E-Invoicing was mandated in India for the first time on 1 October 2020. The first rollout was for businesses with an annual turnover of more than INR 500 crores. From 1 January 2021, businesses with an annual turnover of more than INR 100 crores had to implement the e-Invoicing mechanism. As per a recent Government update, businesses with an annual turnover between INR 50-100 crores will have to implement this new invoicing system from 1 April 2021.
Under the e-Invoicing system, suppliers have to generate invoices on their internal systems/ERPs and then upload the same on the Invoice Registration Portal (IRP) for validation. The IRP will, in turn, assign a unique Invoice Reference Number (IRN) to the invoice and send back the signed invoice with a QR code to the supplier.
Important: As per the e-Invoicing rules, the final invoice that is shared with the Recipient should mandatorily contain the QR code received from the IRP. If the QR code is not included, the invoice will be considered invalid.
In this article, we will discuss the Recipients perspective about e-Invoice:
In the e-invoicing system, the supplier receives the signed JSON file from the Invoice Registration Portal (IRP) digitally. It is the supplier’s responsibility to share the final invoice after including the QR code with the Recipient/Purchaser. This invoice is usually shared in PDF format and/or in a printed form via email, post or over the counter.
The IRP does not send any emails with the e-Invoice to the Recipient. As mentioned above, It is the supplier’s responsibility to share this e-Invoice with the customer once it is received back from the IRP.
Though the IRP does not share the e-Invoice directly with the Recipient, the e-Invoicing Portal provides a facility to the Recipient to check the correctness/validity of the e-Invoice issued to them. Users can use the QR Code Verification App to verify the authenticity of the QR code/signed JSON. You can read more about this App here.
As per Rule 46 of the CGST Rules of 2017, a digital signature of the supplier or any other person authorised by the supplier is required to make the invoice GST compliant. However, in the case of invoices for which IRN is generated, the supplier’s digital signature is not necessary. That means a supplier can share the e-Invoice with the Recipient without adding his/her/their signature.
Furthermore, hard copies of invoices are not necessary. Even in the case of e-Way Bills, It is not mandatory for the transporter to carry the hard copy of the invoice. That means If the digital invoice contains a valid QR code with the IRN, the same can be produced for verification before a tax officer.