Frequently Asked Questions

  • E-Invoicing System

  • What is e-invoicing?

    ‘E-invoicing’ or ‘electronic invoicing’ is a system where in the tax payer will upload his invoice details and register his supply transaction on the Government Invoice Registration Portal (IRP)and get the Invoice Reference Number (IRN) generated by the IRP system. That is, the tax payer will first prepare and generate his invoice using his ERP/accounting system or manual system and then upload these invoice details to IRP and get the unique reference number, known as IRN. It is clarified again that the e-invoice means NOT preparation or generation of tax payer’s invoice on government portal. It is only intimating the government portal that invoice has been issued to the buyer, by registering that invoice on the government portal.

  • What is the purpose of E-invoice system?

    The basic aim behind adoption of e-invoice system is to reduce the submission of multiple statements and details by the tax payers and help the purchaser to get the Input tax credit easily.

  • When will the e-invoice system be implemented?

    The GST Council has proposed that the electronic invoicing (e-invoice) system to be implemented in phased manner. First it will be implemented on a voluntary basis for taxpayers having turnover above Rs 500 Crores from 1st January 2020.

  • Who is Responsible for generating e-invoice?

    Registration of e-invoice of generation of IRN is the responsibility of the supplier, who will be required to report the invoice details to e-invoice system, which in turn will generate a unique Invoice Reference Number (IRN).

  • What types of documents are to be reported to GST System?

    While the word invoice is used in the name of e-invoice, it covers other documents that will be required to be reported to e-invoice system by the creator of the document:

    • Business to Business Invoice
    • Business to Government Invoices
    • Export Invoices
    • Reverse Charged Invoices
    • Credit Notes
    • Debit Notes

    It may be noted that presently the Business to Consumer (B2C) invoices are not allowed for e-invoice/ IRN generation.

  • What is Debit Note and when it is issued?

    A supplier of goods or services or both is mandatorily required to issue a tax invoice. However, during the course of trade or commerce, after the invoice has been issued there could be situations like:

    • The supplier has erroneously declared a value which is less than the actual value of the goods or services or both provided.
    • The supplier has erroneously declared a lower tax rate than what is applicable for the kind of the goods or services or both supplied.
    • The quantity received by the recipient is more than what has been declared in the tax invoice.
    • Any other similar reasons.

    In order to regularize or correct these kinds of errors or situations, the supplier is allowed to issue what is called as debit note to the recipient, indicating the adjusted values. The debit note also includes supplementary invoice.

  • What is Credit Note and when it is issued?

    A supplier of goods or services or both is mandatorily required to issue a tax invoice. However, during the course of trade or commerce, after the invoice has been issued there could be situations like: The supplier has erroneously declared a value which is more than the actual value of the goods or services provided.

    • The supplier has erroneously declared a higher tax rate than what is applicable for the kind of the goods or services or both supplied.
    • The quantity received by the recipient is less than what has been declared in the tax invoice.
    • The quality of the goods or services or both supplied is not to the satisfaction of the recipient thereby necessitating a partial or total reimbursement on the invoice value.

    In order to regularize or correct these kinds of errors or situations, the supplier is allowed to issue what is called as credit note to the recipient. Once the credit note has been issued, the tax liability of the supplier will reduce.

  • What is the common portal for generation of e-invoice?

    The common portal for generation of e-invoice is https://einvoice1.gst.gov.in

  • Will businesses now be required to generate e-invoices on the GST portal or the e-invoice portal or the IRN portal?
    • No.
    • Businesses will continue to generate e-invoices on their internal systems -whether ERP or their accounting / billing systems or any other application.
    • The e-invoicing mechanism only specifies the invoice schema and standard so as to be inter-operable amongst all accounting/billing software and all businesses.
  • Generation of IRN

  • What is Invoice Reference Number (IRN)?

    The Invoice Reference Number (IRN) is a unique number (also known as hash) generated by the e-invoice system using a hash generation algorithm. For every document such as an invoice or debit or credit note to be submitted on the e-invoice system, a unique 64 characters Invoice Reference Number (IRN) shall be generated which is based on the computation of hash of GSTIN of supplier of document (invoice or credit note etc.), Year and Document type and Document number like invoice number. This shall be unique to each invoice and hence be the unique identity for each invoice for the entire financial year in the entire GST System for a taxpayer.

  • How do I generate IRN?

