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).

Structure of Invoice Reference Number

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-

  • INV for Invoice;
  • DBN for Debit Note; and
  • CBN for Credit Note.
4 Document Number This is a number printed on the respective document.

Understanding e-invoice schema

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-

  • Document Type Code,
  • Supplier’s Legal Name,
  • Supplier’s GSTIN,
  • Supplier’s Address,
  • Suppliers’ Place,
  • Suppliers’ State Code,
  • Suppliers’ PIN Code,
  • Document Number,
  • Preceding Invoice Reference and date,
  • Document Date,
  • Recipient’s Legal Name,
  • Recipient’s GSTIN,
  • Recipient’s Address,
  • Recipient’s State Code,
  • Place of Supply State Code,
  • PIN Code,
  • Recipient’s Place,
  • Invoice Reference Number (IRN),
  • Shipping To – GSTIN,
  • Shipping To – State; PIN Code and State Code,
  • Dispatch From – Name; Address; Place and PIN Code,
  • Service (Y/N),
  • Supply Type Code,
  • Item Description,
  • HSN Code,
  • Item Price,
  • Assessable Value,
  • GST Rate,
  • IGST Value, CGST Value and SGST Value,
  • Total Invoice Value.

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-

JSON is a short form of JavaScript Object Notation. The ERP/ accounting software of the supplier should be capable of generating the JSON file of the normal invoice prepared at STEP 1.

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-

  • Carry out duplication check with GST system. In other words, it will verify that the same invoice by the same supplier in the same Financial Year is not uploaded twice.
  • On confirmation, IRP will generate IRN. Further, it will digitally sign the JSON and add a QR code to the same.
  • Send back the digitally sign JSON to the supplier.
  • IRP will also share the uploaded invoice with GST as well as the e-way bill system.

Notable points-

  • Following returns will be auto-updated, based on the e-invoice data forwarded to GST system-
    • Form GSTR-1 of the supplier; and
    • Form GSTR-2B/ GSTR-2A of the buyer.
  • With the help of e-invoice data forwarded to e-way bill system, ‘Part A’ of the respective e-way bill will be updated. Accordingly, in order to create/ generate the e-way bill, only vehicle number will be needed to be entered.

Author Bio

Qualification: Other
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Location: Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
Member Since: 07 Mar 2021 | Total Posts: 3

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