, he must submit Form GST ITC-02 with the same registration as the sole proprietor’s registration. After providing the required information, he should submit the form. The successor must confirm the ITC transfer using his registration to complete the transfer.

    After completing the transfer, the sole proprietor’s registration can be cancelled. Following the correct procedure to transfer the ITC and avoiding any potential legal consequences is crucial.

    Cancellation of GST Registration upon Sole Proprietor’s Passing

    Certain conditions are listed in Section 29(1) of the CGST Act, 2017, under which the taxpayer may request the cancellation of registration. The demise of the sole proprietor is one such scenario. The cancellation request may be made using Form GST REG-16. You may find the full cancellation procedure here. Simply ensure that “death of sole proprietor” is listed as the cancellation reason. Additionally, both the transferor’s and the transferee’s GSTINs must be specified.


    It is important to cancel the GST registration of a business after the death of a sole proprietor to comply with the government’s laws and regulations. This process typically involves several steps, such as notifying the GST department of the sole proprietor’s death, submitting the necessary documents, and obtaining a refund of any available GST credit.

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