The GST e-invoicing Scheme started on an encouraging note with over 52 lakhs Invoice Reference Number (IRNs) counts notched up in the first 6 days of its launch.
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 Rs.500 crore or more from October 1. There are more than 50,000 taxpayers who fall into this category.
“On an average 10 lakh plus IRN were generated per day during the first six days,” a senior government official.
The E-Invoicing essentially involves reporting details of specified GST documents to a government-notified portal and obtaining a reference number. GSTN 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 IRP. On reporting, the IRP returns the e-invoice with a unique 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 the new system, the government 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 the 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.