The current article explains the structure of the Invoice Reference Number; a brief understanding of the e-invoice schema and steps to generated the Invoice Reference Number (IRN).
Basically, Invoice Reference Number (i.e., IRN) is a 64-character long number allotted by the e-invoice portal. IRN is generated using the hash generation algorithm. Notably, IRN is uniquely generated for each invoice uploaded on the e-invoice portal.
64-character long IRN consists of the following parts/ details-
|Sr. No.||Parts/ details||Corresponding description|
|1||Supplier’s Goods and Services Tax Identification Number (i.e., GSTIN).||It is a 15-digit number allotted to every GST registered person.|
|2||Financial Year||Financial Year in format YYYY-YY in which the respective invoice is generated.|
|3||Document Type||It represents the type of the document i.e., invoice or debit note or credit note. The format used is-
|4||Document Number||This is a number printed on the respective document.|
Notably, e-invoice doesn’t mean the generation of an invoice from the GST portal. Under e-invoice, a supplier will firstly generate normal invoice via ERP/ accounting software. Thereafter, reporting of the invoice is to be done electronically as per the e-invoice schema.
E-invoice schema consists of both the mandatory fields and optional fields. Accordingly, the supplier needs to ensure that the ERP/ accounting software, used for generating a normal invoice, supports the set parameters.
List of the mandatory field as per e-invoice schema notified in July 2020 are-
Steps for the generation of Invoice Reference Number (IRN)-
In order to generate IRN, the supplier needs to follow the below narrated steps-
STEP 1 – Generation of normal invoice-
The supplier is firstly required to generate normal invoice using the ERP/ accounting software. However, the supplier has to see and ensure that all the above-mentioned mandatory e-invoice schema parameters are satisfied.
STEP 2 – Generation of JSON file-
STEP 3 – Generation of Invoice Reference Number (IRN)-
JSON file so generated at STEP 2 now needs to be uploaded on the Invoice Registration Portal (IRP). Such uploading can either be done in any of the following manners-
|S. No.||Different ways|
|1||Using offline tools|
|2||Using API via direct integration|
|3||Using API via GSP (GST Suvidha Providers) integration|
|4||Using API via enabled sister concern GSTIN|
|5||E-way bill API enabled taxpayer|
Post submission of JSON file, IRP will undertake the following procedure-