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E-Invoice API FAQs

Updated on:  

08 min read

An API is an Application Programming Interface. It acts as a mediator between two different applications and helps them to interact with each other. In the e-invoice system, a taxpayer generates e-invoice in his respective software and reports these invoices on the Invoice Registration Portal (IRP). The IRP will process the e-invoice through API. Here are some of the e-Invoice API FAQs.

Latest Update

30th June 2021
The CBIC has issued a notification seeking to waive the penalty imposed on non-compliance of dynamic QR code provisions for B2C invoices between 1st December 2020 and 30th September 2021.

1st June 2021
CBIC has notified vide Central Tax Notification no.23 dated 1st June 2021 that the e-invoicing system shall not apply to a government department and local authority.

30th March 2021

The CBIC has issued a notification seeking to waive the penalty imposed on non-compliance of dynamic QR code provisions for B2C invoices between 1st December 2020 and 30th June 2021, provided the said person complies with the provisions of the said notification from 1st July 2021.

8th March 2021
The CBIC has notified that e-Invoicing will be applicable from 1st April 2021 for businesses with an aggregate turnover of more than Rs.50 crores (in any financial year from FY 2017-18 onwards).

29th November 2020
The CBIC issued a notification seeking to waive the penalty imposed on non-compliance of dynamic QR code provisions for B2C invoices between 1st December 2020 and 31st March 2021, provided the eligible registered person complies with these provisions from 1st April 2021.

10th November 2020
The taxpayers having an aggregate turnover exceeding Rs.100 crore should implement e-invoicing from 1st January 2021.

1st October 2020
The applicable taxpayers have been given a grace period of 30 days for generating an Invoice Reference Number (IRN). However, this grace period is valid for the invoices issued between 1st October 2020 to 31st October 2020.

30th September 2020
Now, the aggregate turnover should be checked from FY 2017-18 till FY 2019-20, for checking the applicability of e-invoicing. Also, the date of implementation of the dynamic QR Code for B2C invoices has been extended until 1st December 2020.

30th July 2020
1. A new refined format of e-invoice has been notified by CBIC adding 20 new fields and removing 13 fields. Certain fields have undergone changes in character length as well.
2. e-Invoicing system shall apply to those taxpayers with an annual turnover exceeding Rs 500 crore instead of Rs 100 crore.
3. Special Economic Zones (SEZ) units shall also be exempted from issuing e-invoices.

23rd March 2020
The implementation of e-invoicing and the QR code has been deferred to 1st October 2020.
Exemption from e-Invoicing and QR code has been granted to sectors such as insurance, banking, financial institutions, NBFCs, GTA, passenger transportation service and movie tickets.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where can a taxpayer/GSP get credentials to access the APIs and how?

A taxpayer/GSP can get credentials on the portal. They need to get registered under the portal by using the login tab.

Where can a taxpayer/GSP get the URL or endpoints of APIs?

A taxpayer/GSP should log in to the testing portal to get the endpoints of APIs for the sandbox system.

Company X has business units in different states with different GSTINs under the same PAN. Can same API credentials be used for access at different locations?

There are two types of credentials for logging-in to the e-invoice system: i. Client ID and Client Secret: This is provided to the notified taxpayer and can be used for all the business units registered in different states under the same PAN. ii. Username and password: This is to be created separately for each GSTIN.

For whom are e-invoice APIs available for access?

E-invoice APIs are available for:

  • Registered taxpayers with a turnover greater than Rs.500 crore
  • Registered GSPs
Who can generate IRN under the e-invoice system?

E-invoicing has currently been notified for registered taxpayers with a turnover greater than Rs.500 crore in FY 19-20, with exceptions such as Special Economic Zones (SEZ) units, insurance, banking, financial institutions, NBFCs, GTA, passenger transportation service and sale of movie tickets. Only these notified taxpayers will have to generate the IRN for their supplies/sales.

Where can one find the Public Key of the e-invoice system?

One can get the Public Key of the e-invoice system by logging into the testing portal.

Can a taxpayer generate e-way bills using IRN? Are there any changes in the generation of the e-way bill processes after the implementation of e-invoice systems?

Yes, a taxpayer can generate e-way bills using IRN. There will be no change in the generation of e-way bill processes.

Is a taxpayer required to generate a token for each transaction?

It is not recommended to raise a new token for each transaction. Once a token is generated it can be used multiple times till it gets expired. In case, a new request is made, the system will throw back the prior valid token along with expiry time. For making a new request, a taxpayer can refer to the already generated token from the system. If the token has expired, he can raise a new one.

What happens if the same request is raised multiple times?

It is not recommended to raise the same request multiple times. But, if a taxpayer does so, the e-invoice system may block the user’s request for one hour or so.

What is the intent of using ‘Force Refresh Access Token’ under Authentication API?

A taxpayer can use ‘Force Refresh Access Token’ to generate a new token just 10 minutes before the expiry of the previous token to avoid failure of a transaction after the expiry of a token.

Can the same token be used for the generation of e-way bills and e-invoice?

Yes, the same token can be used to generate both e-way bills and e-invoice. But, the same should be done within the expiry of the token.

Can a taxpayer print QR code on its invoice?

Yes, a taxpayer can do so by using the ‘Generate IRN’ API before issuing it to the counterparty.

How can a signed invoice be verified?

A signed invoice can be verified by:

Use ‘Generate IRN’ API to get the signed invoice back. The details in the signed invoice are provided as per JWT and JWS standard, which contains the data signature and signing algorithm parameters.

Further, to verify the signed invoice and the QR code, the public key of the certificate which was used to sign is required. The public key is the same as was used for encrypting the password and app key. The key for the sandbox environment is available for download on the e-invoice sandbox API developer’s portal.*SHA256 RSA algorithm is used for digital signatures.

Which algorithm is used for encryption/decryption of data?

The symmetric algorithm AES256 (AES/ECB/PKCS7Padding) and the asymmetric algorithm (RSA/ECB/PKCS1Padding) is used along with SEK, to encrypt the request payloads of the POST API methods and to decrypt response payloads.

For how long is the authentication token valid?

An authentication token is valid for six hours on the production system. But, for effective testing by the developer, it is set for one hour in the sandbox.

How many rounds of API testing have to be made on the sandbox system to get the production access?

Each API needs to be tested on the sandbox environment. Each API will have to have at least 50 success cases and 50 failed cases. A system generated MIS report will be provided under ‘API developer testing’, application to figure out how many cases are tested by the taxpayers. On the basis of this report, the system will decide whether a taxpayer is qualified for production access or not.

Why am I getting ‘Invalid Auth Token’ error while generating an e-invoice through API?

Auth Token for generating e-invoice will be active for six hours since the first successful login. Even if the Auth API is called again before six hours, the same token will be returned and the time is not reset. Hence, you have to generate a new Auth token when it expires after six hours.

Click here to read FAQs on the e-Invoicing system.

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