A2Z OF E – INVOICING UNDER GST

Further to my article An Overview of E-Invoicing Under GST, I have received a number of queries related to e-invoicing. In this article, an attempt has been made to compile all the Frequently Asked Questions and their answers suggested by the authorities on various forums.

Word writing text E-Invoicing Motivational Call

A. BASIC DETAILS :

1 What is ‘e-invoicing’?

A notified class of registered persons have to prepare invoice by uploading specified particulars of the invoice on the Invoice Registration Portal (IRP) and obtain an Invoice Reference Number (IRN)

The invoice copy containing inter alia, the IRN with QR Code issued by the notified supplier to the buyer is commonly referred to as ‘e-invoice’ in GST

2 What is an Invoice Registration Portal (IRP)?

Invoice Registration Portal (IRP) is the website for uploading/reporting of invoices by the notified persons

3 Who are the notified persons?

The notified classes of registered persons are those having an aggregate annual turnover of more than Rs 500 crores at PAN level. And notified for issuing e-invoice.

4 The aggregate financial year is to be considered for which previous financial year?

In case a taxpayer had aggregate turnover for more than Rs 500 crores in any financial year since the introduction of GST, he is mandated to report e-invoice to IRP.

5 In case, aggregate turnover decreases for less than 500 crores in the subsequent year, whether the taxpayer will be exempted from generating e-invoicing?

No, Once registered, the taxpayer has to generate e-invoice irrespective of turnover.

6 From which date, e-invoicing is mandatory for the notified classes of taxpayer

E-invoicing will be mandatory w.e.f. 1st October 2020

B. APPLICABILITY :

1 E-invoicing is applicable to what supplies?

It is applicable on Supplies to registered persons (B2B), Supplies to SEZs (with/without payment), Exports (with/without payment), Deemed Exports, by the notified class of taxpayers

2 E-Invoicing is applicable to what types of documents?

It is applicable on Invoice, Debit Notes, Credit Notes & Export Invoice

3 Is there any validation of the Debit Credit Note with respect to the referred invoice number?

Presently, No linkage or validation is built with original invoice values for the credit note and debit note in view of the amended provisions of GST.

4 Is e-invoicing applicable for supplies by notified persons to Government Departments / PSUs? Or e-invoice is applicable for B2G transactions?

Government Departments / PSUs might have registered as regular GSTIN or TDS GSTIN. If the transaction is with TDS authority/ registration, then e-invoicing is necessary.

5 Whether E-invoicing is applicable on B to C supplies

At present, Reporting B2C invoices by notified persons is not applicable/allowed

6 What is the applicability of e-invoice for import transactions?

E-invoicing is not applicable to import , Bills of Entry.

7 Is e-invoicing applicable to invoices issued by Input Service Distributor (ISD)?

No

8 Whether e-invoicing is applicable on Reverse Charge?

E-invoicing is applicable for suppliers making supplies under Reverse Charge Mechanism.

In the case of B2B RCM invoices, if the supplier is notified to generate the IRN, he will do so with the RC flag in it, otherwise not required.

In the case of B2C RCM invoices or self invoices, IRN need not have to be generated

C. SPECIAL ECONOMIC ZONE (SEZ)

1 Do SEZ Developers need to issue e-invoices?

Yes, if they have the specified turnover and fulfilling other conditions of the notification.

In terms of Notification (Central Tax) 61/2020 dt. 30-7-2020, only SEZ Units are exempted from issuing e-invoices.

2 Are Free Trade & Warehousing Zones (FTWZ) exempt from e-invoicing?

Yes. As per Foreign Trade Policy, Free Trade & Warehousing Zones (FTWZ) are only a special category of Special Economic Zones, with a focus on trading and warehousing

3 Is e-invoicing applicable for supplies by notified persons to SEZs?

Yes, e-invoicing is applicable for supplies by notified persons to SEZs.

4 There are an SEZ unit and a regular DTA unit having the same PAN. The aggregate total turnover of the legal entity is more than Rs. 500 Crores (considering both the GSTINs). However, the turnover of the DTA unit is below Rs. 100 crores for FY 19-20. In this scenario, whether e-invoicing will be applicable to DTA Unit?

Yes, because the aggregate turnover of the legal entity, in this case, is > Rs. 500 Crores. The eligibility is based on an aggregate annual turnover on the common PAN

D. WHO CAN GENERATE E INVOICES :

1 Who can generate E-Invoice?

E invoice can be generated only by the suppliers

The recipients and transporters cannot generate E-Invoice

2 Can e-commerce operators generate e-invoices on behalf of the sellers on their platforms?

Yes, if such suppliers, selling through e-Commerce entity are otherwise notified persons and are supposed to report invoices under Rule 48(4).

3 Whether the taxpayer having an annual aggregate turnover of less than INR 500 crores can generate for e-invoicing voluntarily.

