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Generation of QR Code in the e-Invoice

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The new e-invoicing system aims to have a standardised way of reporting invoices. 

Latest Updates on e-Invoicing

Update as on 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.

Update as on 10th November 2020

The taxpayers having an aggregate turnover exceeding Rs.100 crore in any preceding financial year, starting from 2017-18, should implement e-invoicing from 1st January 2021.

Update as on 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.

Update as on 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.

Update as on 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 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.

Update as on 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 the insurance, banking, financial institutions, NBFCs, GTA, and passenger transportation service, etc.


What is QR Code?

Quick Response Code is abbreviated as QR code. It is a two-dimensional barcode applied to items for presenting information in its machine-readable format. 

Purpose of QR Code

In the e-invoicing system, the QR Code will be used to provide information about a particular invoice in a quick manner, without the need to retrieve such information from an external source, say, the internet. This would serve the following needs:

  1. It would help in increasing the efficiency of conducting commerce by using machines to capture the data contained in invoices for quick and accurate input.
  2. It would help indirect tax officers to determine whether a particular invoice is valid and contains all the relevant particulars with the use of handheld devices. This is especially useful when they are out on the field. 
  3. Once the Invoice Registration Portal (IRP) returns the e-invoice to the supplier after assigning the QR Code, the supplier only needs to use the QR Code to generate a PDF of the signed e-invoice. 

Information Contained Within the QR Code

The QR Code will be created based on the following parameters:

  • GSTIN of the supplier
  • GSTIN of the recipient
  • Invoice number given by the supplier
  • Date of the generation of invoice
  • Invoice value 
  • Number of line items
  • HSN Code of the main item
  • Unique Invoice Reference Number/Hash

Which are the documents to which QR code applies?

Under the GST law, the e-invoicing system is compulsory from 1st October 2020 for those taxpayers having an aggregate turnover more than Rs.500 crore in any previous financial years, starting from 2017-18. Further from 1st January 2021, this extends to businesses with annual turnover of more than Rs.100 crore in any previous financial years, starting from 2017-18. Thus, all those taxpayers will be required to issue invoices under the e-invoicing system in respect of B2B tax invoices, credit notes and debit notes. The e-invoicing system also requires invoices printed to have a space for QR codes. 

In the case of exports and RCM supplies, since tax invoices are required to be issued, the QR code shall also be applicable.

Applicability of QR Code to B2C GST Invoice

Where the aggregate turnover of a supplier in a preceding financial years, starting from 2017-18, exceeds Rs.500 crore, he shall be required to have a dynamic QR code displayed on B2C invoices raised by him. Where the supplier makes a dynamic QR code available through a digital display, the cross-reference of the payment made through it should be made available.

How and where is the QR Code Generated?

The JSON of the invoice is required to be uploaded onto the Invoice Registration Portal (IRP) for generating an Invoice Reference Number (IRN). After the successful generation of IRN, the IRP allows the affixing of digital signature and QR code to the JSON.