Each invoice uploaded by a seller to the Invoice Registration Portal and validated will receive a number called Invoice Reference Number (IRN). IRN is a 64 characters long, unique number in the GST system - irrespective of taxpayer, financial year and document type.
IRN will be issued by the Invoice Registration Portal on uploading of the JSON invoice file. IRN will be generated based on a combination of the supplier GSTIN, document type, document number and year of invoice. Document types are INV for invoice, CRN for credit note, DBN for debit note.
The IRP will digitally sign a JSON invoice submitted by the seller and also generate a QR code containing the unique IRN along with other invoice data so that it can be readily verified online. This QR code can be scanned by the buyer or any tax offer using an app to check the validity of invoice issued. The eInvoice QR code will contain the following information:
The GST eInvoice will be similar to the existing GST invoice format. It has been clarified by the GSTN that writing of IRN (64 characters) is not required by the seller. However, the IRN will be included in the QR code provided by the Invoice Registration Portal. The QR code will contain details of the invoice and the IRN. Thus, it is better to make digitally signed QR code as a response which will be proof of registration of invoice and print on invoices issued by a business.
The time limit for generating an eInvoice will be notified by the Government. Without registration of an invoice with Invoice Registration Portal and generation of QR code, it will not be valid. Hence, before the movement of goods or delivery of goods or service or filing of GST returns, eInvoicing must be completed.
An eInvoice once generated can be fully cancelled within 24 hours on the Invoice Registration Portal. After 24 hours, cancellation of eInvoice on the Invoice Registration Portal will not be possible and the same will have to be done on the GST Portal before filing of GST return.
Once a GST eInvoice is cancelled, the same invoice number cannot be used again to generate another invoice.
Amendments to eInvoice can be done on the GST Portal. All amendments to the eInvoice generated on the Invoice Registration Portal can be done only on the GST Portal. An amended invoice if again sent to IRP as a JSON file will get rejected as the IRN will be duplicate.