Businesses generate invoices daily using a variety of software. As a result, the number of formats and invoice schemas has multiplied, especially among the B2B customers and GST taxpayers. The invoice is a critical document and important when filing GST returns. However, an invoice generated in one billing system may not be accepted by software or the GST portal, creating a lot of confusion. Hence, ‘electronic invoicing’ or e-invoices were implemented to resolve the compatibility issues resulting in the amendment of invoice in GST. However, an individual can still make errors in the e-invoice. So, in this article, let's learn how such e-invoices can be corrected or modified.
Did you know?
Globally, B2B invoices show some amazing statistics. Europe generates 16 billion invoices. The cost of a paper invoice is Euro 11.10 to 17.60. An e-invoice costs just Euro 4.70 to 6.70, saving approximately 260 billion per annum in Europe alone!
How does e-invoicing help?
The procedure of issuing an e-invoice and amended invoice in India was approved and introduced by the GST Council’s 37th meeting in September 2019. It has provided an ecosystem where each e-invoice uploaded to the portal gets validated and on authentication is issued a unique Invoice Reference Number (IRN). The Invoice Registration Portal (IRP) system of the GST portal issues the digitally-signed QR-coded invoice with its IRN.
Such invoices in the e-invoice format can also be modified and an e-invoice amendment is issued using the IRN system. The business community, too, finds this format easy to follow since they auto-populate when filing returns. Some of the additional benefits of e-invoicing are:
- 65% reduction in processing time.
- 30 to 90% cost reduction.
- 15 to 50% improvement in on-time payments.
- 70 to 90% participation by businesses.
- 500% increase in those availing discounts for on-time payments.
- 25 to 40% reduction in labour for Accounts Payable.
- 55 to 90% increase in switches to e-invoice formats.
The e-invoicing transition saw many queries related to how to modify the e-invoice, amend an e-invoice and cancel an e-invoice. Human errors do occur in accounting. The answer to these queries is that once the invoice is uploaded and its IRN number and QR code are generated, no further corrections, deletions, or modifications are possible. Thus, the only option left to amend invoice is to cancel the incorrect invoice generated.
How to amend invoice or cancel it?
The procedure involved here is as follows.
If an e-invoice needs to be modified, has inaccurate details, needs to be corrected, etc., you must cancel the wrongly generated e-invoice and its IRN number. Start by selecting the invoice required to be corrected.
- After this is done, you can file the corrected, modified or accurate invoice and generate a new invoice IRN number.
- Note that the invoice should be cancelled within 24 hours of the generated IRN number, which is the e-invoice generation time limit.
- You cannot use the old IRN number of the inaccurate e-invoice for the fresh and modified or amended invoice.
Credit and Debit Note
Suppose the e-invoice IRN is generated more than 24 hours before being cancelled. In that case, you need to use an appropriate debit or credit note to nullify the information on the invoice and then upload the corrected e-invoice and generate a new e-invoice IRN number.
GST benefits of electronic invoicing
The main idea behind having a common format for invoicing and accepting the e-invoice system was to resolve the reconciliation of software and invoice formats when auto-populating the GST returns. The GST portal’s IRP system is used to upload the invoice data to the e-way billing system of the GST portal. The continued invoice uploading of the business’ invoice allows the GST returns and the e-way bill to populate automatically.
GST e-invoicing has several benefits. Some of these are:
- The e-invoice helps reduce the several invoices and the amendment invoices entry because it is a one upload event that gets auto-populated.
- The e-Way bill’s Part-A is automatically captured from the e-invoice and requires only updating the transporter’s data and details.
- The GSTR-1 auto-populates the invoices' data, including all data fields of the B2B transaction details.
- There is a huge reduction in the challenges of verifying the ITC or input credit taxes since the invoice data gets automatically reported to the GST department in the GSTR-2A of the buyer and their purchase register for inward supplies.
- The new return and purchase register’s entry can be rejected, reconciled or accepted once the e-invoice is reported in the GST System.
- The possibility of GST evasion is greatly reduced since the B2B invoices trail can be matched by cross-checking the output tax versus the input tax credits on the GST system.
- Duplicate, multiple and spurious invoices are automatically weeded out of the IRP and GST systems, increasing the GST administration's efficiency.
Introduction of GST e-invoicing
Though the e-invoice announcement was made in 2019, the GST Council proposed that it be initiated in a phased manner, thereby providing the registered businesses sufficient time to transition and migrate their processes to the new electronic invoicing the GST system. The e-invoice GST portal system of electronic invoicing becomes applicable to all GST registered B2B businesses.
Following are the important dates for e-invoice introduction:
GST taxpayers having a turnover of ₹500 Cr or more migrated to the e-invoice system
From October 1st 2020.
