The new system of e-invoicing brings in further automation and ease in the process of filing returns while also improving the controls against tax evasion. Let us take a look at the system of amendment and cancellation of an e-invoice.
Before diving into amendment and cancellation of an e-invoice, we need to be aware that an e-invoice is created on the basis of a prescribed schema and a unique Invoice Reference Number (IRN) is assigned to each such invoice using a hash generation algorithm. The taxpayer can either generate the IRN or upload the invoice onto the IRP as it is and the IRP would generate the IRN. In case the taxpayer generates the IRN, the IRP will have to validate the same.
The IRP is an entity responsible for authenticating e-invoices by checking whether the invoice follows the prescribed schema and mandatory parameters, whether the IRN is unique, etc. Hence the website of an IRP and that of the GST portal is separate. Once an IRP validates an e-invoice, it forwards the details to the GST portal.
IRPs will process each invoice one at a time. However, to ensure that this process is not slowed down due to the burden on the servers, the IRP will have a very lean and focused system. To achieve this, one of the measures that will be used is that the IRP will not be required to store e-invoices for more than 24 hours.
Therefore, an e-invoice can be cancelled on the IRP only within 24 hours. Further, the whole of the invoice would have to be cancelled since partial cancellation is not possible. Amendments to an e-invoice cannot be carried out on the IRP.
While cancellation on the IRP is allowed only within 24 hours, amendment and cancellation of e-invoices are allowed on the GST portal as per the provisions of the law. Which implies that amendments and cancellations would continue to be made as per the current system, i.e., reporting in Form GSTR-1.
There has been no change in the scope for amendment and cancellation of invoices with the introduction of the e-invoicing system with the exception that e-invoices can be cancelled within 24 hours on the IRP.