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IRN, known as Invoice Reference Number, is a unique number allotted by Government to tag and identify every valid e-invoice generated in India, first implemented from 1st October 2020. The e-invoicing system has been introduced to create a standard for all e-invoices generated. In this article, we will be dealing with the following aspects about Invoice Reference Number (IRN) in an e-invoice.
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26th December 2022
The CBIC clarified that no proposal is put before the GST Council to implement the next phase of e-invoicing for those businesses with turnover over Rs.5 crore from 1st January 2023.
11th October 2022
The GST Council may implement the next phase of e-invoicing for businesses with an annual turnover of more than Rs.5 crore from 1st January 2023. The system may get extended to businesses with a turnover of over Rs.1 crore by the end of the next fiscal year.
1st August 2022
The e-Invoicing system for B2B transactions has now been extended to those with an annual aggregate turnover of more than Rs.10 crore up to Rs.20 crore starting from 1st October 2022, vide notification no. 17/2022.
24th February 2022
The e-Invoicing system will get extended to those annual aggregate turnover of more than Rs.20 crore up to Rs.50 crore starting from 1st April 2022, vide notification no. 1/2022.
The Invoice Reference Number (IRN) is a unique number (also known as hash) generated by the Invoice Registration Portal (IRP) using a hash generation algorithm, under the e-invoicing system. For every document such as an invoice or debit or credit note to be submitted on the Invoice Registration Portal, a 64 character invoice reference number shall be generated. This number shall be unique for every invoice raised in a financial year by a GSTIN in the entire GST system.
Further, every invoice being issued by supplier to his recipient must contain the IRN. The tax officers can verify the genuineness of the transaction using invoice reference number through the central portal as well as an offline app. It will, in turn, help them check the invoice even where internet may not be accessible.
A hash generation algorithm is a function that converts a message or a string consisting of characters (alphabets + numbers + certain special characters) into a series of numbers such that the resulting numbers cannot indicate the original message. The GSTN will prescribe this algorithm as part of the e-invoicing standard.
IRN is generated by converting characters into numbers (also called ‘hash’) using a hash generation algorithm. This algorithm will be applied to the following three parameters:
The IRN generation will be required at the time of issuing the invoice or credit note or debit note by the seller. However, the taxpayers having more than Rs.500 crores turnover were given a grace period of 30 days from 1st October 2020 for generating an IRN. This grace period was valid for the invoices issued between 1st October 2020 to 31st October 2020.
The invoices under the e-invoicing system will continue to be prepared using any software that a business entity uses to generate invoices. However, they will have to conform to the prescribed standard and parameters.
The entity can choose either of the following two options to generate IRN:
Option 1: Using the Excel offline tool.
Option 2: Through API integration directly with the e-invoice portal/IRP or via GST Suvidha Provider.
For more details about how IRN is generated, read our article on How to generate IRN?
Note: In both cases, the IRP will perform a de-duplication check where the IRN so generated will be checked against the Central Registry of the GST System (containing all generated/uploaded IRN) to ensure that all IRN remain unique.
No, it is not possible as only a unique invoice will be accepted on the invoice registration portal. For this purpose, the e-invoice system does a check with the Central Registry of the GST system for any duplication.
The IRN which is generated on the e-invoice system shall be made available to the taxpayer for upto 24 hours
Following are the prerequisites:
Yes, both are mandatory fields as per the e-invoice schema notified by the CBIC on 30th July 2020.