E-invoice - System Concept

Starting 1st January 2020, the GST Council has approved phased introduction of ‘E-invoicing’ or ‘electronic invoicing’ to report Business to Business (B2B) invoices to GST System, on voluntary basis. Since there was never a standard for e-invoice, standard for the same was finalized after consultating with trade/industry bodies as well as ICAI after keeping the draft in public place. Having a standard is a must to ensure complete 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. Machine readability and uniform interpretation is the key objective of this initiation. 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 a seller shares with any agent in the whole business eco-system can be read by all machines and eliminate data entry errors.

GST Council approved the standard of e-invoice in its 37th meeting held on 20th Sept 2019. The standard along with schema is published on GST portal. It is common for standards to raise confusion and thus, there is an explaination document present in common man’s language. Also, there are lot of myths or misconception about e-Invoice. The current document is in an attempt to clear the air about the concept of e-invoice. The document covers how e-invoice operates and it's basics. The document also contain FAQs which answer the questions raised by people who responded to the draft e-invoice standard. It is expected that the document will also be useful for the taxpayers, tax consultants and the software companies to adopt the designed standard.