Invoicing Under GST: An Overview


Invoicing Under GST: An Overview

When to create GST Invoice?

In case you are a GST registered business i.e. a business that has a valid GSTIN, you are mandatorily required to create and provide your customers with a GST Invoice for sales of any goods or services. Similarly in case you are purchasing goods and services from GST registered vendors, you will receive GST compliant invoices from them.

GST Invoice Format

As per rules specified under the GST Act, to correctly create an invoice under GST rules, it needs to mandatorily have the following fields:

  • Date of issuance of the invoice
  • Invoice number
  • Name of Customer
  • Billing Address and Shipping Address of customer
  • GSTIN of Tax payer and Customer (if registered)
  • Place of supply
  • HSN Code (Harmonised System of Nomenclature Code)
  • Quantity, description or other relevant item measure/details
  • Taxable value/applicable discount
  • GST rates and total GST charged including details of applicable CGST/SGST/IGST for the item
  • Signature of the supplier.

Types of Invoices

  • Bill of Supply:
    A bill of supply is quite similar to a GST invoice except for that bill of supply and does not have any tax amount as the seller can’t charge GST to the buyer.
  • Aggregate Invoice:
    When the value of multiple invoices is less than Rs. 200 and the buyer is unregistered, the seller can issue an aggregate or bulk invoice for the multiple invoices every day.
  • Debit and Credit Note:
    A debit note is issued by the seller when an amount payable by the buyer to the seller goes up. A credit note is issued by the seller when the value of the invoices goes down.

How many copies of invoices should be issued?

  • For goods invoices to be issued in triplicate i.e. 3 copies. One for the recipient (original), one for the transporter and one for the supplier’s records.
  • For services invoices to be issued in duplicate i.e. 2 copies. One for the recipient of the services (original) and another for the supplier’s records.

When to Issue a GST Invoice?

A general time limit for suppliers to follow is:

  • On Goods (Normal)
    Goods suppliers need to draw up such an invoice on or before the date of removal of said products. Under Section 2 (96) of CGST Act, 2017 removal of goods can mean one of two things –
  1. Goods dispatched for delivery to the recipient.
  2. Goods collected from the supplier by the recipient or an authorised person acting on behalf of the recipient.
  • On Goods (Continuous Supply)
    If the invoice concerns a recipient with whom the supplier maintains a constant order of business, then the latter can issue an invoice under GST on or before the account statement is generated or payment received.
  • On Services
    In case of services provided, you are required to provide GST Invoice within 30 days of providing the service.
  • On Bank and NBFC services
    If services have been provided by banks and NBFCs, they are required to issue a valid invoice under GST within 45 days of providing the service.

GST Invoice Serial Number Rules 

Following are the mandates that issuers need to follow as per Rule 46 (b).

  • The invoice numbers must be sequential or consecutive.
  • They must be unique for a financial year, containing an alphanumeric combination.
  • A serial number must not exceed 16 characters.
  • GST should be split into CGST, SGST and IGST. It must not be charged as a whole.

GST invoice signature rules 

The CGST rules make the issuer’s signature one of the mandatory fields in a GST invoice. Specifications of a valid signature are as follows.

  • The bill can be signed by hand or digitally, provided it is affixed as per the mandates of the Information Technology Act, 2000.
  • The GST invoice bill must be signed by the supplier or his/her authorized representative.

As per section 116 (2), his/her ‘authorized representative’ can be a company secretary, a practising advocate, a chartered accountant, a retired officer of the Commercial Tax Department, or a regular employee appearing on the supplier’s behalf.

GST Invoice Payment Rules

  • If a registered entity makes a payment to an unregistered entity, the former has to issue a GST invoice.
  • In case a registered entity receives a product/service that is exempt from the GST Act, they need to issue a bill of supplies instead of a tax invoice.


Krishnakant Jakhotia
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