No

E.  EXEMPTIONS :

1 Which entities/sectors are exempt from the e-invoicing mandate?

The Entities which are exempted for e-invoices are (a) Special Economic Zone Units (b) insurer or a banking company or a financial institution, including a non-banking financial company (c)goods transport agency supplying services in relation to transportation of goods by road in a goods carriage (d) Suppliers of passenger transportation service (e) Suppliers of services by way of admission to the exhibition of cinematograph films in multiplex screens.

2 The exemption from e-invoicing is with respect to the nature of supply/transaction or the entity?

It is for the entity.

F. PREPAREDNESS / PREREQUISITE :

1 What businesses need to do, to be e-invoice ready?

Businesses will continue to issue invoices as they are doing now. Further, they need to Integrate existing ERP / Accounting and Billing software and incorporate necessary changes on account of e-invoicing. In order to enable reporting of invoices to IRP ( Invoice Reference Portal )and obtain IRN ( Invoice Reference Number )

2 What, if a taxpayer has very few invoices to report and not using any ERP / Software. Will he needs to enter invoice details on a government website and obtain IRN.

A taxpayer not using any ERP/Accounting/Billing Software and have very few invoices to report needs to use Offline Tool to enter data and create a JSON file to be uploaded on the IRP.

Soon, a mobile app-based tool will be made available for such taxpayers.

3 What are the necessary changes that need to be incorporated?

The business needs to incorporate a uniform standard called Schema for preparing an invoice.

4 How to know a particular supplier is enabled to generate e-invoice i.e. report invoice details on IRP obtain IRN and issue invoice with QR?

The taxpayers who had crossed the prescribed turnover in a financial year from 2017-18 onwards have been enabled to report invoices to IRP ( e-invoice portal)

This list has been prepared based on the turnover of GSTR-3B as reported by GSTINs to GST System

5 How to search the status of enablement on the e-invoice portal?

One can search the status of enablement of a GSTIN on the e-invoice portal: https://einvoice1.gst.gov.in/ > Search > e-invoice status of the taxpayer

6 What is required to be done in case any registered person, is required to prepare invoice but not enabled on the portal or vice versa?

In case any registered person, is required to prepare an invoice in terms of Rule 48(4) but not enabled on the portal, he/she may request for enablement on the portal: ‘Registration -> e-Invoice Enablement’.

In case any registered person, who doesn’t have the requirement to prepare an invoice in terms of Rule 48(4) but still enabled on the e-invoice portal, the same may also be brought to the notice at support.einv.api@gov.in so that necessary action can be taken.

7 What is Rule 48(4)

As per Rule 48(4) of CGST Rules 2017, the invoice shall be prepared by such class of registered persons as may be notified by the Government, by including such particulars contained in FORM GST INV-01 after obtaining an Invoice Reference Number by uploading information contained therein on the Common GST Portal

G. DIRECT INTEGRATION WITH SYSTEM

1 How can the registered person integrate his system with the e-invoice system to generate the IRN from his system?

The integration between the e-invoice system and the registered person’s system can be done through APIs. For availing this facility, the registered person should register the server details of his systems (through which he wants to generate the IRN using the APIs of the e-invoice system) with the e-invoice system

2 What is the API interface?

API interface is a site-to-site integration of two systems. Using this, the taxpayer can link his IT system with the E-Invoice system to generate IRN directly from his IT solution without keying in the details for the e-invoice form in the Portal. This reduces duplicate data entry and eliminates data entry mistakes.

3 What are the prerequisite for using API interface?

API interface is a site-to-site integration of the website of the taxpayer with the E-invoice system. API interface can be used by large taxpayers, who need to generate bulk INR’s per day. However, the taxpayer should meet certain criteria to use the API interface i.e.

• His invoicing system should be automated with IT solutions.

• He should be ready to change his IT system to integrate with the E-invoice system as per API guidelines.

• His system should have an SSL based domain name.

• His system should have a Static IP Address.

• He should have a pre-production system to test the API interface.

4 How can I get the details of API integration?

Please go to the site https://einv-apisandbox.nic.in/ for all the details of API Integration

H. REGISTRATION / LOGIN ON E INVOICE PORTAL :

1 Why it is necessary to register on E-Invoice Portal?

All the registered users under GST who wish to generate IRN need to register on the E-invoice system separately using his GSTIN.

2 How to get register on E-Invoice Portal?

The registered person will enter his GSTIN Number. Once GSTIN is entered, the system sends an OTP to his registered mobile number registered with GST Portal and after authenticating the same, the system enables him to generate his/her username and password for the E-invoice system

3 Users already registered with the E-Way Portal is also required to register

Users who are already registered on the e-way bill portal need not to again register on the e-invoice system. Users can use EWB login credentials to login to the e-invoice system.

