If sell products or services in India, you must be issuing invoice to your customers. Every business in India needs to know about the new GST invoice rules going forward. In this article, we’ve explained how to create GST invoice, various components that must be there on invoice, format of GST invoice and much more.
GST, as we know it, is going to change the way the country complies with taxation on a mass scale. GST is a destination-based, transaction-wise reporting tax structure, which brings together the States and Union Territories of India under one roof and removes multiple tax levies. Its primary aim is to bring all the invoices under GST under the ambit of the statute.
To seek total clarity in all transactions throughout the flow of the same, it requires a heavy-duty reporting structure that is consistent across the process flow, which records the details until the last mile. For this, GST prescribes to have a consistent invoice based reporting system that records all the important information related to the movement of goods from the place of origin to the destination.
The invoice becomes a crucial factor in the whole purchase or sale transaction, as it will form the crux of uploading returns and fetching credit. The logistics or supply chain will also be strengthened when there is a common document throughout the whole flow. Thus, assesses must take good care in maintaining the invoices, uploading returns and that too, on time, to get smooth credits and a better working capital.
The invoices have been divided into several categories under the GST regime. There is a typical GST invoice, vouchers, debit notes, credit notes, supplementary invoice and a bill of supply. These are the only documents, which are given importance in GST. It removes the prevalent invoicing system that includes Tax Invoice, VAT Invoice, Excise Invoice and a Retail or Commercial Invoice. All these invoices were mutually exclusive to each other. They were charged under separate laws having separate jurisdiction and applicability. Since GST is a One Nation Tax, it will be mandatory to issue only the former documents, by ALL taxpayers.
Invoicing under GST
GST defines a transaction as ‘Supply’ when there is a transfer, exchange, rental, lease, barter, disposal or license of goods or services. Whenever a transaction takes place, a tax invoice has to be issued depending on the occurrence of any such event or within a prescribed time limit. Hence, every taxpayer registered under the GST network shall be required to issue a tax invoice for the supply of goods or services.
Tax invoices have to be raised under certain circumstances. In the case of supply of goods, the invoices shall be raised within the prescribed time as enumerated below.
- When there is actual movement of goods, then before or at the time of removal of such goods.
- If there is no movement involved, then earlier of delivery or making available of such goods.
- In case of successive issuance of goods, then earlier of each such issuance.
- On the receipt of goods when on GST is applicable on a reverse charge basis
- When goods are sold on an approval basis, then earlier of 6 months from the removal date or before or at the time of such removal.
Similarly, in the case of supply of services, the invoice has to be issued as follows, within the mentioned time.
- Within 30 days from the actual supply
- In case of continuous supply where due date can be ascertained, then 30 days from such due date
- In case of continuous supply where due date cannot be ascertained, then 30 days from actual payment date
- In case of cessation of supply before the contract ends, then at the time of such cessation.
The due date of 30 days is 45 days in case of banks and other financial institutions.
These invoices have to be issued in TRIPLICATE in the case of supply of goods, original for the recipient, duplicate for the transporter and triplicate copy for the supplier. Likewise, in case of supply of services, the invoices have to be issued in DUPLICATE, where the original will be meant for the recipient and the duplicate copy will be for the supplier.
How to Create GST Invoice
The Government of India has come out with a sample GST Invoice format. A sample format is shown below. It is better to issue invoices on the same lines as the example since your Input Tax Credit largely depends on the Invoice Number and its proper reporting. The serial number of the invoice forms the basis of mismatch or matching the invoices between the supplier and the receiver, giving a seamless, hassle-free credit flow.
GST Invoice Format
There is certain crucial information that needs to be mentioned mandatorily in the GST invoice. These are:
- Name, address and the GSTIN of the supplier
- The nature of invoice (tax invoice, supplementary invoice or revised invoice)
- Invoice number (this shall be a consecutive alpha-numeric or numeric series, specific for a financial year)
- Date of Invoice
- Name, address and the GSTIN of the recipient
- Where the value of the goods exceeds Rupees Fifty Thousand and the recipient is an unregistered person, then name and address of such recipient and the delivery address of the consignment.
