File GST Returns with ClearTax to avoid errors and save time

The GSTN released the latest e-invoice format. E-invoice system is proposed to be implemented from 1st January 2020. It will be implemented in a phased manner by GSTN. Similar to the new GST return filing system, the electronic invoicing system will first be available on a trial basis or voluntary compliance.

E-invoice does not mean the generation of invoices from a central portal of the tax department. Since such centralisation will bring unnecessary restriction on the way trade is conducted.

E-invoice is a standard format of the invoice recommended by the GSTN for all their GST registered suppliers. A taxpayer can ensure that the set parameters are supported by the accounting/billing software used for generation of the invoice. Thereafter, such invoice generated will be called the e-invoice.

Contents of e-invoice and limits

The e-invoice schema contains both mandatory and optional fields. The mandatory fields are those that must be compulsorily there for an invoice to be valid under the e-invoice standard. The optional fields are those that may be incorporated as per the business needs.

The maximum number of line items per e-invoice is 100. All the mandatory fields are to be filled in to register an e-invoice on the invoice registration portal (IRP). A mandatory field without any value can be reported as NIL.

The seller with JSON generated from excel/word/ERP/mobile app and the same will be uploaded to the IRP. The JSON file should contain all the mandatory fields, which are required to generate an e-invoice. The following are the basic contents in a JSON file:

  1. GSTIN of the supplier
  2. GSTIN of the recipient
  3. Invoice number as given by the supplier
  4. Date of the generation of the invoice
  5. Invoice value (taxable value and gross tax)
  6. The number of line items.
  7. HSN Code of the main item (the line item having the highest taxable value)

How is e-invoice authorised?

After validation of data by the IRP, the seller will receive JSON with a valid IRN, digitally-signed e-invoice and QR code. The QR code contains basic invoice details.

The serial number of invoice will be unique for a GSTIN for a financial year and the same has to be captured by the supplier’s ERP. The IRN will be generated by the GST system using the GSTIN of supplier or document creator, financial year and the unique serial number of the document/invoice. The IRN can also be generated by the seller.

The supplier has to keep the IRN against each invoice. It is useful to keep the IRN in ERP as an invoice without IRN will not be a legal document.

The e-invoice schema is a go-to guide for a user to understand what are the different specifications, example and explanations broadly pre-defined for the invoice fields. 

List of Mandatory and Optional Fields

The e-invoice schema contains the following columns:

S No Defined Columns Meaning
1 Technical field name It refers to the technical name used for the field
2 Cardinality It indicates whether the item is mandatory or optional and also indicates about the recurrence of the item, i.e. whether the item can be repeated or not
3 Small description of the field This is the field name which will be displayed in the e-invoice
4 Is it mandatory on invoice Whether the field is optional or mandatory
5 Technical field specification This specifies limitations of the string, i.e. the maximum length of the field, date format, and decimal places
6 Sample values of the field Example for the user to get familiar
7 Explanatory notes of the field A detailed explanation about the small description of the file, i.e. what it means and what are the details to be mentioned

The following fields of an invoice must be compulsorily declared in an e-invoice:

Sl. o Name of the field List of Choices/Specifications/Sample Inputs Remarks
1 IRN Max length: 50

Sample: 649b01ft

This is a unique reference number for the invoice. It can be generated by the seller or can be left blank before submission to IRP. In case IRN is generated by the seller, the system will validate it and register against the invoice. If this field has been left blank, the e-invoice system will generate an IRN. The invoice is valid only if it has IRN and it is registered on the e-invoice system
2 Invoice_Type_Code Max length: 10

Can be one of the following:

Reg/SEZP/SEZWP/EXP/EXPWP/DEXP

Denotation for regular, SEZ supplies with payment, SEZ supplies without payment, deemed exports, sale from the bonded warehouse, export without payment of tax, and export with payment of tax
3 Invoice Number Max length: 16

Sample input is 

‘Sa/1/2019’

For unique identification of the invoice, a sequential number is required within the business context, time-frame, operating systems and records of the supplier. No identification scheme is to be used
4 Invoice Date (DD/MM/YYYY) The date when the invoice was issued
5 Invoice_Period_Start_Date (DD/MM/YYYY) Not explained
6 Invoice_Period_End_Date (DD/MM/YYYY) Not explained
7 Preceeding_Invoice_Reference Max length:16

Sample input is 

‘Sa/1/2019’

