The Central Government vide CGST Notification No. 68/2019,69/2019,70/2019, 72/2019, has amended the Central Goods and Services Tax Rules, 2017, thereby introducing the Central Goods and Services Tax (Eighth Amendment) Rules, 2019. These rules have been brought to implement the provisions of Electronic Invoicing.

‘E-invoicing’ or ‘electronic invoicing’ is a system in which the invoices are authenticated electronically by GST Network (GSTN) for further use on the common GST portal.

The e-invoicing system being implemented consists of two parts :-

(a) Generation of invoice in standard format

(b) Reporting of e- invoice to a central system

Generation of e- invoice will be the responsibility of the tax payer in his own accounting / billing system through any software utility that generates invoices i.e. SAP/ TALLY or Excel based utility. However, the invoice should adhere to the mandatory parameters set and must confirm to the e-invoice standard( schema) which was approved  by the GST Council in its 37th meeting held on 20th Sept 2019. A sample e- invoice along with the schema has been published on GST portal.

The Council decided that the process of E-Invoicing will be implemented in a phased manner for reporting of business to business (B2B) invoices to GST System, starting from 1st January 2020 on voluntary basis.

Recently the GST Regime has made the above elective provisions mandatorily applicable for specified classes of tax payers and in this regard has passed various notifications.

The Central Government vide Notification number 68/2019 dated 13.12.2019, has inserted sub rule (4) to the Rule 48 of the Central Goods and Services Tax Rules, 2017 and has mandatorily required certain class/ classes of businesses to generate electronic invoice and thereby obtain  an Invoice Reference Number by uploading information contained therein on the Common Goods and Services Tax Electronic Portal.

 Every invoice issued by such specified registered person in a manner other than the manner specified in the said sub-rule shall not be treated as an invoice.

As per the notification number CGST Notification No. 70/2019, it has been specified that every registered person, whose aggregate turnover in a financial year exceeds one hundred crore rupees (Rs.100 crores), shall prepare invoice as per the newly specified norms for E- Invoicing in accordance with the provisions of Rule-48(4) of the Central Goods and Services Tax Rules, 2017 from 01 April, 2020.

Further, as per Notification No. 72/2019, it has been specified that from 01April, 2020, an invoice issued by a registered person, whose aggregate turnover in a financial year exceeds five hundred crore rupees, to an unregistered person (B2C invoice), shall have Quick Response (QR)code.

For the purpose of preparation of the invoice in terms of sub-rule (4) of rule 48 of the aforesaid rules, the government has notified the following as the Common Goods and Services Tax Electronic Portal vide Notification No. 69/2019:

(i) www.einvoice1.gst.gov.in;

(ii) www.einvoice2.gst.gov.in;

(iii) www.einvoice3.gst.gov.in;

(iv) www.einvoice4.gst.gov.in;

(v) www.einvoice5.gst.gov.in;

(vi) www.einvoice6.gst.gov.in;

(vii) www.einvoice7.gst.gov.in;

(viii) www.einvoice8.gst.gov.in;

(ix) www.einvoice9.gst.gov.in;

(x) www.einvoice10.gst.gov.in.

The registered taxpayers can use the above portals for generation the IRN Number, voluntarily from 01 January 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.

In addition to the above, this new system of e-invoicing aims to make invoice reporting an integral part of a business process and remove the tedious task of invoice-compilation at the end of a return period. Claiming fictitious Input Tax Credit (ITC) by raising fake invoices is also one of the biggest challenges currently faced by tax authorities and the e-invoice system will help to curb the actions of unscrupulous taxpayers and reduce the number of fraud cases as the tax authorities will have access to data in real-time.

The e-invoicing system has the potential to turn the Indian economy into a digital & transparent system.

Recent Notifications related to Electronic Invoicing under GST Regime

Title Notification No. Date
CBIC notifies class of registered person required to issue GST invoice having QR Code Notification No. 72/2019–Central Tax [G.S.R. 928(E)] 13/12/2019
CBIC notifies rule 46 of CGST Rules, 2017 (Tax Invoice) wef 01.04.2020 Notification No. 71/2019–Central Tax [G.S.R. 927(E)] 13/12/2019
CBIC notifies Class of registered person required to issue e-invoice under GST Notification No. 70/2019–Central Tax [G.S.R. 926(E)] 13/12/2019
CBIC notifies common portal for e-invoice under GST Notification No. 69/2019–Central Tax [G.S.R. 925(E)] 13/12/2019
CBIC amends Manner of Issuing Tax Invoice under GST Notification No. 68/2019–Central Tax [G.S.R. 924(E)] 13/12/2019

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