GST: Temporary Relief On E-Invoicing, QR Codes Deferred
An employee displays a receipt book showing a store’s goods and services tax identification number (GSTIN) in an arranged photograph in New Delhi, India. (Photographer: Anindito Mukherjee/Bloomberg)

GST: Temporary Relief On E-Invoicing, QR Codes Deferred

The government has deferred the requirement of printing dynamic Quick Response code on business to consumer invoices by two months till Dec. 1. A QR Code help users verify the details in the digitally signed e-invoice.

It has also provided a temporary relief to those companies having turnover above Rs 500 crore which have not been able to fully implement e- invoicing systems in a ready state.

The Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs said in a media statement that invoices issued by such companies during the month of October will be considered valid even if they don’t follow e-invoicing specifications, and any penalty will stand waived subject to certain conditions. To avail this benefit, companies must generate an invoice reference number from the dedicated e-invoicing portal within 30 days of the date mentioned on the invoice.

For instance, if a registered business issues an invoice on Oct. 3 without obtaining an IRN, it won’t be penalised if it reports the details of such invoice and obtains an IRN before Nov. 2. “No such relaxation would be available for the invoices issued after Nov.1, the government said

This comes after the government mandated companies having turnover exceeding Rs 500 crore to generate e-invoice for B2B (business-to-business) transactions from Oct. 1.

Under e-invoicing, taxpayers have to generate the invoice on their internal systems and then report it online to the 'Invoice Registration Portal. The IRP validates the information provided in the invoice and returns the digitally signed e-invoice with a unique 'Invoice Reference Number' along with a QR code to the taxpayer.

However, for B2C transactions, e-invoice is not yet mandatory.

A separate provision for dynamic QR codes for B2C invoices, not requiring an IRN, has also been deferred by two months. Th emove has evoked a mixed response from the tax community.

Abhishek Jain, partner at consultancy EY India said with there being quite a lot of ambiguity on this compliance for B2C invoices, the industry was awaiting an explicit clarification alongwith with a deferment.

"This deferment would be quite a welcome one and now businesses would be looking for both a detailed clarification on this compliance for B2C invoices and a relaxation on B2B e-invoicing compliances; which are effective from Oct. 1," Jain added.

AMRG & Associates’ senior partner Rajat Mohan pointed out that the deferral has come just hours before its nationwide implementation.

"This kind of last-minute extensions are not helpful to a compliant taxpayer, who would have by now changed over to new systems with great difficulty," Mohan added.


With inputs from PTI.

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