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GST invoice is a bill or receipt of items sent or services that a seller or service provider offers to a customer. It specifically lists out the services/products, along with the total amount due. One can check a GST invoice to determine said product or service prices before CGST and SGST are levied on them. A GST invoice bill also displays the amount of taxes charged on each product or service, which an individual purchases from the seller or provider.

Prescribed GST Bill Formats

As per Section 2(66) of the Central Goods and Services Tax Act of 2017, to understand the exact format of a tax invoice, one must refer to Section 31. Even though Section 31 outlines a general guideline for GST invoice formats, it does not go into specifics. However, Section 31 does state the requirements or entries that such an invoice must carry to qualify as an official GST document. Moreover, such an invoice can be electronic, as well as manual.

What should a GST Invoice Bill Include?

The following pointers are mandatory inclusions in such a bill – 

  1. This invoice should be issued by an input distributor.
  2. All supplementary bills/invoices.
  3. Any revisions to the invoice generated by the supplier in the past.

Apart from these sections, a GST tax invoice must include these following particulars as well –

  1. GSTIN, name and address of the supplier issuing a GST invoice.
  2. Date of issuance.
  3. A unique serial number not exceeding 16 digits.
  4. In case of registered recipients, this bill should also include name, GSTIN and address of the receiving party as well.
  5. A complete description of all services or goods provided, complete with HSN code.
  6. Amount of discount applicable on these taxes, if any.
  7. Tax amount.
  8. Invoice valuation.
  9. The rate at which CGST, SGST and IGST are charged should be mentioned on this bill.
  10. The billing address and information.
  11. Shipping address and information.
  12. Reverse charge or forward charge.
  13. Signature of the tax invoice issuer or authorised representative.

The table below is indicative of how a GST invoice bill generally looks. One should understand that the layout of such receipts differs from one supplier or seller to the next. Nevertheless, the information and details should match the one presented in the following table – 

Tax InvoiceDate: 
Company Name:

GSTIN:

Address:
Billing Address:Shipping Address:
Serial No.Item Desc.HSNQty.Per Item RateTotalDiscountTaxable AmtCGST(9%)SGST (9%)
1.X5Rs.40Rs.200Rs.200Rs.18Rs.18
2. Y7Rs.25Rs.175Rs.175Rs.15.75Rs.15.75
TotalRs.375Rs.375Rs.33.75Rs.33.75
Tax Invoice Value (In figures) Rs.442.50
Tax Amount Subject to Reverse Charges

Issuing a GST Invoice: When should it be done?

Generating a GST invoice as soon as items are shipped or services rendered can be difficult in certain cases. Thus, to ease matters, the Indian Government has outlined a general time limit for suppliers to follow.

  • On Goods (Normal)

Goods suppliers need to draw up such an invoice on or before the date of removal of said products. Under Section 2 (96) of CGST Act, 2017 removal of goods can mean one of two things – 

  1. Goods dispatched for delivery to the recipient.
  2. Goods collected from the supplier by the recipient or an authorised person acting on behalf of the recipient. 
  • On Goods (Continuous Supply)

If the invoice concerns a recipient with whom the supplier maintains a constant order of business, then the latter can issue an invoice under GST on or before the account statement is generated or payment received.

  • On Services

In case of GST invoice bill on services rendered, one needs to issue the same within 30 days of providing the services in question.

  • On Bank and NBFC Services

In the event of financial services provided by banks and other financial institutions, the deadline for issuing a GST receipt is not within 30 days unlike all other services, but 45 days from the date of service supply.

Copies of Invoices for Goods Supply

In the event of raising a GST invoice for goods supply, the issuer would need to arrange three copies for the following members involved in such transactions – 

  • The original copy is for the recipient.
  • The duplicate copy is for the use of individuals responsible for transporting said goods from supplier to recipient.
  • The triplicate copy is useful to the supplier.

Copies of Invoices for Services Supply

Since there are no transporters involved in a supply of service, issuers need to only draw two copies of the GST invoice bill.

  • The original document belongs to the service recipient.
  • The duplicate is kept by the supplier for internal use.

Raising a Revised GST Invoice

Under Rule 53 of the CGST Act, 2017, revised tax invoices can be raised against issued invoices. The revision of the GST invoice bill can involve a downward or upward change in the prices of goods or services supplied. It can also lead to a change in the CGST/SGST/IGST rates, previously applied to this bill.

The following particulars must be present in a revised GST invoice – 

  • ‘Revised Invoice’ should be marked wherever applicable on this bill.
  • GSTIN, address and name of the supplier.
  • Date of document issue.
  • Nature of document.
  • Name, GSTIN/UIN and address of a registered recipient.
  • Date and serial number of the corresponding GST invoice.
  • Shipping address and details.
  • A unique and consecutive serial number, which does not exceed 16 characters.
  • Signature of the issuer or authorised representative.

When is Issuing a Tax Invoice Not Mandatory?

A supplier can avoid issuing a GST invoice only under the following two conditions – 

  • The recipient in the transaction is unregistered.
  • When the recipient expresses that he/she does not need such an invoice.

Keep in mind that both of these parameters must be satisfied for a supplier to avoid the legal mandate of issuing a GST invoice. Instead, the registered supplier can issue a consolidated tax invoice at the end of each day, concerning all such supplies in question.

One must remember that in case of tax-exempted goods and services, a registered business needs to issue a bill of supply instead of a regular GST invoice. This is also true if the supplier in question is already bearing taxes under composition scheme.

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