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API (Application Programming Interface) is a software intermediary which allows two applications to interact with each other.
30th June 2021
The CBIC has 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 30th September 2021.
1st June 2021
CBIC has notified vide Central Tax Notification no.23 dated 1st June 2021 that the e-invoicing system shall not apply to a government department and local authority.
30th March 2021
The CBIC has 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 30th June 2021, provided the said person complies with the provisions of the said notification from 1st July 2021.
With regard to the e-invoicing system, APIs facilitate the communication and exchange of data between taxpayers or GSPs (GST Suvidha Providers), and the e-invoice system. For the government to create a platform to provide GST services to taxpayers, two separate software components will need to nteract with each other as per the API specifications. The e-invoice system uses RESTful web services to provide various taxpayer functionalities such as filing of returns, registration, viewing ledgers, making online payments, etc.
Taxpayers and GSPs can use API to adhere to various GST compliances. Listed below are the categories of taxpayers that are eligible to use APIs to generate e-invoices:
|Sr.No.||Turnover in Previous FY||Applicable Date|
|1||More than Rs.500 crores||1st October 2020 (Mandatory, with certain exemptions*)|
|2||More than Rs.100 crore but less than Rs.500 crore||1st January 2021 (Mandatory, with certain exemptions*)|
|3||More than Rs.50 crores||1st April 2021|
*Exemption from e-invoicing and QR code generation has been granted to sectors such as insurance and banking, financial institutions, NBFCs, GTA, passenger transportation services and movie tickets.
Taxpayers’ convenience is key for the successful implementation of GST. They can use third-party applications that provide a variety of interfaces on desktops, laptops and mobiles to connect with the GST filing system. These third-party applications connect with the GST filing system via GST APIs thus, enhancing the taxpayers’ convenience.
Under e-invoicing, taxpayers will generate e-invoice under their respective ERP software and will report the same on the Invoice Registration Portal (IRP). The IRP has constructed the e-invoice process through an API mode. The GSPs/taxpayers can integrate these APIs into their existing ERPs and can generate e-invoice directly through their system.
At present, seven different APIs are available:
API plays an important role in the generation of an e-invoice. A taxpayer needs to enter the details of their invoice into their accounting system. The data is then sent through the API to the Invoice Registration Portal (IRP).
The invoice gets registered under the IRP, an IRN gets generated, and the invoice is sent back to the taxpayer along with the digitally signed e-invoice and QR Code. The taxpayer’s system prepares the invoice for print, which contains the IRN and the QR Code embedded in it.
Following are the prerequisites to use e-invoicing APIs:
There is a three-level interaction in case one uses application service providers (ASP) for generating IRN. The ASP pulls out invoice data from the client’s accounting or billing system and thereafter, puts the data in the required format to be sent to the IRP. The interaction happens via APIs. This model is comparatively an attractive option for most of the taxpayers due to the cost-effectiveness involved.
On the other hand, if the taxpayer has his own ERP system that can interact with the IRP via APIs, it can easily communicate with IRP for the generation of IRNs. However, such a set-up is expensive.