Way back in the year 2000, the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government decided to employ a nationwide tax system. After much delay, the Good and Service Tax (GST) Bill was passed on the 8th of September 2016 and came into effect 10 months later in July 2017. So far, there has had quite a significant aftermath on the country as a whole.
The government had the vision to launch a tax scheme that could bring the entire nation under one taxation law and unify state economies by eliminating separate state taxes. The main benefit of implementing GST was to subsume the different indirect taxes and replace them with one standard tax. Service tax, central excise, value-added tax (VAT), entry tax, entertainment taxes, etc. have been removed and GST now stands in its place.
Another advantage of implementing GST was that it reduced the cascading effect of filing multiple taxes on the taxpayer and considerably reduced the level of tax evasion and tax corruption.
Criteria Required to Register for GST
If you’re not sure whether you need to register, check to see if you fall under any of the categories listed below.
- Individual taxpayers who pay excise, VAT or service tax.
- Businesses who make in excess of Rs.40 Lakhs annually.
- A casual taxable person.
- Agents and distributors.
- E-commerce aggregators.
- Taxpayers based on reverse charge mechanism.
The online GST Portal was constructed as a way to access different functionalities under the GST regime and bring all GST related activities under one roof. The GST Portal is accessible to tax authorities to check records of every transaction while the taxpayer has access to view and file returns online.
Registration on the GST Portal is a one-time affair. Its intention is to bridge the gap between the authorized tax agency and the common taxpayer. The Goods and Service Tax Network (GSTN), serves as the backbone to the Portal and is what provides the computing power necessary to maintain this complex and sophisticated network online and to allow a hassle-free interaction between taxpayers and the Indian government.
There is an abundance of services offered on the GST Portal to make the filing of your returns more straightforward, some of the most used services are listed below.
- Registration for GST.
- Application for GST Scheme.
- Opting for and opting out of Composition Scheme.
- Filing GST Returns.
- Making a payment of GST.
- Filing forms relating to Input Tax Credit (ITC).
- Tracking received notices.
- Filing for a GST refund.
- Filling of different transition forms.
- Correcting and changing of fields.
With the introduction of the GST Portal, several processes have been streamlined by converting from traditional paper documents into digital ones.
What are the GST Compliance Invoices?
If you own a business that is registered under the GST, you need to issue a GST invoice when the supply of goods or services is made. The businesses registered under the composition scheme need to issue a Bill of Supply. Depending on the nature of your supply, these are the 3 types of invoices:
It is required only when the supply is done from within the state where the business is registered. CGST and SGST are also collected on this invoice.
It is required only when the supply is done between 2 different states. IGST is collected on this invoice.
It is required only when the supply is made from outside the country.
Rules for Creating a GST Invoice
According to the government, a tax invoice referred to in Section 31 shall be issued by the registered person and contain the following information.
- Name, address and the GSTIN of the supplier.
- Name, address and GSTIN (if registered) of the taxpayer.
- Name and address of the taxpayer and the delivery address. Also, the name of the state and the respective state code.
- Description of goods or services.
- Date of its issue.
- Quantity, in the case of goods.
- The GST rate for the particular service or goods.
- The taxable amount on the supply of goods or services.
- The total amount on the supply of goods or services.
- Harmonized System of Nomenclature (HSN) Code or the Accounting Code of services.
- The place of supply and with the name of the state.
- Reverse charge basis on the payment of taxes.
- A digital signature of the representative for the authorized supplier.
GST Invoice Format in Excel
The format of the GST Invoice template consists of 5 sections:
Specifies the business name, business address, business logo, and GSTIN.
Customer Details Section
Specifies the name of the customer, address, GSTIN, invoice number, and invoice date.
Product and Tax Details Section
Specifies the product description, HSE/SAC codes, quantity, units, discounts, CGST, SGST, and IGST Rates.
Billing Summary Section
Specifies the total billing amount to be paid by the customer. The CGST, SGST and IGST amount, taxable amount, total sale amount and the total final invoice is automatically calculated.
This section contains the signatures of the receiver and the accountant along with other remarks.
The benefit of these Excel invoice templates is that you do not have to create your GST invoice from scratch. There are links available online for downloading Excel templates for GST invoices and are free to use. They come in 4 main types such as Standard Format, Tax Breakup, Tax, and IGST Format.
The GST Invoice Format in Excel goes a step further, a precise formula is built into Excel as a tool that can calculate the discount given and tax break-up. In case the columns are not enough, you can easily edit any of the templates if necessary.