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e-invoice FAQs

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e-invoice FAQs
By: Mallikarjuna Gupta
January 27, 2021
All Articles by: Mallikarjuna Gupta       View Profile
  • Contents
  1. What is an e-invoice?

e-invoice is a document issued by the supplier to its customer electronically where it gets updated in the customers’ system directly without any human intervention.

  1. What are the benefits of e-invoicing to the seller/buyer and tax authority?

Seller – the information is decimated to the customer on a real-time basis and helps him track the same. It also saves the cost of printing the invoice and shipping the same by courier or post.

Buyer – the buyer will have complete information about the goods or services invoiced and, if required, can take up corrective action. The buyers’ finance team has clear visibility on the purchases and plan their cash flows and working capital accordingly.

Tax Authority – gives real-time information of the tax transactions and monitors the compliancies seamlessly and more efficiently and effectively.

  1. As ta axpayer when I issue an e-invoice, will it update by recipient’s data also?

As on date, the current system is not updating the recipient’s data. The Government is working on the modalities and the same will be made available shortly.

  1. Who has to issue an e-invoice?

e-invoice has to be issued by taxpayers having turnover above ₹ 100 crores from 1st of Jan 2021.

  1. Do I need to issue an e-invoice if my turnover has crossed ₹ 100 crores in Feb 2021?

No, you are not required to issue e-invoice as the wordings used is during last financial year and it is referring any of the year where the turnover has crossed in the last three years.

  1. Do I need to use the GSTN portal for the issue of tax invoices going forward?

No, you still have to issue a tax invoice in your existing system only, i.e., accounting/billing or ERP, an e-invoice will be generated on the Government Portal.

  1. For which transactions I need to issue e-invoice?

e-invoice has to be issued for all B2B (Business to Business Transactions)

  1. All registered taxpayers have to issue e-invoice? or any class of taxable persons exempted from issuing e-invoice?

No, it is not required to be issued by all taxable persons; the following taxable persons are exempted from the issue of e-invoice

  1. Goods Transport Agency
  2. Banking and Financial Services
  3. Special economic zones
  4. Suppliers of passenger transportation services
  5. Multiplexes and admission to cinematograph films 
  1. Do I need to issue e-invoice for only taxable supplies or even for exempted and non-gst supplies?

e-invoice has to be issued for taxable supplies only.

  1. I have both taxable and non-taxable supplies in a single transaction, and for this can I issue “Invoice cum bill of supply,” can in continue the same or change my business process?

As e-invoice has to be issued for taxable supplies only, you need to issue two documents, one for taxable supplies and one for exempted supplies.

  1. For which outward supply transactions, I need to issue an e-invoice?

e-invoice has to be issued for the following taxable outward supplies

  1. B2B transactions
  2. Exports with payment of taxes
  3. Exports without payment of taxes
  4. SEZ supplies with payment of taxes
  5. SEZ supplies without payment of taxes
  6. Deemed exports
  1. I have two registrations in the same state; one is in an SEZ, and the other is in DTA; in such cases, do I need to generate an e-invoice for both locations?

e-invoice is required to be issued only to the location located outside the SEZ.

  1. Do I need to issue an e-invoice for reverse charge transactions?

No, for reverse charge transactions, if you are the recipient, then it is not required. If you’re the supplier, you need to issue an e-invoice once you cross the prescribed threshold.

  1. What is IRN?

IRN refers to Invoice Reference Number; it is a unique alphanumeric number issued by the GST Server once the server validates the invoice.

  1. Both tax invoice and IRN are same or different?

No, tax invoice and IRN are different; the Government portal/server issues IRN for the tax invoice issued by you having your logic, which is unique for each financial year.

  1. What is IRP?

IRP refers to the department server know as Invoice Registration Portal, where the data is validated and sent back to the supplier.

  1. Once I get my IRN, what should I do?

Once you received the IRN after validation and signed by the IRP, you need to print the IRN on the tax invoice.

  1. Do I need to sign the tax invoice while taking the print of the same?

It is your choice; you can either sign the tax invoice after adding the IRN, or it need not be also based on Notification No 74/2018 – Central Tax Dated 31st  Dec 2018; the tax invoice is not required to be signed if issued electronically. If the tax invoice issued is as per the provisions of the Information Technology Act 2000.

