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GST Invoice – Learn about GST Invoice Rules & Bill Format

by Abhimanyu Dhamija

Section 31 of the CGST Act, 2017 mandates the issuance of an GST invoice or a GST bill for every registered person for the supply of goods or services. A tax invoice under GST is an important document. Not only is it evidence of supply of goods or services, but it is also a crucial document for the recipient to avail Input Tax Credit (ITC).

For every company selling goods or services in India, raising correct GST invoices is very important. Here is a complete guide to raising the correct GST invoice as per the rules laid down:

GST invoice – Mandatory Components

Supplier Details:

  1. Name.
  2. Address.
  3. GSTIN.

Unique Tax Invoice Number

Nature of Invoice

  1. Tax Invoice.
  2. Supplementary Invoice.
  3. Revised Invoice.
  4. Date of issue.

Details of the Registered Buyer

  1. Name.
  2. Address.
  3. GSTIN.

In Case of Unregistered Buyers With Value More Than Rs. 50,000

  1. Name and address.
  2. Address of delivery.
  3. State name and code.

HSN Code of Goods or Accounting Code of Services

HSN stands for Harmonized System of Nomenclature which is a code that classifies different products. India follows a 3 tiered structure for the purpose of raising a GST invoice:

  1. Less than INR 1.5 Crores turnover: HSN code not required.
  2. Turnover between INR 1.5 Crores to INR 5 Crores: 2 digit HSN codes.
  3. Turnover above INR 5 Crores: 4 digit HSN codes.
  4. Imports or export dealers need to mandatorily follow 8 digit HSN codes.

Description of the Goods/services

  1. Quantity of goods (number) and unit (meter, kg etc).
  2. Value of goods or services.

Rate and Amount of Tax on the Items With a Clear Breakup

  1. CGST.
  2. SGST.
  3. IGST.
  4. UTGST.
  5. Cess.

Place of supply

Name of destination state for sales beyond state borders. The delivery address is necessary in case it is different from the place of supply.

GST on Reverse Charge Basis

A statement clarifying if the GST is to be paid on reverse charge basis.

Supplier authentication

Here is a sample format of a GST invoice issued by the Government for reference:


GST Invoice Format for Exports

Export invoices require a declaration citing that GST has been paid on such exports.

Pre-paid IGST on exports: “Supply Meant For Export On Payment Of IGST”

IGST not been paid: “Supply Meant For Export Under Bond Or Letter Of Undertaking Without Payment Of IGST”

Mandatory Details:

  1. Name of the buyer
  2. Address of the buyer
  3. Delivery address
  4. Destination country
  5. For removal of goods: Number and date of application (FORM ARE-1)

An Input Service Distributor has to add “Amount of credit distributed” to the invoice instead of the rate and value of the goods or services.

Goods Transport Agency:

  1. Name and address of the consignor and the consignee
  2. Number of the registered vehicle
  3. Gross weight of the consignment
  4. Place of Origin
  5. Details of the destination
  6. GSTIN of the person liable to pay the tax

Input Service Distributor (ISD)

  1. Name
  2. Address
  3. GST Registration number or GSTIN
  4. The serial number of the invoice/credit
  5. Date of issue
  6. Name, address, and GSTIN of the person eligible for the credit.
  7. Amount of credit distributed
  8. Authentication by the input service provider or authorized representative

Registered person with the same PAN and State code as the ISD:

  1. Name, Address, and GSTIN
  2. Consecutive serial number that does not exceed 16 characters
  3. Date of issue
  4. GSTIN of the supplier of common service
  5. Original invoice number
  6. Name, address, and GSTIN of the Input Service Distributor
  7. Taxable value, rate and amount of the credit to be transferred
  8. Authentication by the registered person or authorized representative

Insurance/Banking/financial institutions/NBFC

A consolidated tax invoice is necessary for all the supplies made during the month. This needs to be raised at the end of the month. If the document is other than a tax invoice, it must contain all the other required information for a tax invoice. Optional information like serial number and recipient address is not required in this case. The invoice is to be made available electronically or physically.

Passenger Transporter Services

For a passenger transportation service provider, all the other information prescribed for a tax invoice is mandatory.

Optional Information

  1. Serial number
  2. Address of the recipient of the taxable service

Time Limit:

Goods: On or before the date of removal or delivery. Section 2(96) of the Act defines “Removal of goods” as follows:

  1. Dispatch of the goods for delivery by the supplier thereof or by any other person acting on behalf of such supplier; Collection of the goods by the recipient thereof or by any other person acting on behalf of such recipient.
  2. Continuous supply of goods: On or before the date of issue of account statement/payment
  3. General Services: Within 30 days of supply of services
  4. Services (Banks and NBFCs): Within 45 days of supply of service

In case of termination of supply before the end of the contract, at the time of such cessation.

Manner of issuing an invoice

A GST invoice has to be prepared in the following manner:

For Goods: Triplicate

The original copy marked as ORIGINAL FOR RECIPIENT

The duplicate copy marked as DUPLICATE FOR TRANSPORTER

The triplicate copy marked as TRIPLICATE FOR SUPPLIER.

For Services: Duplicate

The original copy marked as ORIGINAL FOR RECIPIENT

The duplicate copy being marked as DUPLICATE FOR SUPPLIER

The serial number of invoices issued during a tax period has to be furnished electronically in form GSTR-1 through the GST Portal.

Other types of Invoices:

Bill of Supply: Issued Where Tax Cannot Be Charged:

  1. Sale of exempted goods or services by a registered person
  2. A registered person has opted for composition scheme

Invoice-cum-bill of Supply

Issued in case of the supply of taxable as well as exempted goods/services by a registered person to an unregistered person

Aggregate Invoice

For sale by a registered supplier to an unregistered buyer where the value of invoices is less than Rs. 200. An Aggregate invoice can be raised on a daily basis in such cases.

Debit Note/Credit Note

A Debit Note is necessary in case of an upward revision in the price of goods or services that were supplied earlier and were chargeable to GST. A Credit Note has to be issued in case of a downward revision of price.

At present, businesses use different software to generate invoices. The details of such GST invoices are uploaded manually in the GSTR-1 return. This then reflects in GSTR-2A for recipients to view.

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