The Invoice Reference Number (IRN) is a unique number generated by the GST System for every invoice uploaded by a taxpayer. It serves as a reference for the e-way bill system, which is used for the transportation of goods. The government of India introduced the e-way bill system to track the movement of goods across the country and ensure tax compliance. The IRN is a crucial component of the e-way bill system, as it helps to verify the authenticity of the invoice and ensures that the correct tax is being levied on the goods being transported. In this article, we will delve into the details of the IRN in the e-way bill system, its importance, and how it works.
In a typical situation, three sets of following invoices are generated:
A transporter may choose IRN instead of the paperwork because it digitalises the revenue collection process at the check posts. It shortens the time the transporter must wait at the revenue checkpoint and aids in the tracking of the goods being transported by the tax authorities. If an IRN is generated, an invoice cannot be lost.
An invoice reference number is a unique identifier assigned to an invoice to identify and track it. This number may be used to reference the invoice in various communications and transactions between the seller and buyer, such as payment or dispute resolution. It comprises a combination of letters and/or numbers and can be generated manually or automatically by an invoicing software.
A GST-registered taxpayer can generate an IRN by uploading an invoice in the GST INV-01 form through the e-way bill portal. This IRN can be used instead of a physical tax invoice and is valid for 30 days. This simplifies the paperwork required, making the documentation process easier for transporters who handle multiple shipments.
Let’s now understand the GST INV-1’s format and the various fields that must be filled in. To put it simply, let’s divide the form into four sections.
Form GST INV-1 starts with the fundamental information about the taxpayer or supplier, just like any other form required by the GST act. The following is a list of what is in Part-A:
1. The GSTIN and supplier’s name are prefilled automatically.
2. It is necessary to give the address of the registered business location or the main place of business.
3. Add in the invoice’s date and serial number.
The taxpayer must complete certain Part B sections with information about the receiver. The following information must be entered.
The information in Part C describes the kind of supply the taxpayer is making. It is necessary to disclose whether the transaction involves a business-to-business (B2B) supply or a business-to-customer (B2C) supply.
All information pertaining to the consignment of goods billed is contained in Part D. It includes the following:
It is obvious that the revenue has put in place numerous barriers to stop tax leakage, even if IRN has not been introduced and taxpayers are in the grey area. This is noticeable in all forms based on similar lines (details in the Form GST INV 1 are similar to GSTR 1, for example). As a result, it is the taxpayer’s responsibility to provide accurate information and prevent any mismatch. Although the IRN was created to lessen the formalities at checkpoints, we will never gain from it unless it is really used.
The Invoice Reference Number (IRN) is an essential aspect of the e-way bill system, as it helps to ensure tax compliance and streamline the movement of goods across the country. It plays a crucial role in verifying the authenticity of the invoice and ensuring that the correct tax is being levied on the goods being transported. As such, it is important for taxpayers to understand the IRN and its significance in the e-way bill system to avoid any discrepancies or penalties.