NIC has issued the ‘E-Invoice System User Manual V.1.02’ for tax payers.
E-Invoice System User Manual V.1.02 dated May 18, 2022 has been presented by the National Informatics Centre (“NIC”) for Taxpayers.
What is E-invoice?
E-invoice does not mean generation of invoices from a central portal of tax department, as any such centralization will bring unnecessary restriction on the way trade is conducted. In fact, taxpayers have different requirements and expectation, which can’t be met from one software generating e-invoices from a portal for the whole country. Invoice generated by every software may look more or less same; however, they can’t be understood by another computer system even though business users understand them fully. There are hundreds of accounting/billing software which generate invoices but they all use their own formats to store information electronically and data on such invoices can’t be understood by the GST System if reported in their respective formats.
Hence a need was felt to standardize the format in which electronic data of an Invoice will be shared with others to ensure there is interoperability of the data. The adoption of standards will in no way impact the way user would see the physical (printed) invoice or electronic (ex pdf version) invoice. All these software would adopt the new e-Invoice standard wherein they would re-align their data access and retrieval in the standard format. However, users of the software would not find any change since they would continue to see the physical or electronic (PDF/Excel) output of the invoices in the same manner as it existed before incorporation of e-Invoice standard in the software. Thus the taxpayer would continue to use his accounting system/ERP or excel based tools or any such tool for creating the electronic invoice as she is using today.
The GST Council has approved introduction of ‘E-invoicing’ or ‘electronic invoicing’ in a phased manner for reporting of business to business (B2B) invoices to GST System. Since there was no standard for e-invoice existing in the country, standard for the same has been finalized after consultation with trade/industry bodies as well as ICAI after keeping the draft in public place. Having a standard is a must to ensure complete inter-operability of e-invoices across the entire GST eco-system so that e-invoices generated by one software can be read by any other software, thereby eliminating the need of fresh data entry – which is a norm and standard expectation today. The machine readability and uniform interpretation is the key objective. This is also important for reporting the details to GST System as part of Return. Apart from the GST System, adoption of a standard will also ensure that an e-invoice shared by a seller with his buyer or bank or agent or any other player in the whole business eco-system can be read by machines and obviate and hence eliminate data entry errors. The GST Council approved the standard of e-invoice in its 37th meeting held on 20th Sept 2019 and the same along with schema has been published on GST portal. Standards are generally abstruse and thus an explanation document is required to present the same in common man’s language. Also, there are lot of myth or misconception about e-Invoice. The present document is an attempt to explain the concept of e-invoice, how it operates and basics of standards. E-invoicing in India will be a big move, due to the volume of business transactions undertaken every day, as well as the plethora of different, non-standardised formats used in invoice generation. The main objective is to enable interoperability across the entire GST eco-system i.e. an e-invoice generated by one software should be capable of being read by any other software. Basically, through machine readability, an invoice can be uniformly-interpreted. In addition to the above, this new system of e-invoicing aims to make invoice reporting an integral part of a business process and remove the tedious task of invoice-compilation at the end of a return period. Claiming fictitious Input Tax Credit (ITC) by raising fake invoices is also one of the biggest challenges currently faced by tax authorities. The e-invoice system will help to curb the actions of unscrupulous taxpayers and reduce the number of fraud cases as the tax authorities will have access to data in real-time. The basic aim behind adoption of e-invoice system by tax departments is ability to pre-populate the return and to reduce the reconciliation problems.
Purpose and Intended Audience
This document aims to explain the operational procedure on how to use offline and online tool to generate the e-invoices.
This document is intended for registered taxpayers under GST, who are the main stakeholders of einvoice system under GST. The present document is an attempt to explain the concept of e-invoice, how it operates and basics of standards. It is expected that the document will be useful for the taxpayers, tax consultants and the software companies to adopt the designed standard.
The scope of this document covers:
Explaining the features of the e-invoice system.
- Activities of various stake holders.
- Registration for the e-invoice system.
- Processes involved in generation of web based e-invoices.
- Enabling the various modes of the e-invoice generation.
- Managing the sub-users by the stake holders.
- Using online tool to generate e-invoices
- Process of uploading the generation of e-invoices.
Read the complete User Manual below.What-is-E-invoice
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