4 When I am trying to register on the portal, the system is showing ‘ already registered ‘ How to proceed?

This is indicating that your GSTIN has already registered on the E-invoice system or e-way bill system and have created your username and password on the e-way bill or e-invoice system. Please use these credentials to log into the e-invoice system. If you have forgotten username or password, then please use the ‘Forgot Username’ or ‘Forgot Password’ facility provided on the portal to recollect your username or create a new password accordingly.

5 When I am trying to register on the portal, the system is showing ‘ No contact (Mobile )Number with this GSTIN Number in the Portal.

This is indicating that the e-invoice system is unable to get the contact details (mobile number or email address) for your GSTIN from the GST Common Portal (www.gst.gov.in). Please contact GST helpdesk 0120-4888999 or lodge your grievance at https://selfservice.gstsystem.in/

6 When I am trying to register on the portal, the system is showing; wrong address / Mobile Number

This is indicating that you might have updated your business registration details in the GST Common Portal recently. Please ‘Update from Common Portal’, to pull the latest data from the GST Common Portal. If even after this action, wrong data is displaying, kindly update the details in GST common portal through the amendment process.

7 When I am trying to register on the portal, the system is showing ‘ your account has been frozen “?

The account has been frozen because you might have canceled your registration or your GSTIN has been de-activated in the GST Common Portal. Please visit the GST Common Portal (www.gst.gov.in) to find the status of your GSTIN under the ‘Search Taxpayer’ tab. In case you are able to log in on the GST portal but not log on the E-invoice portal, please lodge your grievance at https://selfservice.gstsystem.in/

8 When I am trying to register on the portal, the system is showing ‘ your account has been blocked “?

This is indicating that you had tried to log in to the E-invoice system with an incorrect username and password for more than 5 times. Hence, the system has blocked your account for security reasons and it will be unblocked after 5 minutes

9 What shall I do if forgot my username & password?

If you have forgotten the username or password, then use the ‘Forgot Username’ or ‘Forgot Password’ facility provided on the portal to recollect your username or create a new password accordingly. The user needs to enter some details after authenticating the same via an OTP, then, the user will be provided with the username and password.

I. SCHEMA

1 What is Schema?

Schema’ simply means a structured template or format. ‘e-invoice’ schema is the standard format for electronic invoice. It is notified as ‘Form GST INV-1’.

2 What is the utility/ importance of Schema?

The e-invoice schema is a go-to guide for users to understand what are the different specifications, examples and explanations broadly pre-defined for the invoice fields.

3 What is the basis of e-invoice schema?

e-invoice Schema is based on PEPPOL/Universal Business Language (UBL) with certain customizations to cater to Indian business practices and legal requirements

4 Will there be different invoice schema for different sectors/businesses, e.g. Traders, Manufacturers, Service Providers, Professionals, etc.?

No. e-invoice schema is a single standard applicable to all businesses in the country. Many optional fields are available in the schema to cater to the requirements of specific businesses and practices followed by industry and trade in India.

5 What are the various types of fields in e-invoice schema?

a. Data for fields marked as ‘Mandatory’ have to be provided compulsorily.

b. A mandatory field not having any value can be reported as NIL.

c. Fields marked as ‘Optional’ may or may not be filled up. Many of these are relevant for specific businesses (e.g. Batch No., Attributes, etc.) and to cater to specific scenarios (e.g. export, e-way bill etc.).

d. Some sections in the schema are marked as ‘Optional’. But, if this section is selected, some of the fields may be mandatory. For example, the section ‘e-way Bill Details’ is marked as optional. But, if this section is chosen, the field, ‘Mode of Transportation’ is mandatory.

6 What is ‘cardinality’, as mentioned in the schema?

In e-invoice schema, for each field, ‘Cardinality’ is marked as 0..1 / 1..1 / 1..n / 0..n. This is to denote whether a field is ‘mandatory’ and whether it is ‘repetitive

J. MODES FOR GENERATION OF E INVOICE

1 What are the various modes for the generation of e-invoice?

a. API based (integration with Taxpayer’s System directly)

b. API based (integration with Taxpayer’s System through GSP/ASP)

c. Free Offline Utility (‘Bulk Generation Tool’, downloadable from IRP)

Web-based / mobile app-based modes will also be provided in the future.

K. PROCESS TO UPLOAD DETAILS ON IRP / GENERATE E INVOICE

1 What is the file format in which the invoice has to be reported to IRP?

Invoice details in prescribed schema (INV-01) have to be reported to IRP in JSON format.

‘JSON’ stands for JavaScript Object Notation. It can be thought of as a common language for systems/machines to communicate with each other and exchange data.

The ERP or Accounting software will generate JSON format which is used for reporting all data to GST System.

2 What are the steps to upload details and generate E-Invoice / IRN?

The supplier will upload the invoice in JSON format into the IRP (Invoice Reference Portal).

