An invoice is a general instrument issued by a seller to the buyer which identifies both the trading parties, quantity of goods or services supplied to the recipient, date of shipment, mode of transport and various other relevant details.

Section 31 of CGST Act, 2017 states it necessary to issue invoice or a bill of supply which shall be issued before or at the time of supply of goods or services.

Rule 46 of CGST Rules provides that a tax invoice shall contain the particular contents:

  • Name, address and GSTIN number of the supplier.
  • The tax invoice number shall contain alphabets or numerals or special characters- hyphen or dash and slash symbolized as “-” and “/” respectively, and any combination of a consecutive serial number not exceeding sixteen characters, in one or multiple series, unique for a financial year.
  • Date of issuing the tax invoice
  • Name, Address and GSTIN number of the recipient.
  • Taxable supply of Rs 50,000 or more to the unregistered recipient shall contain name, address of the recipient, delivery address, name and code of state of delivery.
  • If taxable supply is of less than Rs 50,000 then invoice may be issued on the request of the recipient.
  • HSN Code of goods or Accounting Code of services (CBIC may relax some class of tax payers from mentioning the codes)
  • Description of goods and services.
  • Quantity of goods or services supplied
  • Total value of supplied goods or services or both.
  • Total taxable value of supplied goods or services or both.
  • Rate of CGST, SGST, IGST, UTGST or Cess.
  • Tax charges in respect of goods and services by supplier.
  • Place of supply along with the name of state.
  • Address of delivery if the place of supply is different from the address of the recipient.
  • Tax payable if charged as reverse charge mechanism.
  • The signature of the supplier or his authorised representative, it may be digital signature also as per Information Technology Act, 2000.
  • Tax invoice may contain QR Code, if specified by government.

When a GST Invoice should be issued?

It has been defined under the CSGT Act the time limit to issue GST Tax Invoice, Revised GST Bill, Debit note and Credit note.

  • In case of normal goods: On or before the date of delivery.
  • In case of continuous supply: On or before the date of issue of account statement or account payment.
  • In case of services to Banks and NBFCs: Within 45 days of supply of services.
  • In case of General services: Within 30 days of supply of services.

Number of Tax Invoice Copies to be issued

  • In case of goods, 3 Copies of GST Invoice shall be issued by the supplier.
  • Original copy for the recipient.
  • Duplicate copy for the transporter.
  • Triplicate copy for the supplier.
  • In case of services, 2 Copies of GST Invoice shall be issued by the supplier.
  • Original copy for the recipient.
  • Duplicate copy for the supplier.

Issue of Invoice under Reverse Charge Mechanism

Under Reverse Charge Mechanism, the liability to pay GST is on the recipient which is different from the usual regulations of GST where supplier is liable to pay GST for the supplies made. In case, recipient does not make payments of tax under Reverse Charge Mechanism then supplier cannot be held liable to pay taxes.

Reverse Charge Mechanism is applicable under the certain conditions which are as follows:

  • When GST Council notifies to levy reverse charge for specific goods and services.
  • When supplies are made from an unregistered supplier to an unregistered recipient.
  • When E-Commerce operator supply services to the recipient.

Under Reverse Charge Mechanism, the time of supply of goods is earliest of the follows:

  • Date of receipt of goods.
  • 30 days from the date of issuance of invoice.
  • Date of payment.

Under Reverse Charge Mechanism, the time of supply of services is earliest of the follows:

  • 60 days from the date of issuance of invoice.
  • Date of payment.

When a tax invoice may not be issued

The registered person may issue a consolidated tax invoice at the end of the day if in case:

  • The recipient is not registered under GST Act.
  • The recipient does not require a tax invoice.

In all the other cases except from the above mentioned, the registered person shall issue a tax invoice, failing to which may attract penalties and is an offense under the GST Act.

Tax Invoicing for Exports

An export invoice is created by an exporter for exporting goods and services outside India in foreign currency.

There are certain additional details that should be mentioned apart from a normal GST Invoice, which are as follows:

  • Type of export with a statement, “Supply Meant for Export on Payment of IGST” or “Supply Meant for Export under Bond without Payment of IGST.”
  • Shipping bill with particular details such as Shipping Port Code, Shipping Bill Date, and Shipping Bill number.

An export invoice can be created without shipping bill but it is not possible if the exporter needs to claim refund of IGST paid on export of goods or services.

  • Conversion rate of that particular date from INR to customer’s preferred currency.
  • Total value of invoice must be in Indian currency as well as currency of the customer’s preferred currency.

Aggregate GST Invoice

If there are multiple supplies in a day and the value of total supplies is less than Rs 200 than an aggregate tax invoice can be issued by a supplier or a bulk invoice for a multiple invoices can be issued on daily basis.

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