GST taxpayers having a turnover of ₹100 Cr or more migrate to the e-invoice system
From January 1st 2021
GST taxpayers having a turnover of ₹50 Cr or more migrate to the e-invoice system
From April 1st 2021
Uploading an e-invoice
The seller in the e-invoicing GST system must upload the invoice electronically and enter the invoice details and documents into the GST IRP system. The system then generates a unique ‘Invoice Reference Number’ or IRN and its QR code recorded in the invoice’s physical copy and then sent to the receiving business. This final e-invoice cannot be altered or modified to amend invoices.
Supplier documents required for e-invoicing
The e-invoice is uploaded by the registered GST supplier, who will need the following documents under the IRP GST system’s concept of e-invoicing.
- Supplier invoice
- Supplier’s Credit Note
- Supplier’s Debit Note
- All documents must be mandatorily filed under the GST laws in the supplier’s e-invoice.
Generating the e-Invoice
The registered GST taxpayer can use several modes to file and upload the e-invoice. Some of the methods available are:
- Offline tool based,
- SMS Based,
- Mobile App,
- API Based,
- GSP based.
E-invoicing versus the current GST invoicing system
The e-invoicing system is the practice where an invoice will need to be uploaded to the GST portal electronically whenever it is generated. The transaction generates a unique number for each invoice called the IRN or invoice reference number and a QR code that is digitally signed. The e-invoice is valid only when it has a QR code. IRN is validated on the IRP or Invoice Registration Portal system, a specially designated system for invoicing designed to accept invoice uploads, validate the invoice data, and issue the digitally authenticated and signed QR code.
The IRP system does not allow invoice amendment once the IRN number is generated. The seller then needs to send the recipient a paper invoice with the IRN number and the printed QR code. This system can be easily integrated with Business management or ERP software to seamlessly print the invoice with its IRN number and QR code from the IRP system. Thus, very little change is needed to integrate e-invoicing into an existing business process.
The GST portal’s current system is different because it is a single-time invoice upload and requires only the invoice details to be uploaded to the GST portal. It periodically generates the data in the e-invoice system, and your GSTR-1 returns. Hence, there is no need to record every QR code or IRN number or upload every invoice to the GST portal with its QR code.
Working of the e-invoice system
Every business transaction has a seller and a buyer. Besides this, the interactions involved are the essentials of uploading the invoice to the IRP system by the seller and the generation of the e-way bill and e-invoice at the buyer’s end. Hence, the e-invoice system’s workflow is divided into two distinct interactions.
- The first part is the interaction of the invoice supplier business by uploading and authenticating the e-invoice on the Invoice Registration Portal.
- The second interaction occurs at the buyer’s end and the interaction between the IRP system to generate the e-way bill or the GST invoice.
The above diagram explains the functioning of this system:
- The JSON invoice file is then integrated with the IRP system, where the data is automatically recorded and sent to the portal of GST’s IRP.
- The IRP system validates the ERP software’s JSON e-invoice to generate the IRN and a digitally-signed QR Code.
- This file is sent to the supplier, who prints the invoice and includes the IRN and QR code. If you use an ERP integrated IRP ecosystem, the software will automatically fetch and print the invoice with these details of validation and authentication.
- The printed and signed e-invoice, along with the QR code and IRN in JSON format, is sent to the GST’s e-way Bill System at the buyer’s end.
- Note that the IRP system’s JSON data in the e-invoice system automatically populates the e-way bill’s Part-A data. When Part-B of the e-way bill is also available when generating the e-invoice, an e-way bill can be automatically generated.
- The data also updates the GST Returns system of Forms GSTR-1 GSTR-2A automatically. Hence, any incorrect invoice details can be corrected in the GSTR-1.
- The buyer has GSTR-2A visibility in real-time and can thus confirm the invoice’s ITC data.
How to amend GSTR1 and the e-invoice on the GST Portal
Modifying the data of the e-invoice on the IRP system is not possible. However, since this data is also used to auto-populate the GSTR returns, the changes to the invoice details reported on the IRP system can be done through the GST portal. When you file returns in GSTR-1 and GSTR-2A on the GST portal, the incorrect invoices can be directly modified on the GST portal during the filing of appropriate returns since the IRP system auto-populates the IRP system data.
An e-invoice is a critical document in any business transaction, and hence, it should be carefully scrutinized before uploading to the IRP system. Since this data auto-populates the returns GSTR-1, you can use the GST portal if you need to make necessary changes to an e-invoice at the time of filing the return. Filing returns and generating the e-invoice are important tasks in business. Therefore, we hope we have conveyed the significance of e-invoices and how to amend it.
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