The IRP will generate the hash.

The hash generated by IRP will become the IRN (Invoice Reference Number) of the e-invoice.

The IRP will check the IRN from the central registry of the GST system to ensure its uniqueness. On receipt of confirmation from Central Registry, IRP will authenticate and add its signature on the Invoice data as well as a QR code to the JSON.

After that Invoice Reference Number (IRN) will be generated by the IRP.

IRP will return the digitally signed JSON with IRN back to the seller along with a QR code

3 On reporting invoice details, what will be returned by IRP? Will it return signed JSON or PDF or both?

IRP will return only the signed JSON. No PDF will be returned. On receipt of signed JSON, it is for the respective ERP or Accounting & Billing software system to generate PDF, if needed.

4 Will it be possible for invoices that are registered on IRP to be downloaded and saved on handheld devices?

It depends on the ERP/Accounting/Billing Software, providing the service. The signed JSON can be stored on handheld devices also. This will be possible for the buyer and seller who are involved in the business transaction.

However, these will not be available for download from IRP or GST System as signed e-invoice later. Hence, it is advisable to properly store the signed e-invoice received from IRP.

5 What is the indication for the supplier that IRP has registered the reported invoice?

Upon successful registration of the invoice on IRP, it will return a signed e-invoice JSON to the supplier with IRN and QR codes.

6 On reporting invoice details to IRP, what validations will perform on the portal?

IRP will check whether the invoice was already reported and existing in the GST System. (This validation is based on the combination of Supplier’s GSTIN-Invoice Number-Type Of Document-Fin. Year, which is also used for the generation of IRN). In case the same invoice (document) has already been reported earlier, it will be rejected by IRP.

Certain other key validations will also be performed on the portal. In case of failure, registration of the invoice won’t be successful, IRN won’t be generated and the invoice will be rejected along with relevant error codes. In case of rejection, an error code will be generated. This will give an idea of the reason for rejection.

7 Can IRP reject a submitted invoice?

Yes. IRP can reject an invoice

8 Will it be possible for bulk uploading of invoices to IRP?

Yes. It is possible. The offline utility (‘bulk generation tool’) serves this purpose. Further, the ERP or accounting systems used by large taxpayers can be designed in such a way that they can report invoices in bulk to IRP.

However, reporting to IRP and generation of IRN will be one after another (which will not be visible for users). For the user, it will appear like bulk upload and bulk receipt.

9 How to generate Bulk Invoices?

Steps to generate Bulk e-invoice: • Step 1: Login on the e-invoice portal using the username password and entering the captcha code. • Step 2: Select ‘Bulk Upload’ under ‘E-Invoice’ appearing on the left-hand side of the dashboard. • Step 3: Choose the saved JSON file from your system and click ‘Upload’. After processing the JSON file the system generates a list of e-invoice or error messages.

10 What are the benefits of bulk generation facility?

Benefits of the bulk generation facility are as follows:

• Generation of multiple IRN in one go

• It avoids duplicate keying in of the invoices to generate IRN

• It avoids the data entry mistakes while keying in for the generation of IRN

11 How to use Mobile App through which I can report invoice?

The mobile app is not available in the Play Store or App Store. The main user has to login and selects the ‘for mobile app’ under the registration menu at the e-invoice system. The system asks to select the user/sub-user and enter the IMEI number of the user. Once it is entered, the concerned user gets the link in his registered mobile to download the app through SMS. Now, the user has to download the app by clicking that link and enable it to get installed on the mobile.

12 As many businesses will be reporting invoices, will there be any delay in the generation of IRN by IRP? Can the portal take that much load?

IRP is only a pass-through validation portal. Certain key fields will be validated on IRP. So, IRN will be generated in a sub-200 millisecond duration.

The server capacity is robust enough to handle simultaneous uploads. Further, multiple IRPs will be made available to distribute the load of invoice registration.

The IRPs have dedicated portals other than the regular GST common portal used for filing registration applications, filing returns, making payments etc.

13 Will the IRP store/archive e-invoices?

No. IRP will only be a pass-through portal that performs prescribed validations on invoice data and generates IRN. It will not store or archive e-invoice data.

14 How to verify an invoice is duly reported to IRP?

One can verify the authenticity or correctness of e-invoice by uploading the signed JSON file or Signed QR Code (string) into the e-invoice system: einvoice1.gst.gov.in > Search > ‘Verify Signed Invoice’

Alternatively, with “Verify QR Code” mobile app which may be downloaded from einvoice1.gst.gov.in > Help > Tools > Verify QR Code App

L. E-INVOICE – SENDING TO RECEIVER

1 On the generation of IRN, will the IRP send or e-mail the e-invoice to the receiver?

No. IRP will not do this. Upon receiving signed JSON from the IRP, it is for the supplier to share the e-invoice (along with QR Code, etc.) in the agreed format to the receiver

2 How will the supplier send the e-invoice to the receiver?

A suggested mechanism may be to exchange the PDF of the JSON received from IRP, (which includes signed QR code) as the best-authenticated version of the e-invoice for business transactions.