    To generate IRN user have to login e-invoice system and select ‘generate new’ option under e-invoice. User has to furnish transaction details, Bill to-Ship to details and Item details according to the document in hand and click generate. E-invoice system will generate 64 characters length IRN with a digitally signed e-invoice and QR code.

  • Can I generate IRN for an Invoice for which IRN is already generated?

    No, only unique invoice from a taxpayer will be accepted by the e-invoice system. E-invoice system will check ini Central Registry of GST system to ensure that same invoice from same supplier pertaining to same financial year is not being uploaded again for generating one more IRN.

  • What are the reverse charges in e-invoice system?

    Reverse Charge means the liability to pay tax is on the recipient of supply of goods or services instead of the supplier of such goods or services in respect of notified categories of supply.

  • What is B2B invoice and when to select it?

    B2B invoice is a transaction that is taking place between two registered businesses. Business-to-Business (B2B) means that one is selling a product or service to other Business house. In B2B transaction, the customer is also registered person and is eligible to take ITC. User should select B2B category when he has invoice dealing with another Business.

  • What is B2G invoice and when to select it?

    Business-to-Government (B2G) invoice is transaction occurred between a Business to the government agencies. It includes the business model that refers to businesses selling products, services to government departments or government agencies. Here, the government department or agency means registered TDS Authorities. The tax payer should select B2G category when they have invoice dealing with government agencies

  • How long will the generated e-invoice be available in the government portal?

    Once the e-invoice system has validated and registered an invoice, it will be made available to the taxpayer for reference on e-invoice system for only 24 hours.

  • What should I do if state is not auto-populated on entering PIN code?

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

  • How to handle “Bill to - Ship to” e-invoices?

    Sometimes, the tax payer raises the bill to one and sends the consignment to somebody else as per the business requirements. There is a provision in the e- invoice system to handle this situation, called as ‘Bill to - Ship to’. In the e-invoice form, there are two portions under ‘TO’ section. In the left hand side - ‘Billing To’ GSTIN and trade name of the buyer is entered and in the right hand side - ‘Shipping to’ address. The other details are entered as per the invoice.

  • How to handle “Bill from” - “Dispatch from” invoice in e- invoice system?

    Sometimes, the supplier prepares the bill from his business premises to consignee, but the consignment is moved from some others’ premises to the consignee as per the business requirements. This is known as ‘Bill From - Dispatch From’. e- Invoice system has provision for this. In the e-invoice form, there are two portions under ‘FROM’ section. In the left hand side - ‘Bill From’ supplier’s GSTIN and trade name are entered and in the right hand side - ‘Dispatch From’, address of the dispatching place is entered. The other details are entered as per the invoice.

  • What are pre-requisites to generate the e-invoice?

    The pre-requisite for generation of e-invoice is that the person who generates e-invoice should be a registered person on GST portal and e-invoice system or e-way bill system. The documents such as tax invoice or bill of sale or Debit Note or credit Note must be available with the person who is generating the e-invoice. If a user is generating Bulk invoices, then he/she should have a valid JSON file as per the e-invoice schema to upload on the e-invoice system.

  • How can anyone verify the authenticity or the correctness of e-invoice?

    Anyone can verify the authenticity or the correctness of e-invoice by uploading the signed JSON file or Signed QR Code into e-invoice system.

  • What is the meaning of digitally signed e-invoice?

    The digitally signed invoice is one which has been digitally or electronically signed by the IRP after receiving the invoice upload from the supplier. That is, the government is authenticating the genuineness of the invoice submitted/registered by the tax payer.

  • Whether the facility of adding discount amount at line item-level would be mandatory in nature?
    • The e-invoice has a provision for capturing discount at line item level.
    • The discounting at line item level is to be mentioned only when and if it is applicable in the particular transaction.
  • Would the Supplier be allowed to issue his own invoice and if yes, will the Invoice number and IRN be required to be mentioned?
    • Yes, the supplier will issue his own system’s invoice, in the standard e-invoice schema that has been published. IRN will be generated and returned by the IRP as per the process described in the concept and flow.
    • E-Invoice will be valid only if it has IRN.
  • The current e-invoice template provides total discount for all the products or services. Will this be possible in the e-invoice?
    • Yes.
    • There is a mechanism and placeholders to provide discounting on item level as well as total discounts on the invoice value.
  • Signed QR

  • What is the meaning of digitally signed QR code?

