E-Invoice Format refers to the standardised electronic format used for invoicing, which is designed to make invoicing easier and more efficient for businesses. This format typically uses a JSON file, which is a type of data format used for exchanging information between applications. A JSON schema is also typically used to define the structure and validation rules for the JSON file, ensuring that it meets the required format. Additionally, templates can be used to provide a standardised design for the invoice, helping to ensure consistency across all invoices generated by the business. Overall, these elements work together to streamline the invoicing process and improve business efficiency.
The designated taxpayers ensure that the accounting/billing software used to create invoices complies with the established specifications. To receive the invoice reference number (IRN) for each document, the information is then posted to the invoice registration portal (IRP). The produced invoice will be known as an “e-invoice.”
Fields that are required and optional are both included in the e-invoice structure. All required fields must be present for an e-invoice to comply with e-invoices standards. Depending on the demands of the business, the optional fields may be included. There can be a maximum of 1000 line items on an e-invoice.
It is increased to 5000 line items in rare circumstances. To register an e-invoice on IRP, all required fields must be completed. It is possible to report NIL for a necessary field with no value. The following is a list of the sections that must be included:
An overview of the mandatory annexures are as follows:
The seller will receive JSON, a distinct IRN, a digitally signed e-invoice, and a QR code following the IRP’s confirmation of the data. Basic invoice information is included in the QR code. The supplier’s ERP must record the serial number of the invoice, which will be distinct from a GSTIN for a financial year.
The GSTIN of the supplier or document originator, the fiscal year, and the specific serial number of the document will be used by the IRP to construct the IRN. The supplier must retain the IRN assigned to each invoice. The IRN should be kept in the ERP because an invoice without it is not a valid legal document.
The e-invoice schema contains the following columns:
|Technical Field Name||It refers to the technical name of the field|
|Cardinality||It indicates whether the item is mandatory or not, and also it indicates the recurrence of the item, i.e. whether the item can be repeated or not.|
|Small Description of The Field||This is the field name which will be displayed in the e-invoice.|
|Is It Mandatory on the Invoice||Whether the field is optional or mandatory|
|Technical Field Specification||This specifies the limitation of the string, i.e. the maximum length of the field, date format, and decimal places|
|Sample Values of the Field||Example for the user to get familiar|
|Explanatory Notes of Field||A detailed explanation about the small description of the file, i.e. what it means and what are the details to be mentioned?|
The following 30 fields are mandatory in an e-invoice:
The GST portal initially made available two different e-invoice template options. There were only mandatory fields in one template and optional ones in the other. They were Excel templates. Only the required fields were included in the template.
Adopting the E-Invoice format, JSON file, schema, and template can bring significant benefits for businesses, including improved efficiency, accuracy, and compliance with tax regulations. However, it is essential to ensure that the implementation process is smooth and that all stakeholders are trained and educated to use the new system effectively. Additionally, regular updates and improvements to the E-Invoice format can help businesses stay up-to-date with the latest regulatory requirements and technological advancements.