However, a mechanism to enable system-to-system exchange of e-invoices through eco-system partners will be provided in due course.

3 Large taxpayers (for whom e-invoicing is compulsory) will be making supplies to small businesses (for whom e-invoicing is not mandatory). How these small businesses will get the invoice from those big suppliers?

In the same way, as it is being done now. For example, the large taxpayers can convert the signed e-invoice JSON into PDF and share the copy by e-mail or send a printed copy by post, courier etc.

However, a mechanism to enable system-to-system exchange of e-invoices will be made available in due course.

M. INVOICE REFERENCE NUMBER (IRN)

1 What is Invoice Reference Number ( IRN)?

The Invoice Reference Number (IRN) is a unique number (also known as hash) generated by the Invoice Registration Portal (IRP) using a hash generation algorithm, under the e-invoicing system

2 Is the Invoice number the same as Invoice Reference Number (IRN)?

No. Invoice no. (e.g. ABC/1/2019-20) is assigned by the supplier and is internal to the business. Its format can differ from business to business and is also governed by relevant GST rules.

IRN, on other hand, is a unique reference number (hash) generated and returned by IRP, on successful registration of e-invoice.

3 What is the hash generation algorithm in IRN?

A hash generation algorithm is a function that converts a message or a string consisting of characters (alphabets + numbers + certain special characters) into a series of numbers such that the resulting numbers cannot indicate the original message.

4 What are the parameters used to generate Invoice Reference Number (IRN)?

This algorithm will be applied to the three parameters (a)Supplier GSTIN (b) Supplier’s document number. For example, invoice number (c)The financial year in ‘YYYY-YY’ format. For example 2019-20

5 How a typical IRN looks like?

IRN is a unique 64-character hash, e.g. 35054cc24d97033afc24f49ec4444dbab81f542c555f9d30359dc75794e06bbe

6 On the e-invoice portal, IRN generation is failing because of minor variations in the calculation. What should be done?

Calculation validations have been improved recently with a tolerance limit for each one. Now, all types of transactions will be passed through.

7 Can a new IRN for an invoice be generated against which IRN was already generated?

No, IRN is unique to each invoice and hence be the unique identifier for each invoice for the entire financial year in the entire GST system for a taxpayer.

8 How long will the IRN be stored on the government portal?

The IRN which is generated on the e-invoice system shall be made available to the taxpayer for up to 24 hours.

9 Can IRN be generated by the supplier directly?

No. The seller will not be able to create IRN. This will only be returned by the IRP (portal).

10 How to use the Android App to generate IRN?

The taxpayer has to register the IMEI (International Mobile Equipment Identity) number of the mobile phones through which he intends to generate IRN on the e-invoice system. Please see the user manual for Mobile App based IRN generation available on the portal for further details.

N. QUICK RESPONSE CODE (QR)

1 What is QR Code?

Quick Response Code is abbreviated as a QR code. It is a two-dimensional barcode applied to items for presenting information in its machine-readable format

2 What is the use of the QR Code in e-invoicing?

The QR Code will be used to provide information about a particular invoice in a quick manner, without the need to retrieve such information from an external source, say, the internet

3 How and where is the QR Code Generated?

The JSON of the invoice is required to be uploaded onto the Invoice Registration Portal (IRP) for generating an Invoice Reference Number (IRN). After the successful generation of IRN, the IRP allows the affixing of digital signature and QR code to the JSON.

4 What data is embedded in the QR Code?

The QR code will consist of the key particulars of e-invoice (a) GSTIN of Supplier (b) GSTIN of Recipient (c) Invoice number, as given by Supplier (d) Date of the generation of invoice (e) Invoice value (taxable value and gross tax) (f) Number of line items (g) HSN Code of the main item (line item having highest taxable value) (h) Unique IRN (Invoice Reference Number/hash) (i) IRN Generation Date

5 Do I need to print QR Code on the invoice?

The QR code which comes as part of signed JSON from IRP shall be extracted and placed on the invoice. Do not use Dot Matrix printer for printing QR Code

6 what shall be its size and location of the QR Code on the invoice copy

Printing of QR code can be done on any place on the invoice with any size, but it should be readable by standard mobile devices

7 Is it possible to have more than one QR code on an invoice?

Yes. Apart from the QR code relating to IRN, the supplier is free to place any other QR Code which is required as per business needs or otherwise mandated by any other statutory requirement. In such cases, the QR Codes need to be marked clearly so that they can be distinguished easily.