    The digitally signed QR code of the invoice is one which has been digitally or electronically signed and prepared the QR Code by the IRP after receiving the invoice upload from 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 it can be genuineness of the invoice can be verified offline by anyone using offline tools. The E-invoice will generate a QR code, containing some important parameters of invoice and digital signature of it so that it can be verified on the central portal as well as by an Offline App. This will be helpful for tax officers checking the invoice on the roadside where Internet may not be available all the time. The web user will get a printable form with all details including QR code. The QR code will consist of the following e-invoice parameters:

    • GSTIN of Supplier
    • GSTIN of Recipient
    • Invoice number as given by Supplier
    • Date of generation of invoice
    • Invoice value (taxable value and gross tax)
    • Invoice value (taxable value and gross tax)
    • Number of line items.
    • HSN Code of main item (the line item having highest taxable value)
    • Unique Invoice Reference Number (hash)
  • Cancellation of IRN

  • Can IRN be deleted or cancelled?

    The IRN once generated cannot be modified or deleted. However, if IRN is generated with wrong information, it can be cancelled and generated afresh. The cancellation is required to be done within twenty four hours from the time of generation.

  • If there is a mistake or wrong entry in the e-invoice, what has to be done?

    If there is a mistake, incorrect or wrong entry in the e-invoice, then it cannot be edited or corrected. Only option is cancellation of e-invoice and generation of a new one with correct details.

  • Whether e-invoices generated through GST system can be partially / fully cancelled?
    • E-Invoice can’t be partially cancelled. It has to be fully cancelled. Cancellation has to be done as per process defined under Accounting Standards.
    • The e-invoice mechanism enables invoices to be cancelled. This will have to be triggered through the IRP, if done within 24 hours. After 24hours, the same will need to be done on the GST System.
  • User Management

  • 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 challenge 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 restricted to accept IRN.

  • Why do I need sub-users?

    Most of the times, 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 to 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 employee is transferred or resigned, the sub-user account is frozen / blocked to avoid mis-utilisation.

  • How many sub-users can be created?

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

  • When to freeze the sub-users and the steps to follow?

    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 ‘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.

  • How to generate the IRN from different registered business places?

    The registered person can generate the IRN from his account from any registered business place. However, he/she needs to enter the address accordingly in the e-invoice form. He/she can also create multiple sub-users and assigned to these places and generate the IRN accordingly.

  • Why are the reports available only for a particular day?

    The user is allowed to generate report on daily basis. Because of criticality of the system for performance for 24/7 operation, the reports are limited to be generated for a day. The user can change date and generate the report for that date. Hence, the user is advised to generate report daily and save in his system.

  • Other modes of generation of IRN

  • What are the Modes of Generation of e-invoice, the taxpayer can use?

    Multiple modes given below are envisaged at this stage under the proposed system for e-invoice, through the IRP (Invoice Registration Portal)/e-invoice system: • Web based, • API based, • Mobile app based, • Offline tool based and • GSP based.

  • How to generate Bulk e-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 list of e-invoice or error message.

  • How can the taxpayer use the Android App to generate the 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.

  • How to download mobile app?

    The mobile app is not available in Play Store or App Store. The main user has to login and select the ‘for mobile app’ under registration menu at 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.

  • What is bulk generation facility and who can use it?

    Through this facility, user can upload multiple invoices and generate multiple e-invoices at one go. This facility can be used by the taxpayers, who can prepare bulk requests for IRN in a JSON file from their automated system, and upload it on the e-invoice system and generate IRN in one go. This avoids duplicate data entry into e-invoice system and avoids data entry mistakes also.

  • How to use the bulk generation facility?

    To use the bulk generation facility, one has to prepare the IRN requests through JSON file. This can be done in two ways – registered taxpayer can prepare the JSON file directly from his automated system. If he is unable do so, he can use excel based bulk generation tool available on the e-invoice portal. The invoice and other details need to enter as per the format and JSON file can be generated. This JSON file needs to be uploaded in the e-invoice portal for generation of multiple IRN. For more details, please refer to the ‘user manual of the bulk generation’ and ‘bulk generation tools’ under “Tool” section at E-invoice portal and follow the instructions.

  • What are the benefits of the 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 generation of IRN

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

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

  • What is API Interface?

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

  • What are the pre-requisite for using API interface?

    API interface is a site-to-site integration of website of 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 the following criteria to use the API interface: • His invoicing system should be automated with IT solutions. • He should be ready to change his IT system to integrate with E-invoice system as per API guidelines. • His system should have SSL based domain name. • His system should have Static IP Address. • He should have pre-production system to test the API interface.

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