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GST Invoice Guide: Components, Formats and Time to Issue

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Different types of documents need to be issued under various circumstances whenever a transaction takes place. These documents include:

  • Invoice
  • Debit Note
  • Credit Note
  • Bill of Supply
  • Receipt Voucher
  • Payment Voucher
  • Refund Voucher
  • Delivery Challan
  • Tax Invoice in Special Cases

This article talks about invoice or tax invoice. So let’s understand what is a GST invoice, how to prepare the GST invoice and rules concerning such a tax invoice.

 

What is a Tax Invoice?

 

An invoice is a commercial document that a supplier of goods or services issues to the recipient in a given transaction. Such a document indicates the names of the parties involved as well as the details of goods or services supplied under a given transaction. These details include the:

  • product name
  • description
  • quantity of goods or services sold
  • details of the supplier and the purchaser
  • terms of supply
  • date of supply
  • price of each good sold or service rendered
  • discount

The importance of tax invoice under GST has increased due to the invoice matching facility under such a tax regime. This is because to claim credit under GST, the return for outward supplies of the supplier must match with the return for inward supplies of the recipient.

Therefore, it is mandatory for every registered person making taxable supplies to issue a tax invoice. There is no specific prescribed format for a tax invoice. However, there are certain important components that form [part of such a tax invoice.

 

Tax Invoice Format

 

All invoices issued by businesses under the GST should contain these 16 points:

  • Name, address, and GSTIN of the supplier.
  • A consecutive serial number not exceeding 16 characters, in one or multiple series, containing letters or numerals or special characters (hyphen or dash and slash symbolized as “-” and “/” respectively) and any combination thereof, unique for a financial year.
  • Date of its issue.
  • Name, address and GSTIN or UIN, if registered, of the recipient.
  • Address and name of the recipient and the address of delivery, along with the name of the state and its code, if such recipient is unregistered and where the value of taxable supplies Rs 50,000 or more.
  • HSN Code of goods or Accounting Code of services.
  • Description of goods or services.
  • Quantity, in case of goods and unit or Unique Quantity Code thereof.
  • Total value of the supply of goods or services or both.
  • Taxable value of supply of goods or services or both, taking into account discount or abatement if any.
  • Rate of tax (central tax, state tax, integrated tax, Union territory tax or cess).
    Amount of tax charged in respect of taxable goods or services (central tax, state tax, integrated tax, Union territory tax or cess).
  • Place of supply along with the name of the state, in case of a supply in the course of inter-state trade or commerce.
  • Address of delivery where the same is different from the place of supply.
  • Whether the tax is payable on the reverse charge basis.
  • Signature or digital signature of the supplier or his authorized representative.

 

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What Information Should Be Included On A GST Tax Invoice?

 

Tax Invoice in Case of Exports

 

The invoice issued in case of export of goods or services must indicate an affirmation saying

  • “Supply meant for export on payment of IGST” or
  • “Supply meant for export under bond or Letter of Undertaking (LUT) without payment of IGST”

Also, in place of the details mentioned in point 5 above, such invoice must indicate the following details:

  • name and address of the recipient
  • address of delivery
  • name of the country of destination and
  • number and date of application for the removal of goods for export

Furthermore, the registered person is not required to issue a tax invoice if:

  • the value of goods or services supplied is less than Rs. 200
  • the recipient is not a registered person
  • the recipient does not require such an invoice. In this case, the recipient needs to issue a consolidated tax invoice for all the supplies at the end of each day towards such supplies.

 

Time Limit for Issuing Tax Invoice

 

The time limit for issuing invoices helps in determining the time of supply under GST. There can be two cases under this:

 

A. Supply of Taxable Goods

 

  • The invoice must be issued before or at the time of removal of goods in case the supply made is of taxable goods. Provided such a supply includes the movement of goods. For instance, Kapoor Pvt Ltd in New Delhi supplies goods to Sharma Enterprises in Mumbai. The goods were removed from the factory in New Delhi on 10th March 2019. Therefore, the tax invoice, in this case, must be issued on or before 10th March 2019.
  • Invoice must be issued at the time of delivery of goods to the recipient in case of the supply of taxable goods. Provided such supply does not include the movement of goods. For instance, Mr. Sharma goes to Kolkata for a vacation and buys a laptop from Croma Store on 5th June 2019. Since there is no movement of goods, the tax invoice, in this case, must be issued before or at the time of delivery that is on or before 5th June 2019.

 

B. Supply of Taxable Services

 

  • The invoice must be issued before or after the provision of service in case of taxable services. But such an invoice must be issued within a period of maximum 30 days from the provision of service. In the case of Banking and Financial Services Institutions (BFSIs), such a period extends to 45 days.
  • There are cases where consecutive payments are involved or a series of statements of accounts need to be issued in case of a continuous supply of goods. In such a case, the invoice must be issued before or at the time of the issue of the statement of accounts or receipt of such payment.
  • Further, there are also cases when there is a continuous supply of services. In such cases, the invoice must be issued on or before on or before the:
    • due date where such a due date of payment can be ascertained from the contract
    • receipt of payment by the supplier where such a due date of payment cannot be ascertained from the contract
    • completion of an event where payment is linked to the completion of such an event

 

Manner of Issuing Invoice

 

The invoice must be issued in triplicate in case of supply of goods. In this case:

  • the original copy of the invoice is for the recipient,
  • duplicate copy is for the transporter and
  • the triplicate copy is for the supplier

On the other hand, in the case of the supply of services the tax invoice must be issued in duplicate. This means the original copy of the tax invoice is for the recipient and the duplicate on is for the supplier. Further, there can be cases where goods are sent or held on approval for sale or return basis. And the goods are removed before the actual supply takes place. In such cases, the invoice must be issued at a date that is the earlier of the following:

  • before or at the time of actual supply or
  • six months from the date of removal of goods

Furthermore, the supplier in such a case must issue a revised tax invoice in respect of the goods supplied earlier.

 

Issue of Invoice Under Reverse Charge Mechanism

 

Under reverse charge, a registered person must issue a tax invoice in respect of goods or services received by him from an unregistered supplier. This means that the supplier of goods or services is not registered on the date of receipt of such goods or services under the reverse charge mechanism. Furthermore, the recipient needs to issue a payment voucher to the supplier while making payment to such a supplier.