What is E-invoicing?

E-invoicing is a concept that is similar to an e-way bill where the details of the tax invoice issued in the software have to be filled in FORM INV-01 and an Invoice Reference Number (IRN) along with a QR code has to be generated for each invoice from the e-invoice portal. The concept of e-invoicing has been introduced to reduce the evasion of GST, fake invoicing, and various other means of revenue leakage.



The E-invoice requirement is applicable to a registered person whose aggregate turnover exceeds Rs. 10 Cr in any of the previous financial years from July 2017 to March 2018 till FY 2022-23. The provisions of e-invoice have been introduced in a phased manner as follows:

Aggregate turnover in any of the preceding financial year
500 Crores01.01.2020
100 Crores01.01.2021
50 Crores01.04.2021
20 Crores01.04.2022
10 Crores01.10.2022


Exemption from generating IRN:

  • Insurance Company
  • Banking Companies including non-banking financial company
  • Goods Transport Agency
  • Passenger transport service provider
  • A registered person supplying services by way of admission to an exhibition of cinematograph films on multiplex screens
  • SEZ unit
  • A government department
  • A local authority
  • Persons registered under Rule 14 of CGST Rules (OIDAR)


Circular 186/18/2022-GST has clarified that the said exemption from the generation of e-invoices is for the entity as a whole and is not restricted by the nature of supply being made by the said entity. Hence, a banking company is not required to generate IRN for any of its supplies.


Applicability – Supplies vis-à-vis document

Nature of supply
B2B – taxableInvoiceYes
B2B – taxableCredit/Debit noteYes
B2CCredit/Debit noteNo
B2C – exportsInvoiceYes
B2C – exportsCredit/Debit noteYes
B2B – exemptBill of supplyNo


In summary, though e-invoice could be applicable to a registered person, the following supplies would not require an IRN:

  • Outward exempted supplies
  • Supplies to unregistered customers


Integration of e-invoice and GSTR-1

The invoices for which IRN has been generated in a month would auto-populate in the relevant tables of GSTR-1. The auto-populated details could be considered for filing GSTR-1 however, certain precautions should be taken.

  • Ensure that all invoices as per the books have been auto-populated in GSTR-1
  • If any invoice has not been auto-populated in GSTR-1, then the same should be added manually. Recheck whether an e-invoice was issued for that particular document (invoice/credit or debit note).
  • If any invoice is appearing two times in GSTR-1 as an e-invoice was generated twice, then one of the auto-populated entries should be removed. Two e-invoices could be available because the e-invoice was generated wrongly for the 1st time and the time limit to cancel has expired.


Common practical questions:

When to generate an e-invoice?

There is no specific time limit under the GST law for issuing an e-invoice. However, an invoice generated from the accounting software would not be valid unless IRN is generated and hence the best approach is to generate IRN on the very same day on which the tax invoice is generated by a registered person.


From where should the IRN be generated?

The following websites should be used to generate IRN:


Whether both websites could be used or only one should be used?

  • Both websites could be used for generating IRN
  • The same login details could be used for both websites
  • However, if an e-invoice is generated on the e-invoice1 portal, then getting details, cancellation, and e-way bill generation referring to the IRN for that invoice has to be done only on the e-invoice1 portal. Similarly for the e-invoice2 portal.


Whether e-invoice is a replacement for the e-way bill?

No. The provisions and requirements of generating an e-way bill are in addition to generating IRN for a tax invoice as the two requirements serve different purposes. The e-way bill would still be a requirement for the movement of goods through a motorized conveyance. Hence, an e-invoice should be generated at the time of issuing the invoice and an e-way bill should be issued at the time of the commencement of the movement of goods. There is no maximum gap that is required between an e-invoice and an e-way bill. E-way bills should be generated only before the commencement of the movement of goods which can even be after a few months of generation of e-invoice.


Whether e-invoice could be canceled?

Yes. An e-invoice could be canceled within 24 hours if certain errors have been committed at the time of the generation of the e-invoice.


Whether IRN could be edited?

No. If any errors are committed, then the only option is to cancel the IRN and generate a fresh IRN with the correct details.


Whether e-invoicing is required for RCM transactions?

The recipient is not required to generate any IRN for services received by it which are taxable under reverse charge in his hands. However, a supplier supplying goods/services which are taxable under reverse charge in the hands of the recipient would be required to generate IRN if his aggregate turnover in the preceding years exceeds the threshold limit (presently Rs. 10 Cr).


Whether two copies of invoices are required to be issued, one from software and another from the e-invoice portal?

No. The invoice issued by the software would suffice as long as it contains the QR code generated from the e-invoice portal. There is no requirement to give two invoices to your customer.


What if IRN is not generated even though applicable?

A document without IRN is not a valid document under the GST law. Consequently, if a tax invoice is issued without IRN, then such a document is not a valid tax invoice in terms of section 46 of the CGST Act. Hence, the consequences could be as follows:

  • Allegations that supplies have been made without issuing an invoice. Consequently, a penalty could be demanded under section 122 of the CGST Act.
  • Denial of credit to the recipient as the recipient does not have a valid tax invoice as required under section 16(2) of the CGST Act.


What are the precautions that need to be taken as a supplier?

  • E-invoice should mandatorily be generated before the invoice is issued to the customer. Suggested generating IRN on the same day.
  • The e-invoice should also have a QR code embedded in it. This is a mandatory requirement.
  • The ERP could be integrated to ensure that a few invoices are not missed and no typographical errors are committed.
  • Monthly reconciliation should be done of invoices as per books and invoices with IRN
  • Keep a copy of IRN generated invoice as a back-up as the e-invoice portal does not store the details of IRNs generated beyond 2 days, unlike the e-way bill portal.
  • Even though mistakes would have been committed during the generation of IRN, the details of invoices actually issued during the tax period have to be reported in GSTR-1.


What are the precautions that need to be taken as a recipient?

  • Check whether e-invoicing provisions are applicable to your top vendors.
  • Ensure that they are generating IRN and affixing a QR code on the invoice issued to you
  • Verify the correctness of the e-invoice by either of the following two methods:
    • By uploading the signed JSON file or Signed QR Code (string) into the e-invoice system: einvoice1.gst.gov.in > Search > ‘Verify Signed Invoice’
    • Through the “Verify QR Code” mobile app. This app could be downloaded from einvoice1.gst.gov.in > Help > Tools > Verify QR Code App.
  • Take a declaration from the supplier to safeguard your credit which means that if credit is denied to you because of the default of the supplier, the supplier would be required to compensate.

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