- Description of the goods or services
- HSN code of the goods or the Accounting Code of the Services
- Quantity of the goods or services
- Total value of the goods or services
- Rate of Tax on each item
- Tax amount charged, on account of CGST, IGST, and SGST to be shown separately under different columns
- Name of the supplying State and the place of supply
- Place of delivery
- A statement mentioning whether reverse charge is applicable or not
- Trade Discounts not forming part of value of the goods, if any
- Signature in physical form or Digital Signature of the supplier or an authorized person, duly certifying the invoice
In addition to the above particulars, an export invoice shall include the following.
- A mandatory statement mentioning these specific words SUPPLY MEANT FOR EXPORT ON PAYMENT OF IGST or SUPPLY MEANT FOR EXPORT UNDER BOND WITHOUT PAYMENT OF IGST.
- Country of destination
- Delivery address
- The Number and date of application of form for removal, i.e. Form ARE-1
Likewise, when an Input Service Distributor issues the invoice, then Amount of credit distributed shall also be added to the invoice instead of the rate and value of the goods or services.
If you are a Goods Transport Agency, you are a critical link in the supply chain and has to include the following in your invoice.
- Name and address of the consignor and the consignee
- Registered Vehicle number
- Gross weight of the consignment
- Place of Origin
- GSTIN of the person liable to pay tax
The transporter does not require to the Duplicate copy of the Invoice. Instead, they can opt for Invoice Reference Number, which can be generated by the supplier by uploading the tax invoice onto the GST Portal. The portal shall generate a number that is valid for 30 days from such date.
Bill of Supply
When a registered supplier makes a supply of exempted goods or services, or the supplier is registered under the composition scheme, then he has to issue a Bill of Supply instead of a tax invoice.
Supplementary Invoice / Debit Note
Whenever there is an upward revision in prices of a good or service supplied earlier and the same was chargeable to GST, then the supplier is liable to issue a supplementary invoice to the recipient. The said supplementary invoice should be raised within 30 days from the date of such price revision.
Learn how to revise invoice under GST.
Just like the debit note where there is an upward revision in price, credit note has to be issued when there is a downward revision of price. GST should have been charged in the previous transaction. The credit note has to be issued on or before 30th September of the next financial year or before filing the annual return of GST, whichever is earlier.
The contents of these documents are the same as that of tax invoice. The only major difference is that the nature of the invoice must be mentioned in Bold specifically on top of the invoice. For e.g. SUPPLEMENTARY INVOICE, DEBIT NOTE etc.
All the above documents, including the tax invoice, has to be maintained for 6 years (currently prescribed by the GST council). Thus, it requires a very strong IT system that records and maintains such a database for the prescribed time.
Read about Credit Notes and Debit Notes
Cross Referencing of Invoices
Since the invoice forms a crucial part in claiming credit for the GST paid therein, it is obligatory to upload returns on time so that the credit flows to the end customer seamlessly. The same invoice has to be reported by the Supplier and the recipient to get actual ITC.
The Way Forward
To get a seamless flow of credit, it is vital to use a GST billing software that can help you maintain the books of accounts in the proper format. You have to ensure that your master data is up to date and all the goods and services are attached with their respective HSN or Accounting codes. The tax amount, CGST, SGST or IGST has to be properly mentioned in the GST invoice. A robust IT system can enable you to collaborate the purchase and sale data, upload the same in returns and reconcile the same with the vendors and customers.
It is high time that you start preparing yourself with the onset of GST as any non-compliance in this regime can lead to loss of credit as well as customers. ProfitBooks is India’s most popular accounting software and can help you GST compliant invoices with few clicks.Start Creating GST Invoices With ProfitBooks