  1. My turnover is less than ₹ 100 Crores, and I purchase from a supplier whose turnover is above ₹ 100 crores, as per new provisions, he has to issue an e-invoice from 1st of Jan 2021. Do I need to do anything specific as I will receiving an IRN?

If your supplier’s turnover is more than ₹ 100 crores, he ensures that he issues an e-invoice. If he does not issue the same, you are not eligible to take the input tax credit.

  1. How do I safeguard myself in such cases?

You can take an undertaking from your suppliers stating that his turnover is less than the prescribed limit, and in case of any default, he will compensate to the extent of the input tax credit.

  1. What is a QR code?

QR code refers to Quick Reference Code, and it is generated along with the IRN.

  1. Do I need to print the QR code on the tax invoice?

Yes, QR Code has to be printed on the tax invoice.

  1. What information the QR Code contains?

QR Code contains the following information

  1. Supplier GSTIN
  2. Recipient GSTIN
  3. Document Number
  4. Document Date
  5. Total Document Value
  6. Number of Lines in the document
  7. Main HSN Code
  8. IRN Number
  9. IRN Date
  10. Issued By
  1. I have received an e-invoice from my supplier; how do I validate the verify the same?

The e-invoice can be validated and verified by reading the QR Code.

  1. How do I read the QR code?

QR Code can be verified using the Mobile App provided by NIC. It can be downloaded from the portal - Navigate to Help  Tools Verify QR Code App

  1. As a taxpayer, I am required to issue an e-invoice. Do I need to store the e-invoice related information in my accounting/ERP system?

Yes, it is recommended to store the same in the Accounting/ERP system for future reference.

  1. What information I need to store in the accounting/ERP related to e-invoice?

The following information can be stored in the Accounting/ERP

  • IRN Number
  • IRN Date
  • Acknowledgement Number
  • Acknowledgement Date
  1. For how many years I need to store/preserve the e-invoice related information in my systems?

e-invoice related information is required to be preserved for a period of 72 months from the due date of filing of the Annual Returns.

  1. Can I cancel the e-invoice after generation?

Yes, an e-invoice can be canceled once it is generated.

  1. Are there any prerequisites for the cancellation of an e-invoice?

If an e-waybill is generated, the taxpayer has to cancel the corresponding e-waybill first and then cancel the e-invoice.

  1. In how many hours can I cancel the e-invoice?

Yes, e-invoice can be canceled within 24 hours of the generation of e-invoice.

  1.  Can I generate an e-invoice again for the same tax invoice after cancellation?

No, it cannot be generated again.

  1. What should I do in such cases?

In such cases, it is recommended to issue a credit note and then create a new tax invoice and generate an e-invoice.

  1. Do I need to issue an e-waybill for the e-invoices which I generate?

e-waybill is required to be issued for e-invoices also, but the same will be generated by the system automatically.

  1. I have created the tax invoice correctly and while submitting the data for IRP I have entered the amount wrongly. What should I do in such cases?

It is recommended to issue a credit note to nullify the transaction and then issue a fresh invoice. In GST the user cannot cancel the tax invoice once generated and the IRP system will not allow the taxpayer to generate e-invoice once it is generated.

  1. Will e-waybill be generated for the supply of services automatically by the portal?

No, an e-waybill will not be generated for the supply of services.

  1. I do not have the Part B details for the e-waybill; what should I do in such cases?

If Part B details are not present at the time of e-invoice generation, the same can be updated after the generation of e-invoice.

  1. Can my transporter update the e-waybill details after the generation of IRN?

Yes, the transporter can update the details of the e-waybill after the generation of IRN.

  1. How many modes are there for the generation of e-invoice?

e-invoice can be generated in the following modes

  1. Application Programming Interface (API) Method
  2. Secure File Transfer Protocol (SFTP) Method
  3. Bulk JSON Method
  4. Single JSON Method.
  1. Can I avail myself the ASP/GSP services for the generation of e-invoice using API/SFTP Methods?

Yes, you can avail of the services of ASP/GSP for the generation of e-invoices.

  1. Has the Government provided any application or utility or software for facilitating the generation of e-invoice?

Yes, National Informatics Centre has provided an excel based utility for facilitating taxpayers for the generation of e-invoice called GePP.

