e-Invoicing under GST: QR Codes | A Mandatory Replicator of e-Invoice Data
e-Invoice has implemented on large enterprises having an annual turnover of INR 500 Crores and above. As per GST Notification 70/2020-Central Tax ,dated: 30-09-2020, the mandate has begun from October 1st 2020 and as per GST Notification 88/2020-Central Tax ,dated: 10-11-2020, the mandate will also apply for all businesses having an annual aggregated turnover of INR 100 Crores and above. This means that e-Invoicing provision is under GST to stay for a longer run, considering the success that IRNs have achieved in such a small time span.
What makes an invoice different form an e-Invoice is the IRP validation that follows by IRN and QR Code generation. Both of these are used to identify invoices and make the storage simpler. In this article we have explained the importance and usage of QR Codes on an e-Invoice. Towards the end we will wrap up by suggesting you the best e-Invoicing software for your business.
A Quick Walk through the e-Invoicing Lane
e-Invoicing under GST or electronic invoicing is the newest provision under GST that has been implemented on large enterprises to ease their invoice management and business accounting. However, the main moto of e-Invoicing is to tame corrupt practices such as tax evasion and claiming ITC based on fraudulent invoices.
e-Invoicing so far, has served both of its purposes of helping businesses as well as the Government. The process of e-Invoicing system is a bit complex but involves a few steps. You are required to generate e-Invoices in your ERPs and upload the same to the IRP. The IRP will validate the e-Invoice and look for errors and duplications
Upon successful validation the IRP will digitally sign the e-Invoice and assign them with unique IRNs and QR codes. These IRNs and QR Codes then become the identity of the e-Invoice and you can simply use them to look for GST e-Invoices when the data volume is high, by entering the IRN or by scanning the QR Codes. e-Invoicing is applicable to the following documents-
- Credit Notes
- Debit Notes
- B2B Invoices
- B2G Invoices
- Export Invoices
- Deemed Export and SEZ Invoices
- RCM Invoices
QR Codes on B2B e-Invoices- A Matter of Storage and Identification
The Quick Response Codes or QR Codes are the most basic and valid identity of an e-Invoice. This is because you can access the e-Invoice generation details quicker using the QR Code when compared to using the IRN that will require a system.
But with a QR Code all you need to do is scan the same using your mobile phone or any other QR Code Scanning app or device. Upon scanning a B2B Invoice QR Code you will find the following information-
- GSTIN of the supplier
- GSTIN of the recipient
- Document number as given by the supplier
- Date of the generation of invoice
- Document type (Invoice, Debit Note or Credit Note)
- Invoice value
- Number of line items
- HSN Code of the main item (the line item having the highest taxable value)
- Invoice Reference Number(IRN)
- Date of IRN generation
Note- The government has mandated all the businesses having an annual aggregated turnover of INR 500 Crores and more to mention a QR Code on their B2C Invoices as well. These QR Codes will contain the same information along with a UPI or Bharat payment link as per the RBI Suggestions.
These codes are not just informative and easy to access but even the QR Code is digitally signed by the IRP or e-Invoicing software which makes it authentic. The structure and pattern of these QR Codes is standard and will remain the same for all invoices and documents that are embedded with a QR Code. All these characteristics of the QR Code make it different from any other QR Code such as that of the e-Way Bill and B2C Invoices.
The QR Codes can also be highly beneficial at the storage front of the provision which is still quite a problem for businesses as the IRP does not provide storage facility for the e-Invoice post 24 hours. Storing and transferring the e-Invoice data from the IRP to the ERP is also a difficult task since it may not always be possible to sort the entire e-Invoice due to the size of the file.
To this a QR Code can be a potential solution, it may not be a replacement or a solution to the problem but it sure can help the accountants and businesses to store some of the e-Invoice details in their systems using the QR Codes. So a QR Code is much more than a figure to make the e-Invoice look different!
