April 28, 2019 1:15:57 am
The government is exploring introduction of electronic invoices (e-invoices) through Goods and Services Tax (GST) portal, a move which if implemented will help streamline the indirect tax system and ensure better compliance by keeping a check on tax evasion. A 13-member committee having representatives from GST Network (GSTN), central and state governments has been formed to examine the electronic tax invoice system of South Korea, Latin America and other countries and suggest a model for India.
For the e-invoices system, the committee will examine and suggest the target taxpayers and the threshold limit, either on the basis of the turnover of the registered person, or value of invoice, for generating invoice number or capturing invoice detail through GST portal or any other method.
The committee will look at a centralised system of e-invoices, which will give automatic access to authorities to invoices, a senior government official said, adding that phased implementation is likely to begin for B2B transactions. “It will not only ensure compliance since authorities and all the parties in transaction will have access to information but will also ease the burden on taxpayer. The system in South Korea has helped them to maintain records in a more efficient way and also save costs on account of a complete online trail. It can begin from B2B transactions and if successful can be rolled out across the board,” the official said. The committee will also discuss whether a system of e-invoices would help in dispensing the requirement of e-way bill, or modification of e-way bill or even combine both the options of e-invoice and e-way bill.
The examples of e-invoices in other countries involve storing of invoices on a central server or generating invoices centrally and the committee will discuss all the relevant options, another official said. “It could involve a centralised system with a standard invoice format will fetch the relevant GST rate and store the information centrally. The committee will meet and discuss the international models which could be implemented here,” the official said.
Also, the committee will look at integration of e-invoice numbering with different accounting systems and the ensuing challenges in this context. It will also look at the impact of e-invoices on return filing through auto population and invoice matching by generating invoice number.
An assessment of capability of GST portal for generation of invoice numbers will also be done by the committee of officers on e-invoices along with looking at methods to incentivise the usage of e-invoices among taxpayers. The committee of officers on electronic generation of invoice through GST portal, with Rajeev Ranjan, Special Secretary, GST Council as the convenor, is expected to submit its interim report within three weeks. Representatives from National Informatics Centre, technical experts and trade representatives are also expected to be part of the consultations.
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