8 What is the meaning of digitally signed QR Codes?

The digitally signed QR code of the invoice is one that has been digitally or electronically signed and prepared by the IRP after receiving the invoice uploaded by the supplier. That is, the government is authenticating the genuineness of the invoice, by preparing the important information of the invoice in QR Code form and signing it so that its authenticity can be verified offline by anyone using offline tools.

9 What is the purpose of the signed QR Code?

The IRP will generate a QR code containing the unique IRN (hash) along with some important particulars of the invoice including digital signature so that it can be verified by an Offline App.

This will be helpful for tax officers checking the invoice on the roadside where the Internet may not be available all the time.

The web user will get a printable form with all details including QR code

10 What is a dynamic QR Code? Does it have any relevance for B2B e-invoicing?

Printing of dynamic code on B2C invoices is not be confused with B2B reporting. This has no relevance or applicability to the e-invoicing with respect to B2B Supplies by the notified class of taxpayers

There is a separate notification No. 14/2020 – CT dated issued by the government for QR code generation for B2C invoices. The purpose of this is to enable digital payment by the consumer. That is a separate process, not rated to e-invoicing.

O. DOWNLOADING & SAVING THE E INVOICE

1 Will, it possible to download and save the invoices on the e-invoice portal?

Yes. The IRP after registering the invoice will share a digitally signed e-invoice for record of the supplier. You can download the invoice for further use and action.

P. PRINTING OF E INVOICE

1 Do I need to print the e-invoice as provided in the portal?

No. It’s optional. IRN is anyway embedded in the QR Code to be printed on the invoice

2 Can I print an e-invoice?

Yes. Once the IRP returns the signed JSON, it can be converted into PDF and printed, if required.

3 Can the supplier place their entity logo on e-invoice? Is this part of the schema?

Elements of the invoice which are internal to the business, such as company logo etc. are not part of e-invoice schema.

After reporting invoice details to IRP and receipt of IRN, at the time of issuing the invoice to the receiver (e.g. generating as PDF and printing a paper copy or forwarding via e-mail etc.), any further customization, i.e. insertion of the company logo, additional text etc., can be made by respective ERP/billing/accounting software providers.

4 While returning IRN, the IRP is also giving an “Acknowledgement No.” and “Date”. Whether this also need to be printed while issuing the invoice?

No. There is no mandate to print these particulars on the invoice. However, the seller can print the same.

The “Acknowledgement No.” and “Date” given by IRP are only for reference. Being a 15-digit number, the acknowledgment number will also come handy for printing e-invoice or for generating an e-way bill (instead of keying in the 64-character long IRN).

Q. SIGNATURE ONE INVOICE

1 Is the signature (DSC) of suppliers mandatory while reporting e-invoice to IRP?

No

2 What is the meaning of a digitally signed invoice?

The digitally signed invoice is one that has been digitally or electronically signed by the IRP after receiving the invoice details from the supplier. That is, the government is authenticating the genuineness of the invoice details submitted/registered by the taxpayer.

3 Whether the signature on E-invoice is mandatory?

As per Rule 46 of the CGST Act, the supplier is required to sign on the invoice However , the signature is not mandatory for the invoice issued under the IT Act.

R. AMENDMENT OF E INVOICE

1 What to do if there is a mistake or wrong entry in the e-invoice?

If there is a mistake, incorrect or wrong entry in the e-invoice, then it cannot be edited or corrected. The only option is to cancel that invoice/IRN and report a new document (with a new number) and generate a fresh IRN.

2 Can the details of a reported invoice for which IRN has already been generated be amended?

Amendments are not possible, once IRN is generated on IRP. Any changes in the invoice details reported to IRP can be carried out on the GST portal (while filing GSTR-1). However, these changes will be flagged to the proper officer for information.

S. CANCELLATION OF E INVOICE

1 Can an IRN/invoice reported to IRP be cancelled?

Yes. The cancellation request can be triggered through ‘Cancel API’ within 24 hours from the time of the reporting invoice to IRP.

However, if the connected e-way bill is active or verified by the officer during transit, the cancellation of IRN will not be permitted.

In case of cancellation of IRN, GSTR-1 also will be updated with such ‘cancelled’ status.

2 Can a cancelled e-invoice number be used again?

No. Once an IRN is cancelled, the concerned invoice number cannot be used again to generate another e-invoice/IRN. In case, it is used again then the same will be rejected by IRP when it is uploaded on IRP.

This is because IRN is a unique string based on the Supplier’s GSTIN, Document Number, Type of Document & Financial Year.

3 Can the reported invoice be partially cancelled ?

No. It has to be cancelled in toto. No partial cancellation of reported e-invoice allowed. The cancellation of invoices is governed by Accounting Standards and any other applicable rules/regulations.

T. E INVOICE & E-WAY BILL

1 Whether E Way login credential can be used for login at the e-invoice portal?

Yes, the user of the E Way portal can use EWB login credentials to login to the e-invoice system. They need not to again register on the e-invoice system.

