The government is set to roll out GST or Goods and Services Tax from July 1. Amid concerns regarding new paperwork once GST kicks in, the Central Board of Excise and Customs has come out with a few clarifications on facts highlighting GST provisions relating to invoice for trade. In its bid to allay concerns of traders on invoice generation post-GST, the CBEC, under the Department of Revenue, said: “There are some apprehensions in the trade circles that GST invoices have to be issued as per prescribed format and that issuing invoice is going to be burdensome process. This is not correct. Some important facts about GST provisions relating to invoice are highlighted for information of all stakeholders.” Touted as the biggest reform since Independence, the incoming indirect tax regime is aimed at creation of a common market, preventing ‘tax-on-tax’ and making goods and services cheaper.The Central Board of Excise and Customs gave a list of facts on invoicing relating to GST:
1) All GST taxpayers are free to design their own invoice format.
2) GST Law only required that certain fields must mandatorily be in the invoice.
3) The time period prescribed for issuing invoice is different for goods & services – for goods, it is any time before its delivery and for services, it is within 30 days from the date of supply of services.
4) Small taxpayers, like small retailers, doing a large number of small transactions for up to a value of Rs. 200 per transaction to unregistered customers need not issue invoice for every such truncation. They can issue one consolidated invoice at the end of each day for all transactions done during the day. However, they should issue the invoice where the customer so demands.
5) In normal circumstances, one copy of invoice is required to be carried by the transporter. However, GSTN (Goods and Services Tax Network) provides a facility to obtain an invoice reference number and if a taxpayer has generated this number, his goods need not be accompanied by paper invoice during transportation. This mechanism helps to address frequently reported problems like paper invoices getting misplaced, mutilated, torn or lost in course of transportation of goods.
6) In order to keep compliance burden low for small taxpayers, GST law provides that taxpayers with annual turnover of up to Rs. 1.5 crore need to mention the HSN (Harmonized System of Nomenclature) Code of the goods in the invoices.
7) Keeping in view the large number of transactions in the banking, insurance and passenger transport sector, taxpayers need not mention the address of the customer and the serial number in their invoices.
8) Where the goods are transported for delivery but quantity to be supplied is not known at the time of removal, the good may be removed on delivery challan and invoice may be issued after delivery.
9) No need to issue separate Bill of supply if VAT invoice is issued for non-taxable supplies.