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All about Invoice Registration Portal (IRP) under GST

Updated on

IRP, known as the Invoice Registration Portal is instrumental in validating the genuineness of the invoices used in the GST ecosystem. It generates and assigns IRN to every GST invoice.

The infrastructure to support the trial version of the e-invoicing system was made available for voluntary use from 1st January 2020. The Invoice Registration Portal (IRP) plays a key role in running the show.

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 Invoice Registration Portal (IRP)

The Invoice Registration Portals are entities that act as Registrars and operate through a website for assigning Invoice Reference Numbers (IRN) to each invoice/credit note/debit note. The invoice details can be uploaded onto the Invoice Registration Portal using a prescribed mode for the purpose of either generating or validating the Invoice Reference Number (IRN) of the invoice uploaded. Only such invoices with an authorised IRN will be considered valid as per law.

At present, there is only one IRP – NIC. The e-invoice portal currently in use is https://einvoice1.gst.gov.in/. However, multiple Registrars (IRPs) will be added in the future.


What are the functions of IRP?

The IRP performs the following tasks:

1. Generation of hash/IRN for invoices:

Where the invoices have been uploaded without hash, the Invoice Registration Portal generates the hash/IRN for that invoice in the prescribed format based on the IRN parameters.

2. Validation of hash/IRN for invoices:

Where the taxpayer generates the hash on their systems, the invoice is uploaded with the hash and the IRN checks if the prescribed parameters are complied with.

3. De-duplication check:

The IRP conducts a check of the hash/IRN of an invoice for any duplication or repetition by comparing the same with information stored in the Central Depository.

4. Digital Signing of validated invoices:

All the validated invoices are digitally signed by the Invoice Registration Portal using the private key of the IRP. This digitally signed JSON is then made available to the supplier.

5. Generation of QR codes in respect of validated invoices:

Along with digital signature, a QR code is also generated in respect of each invoice by the Invoice Registration Portal. The resulting QR code can be used to verify/print the invoice and also to have a quick view/access on handheld devices. This feature is especially useful for tax officers and other stakeholders to verify certain details when they have no/limited access to the internet. The following parameters will be available through the QR code:

A. GSTIN of supplier
B. GSTIN of recipient
C. Invoice number as given by supplier
D. Date of generation of invoice
E. Invoice value (taxable value and gross tax)
F. Number of line items
G. HSN Code of the main item (the line item having the highest taxable value)
I. Unique Invoice Reference Number (hash)

6. Sending the invoice via e-mail:

The validated invoice will be sent to the e-mail address of the seller.

7. Offline app:

The IRP will provide an offline app to authenticate the QR code of an invoice offline and view its basic details. The complete details of the invoice would be available only after connecting to the portal.

8. Integration with GST and E-Way Bill system:

The details of the uploaded invoice will automatically be shared with the GST system which will allow for automatic updating of GSTR-1 (of the seller). Further, the details will also be automatically shared with the E-Way Bill system wherever required to make the process of creating E-Way Bill even simpler. The E-Way Bill system would only then require vehicle number to complete the process of creating E-Way Bill.


E-Invoice Generation on IRP

E-invoicing ensures that a particular standard or format is followed for the electronic reporting of invoice details. GST taxpayers must follow a prescribed format which helps the system read the output generated by another system (inter-system readability). Therefore, if the details of the invoices are reported as per the prescribed format, it will result in a major improvement by automation in the process of filing returns.

Thus, it can be concluded that the purpose of the Invoice Registration Portal is not to generate e-invoices online but to only register the details of the invoices generated by the entity on a day-to-day basis. In order to upload details of the invoices into the IRP, the invoice should be available as a JSON file using offline tool or the ERP must be integrated with the e-invoice system via API, either directly or through GSPs.


Modes of registering Invoice with IRP

Multiple modes have been proposed for registering the invoice on the IRP:

  1. Web-based through Bulk Upload:

    The details of invoices can be entered on an excel based offline tool which converts the data into a JSON file. The same can be uploaded onto the e-invoice website of the IRP for the purpose of registration/validation of the same. IRN will be generated thereafter along with QR code.

  2. API based:

    The API integration mode will allow big taxpayers and accounting software providers to interact with the Invoice Registration Portal through their own software. For this purpose, server details of their own systems must be registered with the e-invoice system. The IRN can be generated and validated for invoices either one at a time or in bulk, similar to the E-Way Bill system using the APIs. Prerequisites for integration include a IT enabled invoice generation system with a static IP address, pre-production system to test the API interface and SSL based domain name.

  3. Mobile App based:

    IRP provides a mobile app on the play store or App store, which carries out some functions of the IRP as discussed above. The user must register the IMEI (International Mobile Equipment Identity) number of the mobile phones through which the IRN needs to be generated on the e-invoice system

  4. GSP based:

    Taxpayers can also utilise the services of the GST Suvidha Provider (GSP) such as ClearTax to help them carry out their e-invoice related compliances.