2 Whether the e-way bill get auto-generated

In case both Part-A and Part-B of the e-way bill are provided in the e-invoice schema, the details will be used to generate an e-way bill.

In case Part-B details are not provided at the time of reporting invoice to IRP, the same will have to be provided by the user through the ‘e-way bill’ tab in IRP log in or e-Way Bill Portal, so as to generate an e-way bill.

3 Can the taxpayer is allowed to generate IRN after EWB generation.

Ideally, the First E-invoice/IRN has to be generated and then e-way bill.

On the same line, if IRN has to be cancelled, the first e-way bill has to cancelled and then IRN

4 Is it mandatory to issue an e-way bill through IRP Portal?

No. it is totally upon the choice of the taxpayer if they want to generate E-way Bill at the time of generation of e-invoice only to avoid duplication work.

However, it will be invalid without a valid e-invoice ( wherever e-invoice is required to be generated)

5 How to generate the e-way bill through API, when I don’t have the distance between the source and destination PINs?

E-Way Bill system has a distance between all the postal PINs of India. If you send the distance as ZERO, then the system considers it has a request for auto-calculated PIN-PIN distance and uses that generate the e-way bill.

6 What shall I do if the state name is not auto populated?

If the state name is not auto-populated, then select the correct state and continue IRN generation.

7 Will NIC provides new APIs for e-way bill

No. E-way bill system will continue to function as it is. No new APIs for the e-way bill is required to be published

U. E INVOICE & GST RETURNS

1 Will the e-invoice details be pushed to the GST System? Will they populate the return?

Yes. On successful reporting of invoice details to IRP, the invoice data (payload) including IRN, will be saved in GST System. The GST system will auto-populate them into GSTR-1 of the supplier and GSTR-2A of respective receivers.

With source marked as ‘e-invoice’, IRN and IRN date will also be shown in GSTR1 and GSTR2

2 Can changes be made while filing GSTR Returns

Any changes in the invoice details reported to IRP can be carried out on the GST portal (while filing GSTR-1). However, these changes will be flagged to the proper officer for information.

3 Whether GSTR -1 will get automatically updated on cancellation of IRN

In case of cancellation of IRN, GSTR-1 also will be updated with such ‘cancelled’ status.

4 Which GST Returns and respective Tables will get auto-populated?

GSTR 1, GSTR 2A, and GSTR 6A will get auto-populated

Table 4A, 4B, 4C, 6A, 6B, 6C, 9B, and 12 of GSTR 1 will be auto-populated i.e. B2B, exports, Registered DN, Registered CN, and HSN.

5 Whether the Auto population in GST Returns will take place on a real-time basis?

Invoice in GSTR 1, GSTR 2A, and GSTR 6A will be auto-populated on a T+1 basis as data will be pulled in GSTN from IRP every night and once stabilized it will be reflected in a real-time basis

V. INVOICE PARTICULARS & E INVOICE SCHEMA

1 In the e-invoice schema, the amount under ‘other charges (item level)’ is not part of taxable value. However, some charges to be shown in the invoice are leviable to GST. How to mention them?

Such other charges (taxable) may be added as one more line item. For example, freight charges, insurance charges will have separate line entries.

2 In e-invoice schema, there is no placeholder for mentioning TCS (Tax Collected at Source) collected by suppliers under Income Tax Act, 1961.

At present, there is no separate placeholder for this field in the schema and including it in the schema will be examined in the next round of revision.

However, as a workaround, the field of “Other Charges (Invoice Level)” can be used to mention TCS where it doesn’t form part of taxable value.

It may further be noted that INV-01 schema is only to report specified invoice particulars to IRP and once IRN is obtained from the portal, the business may add any other elements/ charges not relevant to e-invoice reporting, while issuing the invoice finally to the buyer.

3 In the current schema, there is no provision to report details of supplies not covered under GST, e.g. a hotel wants to give a single invoice for a B2B supply where the supply includes food and beverages (leviable to GST) and Alcoholic beverages (outside GST).

For items outside the GST levy, a separate invoice may be given by such businesses.

4 The field “Differential Percentage” of the tax rate is not available in the schema, which is applicable to “Leasing of vehicles purchased and leased prior to July 1, 2017”.

This is not relevant/applicable after 30.06.2020

W. USERS MANAGEMENT

1 What is the need to create Sub Users

Many of the businesses have multiple places of business or head office and branch at different locations or work remotely from the principal place of business. Generating IRN with a single login may be a challenge for them. To overcome this challenging business can create multiple sub-users. A sub-user can use the same login credentials created originally and perform the actions as per the access that is given to them. For example, a sub-user may be allowed to generate IRN and be restricted to accept IRN.