  1. How many APIs are there for the generation/cancelation of e-invoice?

There are 11 APIs for the generation, cancellation, validating e-invoice; they are

  • Authentication
  • Generate IRN
  • Cancel IRN
  • Get IRN Details
  • Generate e-Way Bill by IRN
  • Get GSTIN Details
  • Cancel E-way Bill
  • Sync GSTIN Details from CP
  • Get e-Waybill Details by IRN
  • Get IRN details by Doc. Details
  • Health API
  1. Can I generate the e-invoice using the government portal?

Yes, you can generate the same using

  1. What methods can I use for the generation of e-invoice using the Government Portal?

Using the Government portal, you can create an e-invoice using a JSON file.

  1. Are there any formats for the JSON method made available for the eligible taxpayers?

Yes, formats are provided by the Government for the generation of e-invoice using JSON format. There are four formats available on the portal, and you can follow the path to Navigate to Help  Tools  Bulk Generation Tools

  1. How many formats are there?

There are four formats for the generation of e-invoice using the JSON method.

  1. I have an input service distributor registration under GST. Do I need to issue an e-invoice for the tax invoices I issue to transfer input tax credit?

Yes, you need to issues an e-invoice.

  1. I make supplies to Government Department, and they do not have any outward supplies, but they have registration under Tax Deducted at Source under GST; for such supplies, do I need to issue an e-invoice?

Yes, it is required to be issued in such cases.

  1. Is there any time limit for the issue of e-invoice?

Tax invoice has to be issued at the time of movement of goods for supply of goods and in case of the supply of services within 30 days. As and when the tax invoice is issued, the e-invoice has to be issued.

  1. What will happen if I do not issue an e-invoice even though I am required to issue the same?

According to the provisions Sub Rule 4 of Rule 48 of the CGST Rules 2017, the same will not be considered a tax invoice and penal provisions under Sections 83, 74, 122, and 125. Your customers cannot take the input tax credit, which means your sales will also get impacted.

  1. I have two locations in the state and having the same GST registration number; when I am moving goods from one location to another location, do I need to issue an e-invoice?

If goods are being transferred to another location in the same state, the same is not treated as a taxable supply, and a tax invoice is not issued. Hence there is no requirement to issue an e-invoice also.

  1. Similar to the import of e-waybill data in GSTR – 1, will the data of e-invoice will be imported into GSTR – 1?

Yes, once IRN is generated, the invoice data related to B2B supplies can be imported into GSTR – 1.

  1. Will the e-invoice data also will be reflected in GSTR – 2A/2B of the recipient?

Yes, the supplier's e-invoice will be reflected in GSTR – 2A/2B of the recipient.

  1. What are the common issues being faced by the taxpayers after the rollout of e-invoice?

Some of the common issues faced by the taxpayers are

  1. Data entry errors like the invoice date before the rollout date of the e-invoice
  2. Taxpayers uploading the data on the trail portal in place of the actual production portal
  3. Some of the taxpayers are issuing tax invoices starting with ‘0.”
  1. What is a dynamic QR code, and how has to issue it?

Dynamic QR code is required to be issued in case of taxpayers whose turnover is above ₹ 500 crores for B2C transactions.

  1. From which date dynamic QR code is required to be issued mandatorily?

It is required to be issued from 1st Dec 2020.

  1. As of the date, I cannot see any taxpayer issuing dynamic QR Code for B2C transactions?

Penal provisions for not issuing dynamic QR codes for B2C transactions have been issued wide Notification No 89/2020 – Central Tax dated 29th November 2020. No penalty will be levied if the dynamic QR code is not issued till 31st March 2021.

  1. My turnover is less than the stipulated turnover of ₹ 100 crores. Can I still go ahead and issue an e-invoice for my B2B transactions?

No, you cannot issue an e-invoice if your turnover is less than ₹ 100 crores.

  1. In the case of exports, the customer who is outside India does not have GSTIN number and entering a PIN code is a challenge, in such cases what i should do?

For exports e-invoice is required to be issued and the GSTIN of the overseas customer has to be entered as “URP”, state code has to be entered as “96” and Pin Code as “999999”.

  1. Can you please share the notification related to the e-invoice?

Sr. No

Notification No & Date



Notification No 68/2019-Central Tax ,dt. 13-12-2019

Notifies Form GST INV-01, which is nothing but an e-invoice

Amendment to Rule 48, new Sub Rules 4, 5 & 6 introduced.


