A Guide to Debit Notes under GST


    Debit notes, also known as debit memos, are commonly used in business-to-business (B2B) transactions. It assists the buyer in keeping track of his debt obligations to the supplier for goods or services received. It also helps suppliers in correcting undervalued invoices.

    What is a debit note?

    A debit note is a type of commercial document that typically specifies any necessary adjustments to the amount of an invoice. Supplementary invoices are another term for debit notes. Debit note records must be kept for 72 months following the deadline for filing the annual return for the relevant year, per Section 36 of the CGST Act.

    Process of issuing a debit note 

    Reasons to issue a debit note. 

    A buyer issues a debit note to a seller if:

    A seller issues a debit note to the buyer if:

    Debit note- notebook or ledger

    Importance of debit notes under GST 

    A supplier of goods and services is required by Section 34(3) of the CGST Act 2017 to issue a debit note when-

    A debit note’s inclusion in the information for GSTR-1, the month in which the supply of goods occurred, is one of its fundamental roles under GST. The same information appears on Forms GSTR-2A and GSTR-2B for the recipient. Once the verification is complete, the recipient may approve it and include it in their GSTR-3B. Previously, when reporting a credit or debit note, the original invoice number had to be quoted on the GSTN portal in Form GSTR-1 and Form GSTR-6.

    On the other hand, the change regarding the separation of debit notes from their original invoice led to the following:

    The delinking amendment also impacted the treatment of Input Tax Credit (ITC) for debit notes. Before the change, the deadline for filing an ITC claim was based on the date of the invoice rather than the day the debit note was issued. However, due to the amendment, the time limit for claiming ITC is now calculated based on the debit note date.

    For instance, if an invoice was issued in March 2019 and a debit note was issued in October 2019, the due date for Form GSTR-3B for October 2020 would be the final date for claiming ITC since the debit note was issued during the fiscal year 2019-2020.

    Amendments to debit notes 

    If a supplier’s invoice needs to be revised or changed, the change can be made through the GST portal. There are two cases involving amendments:

    The reporting requirements, in this case, must be entered in Form GSTR-1’s ‘Table 9C – Amended Debit/Credit Notes (Registered).’

    The reporting requirements, in this case, must be entered in Form GSTR-1’s ‘Table 9C – Amended Debit/Credit Notes (Unregistered).’

    Time limit to issue a debit note. 

    A debit note can generally be issued at any time. However, according to GST regulations, the debit note must be issued by the earliest of the following dates:


    Tax liability, interest charges, and penalties will increase if the debit note is not issued within the allotted time.

    Format and content of a debit note 

    There is no prescribed legal format for a debit note. However, some fields are required to be present:

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