2 Why do I need sub-users?

Most of the time, the tax payer or authorized person himself cannot operate and generate IRN’s. He will be dependent upon his staff or operator to do that. He would not like to avoid sharing his user credentials with them. In some firms, the business activities will be operational 24/7 and some firms will have multiple branches. Under these circumstances, the main user can create sub-users and assign the roles to them. He can assign generation of IRN or report generation activities based on requirements. This facility helps him to monitor the activities done by sub-users. However, the main user should ensure that whenever an employee is transferred or resigned, the sub-user account is frozen/blocked to avoid misuse of credentials.

 

3 How many sub-users can be created

For every principal/additional place of business, the user can create a maximum of 10 sub-users. That is, if the taxpayer has only (one) principal business place (and no additional place of business), he can create 10 sub-users. If the taxpayer has 3 additional places and one principal place of business (i.e. 4 places), then he can create 40 (4 X 10) sub-users.

 

4 When to freeze the sub-users and the steps to follow for freezing the sub-users

The e-invoice system gives an option to the taxpayer to freeze the sub-user i.e. Disable the sub-user from using facilities on the e-invoice system.
Step 1: Click ‘Freeze Sub-user’ under the option ‘User Management’ on the left-hand side of the dashboard
Step 2: Select the sub-user you want to Freeze, the below screen opens up. Now click on the ‘Freeze’ button appearing at the bottom of the screen. On clicking the ‘Freeze’ button, the sub-user will no longer be able to access any facilities on the e-invoice system.

X. OTHER RELEVANT QUESTIONS

1 What is the maximum number of line items which can be reported in an invoice?

The limit is kept at 1000 presently. It will be enhanced based on the requirement in the future.

Taxpayers who are required to report more than 1000 line items may contact NIC (support.einv.api@gov.in) with few sample invoices having more than 1000 line items, so that necessary enablement can be made.

2 In case of a breakdown of internet connectivity in certain areas, will there be any relaxation for the requirement to obtain IRN?

The mechanism to provide relaxation in such contingent situations will be notified by the government soon.

3 What is the time limit for the generation of IRN

Previously, 24 hours time limit had been provided for the generation of IRN after the preparation of the invoice by the tax payers.

Now, that validation has been removed based on the demand for tax payers. IRN should be generated before issuing the invoice to the other party or movement of goods.

4 If e-invoice is applicable and issued, am I supposed to issue copies of the invoice in triplicate/duplicate?

Where e-invoicing is applicable, there is no need of issuing invoice copies in triplicate/duplicate. This is clearly specified in Rule 48(6)

Y. RESOURCES

1 Are there any awareness videos available on e-invoicing

Many awareness videos on e-invoice are available at ‘e-invoice’ playlist on GSTN’s YouTube Channel

2 What are the channels of help for e-invoicing?

For issues relating to e-invoice portal (www.einvoice1.gst.gov.in) / Log in / Registration etc., please write to support.einv.web@gov.in

raise a ticket with GST Grievance Redressal Portal

Z. TO KNOW MORE ABOUT E- INVOICING & FEEDBACK

1 I want to know more about e-invoicing. Where can I find the material?

Please go through ‘e-invoice – Detailed Overview’

2 I want to send my feedback & suggestions on e-invoicing. How can I do that?

Your feedback & suggestions on e-invoice are welcome at e-invoice@gstn.org.in

__________

The Author can be approached at caanitabhadra@gmail.com

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17 Comments

  1. Rohit says:

    Hi,
    Please suggest E Invoice Other Charges tab GST Not Charged
    current situation my invoice Basic value + other charges + GST= Invoice Value
    but E invoice Not calculated Other charges “GST”

  2. Saurabh says:

    Our supply chain and customer base runs into thousands of companies and vendor/customer codes. How do we identify which particular GSTNs are above 500 Crore turnover and thereby mandatorily coming under the e-invoice system. Is there any notified list of GSTINs for whom e-invoice is mandatory?

    1. Anita Bhadra says:

      Sir
      At present, E-invoicing is not applicable to the Exempted supply.

      Taxpayers dealing with both taxable as well as exempt supply under a single invoice would be troublesome and would be required to issue e-invoice only in respect of taxable supplies.

  3. Varalakshmi says:

    Mam

    The whole article abt e invoice was really understandable.i have one doubt ,if we are the customer is there any GST input credit issues arrive or not based on einv

    1. Anita Bhadra says:

      Sir
      Thanks for your words of appreciation.

      The invoice issued by the notified supplier without being registered at the IRP portal will be considered as an invalid invoice and Input Tax Credit is NOT AVAILABLE to the RECIPIENT on an invalid invoice.

  4. DEVENDRAN says:

    please extention time for submiting GST 9 AND 9A FOR THE PERIOD 2018-19 DUE TO HEAVY RAIN
    IN TIME MONTH END 30SEPT 2020 PLEASE GIVE ME END OF 31ST OCT 2020

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