Detail of original invoice which is being amended by a subsequent document such as a debit and credit note. It is required to keep future expansion of e-versions of credit notes, debit notes and other documents required under GST
8 Preceeding_Invoice_Date (DD/MM/YYYY) The date when the invoice was issued
9 Supplier_Legal_Name Max length: 100 Name as appearing in PAN of the supplier
10 Supplier_GSTIN Max length: 15 

Must be alphanumeric 

GSTIN of the supplier raising the e-invoice
11 Supplier_Address1 Max length: 100 Address of the supplier
12 Supplier_State Max length: 50 State of the supplier
13 Supplier_Pincode Max length: 6 Pincode of the supplier
14 Billing_Name Max length: 100 The trade name of the buyer should be mentioned here
15 Billing_GSTIN Max length: 15 The GSTIN of the buyer to be declared here
16 Billing_POS Max length: 2 The place of supply state code to be declared here
17 Billing_Address1 Max length: 100 The place (locality/district/state) of the buyer on whom the invoice is raised/billed to must be declared here, if any
18 Billing_State Max length: 50 State of the buyer
19 Billing_Pincode Max length: 6 Pincode of the buyer
20 Payee_Name Max length: 100 Name of the person to whom payment is to be made
21 Payer_Financial_Account Max length: 18 Account number of payee
22 Mode of Payment Max length: 6 Cash/Credit/Direct Transfer
23 Financial_Institution_Branch Max length: 11 IFS code must be mentioned here
24 Dispatch_From_Details Details about the place from which goods has been dispatched
25 List (items) A group of business terms providing information about the goods and services invoiced
26 Tax_Total Decimal (10,2) When tax currency code is provided, two instances of the tax total must be present, but only one with tax subtotal
27 Paid_amount Decimal (10,2) The sum of amounts which have been paid in advance. Must be rounded to maximum two decimals
28 Amount_due_for_payment Decimal (10,2) The outstanding amount that is requested to be paid. Must be rounded to maximum 2 decimals
29 Tax_Scheme Max length: 4 Mandatory element. Usually mentions ‘GST’
30 Shipping_To_Name Max length: 60 A group of business terms providing information about the address to which goods and services invoiced were or are delivered
31 Shipping_To_GSTIN Max length: 100 A group of business terms providing information about the address to which goods and services invoiced were or are delivered
32 ShippingTo_Address1 Max length: 50 A group of business terms providing information about the address to which goods and services invoiced were or are delivered
33 ShippingTo_Pincode Max length: 50 A group of business terms providing information about the address to which goods and services invoiced were or are delivered.
34 ShippintTo_State Max length: 100 A group of business terms providing information about the address to which goods and services invoiced were or are delivered.
35 Subsupply Type Max length: 2 A group of business terms providing information about the address to which goods and services invoiced were or are delivered.
36 Transaction Mode Max length: 2 A group of business terms providing information about the address to which goods and services invoiced were or are delivered
37 Company_Name Max length: 60 Detail of person and address wherefrom goods are dispatched
38 Address1 Max length: 100 Detail of person and address wherefrom goods are dispatched
39 State Max length: 2 Detail of person and address wherefrom goods are dispatched
40 Pincode Max length: 6 Detail of person and address wherefrom goods are dispatched
41 SLNO Integer Serial Number like 1, 2, 3…
42 Quantity Decimal (13,3) The quantity of items (goods or services) that is charged in the invoice line
43 Rate Decimal (10,2) The number of item units to which the price applies
44 Assessable Value Decimal (13,2) The unit price, exclusive of GST, before subtracting item price discount, cannot be negative
45 GST Rate Decimal (3,2) The GST rate, represented as percentage that applies to the invoiced item
46 Iamt Decimal (11,2) IGST amount as per item
47 Camt Decimal (11,2) CGST amount as per item
48 Samt Decimal (11,2) SGST amount as per item
49 Total Invoice Value Decimal (11,2) The total amount of the invoice with GST. Must be rounded to maximum 2 decimals
50 Batch Name Max length: 20 Batch number details are important to be mentioned for certain set of manufacturers

The optional fields include references to contracts, vendor purchase order, e-way bill number, phone number or email ID, and the place of dispatch of the goods to mention a few.

E-invoice format released by GSTN

The GST portal has released two types of e-invoice templates. One template is only with mandatory fields and the other is with both mandatory and optional fields. This templates will give a view of how an e-invoice will look like.

The template containing only mandatory fields:

E-invoice_Mandatory fields

 

Check out the GSTN’s E-invoice Format

 
Find the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s) about E-invoicing

Use ClearTax to Match & Claim

20% Provisional ITC Accurately Before Filing

image-for-cta-300px
File GSTR-9 Now