Notification No 69/2019-Central Tax ,dt. 13-12-2019

Notifies 10 different portals for the issue of e-invoices.


Notification No 70/2019-Central Tax ,dt. 13-12-2019

Notifies threshold for e-invoices as ₹ 500 crores from 1st April 2020 for B2B transactions.


Notification No 71/2019-Central Tax ,dt. 13-12-2019

 Seeks to give effect to the provisions of rule 46 of the CGST Rules, 2017.


Notification No 72/2019-Central Tax ,dt. 13-12-2019

Notifies the dynamic QR code for B2C transactions for taxpayers having turnover above ₹ 500 crores from 1st April 2020.


Notification No 72/2019-Central Tax ,dt. 13-12-2019

Form GST INV-01 notified, which talks about the list of documents and transactions for which e-invoice is required to be issued.


Notification No 13/2020-Central Tax,dt. 21-03-2020

Implementation of e-invoice has been postponed to 1st Oct 2020, and the threshold limit has been increased to ₹ 500 crores from ₹ 100 crores.


Notification No 14/2020-Central Tax, dt. 21-03-2020

Implementation of dynamic QR code for B2C transactions postponed till 1st Oct 2020


Notification No. 60/2020 – Central Tax dt 31st July 2020

The new format of Form GST INV-01 notified based on the inputs from trade and industry


Notification No. 61/2020 – Central Tax dt 31st July 2020

Taxpayers registered under SEZ are being exempted from the issue of e-invoice


Notification No. 70/2020 – Central Tax dt 30th Sep 2020

The financial year has been replaced with any financial year from 2017-18. If turnover crosses in any year, then an e-invoice has to be issued, and for export transactions, an e-invoice has to be issued.


Notification No. 71/2020–Central Tax dt 30th Sep 2020

For the issue of dynamic QR code, the, if the threshold has crossed more than ₹ 500 crores in any of the financial years from 2017-18, has been notified.

The rollout date has been postponed to 1st Dec 2020.


Notification No. 72/2020–Central Tax dt 30th Sep 2020

Rule 46 has been amended to include QR Code.

Rule 138A has been amended to show the IRN number in the QR Code


Notification No. 73/2020–Central Tax dt 01st Oct 2020

30 days grace period given for the issue of e-invoice for taxpayers how are required to issue e-invoice from 1st Oct 2020.


Notification No. 88/2020-Central Tax dated 10.11.2020

Taxpayers having turnover above ₹ 100 crores have to issue e-invoice from 1st Jan 2021 notified.


Notification No 89/2020-Central Tax dated 29.11.2020

Penal provisions are exempted for dynamic QR codes for B2C transactions up to 31st March 2021.


Any views or opinions represented above are personal and belong solely to the author and do not represent those of people, institutions, or organizations that the author may or may not be associated with in professional or personal capacity unless explicitly stated. Any views or opinions are not intended to malign any religion, ethnic group, club, organization, company, or individual.


By: Mallikarjuna Gupta - January 27, 2021


Discussions to this article


Dear Sir,

As per Q.47, an ISD has to issue e-invoice for ISD invoices. Can you please share the notification/circular or other govenment issued document where it is clarified that an ISD has to issue e-invoice.


By: Sushil Kumar Khetan
Dated: 28/01/2021

Provisions for the ISD Invoice are given in Sub Rule 1A of Rule 54 and the exempted category of taxpayers is given in NOTIFICATION No. 13/2020–Central Tax which expects the following provisions of Rule 54 sub-rules (2), (3), (4) and (4A).

By: Mallikarjuna Gupta
Dated: 28/01/2021

Dear Sir,

Thank you for providing circular reference. However as per FAQ provided in Govt. e-invoice portal( link - ) it is clarified that e-invoiceing is not applicable to invoices issued by ISD.

Also, in e-invoicing portal, there is no option to generated e-invoice for ISD invoice as the content and mandatory field requirement for regular Tax invoice and ISD invoices are different.

Please clarify.

Thanks in advance.

By: Sushil Kumar Khetan
Dated: 29/01/2021

We need to refer to the legal documents and in that context notification is a valid document in the court of law. FAQs are only assist the taxpayers in their understanding.

I agree with you, for transfter of credit for the invoice what we issue HSN is not required but in case tax invoice HSN is mandatory.

By: Mallikarjuna Gupta
Dated: 30/01/2021


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