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Setting up the API system for e-invoicing

Updated on :  

08 min read.

Application Programming Interface (API) enables the taxpayers or their GSPs to interact with the e-invoice system. This article discusses the process to set up an API system for e-invoicing.

What is API and the benefit of API integration in e-invoicing for a business?

API is an Application Programming Interface. It is a software intermediary which enables two applications to interact with each other. Under e-invoicing, APIs help in communication between taxpayers or their GSPs (GST Suvidha Providers) and the e-invoice system. 

Benefit: APIs facilitate the smooth transmission of data between the taxpayers accounting system and the e-invoice system. A taxpayer needs to just enter the data in its accounting software, and thereafter the APIs will transfer data to the e-way bill and GST portals and back to the ERP or accounting software.

Prerequisite to keep in mind for API integration

Configuring the ERP/accounting software as per the requirements of the e-invoicing system is a must.

  • The accounting software should be able to issue an invoice as per the notified schema of e-invoice. 
  • It should allow smooth transmission of data to the e-invoice system via API.
  • Invoices are printed after receiving IRN from the Invoice Registration Portal.
  • It should have a module for the storage of IRN.

Uses and actions to be taken on the API Sandbox testing portal for e-invoicing

Uses- The e-invoicing sandbox system provides essential information to the developers for integration of e-invoicing operations by NIC-IRP through APIs with the taxpayers accounting system. The main purpose is to allow testing in a simulated environment.

The developer can understand the process involved in the preparation, encryption and decryption of the request payload. He can upload the request payload and then check the results. 

A developer can use the material available in the resource section to get himself familiarised with the Invoice Reference Number generation among others. He can understand the attributes used in JSON and mapping it with their technical name, masters for the country, currency, port and state, General master, etc.

Actions to be taken on the API sandbox testing portal for e-invoicing

  1. Registration by eligible taxpayers: An eligible API user can get himself registered in the e-invoicing sandbox environment. The registration can be done by taxpayers or GSPs, or software developers. 
  2. Add GSTIN: Click on “Add test GSTIN” on the homepage. If the user is an eligible taxpayer, he can also create additional user accounts for other GSTINs under the same PAN.
  3. Testing APIs in the sandbox environment: The developers can test the APIs and check the results, which could succeed or fail. Access to the e-invoice system will be provided after evaluating the Summary test report on the sandbox that is completed.

What is IP whitelisting, and how to set it up for e-invoicing?

IP whitelisting provides network access to specific IP addresses. Basically, it helps to control access to the e-invoice network. If a taxpayer is already integrated with the API under the e-way bill system, then the same credentials can be used for e-invoice as well. If not, the taxpayer can apply for IP whitelisting as mentioned in the topic below. The network team will scrutinise the IP addresses and whitelist the IP address.

Maximum number of IPs that can be whitelisted on the e-invoice portal and requirements

A maximum of only four public IPs registered in India can be whitelisted for IRN generation under the e-invoice system. Also, the request for all GSTINs should flow through these four IP addresses only.  

How to obtain the API access credentials for e-invoice generation for each GSTIN under the same PAN?

Step 1: Log in to the e-invoice portal.

Step 2: Go to API registration and then click on IP whitelisting.

api access

Step 3: After scrutiny of the test report, the IP whitelisting will be done.

api access
api access

Step 4: The client ID and client secret will be sent to the registered mobile number of the taxpayer via SMS. In case the same is not received, the taxpayer can log in to the e-invoice portal and click on resend. 

Note: These credentials are for a PAN that is the Company as a whole. So, all the GSTINs registered under the same PAN need to use these credentials. 

Steps to create multiple users under the same PAN

Follow the below steps to create multiple users for each GSTIN under the same PAN:

Step 1: Log in to the e-invoice portal and click on Create API user.

multiple api access

Step 2: On the API registration page, enter the client ID and client secret. Select the mode for registration with API as “direct” or “through GST Suvidha Provider”. In case the taxpayer selects GSP, he will have to update the name of GSP from the drop-down list and click submit. Here are the steps to select GST Suvidha Provider for e-invoicing.

Step 3: Now, create the username, password and re-enter the password and save it. The taxpayer can repeat the same process for all other GSTINs under the same PAN for which he needs separate credentials.

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