(1) Extension of Due Date to File GST Annual Return (GSTR 9) & GST Audit (GSTR 9C)

(NN 69/2020 – CT dated 30th September, 2020)

In order to provide relief to businesses grappling with the economic impact of COVID 19, the government on Wednesday i.e. 30th September, 2020 has extended the due date to file GSTR 9 & GSTR 9C for the period FY 2018 – 19 from 30th September, 2020 to 31st October, 2020 vide Notification No. 69/2020 – Central Tax dated 30th September, 2020.

Goods services tax , word on paper with golden coins and Indian flag map

Following is the quick overview of Annual return filing due dates under GST: –

Aggregate Turnover* Compliance Legal Reference
Upto Rs. 2 crores GSTR 9 optional & GSTR 9C not required Rule 80(3) of CGST Rules, 2017
More than 2 crores upto 5 crores GSTR 9 mandatory, GSTR 9C optional NN 16/2020 – CT dated 23rd March, 2020
More than Rs. 5 crores GSTR 9 & GSTR 9C mandatory

As per section 2(6) of CGST Act, “Aggregate Turnover”, means sum total of all taxable supplies, exports of goods and services or both, exempt supplies and interstate supplies of business having the same Permanent Account Number (PAN), to be computed on all India basis (does not include GST & Cess component & inward RCM supplies)

(2) E – invoicing applicable if any of “preceding financial years from FY 2017-18 onwards” exceeds Rs. 500 crores (NN 70/2020 – CT dated 30th September, 2020)

The main objective of the step taken by the tax authorities is to enable interoperability across the entire GST eco-system i.e. an e-invoice generated by one software should be capable of being read by any other software. Basically, through machine readability, an invoice can be uniformly interpreted.

The benefits of E – invoicing are appreciated & praised among industry, however Govt. did not ponder attention to the readiness of businesses to adopt to this effect.

The government has finally gone live with the implementation of the E – Invoicing system from today, i.e. October 1, 2020 for taxpayers having an aggregate turnover of more than ₹500 crores, in any of the preceding financial years for B2B & export supplies. However, govt. has prescribed certain relaxations in this regard which may give a temporary sigh of relief to business houses. Let us have a quick recapitulate of E – invoicing provisions as on date & relaxations made therein.

E – Invoicing provisions as on 30th September, 2020 following is merit consideration.

> E – invoicing provisions are now applicable only to those persons (other than specified persons & SEZ Units & SEZ developers) whose aggregate turnover in any preceding financial year from 2017-18 onwards exceeds Rs. 500 Crores. (Amended)

> Further, it has to be issued when supply has been made to registered persons or for export of goods & services. (Amended)

The Road Map towards Journey of E – invoicing can be deciphered from below tabular presentation: –

Provision Notification
Insertion of Rule 48(4) of CGST Rules, 2017 NN – 68/2019 dated 13th December, 2019
Deferment from 1st April, 2020 to 1st October, 2020 NN – 13/2020– Central Tax dated 21st March, 2020
Non – Applicability to SEZ units & SEZ developers,

Limit extended from 100 Crores to 500 Crores

NN – 61/2020 – CT dated 30th July, 2020
Insertion of words “any financial year from 2017-18 onwards” & made applicable for exports NN – 70/2020 CT dated 30th September, 2020

(3) Relaxation in compliance with E – invoicing – Penalty stands to be waived off if IRN has been obtained within 30 days of issuance of invoice for the period October, 2020 (Press Release)

Government in a press release on 30th September, 2020 reported that even after more than 9 months of the first notification in this regard, some of the taxpayers having aggregate turnover of Rs. 500 Cr. and above are still not ready.

Thus, Govt. gives a last chance in the initial phase of implementation of E – invoicing by providing relaxation in compliance with Rule 48(4).

As per the said press release it is imperative to note that, invoices issued by such taxpayers during October 2020 without following the manner prescribed under rule 48(4), shall be deemed to be valid and the penalty leviable under section 122 of the CGST Act, 2017, for such non-adherence to provisions, shall stand waived if the Invoice Reference Number (IRN) for such invoices is obtained from the Invoice Reference Portal (IRP) within 30 days of date of invoice.

(Note: – Penalty for offences u/s 122 of CGST Act is Rs. 10,000/- or Amount Equal to Tax evasion whichever is higher)

Illustration: –

In case a registered person has issued an invoice dated 3rd October, 2020 without obtaining IRN but reports the details of such invoice to IRP and obtains the IRN of the invoice on or before 2nd November, 2020 then it shall be deemed that the provisions of rule 48 (5) of the CGST Rules, 2017 are complied with and the penalty imposable under section 122 of the CGST Act, 2017 shall also stand waived. Relevant notifications are yet to come.

Thus, the invoices issued w.e.f. 1st November, 2020 have to be compulsorily be complied with E – invoicing provisions so as to avoid any penal consequences.

(4) Contents for Tax Invoice to Contain IRN embedded in QR Code for persons who are required to generate E – invoice (NN 72/2020 dated 30th September, 2020)

Rule 46, specifies contents to be mentioned on a tax invoice issued by taxable person under GST.

New sub-rule 46(r) has been inserted to mention Quick Reference code, having embedded Invoice Reference Number (IRN) in it, in case invoice has been issued in the manner prescribed under Rule 48(4) of CGST Rules, 2017.

(5) QR Code provisions to apply from 1st December, 2020 (NN 71/2020 CT dated 30th September, 2020): –

Where registered person having turnover in excess of INR 500 crore, makes supply to an unregistered person (i.e. B2C supply) then invoices shall contain QR Code. [Notification No. 72/2019 – CT dated 13th December, 2019] (subject to certain exceptions).

The said provisions were to be applicable w.e.f. 1st October, 2020 [Notification No. 14/2020– Central Tax dated 21st March, 2020]. Amidst COVID – 19, the CBIC has decided to further defer the same and make it effective from 1st December, 2020

(6) Physical Invoice copy of Tax Invoice not required for verification of E – way bill where E – Invoice has been generated and contains QR Code having embedded IRN. (NN 72/2020 dated 30th September, 2020)

Rule 138A(2) has been amended vide aforementioned Notification, providing that a registered person generating E – Invoice in the manner prescribed under sub-rule (4) of rule 48, the Quick Reference (QR) code having an embedded Invoice Reference Number (IRN) in it, may be produced electronically, for verification by the proper officer in lieu of the physical copy of such tax invoice.

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