Take Full Advantage of the QR Codes on your GST e-Invoice
The QR code has many benefits including the fact that it makes accounting simpler, digital and automatic. So, given below are the benefits of e-Invoice QR Codes that you probably didn’t know of-
1. Storage Partner- the QR Code may not be a full time replacement for the archiving of e-Invoices however, it can be a potential solution for storing the invoices in a compact way in your billing system, since the QR Code contains most of the necessary e-Invoice data and information.
2. Validated and Digitally Signed- The QR code itself is validated and digitally signed making it a separate and authentic component of the e-Invoice. It cannot be treated as a separate entity but it sure is a major part of the e-Invoice.
3. Identify and ensure the authenticity of an e-Invoice- The QR Code is the identity of the e-Invoice as each QR Code is unique and contains unique e-Invoice data. The QR Code can be used to identify and find the e-Invoice when the data volume is high. Additionally it is a proof that the e-Invoice is authentic and validated by the IRP. The IRN can still be fake or fabricated but the QR Code if internally digitally signed and it would be easy to figure out if there was a fake QR Code being used on an e-Invoice.
4. Payment Link Facility- The payment link facility can also ease the work and improve the cash-flow of the business. Although for B2B Invoices there is no provision of adding payment link but in case of B2C Invoices where the supplier generates the QR Code and can add the payment link which can help the recipients pay to the supplier in a quick and easy manner.
5. Standardized Structure- The Structure of the QR Code is standard which makes it useful to identify the fabricated e-Invoices. The IRN can be forged, the entire e-Invoice structure can be forged as well, but not a QR Code. The e-Invoicing solution structure is standard, authentic and digitally signed. The Qr Code can be used to identify fake e-Invoices.
6. QR Code, Company Logo and T& C- QR Code lighten up the look of an e-Invoice, also, adding the Company logo and TandC to the e-Invoice makes the e-Invoice look more authentic and standard on printing.
7. Simply Scannable- The e-Invoice QR Codes are simple to scan using mobile phones cameras, and other devices and applications as well.
E-Invoicing compliance is of high priority for all businesses that are liable to it since it is a mandatory rule under the CGST Act 2017. The compliance can sometimes be a little more difficult and tricky than it seems considering the complex SCHEMA Format, Real-time Validations, Bulk operations, Archiving, Printingand more.
The Government also, recommends the use of external solutions such as GSPs to comply better with e-Invoicing, one such GSP is GSTHero which is also the best e-Invoicing Solution in the market currently. GSTHero makes e-Invoicing simple to understand and operate with its user-friendly features and prominent support.
So why GSTHero?
- Simple ERP integration
- High Data Security
- Storage- e-Invoice Archiving for 8 years!
- Direct integration of ERP with the IRP
- Scalable for high data volume
- Print QR Codes, Company logo, and Terms and Conditions of your Company
- Super Automated- requires minimal human input
- Reduced Errors with automation
- Saves time and delivers prompt results
- Enhanced productivity of your accounts team
- Compliance in real-time
- Bulk Operations- Generate, cancel, print, validate and edit e-Invoice in bulk within the ERP
- Achieve 100% Compliance with e-Invoicing
About the Author– GSTHero– Making GST Simple! GSTHero is the best GST filing, e-Way Bill Generation and E Invoicing Software in India. GSTHero is a government authorized GST Suvidha Provider. Both Businesses and Tax Practitioners can file GSTR 1, GSTR 3B, GSTR 9 and GSTR 9C with all supporting reports. 1 Click Auto Reconciliationand report-matching feature helps you in claiming up to 100% ITC and finds your GST Defaulting Suppliers. GSTR2A vs GSTR-3B, GSTR-1 vs GSTR-3B, ‘GSTR-1, GSTR-2A and GSTR-3B’ annual report matching is also provided by GSTHero.
GSTHero ERP Plugins provide 1 Click e-Way Bill and E-Invoice, Generation, Operation and Printing from your own ERP like Tally, SAP, Marg, Busy, Microsoft Dynamics, Oracle and others itself with high data security
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