GST e-invoicing off to good start with over 52-lakh IRNs validated in first 6 days

Shishir Sinha New Delhi | Updated on October 08, 2020

Rolled out from Oct 1, mechanism mandatory for outfits with turnover of ₹500 cr or more

e-Invoicing for large GST assessees began on a high note with over 52 lakh counts notched up in the first six days of its launch.

“On an average 10 lakh plus IRN (Invoice Reference Number) were generated per day during the first six days,” a senior government official told BusinessLine.

In fact, the per hour average count on a day was 10,500 and the highest daily count touched 13 lakh. e-Invoicing has been made mandatory for businesses having turnover of ₹500 crore or more from October 1. There are more than 50,000 taxpayers who fall into this category.

The fineprint

e-Invoicing essentially involves reporting details of specified GST documents to a government-notified portal and obtaining a reference number. GSTN (the IT systems provider for GST) claims that there is not much difference between the present system and new one. Registered persons continue to create GST invoices on their own accounting/billing/ERP systems.

These invoices will now be reported to the Invoice Registration Portal (IRP). On reporting, the IRP returns the e-invoice with a unique Invoice Reference Number (IRN) after digitally signing the e-invoice and adding a QR Code. Then, the invoice can be issued to the receiver, along with QR Code. A GST invoice will be valid only with a valid IRN.

IRN generation is expected to touch 20 lakh per day soon.

“Over 5.25 crore invoices were uploaded during December and this number included service providers such as, banks, insurance companies, transportation companies cinema hall operators and Special Economic Zone Units. Now, these service providers have been exempted beside small assessees. This means 4 or 4.5 crore invoices will be part of the new system,” the official explained.

A day before the operationalisation of new system, the government has relaxed the norms. Accordingly, invoices raised by notified taxpayers during October 2020 without following e-Invoice procedure obtaining IRN and issuing invoice with QR Code will be deemed to be valid and no penalty will be levied if the IRN for such invoices is obtained within 30 days of the date of the invoice.

Another official said that this should not be treated as postponing the implementation, but assisting taxpayers in initial phase.

It has been clarified that in case of any contingency, the Commissioner can exempt a person or a class of registered persons from e-invoicing for a specified period.

QR code glitch

Pritam Mahure, Chartered Accountant, feels at present, many taxpayers are finding it difficult to convert QR codes (from number to picture) and thus, a tool for the same could be made available to the taxpayers.

Also, now the focus of e-invoicing should shift to the gathering of ground-level feedback either by interacting with the taxpayers through feedback forms/webinars. This feedback will enable identification key un-resolved issues and providing solutions (say through FAQs etc) for the likely issues which may arise once e-invoicing shifts to real-time basis from November 1.

“Further, this feedback will also help smoothen the teething problems for smaller taxpayers who are likely to get covered in the next few phases,” he said.

Published on October 08, 2020

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